This post about credit repair was sponsored by Lexington Law Firm.
While you are legally entitled to access your credit history and repair any errors and mistakes, sometimes it makes sense to get out your credit card and pay for it!
Examples: You need to buy a new car ASAP, and want to make sure you get the best interest rate; you’re going through a divorce/unemployment or other upset and need to refinance your home or debt, and need to get the best interest rate; you’re busy and tired and your time and mental health are worth more than the cost of credit repair, which — let’s face it — is the WORST.
3 scenarios where it makes sense to hire a credit repair company:
1. There are errors on your credit, you have no time, but extra money, and hate the idea of DIY.
Look: there is a reason why you work hard to earn money.
One of those reasons is so that you can hire other people to do things you can’t, or don’t want to do yourself.
Clean your house. Sew your own clothes.
Renovate the kitchen. Etc.
In the event there are incorrect or old dings to your credit history, you have lots of legal protection that allows you to take control of the situation and make steps to repair those errors, thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Those laws assert that your credit report should not contain inaccurate entries, out-of-date information, or duplicate reports the same debt (this happen when debts are sold to collection agencies or secondary lenders).
Also, all info on your credit report has to be proven.
To clean up any mess requires understanding some of these laws, writing letters to the three individual credit bureaus, and keeping track of every step of the process.
It is entirely within your legal rights, as well as most people’s intellectual capacity to do this work.
However, credit repair requires a lot of information that most people don’t know, who then have to research it.
Plus, if you struggle with money management, the grind of credit repair is not likely within your scope of strengths.
Just keeping it real.
On the other hand, a reputable credit repair company like Lexington Law know all about them — plus all tools and resources that it takes to get erroneous, old and unprovable items off that report.
That is what they do all day, every day.
They are good at it, and it takes them less time and effort than it would take you.
Plus: You hate that kind of thing, so just outsource it already.
2. You need to boost your credit score ASAP (but have better things to do)
Here are some scenarios in which you really, really need to improve your credit score:
- You’re getting kicked out of your home and need to sign a lease / buy a new home within the next month or two
- Your car is on its last leg and needs a car loan
- You’re going through a divorce and need every single financial tool you can get your hands on
By removing errors from your credit report, you can boost your score by tens or even more than 100 points.
That can make a big difference in whether you qualify for a loan, as well as the interest rate on a mortgage, car note or credit card.
Remember, the higher your credit score, and the lower your interest rate, means the less you pay.
Also within this reason to hire out credit repair: You may have been aware of those errors for a long time, planned to take care of it yourself, but have procrastinated for months or even years.
It is like the hem on my fuchsia Diane Von Furstenberg dress that fell out: I kept swearing I’d repair the hem for more than six months, but instead, the frock sat in the back of the closet, unworn.
Finally, I took it to the dry cleaner across the street, paid the very nice and competent owner $12, and now have a new dress in circulation.
3. You find a legit credit repair company
I am not going to lie: there are a lot of really shady credit repair companies out there.
However, there are some very reputable, ethical companies that help people improve their lives and financial security through credit repair.
Here is what to look for:
- Does not promise to remove credit history items that are not errors. If you legitimately did not pay your credit card bill, no one can remove that.
- Only charges you money after they have done the work. If a company asks for a fee up front, run.
- Does not promise a time frame in which errors will be removed, or how much your score will improve.
- Does have good customer service, including a phone number that will connect you with a human to help you choose the right services for you. This company should also coach you on how to manage your current accounts to best improve your credit score now, and moving forward.
I researched dozens of credit repair companies, and one that stands above the rest is Lexington Law, an actual law firm, owned and run by lawyers, as well as some of the top credit experts in the country.
Learn more about Lexington Law here.
Here is a Lexington Law review left on the Better Business Bureau, from Ericka:
At first I was a little skeptical about this agency, but something in my heart told me to try it, and I did!! I’m glad I did, I joined Lexington Law around the end of October and within 2 months I’ve had 3 items removed and my credit score has gone up 63 points. I was praying that I could get our credit higher so we can buy a new home, and, well, GOD and Lexington Law is making it happen. I’m so thankful.
And from Bradley:
I was a little skeptical of the whole Lexington Law Firm ordeal. As a student and only 22 years old, I never had anyone that was able to teach me about credit. I delved into the credit world and made some bad mistakes, opened a ton of credit cards, and tried a ton of times to get a new vehicle (which unbeknownst to me, I was virtually unable to get approved anywhere due to age of credit and how many recent inquires I had on my credit report). Later, once I finally taught myself some credit basics, I finally realized how I dropped from almost 705 (FICO) all the way down to 565 in less than 8 months. I had been flooding my report with inquires and new accounts, and only had a year and some change of credit history. All of my credit history is positive so I thought “Hey, I should be able to get approved for almost anything,” but that was before I knew there were so many factors to a credit report. Once I was set up with Lexington Law Firm over the phone and after accepting a few confirmation emails with the agent, they said they would immediately start working on repairing my credit. The agent stated that I may not see them working, and to not be alarmed, but they will be working day and night in the background to work with the credit bureaus and creditors to get everything repaired. They were very clear and upfront on their pricing and everything felt secure and safe. A couple months later and Lexington Law has already had 2 successful removals of collections accounts, and provided me with tools and resources I needed to further my credit knowledge. I now know every little detail there is to a credit score, and what not to do in the future when opening or applying for any line of credit or loan or finance opportunity. I would definitely recommend this service to anyone needing a PROFESSIONAL service to PROFESSIONALLY repair your credit. This is definitely NOT a scam. I really appreciate the service as it has eased the stress on my mind about credit issues. Thank you Lexington Law so much for your help.
Some of the links in this and other posts generate a commission. I never recommend products that I don’t truly believe in. Seriously – I get asked to write about stuff all the time and turn down hard cash if I’m not feeling it.
Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list.
Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.
A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.