Ovation Credit Services by LendingTree Review

An education-based approach to credit repair

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Ovation Credit
Ovation Credit
overall rating
4.2

Ovation Credit Services by LendingTree empowers customers with the financial knowledge they need to improve not just their credit, but their entire financial future.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Dedicated case advisor

  • Includes financial planning tools

  • Offers standalone credit monitoring

  • Discounts available

  • Cancel anytime

Cons
  • Some features only available with premium package

  • No money-back guarantee

  • Few digital tools

Key Takeaways
  • Ovation Credit Services is a credit repair company owned by LendingTree, an online loan marketplace.
  • Memberships include two credit repair packages and a paid credit monitoring service.
  • Customers who sign up for credit repair must pay an upfront fee in addition to ongoing monthly fees, but the membership can be canceled at any time.
  • Some services, such as credit monitoring and unlimited disputes, are only offered to premium members.
Company Overview

Founded in 1976, Ovation is one of the longest established credit repair services currently in operation. The company operated out of its Jacksonville, Florida, headquarters for more than four decades before being acquired by LendingTree, an online marketplace for various types of loans. During the 2018 acquisition, Ovation president Terry Cordell noted the company’s “emphasis on consumer education and empowerment,” a core value that remains reflected in the financial resources provided to customers. Today, Ovation offers online credit repair and monitoring services to consumers across the United States via phone consultations and electronic account management.

  • Year Founded 1976
  • Kinds of Service Credit disputes, monitoring
  • Fee Schedule Upfront and monthly
  • Monitoring Options In-house, additional fee
  • Customer Service Email, phone
  • Phone (866) 639-3426
  • Official Website www.ovationcredit.com

Experts often say that the best credit repair solution is education, and if any service embodies this approach, it’s Ovation Credit Services by LendingTree. The company offers much more than just credit repair in its plans, walking customers step by step through the dispute process and providing additional education and tools for better debt management.

But monthly fees aren’t cheap, even for the most basic plan. To see if the membership cost is worth it, we took a deep dive into the service Ovation provides. In this review, we’ll cover what customers can expect from their dedicated Ovation case advisor, how the company tackles credit disputes, and what current customers have to say about their experience with the service.

Pros Explained

  • Dedicated case advisor: As an Ovation credit repair subscriber, you’ll be assigned a case advisor who gives you more personalized attention.
  • Includes financial planning tools: All Ovation memberships come with access to tools that will help you build credit with better budgeting and debt management.
  • Offers standalone credit monitoring: You don’t need to be a credit repair customer to subscribe to Ovation’s paid credit monitoring service.
  • Discounts available: Savings of up to 20% are offered to seniors, couples, and members of the military.
  • Cancel anytime: No advance notice is required to cancel a monthly membership.

Cons Explained

  • Some features only available with premium package: For unlimited dispute letters and credit monitoring, you’ll have to upgrade to the Essentials Plus Plan.
  • No money-back guarantee: If you’re not happy with the results, you won’t be able to recoup any fees.
  • Few digital tools: As a company owned by industry innovator LendingTree, we expected more from Ovation’s digital tools. There’s no mobile app or web chat option, both of which are offered by many competitors.

Types of Services

Credit repair services from Ovation are available at two plan levels, allowing you to choose the level of service best suited for your personal situation. However, there are a few services you can expect regardless of which plan you choose. Each member is assigned a case manager who will assist them throughout the credit repair process. This is something that not all competitors do, but it allows for better service as you know you’ll always be talking to someone who is already familiar with your case.

Ovation is also unique in that the company takes a more education-focused, hands-on approach to credit repair. While some companies simply collect your money and do everything for you, Ovation works with members to help them fully understand the credit repair process. This means you may be asked to do a bit more leg work than with other credit repair companies, but you’ll walk away better prepared for long-term success. Budgeting and debt management tools are included with all packages to help prevent future credit issues through better planning and education.

Essentials Plan

At $79 per month plus an $89 upfront fee, the Essentials Plan is Ovation’s entry-level credit repair service. The plan includes access to a personal case advisor who is assigned to your account and will guide you step by step through the process of filing disputes with the credit bureaus. However, your case advisor won’t be able to physically do much on your behalf, so you should expect a more hands-on experience. Members can also take advantage of a set of financial management tools through the Ovation web portal.  

Essentials Plus Plan

Ovation’s upgraded Essentials Plus Plan is priced at $109 per month with the same $89 upfront fee as the Essentials Plan. For the extra $30 per month, you’ll get access to everything included in the base package plus a few premium services designed to accomplish more of the work for you. Ovation will send unlimited letters to creditors on your behalf for the purpose of challenging debt. You can even request a recommendation letter from Ovation in the future to supplement loan applications. TransUnion credit monitoring is also included with this package.

