Should You Pay an Old Collection?

It may start with a phone call from a company you’ve never heard of. Or, perhaps it appears as a mysterious entry on your credit report. However the news arrives, someone — or your credit report — is saying you have an outstanding collection account.

Unpaid debts can often disappear for years, then resurface at unexpected times. It may be that you had an unpaid bill several years ago that you’ve since forgotten. Since it hasn’t appeared on your credit report until now, nor have you heard from the original creditor, you may have assumed it simply disappeared.

Whatever history is behind a collection account, it shouldn’t be ignored.

Should I Pay Off Old Collections on My Credit Report?

There’s actually no definitive answer to this question, so you should never proceed with the assumption that paying it — or not paying it — is the right course of action for you.

One popular theory — likely popular because it makes not paying an old collection look like the right strategy — is to let it ride until it falls off your credit report.

There is some truth to it, though it’s not always the right course of action. Collection accounts will remain on your credit report for a full seven years after the time when they first become delinquent.

If the collection in question is more than, say, five years, the theory holds that by not paying it, it will simply disappear from your credit report after seven years.

Case closed, right? Not necessarily. As comforting as that approach may seem, it’s not always the right choice. And it won’t always let you off the hook.

Why You May Want to Pay an Old Collection

Before taking the non-payment route, there are a few risk factors you need to consider.

1. An unpaid collection account will weigh more heavily on your credit score than a paid account.

That means more negatively. For example, a paid collection may cost your credit score 20 points. An unpaid collection may cost 40. (That’s only an approximation since credit score calculations are done according to algorithms that are not available to the public.)

Depending on your credit score and where you want to take it, paying off the balance can raise your score by a few points, and do it quickly. You may need to do that in preparation for an upcoming loan application.

2. Some creditors frown on unpaid collections

Let’s say you want to apply for new credit. It may be a credit card, a personal loan, or a car loan. Some lenders look at not only your credit score, but also at any derogatory information your credit report contains. Some have specific prohibitions against certain derogatory entries, like 60- or 90-day late payments within the past two years, bankruptcies, foreclosures, repossessions, and — you guessed it — unpaid collection accounts.

Even if you have a credit score over 700, an unpaid collection account might get your application declined. After all, the lender may reason that if you failed to pay a previous creditor, you may do the same to them.

3. The creditor can pursue legal action against you

Aware that you may play the wait-seven-years-for-the-account-to-fall-off-my-credit-report game, the creditor may choose to file a lawsuit against you to recover the debt. Once they do, you not only will owe the full amount of the debt, but also any legal costs and filing fees required as part of the judgment.

Though credit reports no longer list public records, like judgments, they can show up in title searches, employer background checks, and other investigations. What’s more, armed with a judgment, the creditor will be able to take direct action against you. That can include garnishing your wages or your bank account.

4. Your state’s statute of limitations may be longer than seven years

The seven-year limit applies only to your credit report. However, a creditor can pursue a judgment against you for as long as your state’s statute of limitations provides. That varies by state, and it does exceed seven years in several states.

Finder.com published a list of the statute of limitations on debt for all 50 states as of November, 2019. But, use this only as a guide. State laws change, and there are different limitations for various types of debt. For example, the limit may be three years for credit card debt, and six years for promissory notes in the same state.

In many states, the statute runs out in as little as three years. But in others, like Ohio and Kentucky, it can run as long as 15 years on certain types of debt. Many other states extend it to 10 years. Before considering not paying a collection account, first check with your state attorney general’s office to see what the specific statute of limitation is on the debt you’re not going to pay.

Once the statute of limits on the debt expires, it becomes what is known as time-barred. That means the creditor can no longer pursue legal action against you for the debt. However, they can still attempt to collect the amount owed through other means.

For example, depending upon the laws in your state, if you make a partial payment on a debt after it becomes time-barred, the clock resets on the statute of limitations.

Let’s say the statute is seven years in your state. But in year eight, the collection agency convinces you to make a partial payment on the debt. If you do, the agency will then have an additional seven years to pursue you for full payment.

Caveat on the statute of limitation on debt

If the statute of limitations passes on a debt, make no payment unless you intend to pay it in full. And even if you do, make sure you get an acknowledgment of full payment and satisfaction of the debt from the collection agency before sending any money. Because the debt will have passed the statute of limitations, the collection agency will almost certainly cooperate in providing that letter prior to payment.

Why You May Not Want to Pay an Old Collection

The most basic reason is simply that you don’t owe it. The fact that a collection agency is calling you about the debt, or that they’ve placed the entry on your credit report means they don’t agree. That’s the situation you’ll need to change.

To make that happen, you need to get copies of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus. You’ll be able to do this through a website known as AnnualCreditReport.com. They’ll provide your official credit reports from all three bureaus — Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax — free of charge.

The purpose of getting your free credit reports is to attempt to match up the collection balance against any previous unpaid balance listed by original creditors. If you don’t find any, there’s an excellent chance the collection account is invalid.

The next thing you want to do is get a debt verification letter from the collection agency. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a creditor is required to provide all relevant information about a debt. That includes the name of the original creditor, the amount of the debt, and the original date.

If they fail to provide any of this information, you can dispute the debt. You can do that with the collection agency, or by opening a formal dispute with each of the three major credit bureaus. If full information cannot be verified within 30 days, the obligation must be deleted from your credit report.

This outcome is not as unusual as it sounds. Collection accounts are often purchased in bulk by collection agencies. This often leads to cases of mistaken identity, such as when someone else has a similar name. It may well be that the debt is not yours.

