Top Credit Repair Features We Recommend
The price of credit repair can vary significantly from company to company. The services a client needs will also affect the price. It's important to understand the credit repair company's pricing structure so that consumers pay only for services that are actually needed. Consumers should understand the following fee breakdowns:
- Membership fees: If a credit repair company requires a membership, the consumer must make certain to understand the fee amount, what the fee covers and how often it is assessed.
- Per-service fees: Paying per service may keep credit repair prices down depending on what services you need. With this fee, the consumer only pays for the services he or she needs.
- Monitoring fees: Credit report monitoring services can help prevent future mistakes on a credit report and usually comes at an extra cost.
When credit reports contain inaccurate items, credit repair companies can dispute them to improve scores. This service may involve collecting information, writing letters to credit bureaus and, in some cases, taking legal action.
- Credit bureau disputes: This activity involves a credit repair company writing letters on the consumer's behalf to the credit bureaus to dispute questionable items. These items might include questions about purchase records and other miscellaneous charges.
- Creditor disputes: At times, a credit repair company may need to contact the original creditor to solve disputes. While not always necessary, this can be an important service provided by a credit repair company.
- Legal disputes: Some credit repair companies have lawyers and/or paralegals on staff. If credit bureaus and creditors do respond to requests, and legal action is necessary, easy access to legal help is beneficial.
Clients need to understand available access to their credit repair company including how to get in touch with representatives, phone and chat hours as well as website and online services.
- Online accounts: Some credit repair firms offer 24/7 online account access. Customers should check the SSL encryption and other security features before accessing their accounts online to ensure their information is secure.
- Mobile app accounts: Some companies use mobile apps to give clients access to their accounts on the go.
Due to the nature of credit repair activities, access to account managers and online records is important. Consumers should assess customer service quality when choosing a credit report agency.
- Personalized accounts: Some companies offer a personal case manager while others have a team approach to customer service. Investigate the access hours for the account manager or account team.
- Knowledgebase: A knowledgebase or educational portal lets clients access resources to educate themselves on issues related to credit and credit repair. Companies vary on the level and types of educational tools available, from blogs, to videos, to PDFs and more.
Many consumers and businesses may see credit monitoring as an important step toward building credit and protecting their credit scores. When new items are included in a credit history, credit monitoring can alert the consumer for future scrutiny and verification. Customers should make certain that all three credit reporting agencies are included in the credit monitoring services.
- Ongoing: Agencies that provide ongoing credit monitoring may check credit histories frequently to find new items as soon as they are recorded. Consumers must understand exactly what services are provided within their credit monitoring package. Clients need to ask questions and be aware of all that is included in their credit monitoring package, e.g. how often credit is monitored and how the client will be contacted in the event of a breach.
At times, consumers and businesses may need legal services to remove inaccurate credit items or negotiate repayments. Some credit repair agencies have legal professionals on staff, while others offer access to legal assistance. Note: not all credit repair companies offer customers legal services.
- Item removal: When a credit bureau fails to remove inaccurate information from a credit report, an agency may provide legal services that involve the court system. This gives consumers an extra opportunity to remove the questionable item.
- Negotiations: Legal services may also negotiate with creditors to reach compromises.
- Letters: Written letters from lawyers are often given more weight than letters written by consumers.
What Are The Different Types of Credit Repair Services?
- Debt negotiations: Negotiating with creditors may lower the amount of money owed, reducing the consumer's debt load and making it more affordable to improve credit histories and scores. Professionals should have the credentials and experience required for successful debt negotiation.
- Item disputes: Credit histories often contain inaccurate items, and the item disputes process disputes erroneous entries to improve credit scores. Depending on the item and the reason it has been included in a credit history, this could involve writing a short letter or performing significant amounts of research.
- Credit monitoring: Since inaccuracies and identity theft can happen at any time, many credit repair companies offer ongoing monitoring services that catch problems early. This potentially makes it easier for clients to address inaccuracies before they cause financial problems.