How much does a credit repair cost? – Councilor Forbes
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Bad credit scores can seem impossible to correct until you come across an advertisement for a credit repair service company. These companies promise to help you fix your credit, so all you have to do is write them a check and wait. Here’s the truth though: Credit repair services are very expensive and you are paying for something you can do on your own.
Learn the ins and outs of credit repair before hiring a credit repair company.
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What is credit repair?
Credit repair companies help eliminate errors from your credit report in an effort to increase your credit score.
Some credit repair companies offer additional features in package upgrades, such as free credit score updates, writing cease and desist letters to debt collectors, or even writing letters. recommendation to all lenders you are applying for a loan from.
However, these additional services are usually not worth the higher fees. For example, a letter of recommendation from a repair company is unlikely to influence a lender. Moreover, you can get your credit score for free elsewhere and you can also write your own cease and desist letters with templates on the internet.
Can you pay to have your credit repaired?
Contrary to what the name suggests, you are not able to simply pay money for a good credit score. This is because credit repair companies can only help eliminate errors; they cannot delete damaging but correct information.
For example, if you’ve made multiple late payments, are in default, have a large credit card balance over your total credit limit or other common negative points, and it’s correct, there is nothing credit repair companies can do.
How much do credit repair companies charge?
Credit repair services typically charge in two ways, depending on the company. Some companies offer a payment-to-delete model where they charge for each error they are able to remove from your credit report.
More generally, however, credit repair companies use a subscription-based model, which ranges from $ 50 to $ 150 per month, depending on the specific plan. You may also need to pay a start-up fee (sometimes referred to as a first-job fee), which can be the same price as a full month’s subscription.
Most companies have ways of keeping you registered for several months. Some companies limit the number of deletions they will help you with each month, forcing you to stay signed up longer if you have multiple errors. Other companies offer credit score updates, and since it may take a few months to update your score, they advise you to stay enrolled, while paying a monthly fee, until you see them. changes be reflected on your credit report.
Either way, it’s an expensive route to walk. If you have to pay a $ 100 first job fee plus six months of credit repair services at $ 100 per month, you are considering spending $ 700 on something you could do on your own.
Beware of fraudulent credit repair companies
One of the most unfortunate aspects of credit repair companies is that there are many crooks lurking among the legitimate companies. Here are some red flags to watch out for.
How To Repair Your Own Credit For Free
Believe it or not, you can repair your own credit for free and you don’t need to pay anyone to do it. Follow these five steps to do this:
1. Request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com.
2. Go through each page and highlight any errors you see.
3. Write a dispute letter to each credit bureau for each error you find.
4. Wait for a response from the credit bureau regarding its decision.
5. Check your credit score in a month or two to see if it has changed (not all mistakes will affect your credit score).
If you are really confused about your credit situation, consider working with a nonprofit credit counselor who can help you get back on your feet for a reasonable price. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling is a great place to find a reputable credit counselor.