If the Debt is Time-Barred

If the debt has passed the statute of limitations, and is time-barred, you probably won’t want to pay the collection even if it was legitimate. You can settle the matter by sending a letter to the collection agency advising them that the debt is time-barred.

It may help to send a copy of the statute, which you should be able to obtain on your state attorney general’s website. The letter should be sent certified mail, return receipt requested, just in case it ever becomes an issue in the future.

How to Proceed if You Decide to Pay Off an Old Collection

Let’s assume that the debt is neither time-barred nor a case of mistaken identity. In other words, you legitimately owe the amount claimed by the collection agency.

If that’s the case, you should move to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. At a minimum, you should want to remove the negative entry from your credit report. And at the extreme, you’ll want to prevent the collection from turning into a judgment.

But, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to pay the collection account balance in full. You can certainly do that if you want to get the matter resolved quickly and don’t feel confident in your negotiating skills. But many, perhaps most, collection agencies will accept less than the full amount owed in complete satisfaction of the debt. This is especially true when the balance is several years old.

If you go that route, there’s a specific process you need to follow to make it work successfully.

Specific Steps to Settle an Old Collection Account for Less than the Full Amount Owed

Whether the collection agency contacts you by phone or mail, or if you discover the account on your credit report, it’s important to establish immediately that you want all communication between you and the agency to take place in writing.

That’s important because it will give you a paper trail to back up any agreements made, and because collection agencies typically record phone calls. By doing so, they can use any promises you make as evidence against you in court. For that reason alone, phone contact with collection agencies should always be avoided. If they do take place, be sure you get information — but never give it.

Start the process by offering less than the full amount owed. The older the debt is, the less you should offer. If it’s more than four or five years old, your initial offer should be no more than 50%. The collection agency will counter with a higher amount, and it’s likely you’ll ultimately settle somewhere in the middle.

Remember it’s a negotiation, and the collection agency will attempt to get as much as possible. Your job will be to pay as little as possible.

Once they agree to a reduced payment, require that they send you a letter confirming your agreement. It must indicate the agency is accepting $XX in full settlement of the amount owed, and that they will report the account as paid in full to all three credit bureaus.

Do not send any money until you receive this letter, even if the collection agency insists they cannot issue a letter until you send payment. Collection agencies can, and do, accept partial payments then continue to demand the full balance. A letter of agreement received in advance will be your only protection.

Be Sure to Follow Up on the Updated Credit Report Information

Once you have received a letter from a collection agency agreeing to all terms, and you have sent in your payment, wait 30 days then re-pull all three credit reports. If you continue to see an open balance on one or more of the reports, contact the collection agency and remind them of their obligation to correct the information.

If they fail to do so, you can open a dispute with the credit bureaus in question, sending them a copy of the collection agency’s letter as proof of your claim. Credit bureaus will make the adjustments directly.

Should You Pay off An Old Collection?

There may be times when not paying an old collection is the right choice. That will include when you don’t legitimately owe it, or when it has exceeded your state’s statute of limitations.

But, if you do decide to pay it, and you want to pay less than the full amount owed, make sure you go through all the steps listed above.

Getting collections removed from your credit report is a complicated process if you’ve never done it before. You’ll need to make sure you go about it the right way.

Unfortunately, collection agencies are pros when it comes to making you pay. But you can counter this by knowing your rights under the law, and following the right procedures.

How To Remove Negative Items From Your Credit Report

How to remove negative items from your credit report is a question on the mind of many consumers. A large percentage of people have negative information on their credit reports.

Often, negative entries are legitimate. But sometimes they aren’t, and those are the kind that can and should be removed.

But, even if a negative item is an error, you still need to go through a series of steps to get it removed from your credit report.

And, in other instances, it may be possible to get negative items removed from your credit report, even if they are legitimately yours.

If all else fails, you can take comfort in the fact that most negative credit information will automatically fall off your credit report after seven years.

But, in this article, we’re going to focus on how to remove negative items from your credit report before seven years are up.

How Can I Get Things Removed from My Credit Report Fast?

This is another common question consumers have. Negative credit entries are often not discovered until you make an application for financing, employment, or even an apartment or utility service. Since the application is already in process, there is a hope and a need to get the negative item removed quickly.

How fast the process will depend on the specific credit entry, the factors that caused it, and the degree of cooperation the creditor offers.

Still another factor, and probably the most important of all, is any type of documentation you have that may prove that a negative item is an error.

But, even if you have such documentation, the time it will take depends on the creditor who made the entry. Some will move fairly quickly, which may be only a matter of a few days.

However, as a rule, you should expect it to take 30 days or more to get most negative items removed from your credit report.

Write a Goodwill Letter Asking the Creditor to Remove the Negative Item(s)

If a creditor reports negative information and that information is legitimate, you won’t have a basis to challenge it. But another strategy is to write a goodwill letter. That’s where you politely request the creditor to remove the negative information.

This strategy will work best on accounts when the negative items are either old, insubstantial, or infrequent. It can also be effective if you are a current customer in good standing. The creditor may agree to remove the negative item in the spirit of retaining your business.

For example, let’s say you had a 60-day late payment reported two years ago. It’s a legitimate entry, so you won’t be able to dispute it successfully. If you had an otherwise good credit relationship with the creditor for the past five years, you can write a goodwill letter asking them to remove the single late payment based on the otherwise outstanding credit history you have with that the company.

However, you should be aware that it will be much more difficult — and probably impossible — to have more substantial negative information removed. For example, if you’ve had three 60-day and a 90-day late payment within the past two years, the creditor will be unlikely to remove the information.

