What Do Credit Repair Companies Actually Do?
By Sandra Pearsons
Last updated 10/11/2019
Summary: From removing mistakes on your credit report, to damaging items that really do belong to you, find out what credit repair companies actually do.
If you’re dealing with bad credit, I can almost guarantee you’ve spent considerable time googling ways to improve your credit score.
Increase Your Credit by 100+ Points
In a recent study at Credit Knocks, we found that *48% of clients who used a credit repair company got a credit score increase of 100+ points.
Consultation is quick, easy, and free.
And I bet you’ve stumbled upon a service called credit repair. You’re intrigued and a little skeptical (that’s smart).
You might be asking:
- What do credit repair companies actually do?
- Can they help if the negative items in my credit report really do belong to me?
- How much will their service improve my credit score?
In short, credit repair companies do the tedious work of reviewing your credit reports, identifying false or damaging information, and getting rid of it.
Why is that important?
Because mistakes on credit reports are pretty common – a Federal Trade Commission study found that one in five consumers had an error on one or more of their credit reports that was removed when disputed.
Sometimes these errors are harmless, like an old address or a misspelled name. But bigger mistakes could have a devastating effect on your credit score.
And then there's the matter of YOUR ERRORS, such as late payments and collections. Can repair companies get those removed? Click here to see how they handle that.
Let’s take a closer look at what credit repair companies do and how you might benefit.
Wanna Know the Easy Way to Repair Your Credit?
In a recent study, we found that *48% of paying, credit repair clients got a 100+ credit score gain or more. Get help from the pros! Check out our #1 choice for professional credit repair.
Credit Repair Companies Scour Your Credit Report for Errors
Here’s a fact: checking your credit report regularly means you’re more likely to identify and address inaccuracies (remember, they’re more common than you think).
Here’s another fact: too many people don’t ever check their credit reports.
A 2018 survey by WalletHub found that 23% of Americans surveyed never check their reports and only 41% check them more than once a year.
It’s no secret that reviewing your credit report in detail can be a boring, laborious, and even scary task. That’s probably why some people avoid it like a dreaded chore.If you’re not up for it, a credit repair company can help. Check out our #1 recommendation!
The best credit repair companies pull your credit reports from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, and review them meticulously, line by line. They’ll look for negative information that’s dragging down your score. Things like:
The goal is to identify negative information that’s crippling your score and review it with you carefully, searching for any signs of inaccuracy.
Does Credit Repair Work?
In a recent survey conducted by Credit Knocks, we found that 48% of clients who used credit repair services for 6 months or more saw an increase of 100+ points to their credit score.
What if the damaging item really is your fault? Click here to see how they handle that.
Inaccuracies that could harm your score?
- Incorrect loan amounts
- Incorrect payment history
- Tradelines that don’t belong to you
- Tradelines that should have been removed
If they do find a suspected inaccuracy, credit repair companies take immediate action to dispute the error and get it removed from your report.
Low Credit Score?
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Credit Repair Companies Dispute Inaccuracies So You Don’t Have to
Can you review your own credit reports and dispute any inaccuracies you find? Absolutely! Learn more about how to file disputes here.
But if you’d rather do… well, anything else, a credit repair company can handle the nitty gritty so you don’t have to.
Once they’ve identified possible inaccuracies, they will file disputes with the credit reporting agencies on your behalf.
The onus is on the credit reporting agency to prove a disputed debt belongs to you. If they can’t, they’ll have to remove it.
Credit Repair Companies know how to draft dispute letters, know what documentation to request from you, and know how to get it done fast. That’s why having them handle it is so much easier (although more expensive) than going it alone.
The Best Credit Repair Companies Take it One Step Further
Removing inaccuracies from your credit report can have a surprisingly large impact on your score. Taking care of that is credit repair companies' bread and butter.
But the best ones take it one step further by providing advice for improving your credit score.
This is tailored to the individual, based on the details of their credit reports. But examples might include:
Paying off and closing certain loans
Keeping credit utilization at a specific level
Negotiating a repayment plan
Applying for secured credit
The Big Thing Credit Repair Companies Say They Can’t Do (Or Can They?)
Credit repair companies can go through your credit reports with a fine-tooth comb, dispute inaccuracies on your behalf, and get mistakes deleted. They can even look at your personal situation and give you advice on how to boost your credit score.
Their value lies in ridding your credit report of errors you may struggle to identify or tackle on your own.
But they "say" they’re not magic.
There’s one big thing they "say" they can’t do: They say they can’t remove legitimate debt from your credit report.
... or can they?
Even if you have a debt you're pretty sure belongs to you, credit repair companies will usually still help you dispute it, and they'll do it legally.
In a recent study, we found that *48% of paying, credit repair clients got a 100+ credit score gain or more. If you don't have serious time to devote to your dispute letters, we recommend you hire the pros to help. Check out our #1 choice for professional credit repair.
Removing Negative Items from Your Credit Report that REALLY Belong to You (Legally)
Say you tell your repair rep about a late payment from Medicredit you think belongs to you. Your rep will probably ask something like:
"Sir/Ma'am - are you sure that's yours? Are you sure that's the right dollar amount? Are you sure the date you missed that payment was October 6?"
The laws are in place to protect you from negative items on your report that are not yours, so if you aren't 100% sure about all the details on your report, the repair company will likely want to send a letter to confirm it's really yours.
The beautiful thing is that the credit bureaus must respond within 30 days proving the item belongs on your file, or they must remove it. So say the credit repair company disputes a MRS Associates collection on your Transunion report. If Transunion can't prove it's yours, or doesn't do it in time, your item gets removed.
This is how credit repair companies legally get tens of thousands of items removed from credit files every day.
Need a company to help remove negative items from your credit? We recommend our #1 Credit Repair Agency!
Is Credit Repair Legit?
Credit repair is a legitimate service that may improve your credit score if you have inaccuracies on one or more of your reports.
In a recent survey conducted by Credit Knocks, we asked 500 paying credit repair clients about their results.
48% of respondents who used credit repair services for 6 months or more saw an increase of 100 points or more to their credit score.
Some of the most common items clients said the credit repair companies successfully removed were:
- Collections - 55.2% of respondents
- Late payments - 53.6%
- Medical bills - 43.8%
- Charge offs - 30.6%
- and Inquiries - 25.8%
That being said, there are fraudsters out there offering too-good-to-be-true credit repair services, and you need to be careful to avoid those.
A good rule of thumb? Do your research online and ask friends for referrals. At Credit Knocks, we've reviewed over 40 credit repair and credit improvement companies. You can check out our top 5 credit repair companies by clicking this button:
Credit repair companies don’t offer anything you can’t accomplish with a DIY approach.
You can pull your credit reports for free, review them in painstaking detail, and dispute suspected inaccuracies with the credit bureaus until you get results.
But let’s be honest: the best credit repair companies do it better and they do it faster. And for some people, that’s worth the price.
If you’re interested in working with a professional to clean up your credit report, we recommend our #1 Credit Repair Agency!.
Additional Credit Repair Resources
Credit Repair Company Reviews:
DIY Credit Repair:
Common Credit Repair Questions:
Credit Repair Statistics, Studies, & Whitepapers: