When it comes to credit repair, there are a few different options available. Some companies offer a pay-per-elimination model in which they charge for each error they can remove from your credit report. However, you can also take the DIY approach and repair your credit on your own. The cost of credit repair can range from nominal shipping costs to hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the method you choose.
By law, you are entitled to receive a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, once every 12 months. This is a great way to start the credit repair process as it allows you to identify any errors or outdated information that may be present on your report. You can then challenge this information yourself online at no cost. If you decide to hire a credit repair company to help you, you'll have to pay fees, which can vary a lot.
The goal of these companies is to strengthen their credit by challenging the outdated or incorrect information in their credit reports, following up on the results and monitoring to ensure that errors do not recur. When you hire an outside company to help with your credit repair, they will typically obtain your credit reports and send letters of challenge to the credit bureaus. This process can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars and won't remove anything from your report that is accurate. According to the Credit Repair Organizations Act, only an attorney licensed to work in your state can file disputes on your behalf.
The Credit Repair Organizations Act also requires companies to provide you with a firm total of the costs and an estimate of how long it will take to get results. If you just want a better credit rating and don't plan to apply for a loan or a new credit card in the near future, then paying for a high-end service is probably a stretch. However, if you need help with more complex issues such as identity theft or bankruptcy, then it may be worth investing in professional help.