It will be equally difficult if the negative item in question is an outstanding balance, or if you are requesting removal of negative items from a closed account. After all, if you’re no longer a current customer or client, there will be less incentive to honor your requests.

Request a “Pay For Delete” Arrangement

Pay-for-delete is something you may attempt to do if you have a past-due balance with the creditor, like a charge off for a collection balance. This strategy is a big risk, not because it can get you in trouble, but because it’s an arrangement in which you can uphold your part of the “bargain,” but a creditor doesn’t do the same.

Basically, the strategy involves offering to pay the past-due balance in exchange for the creditor removing the negative entry upon receipt of payment.

On the surface, it seems like a win-win; the creditor is paid the past-due amount, and you have the negative entry removed from your credit report. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way.

A creditor may agree to pay-for-delete in an effort to get you to pay the past-due balance. But, once you pay the balance, they may not delete the negative entry from your credit report.

The reason they don’t is that they don’t have to. You see, pay-for-delete is not a legal arrangement. It’s more of an agreement between friends. The creditor may agree to the terms and in fact, delete the negative item from your credit report. But, under their agreements with the credit bureaus, they’re not required to remove negative information. The fact that you have made the payment on an obligation doesn’t change the fact that the account was in a collection or charge-off status. It simply means the obligation was finally paid.

For that reason, the creditor can accept your payment but not remove the negative entry from your credit report, and you’ll have no legal recourse.

But, that doesn’t mean pay-for-delete isn’t worth trying. Some creditors will cooperate, which is why you should make the effort.

If you do, you should make the request formally, using a pay-for-delete letter. Hopefully, the creditor will respond in writing. If they agree to delete the negative information, you can then send payment.

Just don’t be entirely surprised if the hoped-for removal of the negative information doesn’t happen.

If All Else Fails, Get Legal Help

If you absolutely must have a negative item removed from your credit report, or you have a series of negative entries you hope to remove, you may need to get legal representation.

A credit law firm will be the best choice. Probably the best in the business is Lexington Law They’ve been helping consumers work out credit problems for years, and with much success.

As a law firm, they know of more strategies to get negative information removed from your credit report. And even if they don’t have 100% success, they’re likely to get much closer than you can on your own.

There will be a cost to use the services of a credit law firm, so you’ll need to evaluate the benefits you’ll receive from cleaning up your credit report against the cost you’ll pay to have it done.

But if you need to get your credit report cleaned up in a hurry, a credit law firm is your best strategy.

Once Something is Removed from Your Credit Report Can it Be Put Back On?

The unfortunate answer to this question is yes. According to Experian, the largest of the three major credit bureaus, an item can be restored to your credit report if subsequent information proves a disputed account is, in fact, legitimate.

For example, by law, a disputed credit entry must be investigated by the credit bureau. They’ll contact the creditor, who then will have 30 days to respond to the dispute. If the creditor does not respond, or comes back with incomplete or inaccurate information, the entry must be removed from the credit report.

However, if the creditor provides complete information on the obligation after the 30-day timeframe expires, the credit bureau will be required to restore the negative entry to the report.

This situation emphasizes the reality that the only type of negative credit that can be removed from your credit report are entries that are not legitimately your responsibility. If they are, they can find their way back to your credit report, even after what was initially a successful dispute.

How to Remove Specific Items from Your Credit Report

There are at least 10 types of derogatory information you may want to have removed from your credit report. Although the basic process for doing so is similar in most cases, there are specific strategies for each type of entry. Check out the articles below if you are looking for help and advice in removing any of the following negative entries from your credit report:

  • Late payments
  • Collections
  • Bankruptcy
  • Inquiries
  • Medical bills
  • Repossessions
  • Foreclosures
  • Judgments
  • Tax liens
  • Public records

The Easiest Items to Delete — Negative Items Reported in Error

There are any number of reasons why negative credit entries appear on your credit report in error.

Mistaken Identity

A common one is a case of mistaken identity. The account may belong to a person who has the same name as you. This is hardly unusual with common names, and sometimes may involve a slight variation. For example, if your name is Stephen J. Smith, a negative item belonging to Stephen F. Smith may appear on your credit report.

Reported in Error

Another reason is when you either made a payment, or made all your payments on time, but they’re reported as either late or still outstanding.

Unfortunately, even if a negative item has been reported on your credit report in error, the burden of proof is still on you. That is, you’ll need to prove to both the creditor and the credit bureaus that it’s not your obligation.

The best way to do that is to contact the creditor directly. Request that the creditor provides you with all relevant information pertaining to the debt. This is what is referred to as a debt verification letter. The creditor must provide this to you, and it must provide all the details of the obligation. That includes the date the loan was incurred, the amount owed, and if it’s a collection account, the name of the original creditor. If the creditor cannot supply the information, or has only partial information, it must be deleted from your credit report.

What to do when the account is yours, but the information is incorrect

In cases where a creditor is reporting an unpaid past-due balance, or one or more late payments, you’ll need to prepare to supply documentation.

That may be a copy of a check or a bank statement showing a balance was paid in full. If it was a late payment, you may need to provide evidence of a series of payments. For example, you may request a payment history from the creditor, then match up your payments through your own financial accounts. It’s tedious, but if you can prove all payments were made, you can furnish the documentation to the creditor and ask them to make the change.

If the creditor will not cooperate, you may need to follow up with the three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You can submit a credit dispute letter to each bureau, including the documentation you have that proves your point. The credit bureaus will contact the creditor to open the dispute. If the creditor can’t disprove your claim and your documentation, the credit bureaus will delete the negative information.

