The Credit Guru may be one of the longest-established credit repair services around, but the company hasn’t quite managed to keep up with the digital age. Overall, we found their packages to be overpriced considering the quality and scope of services offered.
- Pros & Cons
- Key Takeaways
- Company Overview
Free initial consultation
Two service package options
Offers multiple discounts
Dedicated case management team
Financial coaching available
Makes questionable claims
No educational materials
Lack of digital tools
Strict cancellation policy
- The Credit Guru offers two credit repair packages that both include unlimited credit disputes, but not much else of value.
- Pricing starts at $149.95 for initial setup and $89.00 per month of ongoing service.
- Discounts are offered to couples, military members, and referrals.
Founded in 1993 in Edmonds, Washington, The Credit Guru is a small but long-established credit repair service. As the industry has shifted toward digital technologies and all-inclusive packages, The Credit Guru has remained true to its roots, continuing to provide the same no-frills credit dispute service. The company accepts customers from across the United States, mostly offering virtual support by phone and email.
- Year Founded 1993
- Kinds of Credit Repair Service Credit disputes
- Fee Schedule Upfront, monthly
- Monitoring Options Not offered
- Customer Service Phone, email
- Official Website www.thecreditguru.com
Look at The Credit Guru’s website and you’ll find several enticing claims: credit dispute secrets the bureaus don’t want you to know about, settled debts for less than you owe, and better credit in as little as three months.
If these sound too good to be true, they just might be. Unfortunately, assertions like this rarely come to fruition—a lesson that many customers learn the hard way after losing hundreds or thousands of dollars in useless fees.
If claims like these have you thinking about hiring The Credit Guru to repair your credit, read our review that breaks down the good and the bad by evaluating services, pricing, reputation, value, and more.
- Free initial consultation: The Credit Guru’s initial phone consultation is offered free of charge, although you’ll need to supply your own credit reports.
- Two service package options: Customers can choose the right package and price range for their needs.
- Offers multiple discounts: Discounts are available for couples, military service members, and client referrals.
- Dedicated case management team: Each credit repair customer has a personal service team assigned to their case.
- Financial coaching available: Clients of The Credit Guru who choose the premium service package can benefit from a personalized credit repair plan to help raise their score from multiple standpoints.
- Expensive fees: Monthly prices start at $89.00, and that’s not including a $149.95 setup fee.
- Makes questionable claims: The Credit Guru’s marketing language includes a few claims we found to be potentially misleading.
- No educational materials: Many credit repair companies now offer free resource libraries to help customers improve their finances, but The Credit Guru hasn’t made a significant investment in consumer education.
- Lack of digital tools: You won’t find modern conveniences like an online portal, web chat, or mobile app with The Credit Guru.
- Strict cancellation policy: Customers only have five business days to cancel their membership and receive a refund. To discontinue monthly service, notice needs to be sent at least 15 days prior to the next billing cycle.
Types of Services
The Credit Guru makes two service packages available at different price points. Where most competitors create a strong distinction between their plans, however, The Credit Guru doesn’t offer much extra to those who upgrade.
All things considered, The Credit Guru’s regular service package is no more or less than what you’d expect from basic credit repair. The plan includes copies of your credit reports, unlimited monthly credit disputes, and phone and email from a dedicated case management team. Monthly account reviews are available, although the customer must request them.
The Credit Guru’s premium service package offers everything included in the regular package with three key differences:
- Credit disputes are processed every two weeks instead of once per 30-day billing period.
- Monthly account reviews are conducted automatically without the customer needing to ask for them.
- Each customer is provided with a personalized credit improvement plan that walks them through additional ways to build credit outside of the dispute process.
The only credit repair services offered by The Credit Guru are included in the two packages listed above. No optional add-ons like credit monitoring are available to further customize plans.
The Credit Guru may be one of the oldest credit repair firms, but the company hasn’t done much to keep up with industry trends. Many credit repair companies have adopted new digital technologies in recent years, providing customers with conveniences like online account management, web chat, and even mobile apps.
Customers who sign up with The Credit Guru will find themselves limited to traditional email and phone service. While those who prefer a more personalized experience may find themselves perfectly happy with their dedicated case management team, tech-savvy customers who are used to faster service could end up feeling frustrated.
