Top Credit Repair Options in 2024
It is important to have a positive credit score. Many financial decisions, such as whether you are able to get a loan or rent an apartment are decided by your credit score. Your credit score is determined by a number between 300 and 850. There are multiple ranges, with 300 to 629 being bad, 630 to 689 fair, 690 to 719 good and anything above 720 is considered excellent. Not only do certain lenders set a minimum credit score to determine eligibility, but factors such as payment plans and minimum down payments are also determined by your total credit score. This means, even with a good credit score, there are benefits to raising your score.
Your credit score is calculated based on a credit report. There are several different factors that go into your report, like your bill-paying history and whether you have unpaid debt. If you have a low credit score, it can be difficult to increase, but there are several options to repair your credit, including hiring credit repair companies.
Viewing your Credit Report
Before you start taking steps to repair your credit, you need to figure out your actual credit score. You do not want to wait until after you submit an application to hear about the results of your credit score. If you get too many credit checks in a short period of time, your credit score is negatively impacted. However, you do not want to excessively check your credit score, as there are limited options for getting your credit report without paying.
Each year, you are allowed a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus. These are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Each of the bureaus uses a slightly different method to calculate your scores, so there may be a minor point difference based on who you use. You can also request a free credit report if you were the victim of identity theft or credit card fraud, or if you are receiving government assistance.
Your credit report contains a detailed breakdown of how your credit is scored. This lets you know what areas you need to improve to fix your score. Some parts of the credit report are weighted differently. Your payment history is worth the highest, at 35 percent. Payment history includes whether you have missed or late payments on your debts and how long it took you to pay off previous debts.
Looking at your credit report tells you about your score, but it also lets you find potential errors. Unfortunately, credit score errors are a common issue. For example, you may have paid off a debt but the final payments were incorrectly marked, so the outstanding debt is still listed on your report, dragging your score down. It is also possible some of your information was mixed with another individual who shares your name. These errors can be disputed either by contacting the bureau directly, or hiring a credit repair company to fix your score.
Improving Credit Utilization
The second highest part of your credit score is determined by credit utilization. This refers to the ratio of your total debt to your maximum credit and makes up 30 percent of your credit score. If your credit card is maxed out, this means you have poor credit utilization. Even if you cannot pay off your credit card entirely, it improves your score to bring down the balance. Keeping your card balance below 30 percent is recommended, with 10 percent or lower resulting in the fewest penalty. You must maintain these rates for at least a short period of time in order for your credit score to improve.
Your loan balance has a similar effect on your credit score. Instead of a loan maximum, your score is determined by how much the loan was originally taken out for and what the remaining balance is. If you must choose between the two, focus on paying off credit cards, as they have a significantly higher impact on your credit score. If you already have loans, try to avoid taking out any additional loans until after you make progress on the balance for your current payments.
Credit Saint is one of the most respected credit repair companies because they are upfront with their customers. There are no hidden fees or service charges, and the company provides a 90-day money-back guarantee. If you provide Credit Saint with a copy of your credit report, you can also get a free consultation, where the company explains what steps to take to repair your credit before you sign up. There are several packages available, ranging from $79.99 to $119.99. There are only a few differences between the plans, such as the number of disputes the company makes each month on your behalf. All customers also get access to a credit score tracker to view changes to their score.
Ovation Credit Services
Ovation is available through LendingTree, which offers many other financial services. As one of the older financial companies, Ovation has an excellent reputation and some of the best customer service available. New customers are offered a free credit consultation before agreeing to any plans. Ovation also offers discounts for married couples, senior citizens and veterans. There is an initial $89 fee if you decide to sign up for a plan, plus an additional monthly fee based on the package you choose. All of the plans come with a no-risk refund policy, as well as access to a one-on-one personal case advisor.