Optional Add-Ons

Many credit repair companies sell optional add-on memberships with auxiliary services not included in their core packages. Ovation offers fewer options than some, but does provide one add-on for credit monitoring. Note that this plan can be purchased independently of credit repair services; you don’t need to be an existing Ovation member to sign up.

Credit Monitoring

Ovation offers credit monitoring through a digital platform that tracks and analyzes your credit score. The platform breaks down the different factors that affect your score and helps you understand how to improve your credit. You’ll also get notifications if anything changes, allowing you to identify and quickly respond to potential errors or signs of identity theft. This service is ideal for anyone planning to make a large purchase, such as a home or vehicle, in the next six months to a year.

All credit repair and monitoring services from Ovation require a free credit consultation prior to signup.

While there’s no commitment required for a consultation, be aware that some companies use these free sessions to upsell customers on services they don’t necessarily want. Never feel pressured to give out your credit card information or purchase a membership without giving it some thought.

Customer Service

Service from Ovation is generally provided via phone and email, with few digital options compared to competitors. There’s no live chat or mobile app to take advantage of, a bit of a disappointment due to Ovation’s association with LendingTree. However, an online portal is provided with 24/7 access to updates regarding your case. Once you sign up, you’ll be put into direct contact with your case manager, who will primarily communicate with you via email and the Ovation customer portal.

Company Reputation

Overall, Ovation is highly respected in the credit repair industry, which is unfortunately laden with less-than-reputable organizations. Ovation has no negative record with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and just two complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), good indicators that the company’s practices meet legal standards.

Feedback from Ovation customers is notably above average for the industry. The company is just short of four-star ratings from both Google and the Better Business Bureau, fairly impressive scores when stacked up next to competitors. Most complaints involve difficulty getting ahold of case managers, which is a common downside of signing up for this type of credit repair service. Since advisors work limited hours and handle multiple cases simultaneously, they may not always be readily available to answer messages.

If you have a complaint about the services of a credit repair company, you can file a complaint with the FTC or call 877-FTC-HELP.

Ovation has been the subject of only two CFPB complaints in the past three years, one of the lowest complaint rates in the credit repair industry.

Contract Duration

Ovation’s credit repair memberships require no commitment and can be canceled at any time. All you need to do is cancel before the end of your billing period and you won’t be charged for the next month. If you simply want to take a short break, putting the membership on pause is an option as well. While there’s no money-back guarantee, Ovation advertises a unique policy that if the company fails to deliver on promised services, you won’t be charged a fee for that month–although the company is unfortunately vague on what exactly qualifies as failure to deliver. 

Cost

Both Ovation credit repair plans require an $89 upfront fee that covers the initial discovery period as your case manager reviews your credit reports. Subsequent monthly fees are either $79 or $109 depending on the plan you choose. Pricing is in line with most competitors that charge both upfront and monthly fees as part of their cost structure.

  Upfront Fee Monthly Fee
Essentials Plan $89 $79
Essentials Plus Plan $89 $109

The Competition: Ovation Credit Services by Lending Tree vs. Lexington Law

Ovation Credit Services often faces competition from Lexington Law, another major credit repair company. Assuming an average six-month service period, Lexington Law is a bit less expensive than Ovation. Ovation's monthly fees are slightly higher, and they charge an upfront fee. Lexington Law also beats Ovation in the tech space with a smartphone app that gets rave reviews.

However, Ovation wins in the areas that matter most. Lexington Law has been the subject of 44 complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the past three years, dwarfing the two complaints associated with Ovation. The company has come under fire for alleged deceptive marketing practices and was even named in a CFPB lawsuit on the subject. Even if it costs a few extra dollars per month, we’d recommend going with Ovation for a better experience from a more reputable company.

  Ovation Services by Lending Tree Lexington Law
Year Founded 1976 1991
Services Offered Credit repair, credit monitoring Credit repair
Customer Service Touchpoints Phone, email, client portal Phone, email, client portal, mobile app
Upfront Fee $89 $0
Monthly Fee $79 to $109 $89.95 to $129.95
Verdict

Ovation has a solid reputation backed by a proven record of helping customers achieve long-term financial stability through education. While prices aren’t any more affordable than the rest of the industry, they do include a dedicated case manager and valuable resources that go far beyond credit repair. Ovation might not be the best fit if you’re looking for a credit repair service to do everything for you, but this hands-on approach is more likely to put you on a path to success.

How We Review Credit Repair Companies

The credit repair industry is rife with misleading claims and frequent scams, but for consumers who feel overwhelmed by the process of fixing errors on their own credit report, their services can be valuable. We rate credit repair companies based on their trustworthiness and transparency when it comes to fees, services, and contracts. Our scoring model also looks at the value companies offer through tools and resources.

Article Sources

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  1. PR Newswire. "LendingTree, Inc. Announces Agreement to Acquire Ovation Credit Services." Accessed September 7, 2020.