Best Credit Repair Software

If you have credit problems, and you’d like to try fixing them on your own before turning to live credit repair services, there is credit repair software available that can help you in going the do-it-yourself route.

It can provide you with all the tools you need to be successful in getting credit errors and other negative information removed from your credit report.

We’ve assembled this list of what we believe to be the best credit repair software programs currently on the market. Each is a little bit different and fills a different niche.

For example, while most will help you repair your credit, others may enable you to manage your finances better and avoid credit problems in the future. Still, others will give you the ability to set up and run a credit repair business for others, if that sounds like a career option for you.

Carefully read each review, and choose the software that will work best for you.

The Best Credit Repair Software

Here is the best credit repair software you can start using today:

  1. Personal Credit Builder
  2. Experian Boost
  3. TurnScor
  4. CreditRepair Cloud
  5. Credit Detailer
  6. Intuit Turbo
  7. The Credit Coach

Personal Credit Builder

Personal Credit Builder is a credit repair tool that helps you improve your credit. The company advertises that you can see results in as little as 30 days, and improve your credit score by 100 points or more. Those are both claims, but the software can get you pointed in the right direction.

You can use the software to remove late payments, collections, charge-offs, bankruptcies, judgments, tax liens, repossessions, and even foreclosures. However, removing those items is only possible if they are not legitimately yours (if they are, neither the creditors nor the credit bureaus are required to remove the negative information).

The software can also help you lower your credit card, loan, and bill payments. But this, most likely, is by introducing you to lenders who will be able to provide you with lower rates based on your improved credit score.

The software will obtain your credit report from all three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. This is important because not all creditors report to all three credit bureaus. Its’ possible delinquency can show up on one or two bureau reports, but not the others.

The software automatically generates dispute letters for any negative credit entries on your reports.

Personal Credit Builder Cost:

  • Personal Credit Builder software has a list price of $400, but is currently available for $199.97.

Experian Boost

Experian Boost is probably the best known of all credit repair services, precisely because it is connected with Experian. Not only are they the largest single credit bureau in the country, but they’ve also been advertising this product frequently on the web and on TV.

Experian claims you can raise your FICO Score — which is your only legitimate credit score and the one banks use — instantly and for free. In fact, they report the average user will receive a 13-point increase (boost) in their FICO Score 8.

You can also get access to your Experian credit report and FICO Score, and take advantage of Experian credit monitoring and alerts.

Experian Boost can increase your credit score by giving you credit for your phone and utility bills. All you need to do is connect your bank account (the one used to pay your bills), and Experian will use your payment history from your bank statements as a new positive credit entry. Of course, this will only be effective if your bank statements show a pattern of on-time payments with these bills.

Experian Boost isn’t technically a credit repair software, but rather an opportunity to quickly increase your credit score by using nontraditional credit references. The service will work best for those who have relatively little credit, and will get the biggest benefit from including those nontraditional credit sources. Unfortunately, the increases will not carry over to credit reports and scores issued by Equifax and TransUnion.

Experian Boost Cost:

  • Experian Boost is completely free to use. One of the biggest advantages of using this service is that you can also take advantage of other credit report- and credit score-related programs through the largest credit-reporting bureau in the world.

TurnScor

TurnScor is a true credit repair software, but one that also helps you to maintain and improve your credit over the long-term.

The software works by accessing your credit profile, then identifying any items containing derogatory information. It then will create and send what are known as challenge letters. Those are letters sent to creditors challenging the validity of a credit item. By law, the creditor must address the letter, and send complete details that will either prove or disprove that the liability is yours. If it isn’t, it must be deleted from your credit report.

Once those letters are issued and responded to, TurnScor will access updated credit information and credit scores to verify that the changes have been made.

Your credit entries will be compiled into a summary grid, giving you the ability to track your progress. And while the software will create the challenge letters, you’ll be required to mail them directly yourself.

TurnScor Cost:

  • The cost of the software is $40. But, if you’re not completely satisfied after 60 days, there is a 60-day refund guarantee available.

CreditRepair Cloud (formerly Credit-Aid)

Formerly, Credit-Aid (but since retired) CreditRepair Cloud is a credit repair software, but it’s designed specifically for anyone who may have experience in repairing their own credit, and wants to start a home-based credit repair business. The company claims there are more than 14,000 people using the software to run their own credit repair businesses.

It works like other credit repair software, except you can also use the program to help others repair their credit. It provides all the tools you need to run a successful credit repair business. Using the techniques common to credit repair and available with credit repair software, you can help other individuals repair their credit. You can set your own fees, giving you control over your income.

The software allows you to easily add new clients, import credit reports and generate credit audits, as well as produce credit dispute letters to send to creditors. Each client’s information is organized in a dedicated profile on the dashboard. You can even set up automated recurring billing for your clients.

CreditRepair Cloud Cost:

  • Since CreditRepair Cloud is a credit repair service business, it works as something of a partnership. Depending on the size of your business, you can choose from one of four plans, with a monthly fee ranging from $179 to $599 per month. Each plan comes with free access for the first 30 days. The $179 plan enables you to work with up to 300 active clients, which will be more than sufficient for most users.

Credit Detailer

Credit Detailer describes itself as America’s simplest credit repair software for the past 15 years. They offer a personal edition to help you repair your own credit. But like CreditRepair Cloud, they also offer a professional edition for anyone who wants to run their own credit repair business.

The personal edition is currently on sale for $99, which gets you a lifetime license. It can be used to repair the credit of two people, and comes with unlimited printing and unlimited credit line items. The system can auto-populate credit dispute letters, provide automatic progress tracking, and also provide educational information to help you better understand the process.

