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Check Out The Best Credit Repair Companies Of 2017!

Everyone who has bad credit is looking for a way to start fixing their credit issues as quickly as they can.

Credit Scoring - How important is your FICO score?

With more and more people having bad credit today, it’s making it difficult for people to get loans to buy things such as automobiles and houses. Bad credit can even make it difficult to get a job. The lenders are afraid of lending to those who have bad credit, but many people are falling into that category today. When they do lend money to people with poor credit, they have higher interest rates in an effort to protect themselves. In some cases, these rates are outrageously high, but those who need the loans believe that can do little to change their situation. Fortunately, that’s not the case. You can improve your credit and you should take steps to do it now.

Fixing credit is not something that is magical. It takes time and knowhow, but you can do it on your own. Even though it does take some time, it’s not as long as one might imagine. The first thing that you must to before getting a loan is to make sure that you are paying your current bills on time. If you do not have the ability to pay your bills on time now, lenders will know that you aren’t going to pay them either. You should also get a copy of your credit report so you can see and challenge any errors that might be causing your credit rating to drop. Take care of these with the credit bureau, and you will see that you can improve your credit rating.

Once you start fixing your credit, you are going to want to shoot for a score of 700 or higher. When you have a high score like this, you will be able to save thousands of dollars over the years. You can sometimes even negotiate with lenders for even better rates. Because they are starved for quality customers who are going to pay them back, they are often willing to negotiate. They will see you as a good risk to take. You will get more than just better interest rates when you fix your credit though.

You can also get better rates on your insurance. In some cases, you can even have deposits waived when it comes to utilities. Your cell phone pricing and service costs are going to be lower as well. Having great credit can help you save money in some surprising ways. It also gives you a good feeling inside to know that you can qualify for a fair loan when you need one.

How to Find a Good Credit Repair Solution?

Analyzing your credit report is one of the most important elements to start fixing your credit report. The first thing you should look at when analyzing your credit report is the state of your credit score. A credit score can range anywhere from 300 to 850. Remember that in terms of rating the lower the number the worse the score. If your credit score is low, you will need to examine the rest of your report to find out exactly what items are negatively impacting your credit score.

This could be the result of anything from not making your payments on time to having to file for a bankruptcy in the past. If you need to get credit repair, you will need to look through your credit report for any items that are inaccurate, incomplete, outstanding or incomplete. which you can dispute. If there is a mark made against you that you think is invalid, you can write a dispute letter to the credit bureaus, claiming that you should not have to suffer the consequences of the mark on your score. Removing bad marks will increase your credit rating right away. You should also remember that responsible credit habits are the best way to have a high credit score.

Another option is finding a credit repair service company that offers affordable and monthly low fees, so you can start fixing your credit without having to deal with the credit bureaus yourself.

Surprisingly, with so much riding on this number, very few people understand how the FICO score is calculated, what the score means, or what they can do to improve their scores.

7 Tips That Can Help You Increase Your Credit Score

1. Dispute Errors and Inaccuracies
Recent studies show that as many as 80% of consumer credit files contain errors and inaccuracies. Chances are you might be 1 of those 80. Errors and inaccuracies, especially ones that are negatively impacting your credit scores, can lead to higher interest rates on loans and credit cards or denials for new credit. After you’ve obtained a copy of your credit reports review them carefully to identify any items that are negatively impacting your credit score and highlight everything you believe to be incorrect, inaccurate, errors or obsolete and using a credit repair software dispute those items. These could be inaccurate or outdated accounts, unauthorized inquiries, collection that are not yours, duplicate derogatory accounts and outdated or unknown public records and accounts listed as “settled,” “paid derogatory”, “paid charge-off’” or anything other than “current” or “paid as agreed” if you had in fact paid on time and in full.

2. Make Payments on Time
One of the most important things you can do to have a high credit score is to pay your payments on time. Since your payment history alone makes up the 35% of your credit score making your payments on time is critical. Late payments that are 30 days or more past due will have a negative effect on your overall credit score. Late payments stay on your credit reports for seven (7) years.

