What Is Credit Repair?

Credit repair is the process of fixing poor credit standing that may have deteriorated for a variety of different reasons. Repairing credit standing may be as simple as disputing mistakes information with the credit agencies. Identity theft, and they damage incurred, may require extensive credit repair work.

Another form of credit repair is to deal with fundamental financial issues, such as budgeting, and begin to address legitimate concerns on the part of lenders.

Key Takeaways

  • Credit repair is the act of restoring or correcting a poor credit score.
  • Credit repair can also involve paying a company to contact the credit bureau and point out anything on your report that is incorrect or untrue, then asking for it to be removed.
  • You can do your own credit repair, but it can be labor intensive and time consuming.

How Credit Repair Works

Though numerous companies claim they can clean up bad credit reports, correcting erroneous information that may appear on credit reports takes time and effort. The details cited to credit reporting agencies cannot be removed by a third party. Rather the details, if misrepresented or inaccurate, can be disputed. Credit repair companies may investigate such information, but so can the individual the report is assessing. Individuals are entitled to free credit reports every 12 months from credit reporting agencies, as well as when an adverse action is taken against them, such as being denied credit based on information in the report.

Disputes may be filed when incomplete or inaccurate information appears on their credit reports. Aside from correcting such information, or catching fraudulent transactions on one’s credit, rebuilding and repairing credit can rest more heavily on credit usage and credit activity.

The payment history of the individual can be a significant factor on their credit standing. Taking steps to make sure payments are up to date or improve the payment schedule for outstanding credit can beneficially affect their credit score. Furthermore, the amount of credit used by the individual can also play a role. For instance, if an individual is actively using large portions of the credit available to them, even if they are maintaining minimum payments on time, the size of the debt they are carrying can negatively affect their credit rating. The issue is that their liquidity may be pressured by the overall debt against them. By taking measures to reduce their overall debt load, they may see improvements to their credit profile.

Credit Repair Services

A number of businesses claiming to do credit repair have sprung up over time, and while some may provide services that can assist consumers, the actual results of their efforts may be questioned. In some cases, credit repair may require legal as well as financial expertise. Depending on the extent of the problem, it may require simply cleaning up misunderstandings, while in other cases professional intervention is needed.

The fees a credit repair company charges can vary. Typically, there are two types of fees: an initial setup fee and a monthly service fee. The initial fee can range from $10 to $100, while the monthly fee typically runs between $30 and $100 a month, although some companies do charge more.

When considering the fees, it’s important to weigh what you’re getting in return. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), credit repair firms can’t legally do anything for you that you can’t do for yourself. You just have to be willing to spend the time reviewing your credit reports for negative or inaccurate information, reaching out to the credit bureaus to dispute that information, and following up on those disputes to make sure they’re being investigated.