Like other credit software, it works to remove erroneous and incorrectly reported information from your credit report. And, like other credit repair software, it’s not intended to remove negative credit information that’s legitimately yours.

Credit Detailer Cost:

  • The Professional Edition is regularly $999.99, but is currently on sale for $399 for a lifetime license. You can use it to work with unlimited clients, with unlimited printing and unlimited credit line items.

Intuit Turbo

If you’re familiar with TurboTax, you will already be aware of the quality available with Intuit Turbo. But, unlike other software available on this list, Intuit Turbo isn’t a credit repair software.

Instead, it helps you manage your finances in a way that will ultimately increase your credit score. So rather than working to repair bad credit, it enables you to build the financial fundamentals that will keep you from falling into a negative credit situation in the first place.

One of the ways the software does that is to help you get out of debt. Many people have bad credit scores, not because they have poor credit, but because they owe too much debt. Next to paying your debts on time, and eliminating negative credit entries, the best way to improve your credit score is by lowering the amount you owe on your loans and credit cards. Intuit Turbo can help you do that.

The software provides personalized advice to help you reach your financial goals. It will also be able to track your progress, such as the improvement in your credit score as a result of the financial changes you’re making. It can help you to find lower interest rate loans so you can save money on your obligations.

It also helps you track your income and expenses, as well as to know what your debt-to-income ratio is. That’s one of the most important numbers in your financial profile, because it can indicate if the debt levels you’re carrying are becoming excessive.

Intuit Turbo Cost:

  • What makes Intuit Turbo so attractive is that it’s totally free to use. And since it’s part of the Intuit family, you can also take advantage of TurboTax (there will be a fee for that software) when it’s time to prepare your income tax return.

The Credit Coach

The Credit Coach is a credit repair software that also comes with live assistance from its founders, should that become necessary. You can contact them by phone to help you in your quest to improve your credit.

The service provides a free credit analysis, and enables you to repair your credit legally. It specifically helps you increase your credit score so you’ll be prepared to apply for a mortgage. They even work directly with mortgage companies, banks, and car dealerships to help you find the best rates on loans. The service is available nationwide.

On the credit repair side, they’ll help you to remove collections, late payments, bankruptcies, outdated information, charge-offs, judgments, tax liens, and repossessions. They can even help with child support, identity theft issues, and problems with the ChexSystems. (This is something of a credit repository for banks, who report outstanding balances on closed accounts that can prohibit you from opening a new bank account.)

The Credit Coach Cost:

  • The service is more expensive than others on this list, primarily because you can get live support. Counseling for one year is available for $299 for one person, or $449.99 for two people. Payments are set up on a monthly basis, and can be renewed annually.

What is Credit Repair Software and How Does it Work?

Unlike a live credit repair service, credit repair software doesn’t actually fix your credit for you. Instead, it provides a framework and tools you’ll need to repair your credit on your own.

That includes accessing your credit reports, organizing your negative information, preparing credit dispute letters, and giving you the timeline for what to do and when to do it.

If you want to repair your own credit, but you’re not sure exactly how to go about the process mechanically, that’s exactly what credit repair software will do for you.

What Credit Repair Software Is Best For You?

Credit repair software may work best for you if you are motivated to repair your own credit. But, be willing to learn the process and put in the necessary effort to make it happen. It will require participation on your part, including where necessary, making contact with creditors and negotiating debt settlements.

If you feel you have the ability to provide those capabilities, credit repair software could be the missing puzzle piece in your credit repair efforts.

But, if you don’t feel that you have either the confidence or the fortitude to go head-to-head with creditors — some of whom will play hardball — you may be better off choosing a different option.

For most, that will be using a live credit repair service. Credit repair software is designed to mimic what live credit repair services do. But, when you use a live credit repair service, you pay them a fee — which will be higher than the cost of credit repair software — and they’ll handle all the work and creditor contact for you.

If you feel this is the best option in your situation, check out our list of the Best Credit Repair Companies 2020. Choose the one that you feel works best for you, and let them handle the credit repair job for you.

Credit Saint Review

Attempting to go the DIY route to clean up a bad credit report and getting frustrated by the amount of work involved and the lack of positive results? You may be interested to learn about the services of a credit repair company known as Credit Saint.

They’ve been doing credit repair for consumers for more than 15 years, and they earned an A+ BBB rating from the Better Business Bureau.

We’ve given Credit Saint a rating of 9.7 out of 10 in our Best Credit Repair Companies 2020, the highest rating of any credit repair company on the list.

If you decide to throw in the towel on repairing the credit repair process and want to use a professional service to get the job done, Credit Saint’s services, including a free credit consultation, should be on your shortlist of potential providers.

What is Credit Saint?

Founded in 2004 and based in Oakland, New Jersey, Credit Saint LLC is a credit repair company offering credit restoration services to consumers.

It works to remove negative items from consumers’ credit reports — to both cleanup credit history and improve their credit scores.

Credit Saint offers a 90-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with their work and free credit evaluation, a rarity amongst the credit repair service industry.

Credit Saint’s 90-day money-back guarantee isn’t the only added bonus. They offer three different plans working on a 45-day cycle, enabling you to choose the one you feel will work best for you.

Here’s a quick overview of them, but we will go more in-depth with them further down.

  • Remodel Package: highly aggressive package that includes all they offer except the dispute avalanche, full ID restoration services and the 1 million dollar ID theft insurance.
  • Polish Package: the basic package including Experian tracking and analysis, toll-free calls, and free cancellation.
  • Clean Slate Package: Want to throw everything but the phone book at your credit score? Go with the Clean Slate Package that includes everything from the other two packages including monitoring from all 3 credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion), 1 million in ID theft protection, even sex offender monitoring.