3. Make Sure All Your Credit Lines Are Posted On Your Credit Report
Often, some creditors will not post your credit line on your credit report either by a human error or due to some other mistakes. Showing less available credit will result in a lower credit score. If you notice accounts that you have are not showing up on your credit report, you can request the credit bureau to report these accounts. Also, If there are past bankruptcies that are closed and should show up with zero balance make sure to they show a zero balance! In many cases, you need to file a dispute to request that the creditor reports the “bankruptcy as a charge off as a zero balance.

4. Pay Down Debt and Don’t Max Out Your Credit Cards.
The second largest factor impacting your credit score is how much you owe. This accounts for 30% of your score. The more you owe, the lower your score will be. Someone who owes $30,000 is riskier than someone who owes only $1000, all else being equal. So a great way to increase your credit score is to pay down as much debt as you can. Another factor in the credit score formula is your debt to credit ratio which should not exceed 60% of your total available credit.

5. Keep Old Positive Accounts Open
Length of credit history is another important credit score factor, so it can be to your advantage to keep open older accounts that are in good standing. While it is important to keep the total number of open accounts manageable, it may be more hurtful to your score to close an old account than to keep it open even though it increases the number of open accounts.

6. Keep Revolving Accounts Open
It is very helpful that you maintain a variety of credit accounts. If you do not have four active credit cards, you might want to open some. If you have poor credit and are not approved for a typical credit card, you might want to set up a “secured credit card” account. A secured credit card requires you to make a deposit that is equal to or more than your limit. This guarantees the bank that you will repay the loan and is an excellent way to establish credit.

7. Use Caution When Applying for New Credit.
Every time you apply for a credit card, line of credit, or other loans, an inquiry is made to your credit report. While new credit is the least important factor in your score, it is still an important issue to consider. When you are shopping for a new loan or credit card, do your shopping in a relatively short period of time. So to avoid these inquiries, apply for new credit only if you must.

Understand What Affects Your Credit Score

330 – 619 Poor Credit.
620 – 659 Sub-prime financing will be available to you.
660 – 720 Prime financing will be available to you.
721 – 750 Good Credit
751+ Excellent Credit

FICO Credit Score Breakdown

The Exact Calculations Of The FICO Credit Score Are Kept Secret As Proprietary Information, But There Are Some General Guidelines That Can Apply

35% of your credit score is based on your timely payment history and takes into account payments that are paid on time in less than 30 days past due.
30% is based on the credit usage also called a debt to credit ration; i.e., the ratio of current credit debt in comparison to total available revolving credit. Higher debt to credit ratio increases the chances of a payment default. Keeping a low balance on your revolving credit lines results in higher credit score vs having maxed out credit cards.
15% of your score is determined based on the length of your credit history.
10% is based on types of credit you have.; i.e., car loans, credit cards, mortgages and personal lines of credit.
10% is based on inquiries within last six months. When you apply for credit an inquiry is placed on your credit report by the creditor and that affects your credit score negatively. Pulling your own credit has no effect on your credit score – its called a soft pull and doesn’t affect your credit score.
Why Using a Credit Repair Company Is a Smart Decision?

When is the last time you looked at your credit reports? More most Americans, it’s been years, if not decades. If you look at your report and discover unrecognized items that are bringing down your score, you’ll want to think about repairing your credit immediately.

The best credit repair companies work with credit reporting organizations and creditors in an attempt to remove negative items that should not be in your reports. Having researched numerous credit repair services, we have identified some of the best. Lexington Law, for example, is one of the top credit repair companies in the business, but CreditRepair.com and Sky Blue Credit repair are also excellent alternatives.

How Does Credit Repair Actually Work?
1. Signup Process

When you sign up for the services of a credit repair company, you’re essentially paying them to look at your credit report and find all the negative and inaccurate items they can. They will then send letters to specific credit bureaus and creditors, working to remove these items from your report. This is the basic function of the best credit repair companies that you will work with.

