If you’ve had credit problems in the past such as late payments, bankruptcy, or accounts in collections, you may be anxious to repair your credit. Potential lenders are basing their decisions today on things that may have happened years ago, and if you’re able to obtain a loan or a credit card, you’re probably paying a high-interest rate. If you’re thinking about getting help from a credit repair company, you’re probably asking, “How much does credit repair cost?”
Credit Repair Services
There are many different credit repair services available that offer to fix your credit for a fee. The service they provide is to dispute outdated or inaccurate information that’s on your credit report. Once errors have been removed, they follow up to make sure the errors don’t reappear.
Disputing errors on your credit report is something you can do on your own without paying a fee, but if you prefer to hire someone else to do it, you’ll find that the amount charged by these companies varies quite a bit. Typically credit repair services charge a fee that ranges from around $35 to $100 or more per month, and they can’t guarantee that your credit will improve. Higher-priced services may include access to credit scores and credit monitoring. There may be additional fees for setup or cancellation.
Recognizing Credit Repair Scams
There are many companies that claim to offer credit repair services that are actually scams. One of the biggest red flags is claiming that they can get all negative items removed from your credit report for a fee even if the negative items are legitimate. Credit repair companies don’t have the ability to remove negative items that are accurate from your credit report and any company that’s claiming they can do this is a scam.
Another sign of a possible scam is being pressured to pay upfront before the company provides any kind of service. They may be vague about explaining your rights to you or may try to discourage you from contacting the credit bureau.
What You Can Do on Your Own
Improving your credit after you’ve made some mistakes usually takes time. Whether or not you decide to work with a credit repair company, do what you can to improve your credit. Start by paying your bills on time without fail. If you’re carrying large balances on your credit cards, work on paying them back.
Take the time to review your own credit reports, looking closely for anything that’s not accurate. Even a misspelled name can cause someone else’s information to appear on your credit report, and finding accounts you don’t recognize may be a sign of identity theft or fraud. Creditors sometimes make errors in payment history or account balance. Dispute errors you find right away since incorrect information on your credit report may bring down your score.
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