Much of The Credit Guru’s website appears to be out of date; we found several pages and blog posts that hadn’t been refreshed since 2017 or earlier. But the information contained within the site raises a few red flags due to some troubling claims the company makes.
For example, The Credit Guru uses language claiming that the credit bureaus “don’t want you to use a credit repair company,” which isn’t accurate since the credit bureaus have nothing to gain from denying credit disputes. There’s also a particularly worrying claim that paying down past due bills won’t repair your credit, suggesting that a better option is to have The Credit Guru settle debts on your behalf for less money.
Credit repair companies sometimes offer to settle debts for their customers if they can’t be disputed as inaccurate. Those who agree don’t always realize the potential negative consequences of the debt settlement process. In some cases, customers end up owing more than they began with due to the high fees involved. Debt settlement can also ding your credit score more significantly than if you simply took the time to pay off the debt in full.
There isn’t much information available on The Credit Guru regarding customer feedback. While the company has a C+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), it’s hard to say what this rating is based on since the company has no reviews or complaints registered. Nothing is on file with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The company does have a five-star rating on Google, although too few reviews exist to give this rating much weight.
If you have a complaint about the services of a credit repair company, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or call 877-FTC-HELP.
The Credit Guru’s services don’t require a long-term contract. Customers are billed on a monthly basis and can cancel anytime. However, you’ll need to notify the company that you’d like to terminate your package at least 15 days prior to your next billing period to ensure you won’t be charged. The company states that most customers retain services for an average of three to eight months.
Unfortunately, The Credit Guru doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee if you don’t see any results after paying for services. Their refund policy is quite strict; you’ll need to request one within the first five days to have your fees returned, which is just two days longer than the legal minimum laid out in the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA).
By law, credit repair companies aren’t allowed to bill customers for services that haven’t yet been performed. If a credit repair service asks for payment in advance, find a more reputable company to work with.
Considering the services included in each package, The Credit Guru’s fees are exceptionally high. The regular service costs $149.95 upfront and $89.00 per month. For the premium service, you’ll be charged $199.95 in setup fees plus $129.00 per month. Most credit repair companies with fees in this range include a much broader scope of services, such as credit monitoring, identity theft insurance, and other value adds.
One positive note is that The Credit Guru is good about offering discounts. Couples who sign up together will only pay $269.95 in combined setup fees for the regular service plan and $369.90 for the premium service, a discount of about $30 in each case. Savings are also offered to military members and those who refer another customer.
The Competition: The Credit Guru vs. The Credit Pros
Similarly named competitor, The Credit Pros, is a credit repair company that also prices its services quite high, although not to the same extent as The Credit Guru.
But The Credit Pros’ entry-level plan, priced at $119.00 upfront and $69.00 per month, offers a comparable service lineup as The Credit Guru’s most expensive plan that costs nearly twice as much. The most premium package available from The Credit Pros also includes credit monitoring, debt management, identity theft protection, and discount programs, none of which are even offered by The Credit Guru. It’s easy to see that The Credit Pros is the winner between the two.
|The Credit Guru||The Credit Pros|
|Services Offered||Credit repair, financial planning||Credit repair, monitoring, identity theft protection, financial planning|
|Customer Service Touchpoints||Phone, email||Phone, email, client portal|
|Upfront Fee||$149.95 to $199.95||$119.00 to $149.00|
|Monthly Fee||$89.00 to $129.00||$69.00 to $149.00|
Given The Credit Guru’s outdated tools and limited services, it’s hard to see why anyone should pay the company’s lofty prices. Much more affordable options are available from competitors, many of which include even more valuable services. Even if value wasn’t a factor, we’re concerned about some of the misleading claims The Credit Guru uses to make its services seem more appealing to potential customers.
How We Review Credit Repair Companies
To help consumers avoid the pitfalls of the credit repair industry, we review credit repair companies using a rigorous set of criteria. Our quantitative scoring system analyzes each firm’s plan offerings, cost structure, customer service, and reputation within the industry. We assign each company points based on their performance in every area to calculate an overall score on a scale of zero to five.
Learn more: Read our full Credit Repair Review Methodology here.