2. Consultation

A consultation is the first step after you call and request services from a credit repair company. In most cases, the consultation will be free, meaning you take no financial risk. Most companies will simply pull your credit reports from one of the top organizations though some will go after your actual FICO score. Through the consultation, a representative from the company will go through your report and help you determine which negative items are incorrect, outdated, or inaccurate, while showing which ones are candidates for removal.

3. Fee: First-Work and Setup

After your consultation, you’ll have the chance to sign up for credit repair services. If you decide to proceed with a company, you’ll likely have to pay a fee that is often called a “first-work fee.” It may also be called a “setup fee” by some credit repair agencies. This fee will often be charged roughly seven days after you officialize services and sign up with the company. The fee covers the cost of setting up your account and sending the first batch of disputes to the bureaus and past lenders.

4. Disputing Items on the Report

Now that you are signed up for services, the real magic starts to happen. The best credit repair companies dispute as many items as possible each month, helping to clear as large a number of negative items as they can in the fastest manner possible.

Be aware, however, that some credit repair companies promise to go after each and every negative item on your report at the same time. This is rarely effective, because once a credit bureau is swamped with requests to remove items that should not be removed, they may mark the account as frivolous and deny your requests entirely.

This is why it’s important to be selective when choosing a credit repair company, as some can do more damage than actual credit repair. Choose a credit repair service that will address your needs while setting a rate of requests that won’t aggravate the credit companies. Most quality companies dispute four to seven items a month, which creates a good pace of results vs overload.

How Long Until My Credit Repair is Complete?

Deciding how long you should work with a credit repair company is entirely up to you, but you should consult an advisor before completely dropping services, as you may be nearing a major change. Look at your updated credit report and see what progress, if any, has been made. If you’re happy with the new score, or if you feel progress has not been made, it may be time to stop paying for credit repair services.

Remember, the credit repair is billed much like utilities, meaning you pay for the previous month’s services, not the upcoming month. In other words, when you cancel, you may still owe a one-month fee or more, depending on the company and services rendered.

You will be billed one final time before your services are complete and you close the account. The best credit repair companies will offer the chance to pay for the work that has been completed so far, usually as a pro-rated fee of the full monthly amount. However, there are some credit repair companies that will charge for the full month of services, regardless of when you cancel. For example, you may request cancellation on August 10th, but you will still pay for the entire month of credit repair services, even if little work was done on your account.

Word of Warning About Credit Repair

There are some things you should do before signing up with a credit repair company. Namely, you need to know if you would actually benefit from the work these organizations can do.

First of all, understand that anything a credit repair company can do, you can do for yourself. Some will say they have special connections with credit bureaus, but you can certainly collect statements and write letters on your own, just like they would on your behalf. You can also make disputes on your own. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission has a guide for repairing credit by yourself.

However, there are some advantages to hiring a company. Just remember these important tips:

Improving Credit Takes Time

Massive change to your credit score can take a long time. You can’t expect all those negative marks to be removed overnight, so be patient. Even victims of identity theft will need time to repair their credit scores, even when working with the best credit repair services.  A large portion of credit repair companies will need at least six months to repair your credit. This is the average time cited by many of the top companies. It will, however, depend on the details of your specific score and the types of marks that need to be removed.

You will see some results in the first 45 days in many cases. Because credit bureaus and creditors legally have 30 days to investigate, as well as extra time to mail documents, this is typically the time frame for some changes. If there are items such as medical bills that need to be removed, it may take several months to see results.

Accurate Items Will Remain

Even if it is causing a negative score in your report, a negative item in your reporting will have to stay; not even the best credit repair companies can help on this. However, inaccurate items can be removed. These can include late payments that were actually made on time or items listed in the wrong name.

If your late payment or other negative item is accurate, however, it must stay on your report for a specific time frame; usually up to seven years. Lawsuits and judgments against you can also remain for seven years, but the statute of limitations will apply. Reports of bankruptcy will stay on your report for a decade.

Any promise made to remove all negative items is inaccurate and likely illegitimate. There will be correct negative items that can’t be removed until a certain time has passed.

