The Outstanding Credit Repair Company Award
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As the founder of Credit Help Info, I have been featured in numerous popular sites such as Go BankingRates, Yahoo Finance, and Wikipedia. I’ve researched hundreds of credit repair services and determined the top five qualities of reputable and trustworthy companies.
Unfortunately, credit repair companies don’t always have the best reputation. Many of them are actually scams looking to prey on those who are already in a financial bind.
To make matters worse, it’s not always easy to distinguish a credit repair scam from a legitimate company. That’s why we’ll teach you exactly what to look for in a company in this post. We’ll do this by introducing Credit Help Info’s “Outstanding Credit Repair Company Award” and the criteria for the award.
Credit Help Info’s “Outstanding Credit Repair Company Award”
At Credit Help Info, we grant the Outstanding Credit Repair Company Award to any repair agency that has all five of the following qualities:
Let’s take a closer look at each one.
The one telltale sign of a good credit repair company is how transparent they are about their services. This includes transparency about all of the following:
- Pricing: The best credit repair companies are upfront about their pricing. On their website, they’ll list exactly how much they charge, whether it’s a monthly fee or pay-per-deletion, and any initial setup fees. If they don’t offer this information, they must offer a free consultation where you can get an exact quote for services.
- Staff Credentials: Good companies are transparent about their staff and their credentials. Look for specialists with many years of experience in credit repair or law. You want to know that your credit file is in good hands.
- Physical Address: All legitimate credit repair companies should have a physical address. You should be able to easily find this information and verify it with a third-party site like Google.
- Case Progression: Companies should be transparent about the items they’re currently disputing, and provide a way for their clients to track their case progress. Usually, companies will offer a secure client portal or mobile application. You don’t want to be left in the dark at any point during the credit repair process.
Good Track Record
Today’s digital era makes it easy to look up a company’s reviews online. While reviews certainly don’t reveal everything about a company, it’s always a good sign if a company has positive client testimonials and third-party reviews. Look for reviews in the following locations:
- Company Website: A credit repair company’s best advocates are their own clients. Most companies will have a testimonials section on their website with firsthand reviews.
- Google Business: Legitimate credit repair companies are likely to have a corresponding Google Business page. Check that they have a large number of positive reviews (preferably at least an average rating of 4 out of 5).
- Better Business Bureau: While not required, having BBB-accreditation along with a high BBB-rating is a nice bonus for a credit repair company to have.
In addition to good reviews, consider the length of time a credit repair company has been in business. Those with a long, positive track record are the best candidates for your consideration.
Follows The Law
You might think it’s obvious that reputable credit repair companies must follow the law. However, as a client, you should be familiar with what the law states in order to know whether a company is breaking it.
The main law to be aware of is the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA). CROA protects credit repair clients in three main ways:
- Companies cannot demand advance payments. No company is allowed to charge you a fee until they have completed the services outlined in an initial contract. If a company demands payment upfront, that’s a huge red flag.
- Companies cannot make promises unless they’re done in writing. If a company makes any sort of promise, that must be done in a written contract. This includes promising that certain negative items will be removed from your report, as well as guaranteeing a certain score increase.
- You have contract cancellation rights. Credit repair companies are required to give you a time window where you are allowed to review and cancel your contract before any work begins. The length of the time window can depend on state-specific laws.
In addition to CROA, you should also know that credit repair companies are not allowed to remove accurate items from your report, even if they negatively affect your score. Only incorrect negative items can be legally removed.
Offers a Money Back Guarantee
Credit repair companies know that you are making a significant upfront investment into their services. First-time credit repair clients may not be entirely comfortable with these costs.
Given that, good credit repair companies will offer a money-back guarantee if they cannot increase your score. Note that not all money-back guarantees are equal. Different companies may have different criteria for their refunds, so be sure to read the fine print.
In general, the best companies will offer a 90 day money-back guarantee if they are unable to remove any negative items. Hopefully, you’ll see excellent results so you won’t need the refund, but it’s good extra insurance nevertheless.
Focuses on Credit Education
Great credit repair companies work tirelessly on your behalf to remove negative errors from your reports. However, the best companies will also stress the importance of credit education during your credit repair process.
Credit education is important because you are responsible for learning how to take care of your score after repair. Credit repair companies can do the heavy lifting of disputing errors with the bureaus, but maintaining a good score is ultimately up to you. The bottom line is, if you want to avoid coming back to credit repair in the future, credit education is your best bet.
How can you tell if a company stresses credit education? Some of them may explicitly state that they offer credit counseling or one-on-one credit coaching as part of their repair services. Others may have a library of articles or dedicated courses that they offer to clients.
Some examples of important credit education topics include what makes up your credit score, financial product recommendations (like secured credit cards) to help build positive credit, and personalized suggestions of how to attack your outstanding debts. Credit repair companies do not need to offer these things, but the best ones absolutely will.
Conclusion and Next Steps
In order for a company to win the Outstanding Credit Repair Company Award, they must have all five of these qualities. These five qualities distinguish the trustworthy and legitimate companies from those that are merely looking to scam others.
When choosing a credit repair company, use the criteria for this award to determine which companies are worth considering. At Credit Help Info, we make this process easy for you. Simply look for the “Outstanding Credit Repair Company Award” badge next to any of our company recommendations, which indicates that they have satisfied all five of these qualities!
When doing research, Credit Help Info relies on credible and authoritative sites. These research sources are provided so that you can see exactly where we get our information.
About the Author
Chris Morgan is a credit expert, who has been featured in Addition Financial, GOBankingRates, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, and many other publications. He has read hundreds of books and resources on finance and the credit industry. Because he did this, you don’t have to. As a school teacher for over 20 years, Chris enjoys taking complicated material and breaking it down into manageable information that’s easy to understand.