Credit Saint costs vary but they also work on a subscription basis, so the service involves a monthly fee.

Credit Saint is somewhat unusual among credit repair companies in that it has a Better Business Bureau rating of “A+”, the highest rating the agency issues, on a scale of A+ to F.

They are also highly rated amongst other customer review platforms like Consumer Affairs.

We researched & reviewed the best credit repair companies. They can help you dispute inaccurate items on your report & work towards improving your credit score.
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How Credit Saint Works

When you sign up with Credit Saint, you’ll be provided with an online account page and assigned a personal advisory team.

The account page will include a timeline and progress report, as well as a credit analysis component. On that page, you will be able to monitor the progress of your credit repair program.

The company mails letters to creditors reporting negative information, challenging those entries based on inaccurate or incomplete information. By law, if an entry contains either, the negative information must be removed from the credit report.

Be aware! Credit Saint can only successfully remove negative entries from your credit report if the information is inaccurate. This is typically possible if the information provided by the creditor is either completely or partially inaccurate or in a case of mistaken identity.

However, if the negative entries are recorded correctly, neither Credit Saint nor any other credit repair service will be able to legitimately remove them from your credit report.

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Credit Saint Plans

Credit Saint will work with you to remove all types of inaccurately reported information from your credit report including:

  • Late payments
  • Charge-offs
  • Collections
  • Bankruptcies
  • Repossessions
  • Identity theft
  • Damaging public records

Credit Saint offers three different packages to help you repair your credit: Credit Polish, Credit Remodel, and Clean Slate.

You can choose the service level that will work best for the types of credit problems you have on your credit report, as well as the number of inaccurately reported items it contains.

Each also has its own specific level of “Aggressiveness”, indicating the level of intensity the plan employs to challenge inaccurate information on your credit report, hopefully gaining ground on achieving good credit again.

Credit Polish

The Credit Polish comes with a medium Aggressiveness level, and provides the following services:

  • Access to Credit Saint Online
  • A 90-day money-back warranty
  • Toll-free support
  • Free Experian Score Tracker
  • You can cancel anytime
  • Late payment challenges
  • Identity theft challenges
  • Charge-off challenges
  • Collection challenges
  • Includes work associated with correction or removal of five inaccurately reported items

Credit Remodel

The Credit Remodel comes with a high Aggressiveness level, and provides the following services:

  • All the services offered under the Credit Polish plan
  • Escalated information requests
  • Bankruptcies challenged
  • Repossessions challenged
  • Includes work associated with correction or removal of 10 inaccurately reported items

Clean Slate

The Clean Slate comes with a very high Aggressiveness level, and provides the following services:

  • All the services offered under the Credit Polish plan
  • Public records challenged
  • Includes work associated with correction or removal of unlimited inaccurately reported items

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Credit Saint Pricing

Credit Saint plans each come with two fees. The first is a “First Work Fee”, which is basically a setup fee to initiate your plan, while the second is a monthly fee.

The First Work Fee includes the initial work on your credit. That includes obtaining copies of your credit reports and writing challenge letters to creditors. The monthly fee will continue for as long as it takes for you to see the results you’re looking for in your credit report.

This is important to understand; that credit repair is not an overnight process. The company can’t simply obtain your credit report and remove old, negative entries within a specific time frame, like 30 or 60 days.

Because of the complexity of the various types of entries on your credit report, it can take anywhere from a minimum of 30 days to as much as several months to remove a particularly damaging entry, like bankruptcy as an example.

In addition, the more negative credit entries you have, the longer the process will take. The monthly fee ensures that Credit Saint will remain engaged in the process of improving your credit until the job is completed to your satisfaction.

Credit Saint Fee Structure:

Plan First Work Fee Monthly Fee
Credit Polish $99.00 $79.99
Credit Remodel $99.00 $99.99
Clean Slate $195.00 $119.99

You can add a family member to your plan, and that person will be charged an additional monthly fee. However, no additional First Work Fee will be charged.

Credit Saint also offers a 90-day, money-back warranty. You can request a full refund if the company is unable to remove inaccurate information from your credit report within 90 days of engaging the service.

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How to Sign Up with Credit Saint

To sign up with Credit Saint, you begin by providing the following information:

  • Your full first and last name
  • Primary phone number
  • Email address
  • Complete home address

Once you’ve entered your basic information on the online application, you’ll then choose from one of the three service-level plans: Credit Polish, Credit Remodel, or Clean Slate.

The next step will be to enter your payment information, which should be a credit or debit card. Finally, you’ll need to electronically sign the Credit Saint agreement.

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Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Credit Saint has been successfully removing inaccurate information from credit reports for more than 15 years.
  • The company gets an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, the highest rating they issue.
  • You can choose between one of three plans that best suits your credit repair needs.
  • The monthly fee is one of the most affordable in the credit repair industry.
  • Credit Saint offers a 90-day, money-back warranty if you are not satisfied with the service.

Cons:

  • The upfront “First Work Fee” of $99–$195 is fairly high by industry standards.
  • Credit Saint is not available if you live in the following 9 states: South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Ohio, Oregon, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri.
  • Neither Credit Saint nor any other credit repair company can remove negative credit information from your credit report that represents legitimate delinquency or nonpayment on your part.

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Should You Use Credit Saint?

Good credit opens the doors for lower interest rates on credit cards, mortgages, other types of loans as well as waive any utility set up fees.