Be Aware Of Suspicious Services

Sadly, the internet is full of a wide variety of scammers, and you need to protect yourself in order to not lose any of your hard-earned money. While scams are always a concern, there are many excellent companies that can help you get the best possible results for your credit-repair efforts. Be wary of guarantees to raise your credit score to an exact amount by a specific date, and watch our for companies that request a large up-front deposit.

Avoid Companies That Guarantee

Understand that guarantees are not always cut and dry. Be aware of all guarantees that a company offers. Some companies will offer reimbursement for setup fees or services if you don’t get results, but there are details in the fine print that may not be completely disclosed. If you have a bad experience, you can make a complaint and receive some or all of your money back. However, it’s best to not expect a return if you don’t get the results you were expecting.

Be a careful judge of credit repair companies based on their promised results. Everyone’s credit score is different and unique, and it’s possible for a company to say that it can achieve something that may not be possible, including the specific number of negative items removed. After all, how can they make this promise before they’ve looked at your score? These numbers have little impact on the longterm results, and different negative items are treated and disputed differently, making it nearly impossible to followthrough on such promises.

Credit Repair: The Results Evaluation

Educating clients is important to the success of credit repair and it’s an essential service that should be provided by the best credit repair companies. The top companies have many online resources for education, including blogs, course, videos, and personalized recommendations based on your profile and unique questions.

CreditRepair.com, for example, has plenty of videos to educate its clients on wise credit practices. Their tips include how to invest, as well as money practices that you can use every day. SkyBlue Credit Repair has a dedicated education center that brings information through blogs, tutorials, articles, and other sources.

A quality credit repair company will also give you an individual case advisor. Some, unfortunately, simply give clients access to a team of customer service representatives. The top repair agencies offer individual case advisors as well as access to an entire team, which is useful when you need help but your advisor is unavailable.

Fees and Costs from Credit Repair Agencies

How much does it cost to do business with some of these credit repair agencies? Looking at the price of six months worth of credit repair service gives you a glimpse into how much you can expect to spend. Most services generally provide about six months of service before completion or cancellation of the contract, so this provides a good benchmark.

For example, Veracity Credit Consultants has the least expensive pricing for six months of basic service, but Credit Pros and MSI Credit Solutions have the highest charges seen.

Details of Each Program

Various programs have different services offered on various tiers. For example, some offer basic and premium services. To rate companies, it’s important to look at whether or not they work with creditors and see whether they include monthly credit monitoring, identity theft protection, and other components as part of their service.

Credit agencies receive information from creditors, so it’s essential that credit repair specialists work with agencies directly whenever possible. All but two companies that we have seen dispute negative items with creditors and lenders.

Almost all of the companies reviewed will dispute negative items with bureaus and creditors on your behalf. It’s essential that you sign up for credit restoration with a company that provides this service, because working with both creditors and bureaus is very effective. Removing an item from one bureau does not mean it will stay off your report; you need to remove the source of the item, which is the creditor or lender.

When you pay a fee for credit repair each month, remember to keep an eye on your credit scores and avoid any issues with identity theft. The Credit People, as well as CreditRepair.com and My Credit Group, will offer monthly credit monitoring and identity theft services with their basic credit repair programs.

Hand Picked Listings and Our Opinion

From everything we have seen, Lexington Law is likely the best credit repair company. This is because it offers comprehensive client education and individual representatives assigned to work with each client. The company helps their clients learn the details of credit, credit reporting, and credit repair services. They also provide a convenient online portal that allows clients to track progress with disputes and view current credit scores.

However, SkyBlue is also a quality option if you’re not planning to track every phase of the process. They offer individualized customer service for a decent price.

CreditRepair.com and Lexington Law are owned by the same company, so the features and user experience are very similar. However, Lexington Law’s credit repair costs slightly more.

Credit restoration is a very individualized and customized process that won’t work for everyone. If you have numerous inaccuracies, your credit report could improve. If you’ve been the victim of identity theft, then you could see significant changes. However, if you have negative but accurate items on your report, the results can be less effective. Credit repair may still help, allowing you to get a better rate for loans on items such as property of vehicles.

Check the best listings picked by our stuff.

"Opportunities don't happen. You create them."
-- Chris G.
"If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time"
-- Steve Jobs
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