If your credit report has several negative entries that you are certain are errors — and you’ve been unable to get them removed through your own efforts — the best strategy is to get professional help. If so, Credit Saint is an excellent choice for the job.

You’ll help your own cause if you can provide as much documentation as possible to prove the accounts aren’t yours, or that they’ve already been paid in the past.

You should also be aware that Credit Saint will not be able to remove negative information that’s legitimately yours, nor do they claim they can.

Finally, while you are engaging the services of Credit Saint, be sure to make all debt payments on time, and continue the practice even after your credit report has been cleaned up. Credit repair services are not a substitute for maintaining a clean credit record. That part is completely up to you.

If you’d like more information, or you’d like to sign up for the service, visit the Credit Saint website.

Can You Reopen a Closed Credit Card?

Credit cards are an important part of your credit report. They show that you are capable of being consistent and diligent with using them and paying your balance. If you have a credit card that is collecting dust in a drawer, you may find yourself with an inactive or closed credit card account if you aren’t careful.

If you have closed credit cards in the past, you may not realize the impact that they have on your credit report. Generally, it looks better to have open credit cards on your credit report than closed ones. They also help boost the length of your credit history. This is why many people seek to reopen closed credit card accounts.

If you have a closed credit card that you would like to reopen, keep reading to figure out your options.

Can I Reopen a Closed Credit Card?

The answer is yes, and no. Your ability to reopen a closed credit card account will depend on the credit card issuer, how long the account has been closed, and why the account was closed.

Certain credit card companies will allow you to reopen your account, but not all of them. AMEX and Chase are known for being generous with reopening accounts, while Bank of America and Discover are among the issuers that will not reopen an account under any circumstances.

The best way to find out if you have a shot at reopening your account is to contact the issuer’s customer service department. Every company has different rules about the maximum length of time you have to reopen and the circumstances under which you can reopen.

When You CAN Reopen a Credit Card

You may have luck reopening your card if it was closed due to inactivity or if you closed it voluntarily. Credit card companies may be willing to give you a second chance to use your card even if your first go wasn’t fruitful. After all, they are a business, and credit card interest rates are how they make money.

When You CANNOT Reopen a Credit Card

There are certain no-go’s when it comes to reopening a closed credit card account. If your account was closed due to lack of payments, bankruptcy, or instances of fraud, you will not be able to reopen the card. These circumstances are a sign that you were irresponsible with your credit card, so the credit card issuer will obviously not reopen the account.

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How to Reopen a Closed Credit Card

If your situation falls under the “yes” column of reopening accounts, then it may be a good idea for you to reopen your credit card. Luckily, this can be achieved in four simple steps. Here are the steps to take to reopen a closed credit card account.

Reach Out to Customer Service

The first step to reopening a closed credit card is to contact the company’s customer service department quickly. Most issuers have a grace period between 30 days and six months, which means that you can reopen without any issues as long as you do it before the period ends. You will have a stronger case for reopening the sooner you contact them.

When you call, make sure you have the card number handy. If you don’t have the card in front of you, you may be able to find it through your online portal.

Provide Personal Information

After you reach a representative, they will need to find your account to see why the account was closed. To help them locate the account in their system, you will need to provide personal information such as your name, address, and Social Security number. This is information that would have been provided when you opened the account, so you shouldn’t have any privacy concerns.

Explain the Situation

Most credit card issuers will want to know why your account was closed, so tell them your side of the story. Be honest with the representative about why the account was closed and why you would like to reopen it.

After you explain the situation, ask about your options. If the account was closed for innocent enough reasons, the credit card issuer shouldn’t give you a hard time about reopening your account.

Authorize a Credit Inquiry

Once it’s decided that your account is reopening, the issuer may need to do a hard pull of your credit before reopening the account. This may cause a dip in your credit score, which is why many people avoid reopening closed credit card accounts.

Your credit should recover quickly even after the hard inquiry. With regular credit card payments and good financial behavior, you should be back to where you started soon enough. In fact, the account may help lengthen your credit history, which would boost your score even more.

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Final Thoughts

When it comes to reopening a closed credit card, it never hurts to ask. Some companies allow customers to give their account a second shot, while others have a hard and fast no-reopening policy.

Understanding the reason why your account closed will give you a good idea if you can reopen it or not. If your account was closed for inactivity or on purpose, you shouldn’t have any problems. If you neglected payments, filed bankruptcy, or were involved in fraudulent behavior, you likely will not be able to reopen your account.

Is It Better To Pay Off Your Credit Card or Keep a Balance

We all make decisions based on how we can improve our credit. One such decision is whether or not to carry a small balance on your credit card.

Many people believe that carrying a small balance on your credit card will help improve the credit utilization portion of your credit score. Others pay off their balance each month to avoid interest payments. But which way will help you most in the long run?

If you are interested in learning about the effect of your credit card balance on your credit score, check out our in-depth article below.

Credit Utilization and Credit Card Balances

The main reason that people choose to carry a balance is that they believe it improves the credit utilization portion of their credit score. Credit utilization makes up about one-third of your overall FICO score calculation, which is why many people are driven to improve this portion of their score.

However, many people don’t understand how credit utilization is determined and make decisions based on the misguided belief that it will improve their score. Your credit utilization or balance-to-limit ratio on your credit card is not determined by what is leftover on your credit card balance. It is determined by the amount of your line of credit you use in a month.

Think of it this way: your credit utilization refers to the amount of your credit limit that you take advantage of each month. Experts say that you should keep your credit card utilization at about 30%, meaning that you only use 30% or less of your allotted credit limit.

When you spend on your card, you are still utilizing that line of credit. Paying off your entire balance doesn’t diminish this and actually saves you money on interest payments.

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Should I Leave a Balance on My Card?

The myth that carrying a balance on your credit card will help your credit score is not true. The only thing it will accomplish is costing you more in interest.

Some people reason that leaving a balance on their card helps improve their credit utilization score, but not paying your entire balance can actually hurt your score. Credit scores are designed to give lenders an indication of what kind of borrower you are. In essence, they speak to your ability to pay your debts on time and in full.

The single worst thing that you can do for your credit score is make late or incomplete payments. Credit experts say that this will tank your score more than anything else. If you are leaving a balance under the belief that it is helping your credit score, ditch the practice in favor of paying off your credit card each month.

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Why You Should Pay Off Your Credit Card Each Month

When you pay off your balance on time, you can avoid interest being charged on those purchases. The best time to pay off your balance is before or on the due date, after which the issuer may report your balance to credit agencies. If this happens, you could see a dip in your credit score due to nonpayment.

In addition to avoiding interest payments, paying off your credit card balance each month gives you access to a grace period. A grace period refers to the time it takes for an issuer to charge interest on a credit card purchase. This usually starts on the last day of the billing cycle and ends when payment is due.

So, should you pay off your balance after every transaction? While this may ease some anxiety about building up too much of a balance, paying off your card after every transaction is effectively not using any credit at all. You want to use between 10% and 30% of your available credit to build your credit score. It shows credit bureaus that you are capable of responsibly using a line of credit.

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Will You Pay Your Credit Card Balance Each Month?

Carrying a balance to increase your credit utilization score is a myth. The best way to build your credit score is to use 10% to 30% of your credit card limit and pay off the balance in full each month.

If it is difficult for you to keep your purchases under 30%, work on coming up with a budget. Many people find it helpful to use their credit card for only essentials like groceries and gas and pay for extras in cash.

Credit cards help teach responsibility around a line of credit. They can help you build your credit score so that you can make larger financial decisions in the future. The key when it comes to credit cards is to keep interest payments to a minimum and only use credit as you need it.

For more tips on credit card best practices, be sure to check out some of our other articles here.

Is It Better to Cancel Unused Credit Cards or Keep Them

If you have old unused credit cards sitting in your wallet, you might be tempted to close your account. Most financial advisors will tell you to resist this urge and leave them open, so there may be instances in which you should leave it open. Most of these reasons boil down to credit.

No one knows definitively how FICO scores are calculated, but there are some widely known factors that affect your score. Unused credit cards influence your credit rotation and other factors of your credit score. Depending on your situation, your unused credit cards may work for or against you.

Read our full article below to understand when you should cancel unused credit cards and when to leave them open.

Why Should I Keep My Unused Credit Card?

When it comes to keeping unused credit cards, it all comes down to your credit score. As counterintuitive as it may sound, it may actually help your credit score if you keep some unused or barely used credit cards open. This is because they can help influence two major factors that determine your credit score: the length of your credit history and your credit utilization ratio.

The length of credit history makes up 15% of your FICO score. It is specifically determined by the age of your oldest account, the age of your newest account, and the average age of all your accounts. High credit scores are awarded to people that have older credit accounts. This is because it shows that they are able to manage credit long term.

If you have old, unused credit card accounts, leaving them open would influence the length of your credit history for the better. Old credit card accounts show that you are able to responsibly manage your credit over time. Creditors like to see this when considering approval for long-term loans, such as a mortgage.

In addition to credit history, credit utilization is an important factor in determining your credit score. In fact, credit utilization makes up 30% of your FICO.

Credit utilization considers debt-to-income ratio across your accounts as well as your credit card balances compared to the limits. These ratios should be as low as possible, but it is not ideal to keep them at zero. The best credit scores are given to people that use their credit wisely.

Unused credit cards can help boost your credit utilization ratio because it is considered credit in rotation. Credit card accounts with low spending and high limits show that you have credit in rotation that you are using sparsely and wisely.

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Why Should I Close My Unused Credit Card?

Just as there are reasons to leave credit card accounts open, there are reasons to close them. Your credit card accounts may influence your credit score negatively if you have too many. This is because they can impact the part of your credit score that evaluates types of credit used.

The type of credit that you have in rotation makes up 10% of your FICO score. If your mortgage and car loan take up the majority of your credit, this can positively impact your score because they are long-term loans. If the majority of your credit is made up of multiple credit cards, this can hurt your score.

Credit cards are considered the worst kind of revolving credit. This is because you can easily rack up debt and use the credit irresponsibly. Creditors can see how many credit cards you have open, and they may make loan decisions based on this information. If you have too many open credit cards, you may be seen as a borrower who lacks impulse control.

Besides their impact on your credit, unused credit cards can make you a target for identity theft. Identity theft can happen to anyone, but it is more likely to happen if you have a bunch of credit cards open. If you want to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft, it may be best to close some of those newer accounts.

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What to Do with Unused Credit Cards

Credit card companies will close credit card accounts if they aren’t used, so what should you do with credit cards you want to keep? The best way to make use of these cards is to set them up as automatic payments on necessary bills.

We all have bills that recur on a monthly basis. Whether it’s a streaming service, utility bill, or subscription, there are small expenses that are automatically charged to our account. To ensure that these cards don’t go unused, it is best to use them to pay for each of these services. You can also set up the card to pay itself off each month automatically so that you don’t have to worry about checking each one.

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How to Cancel Your Credit Card

If you decide it is best to close a credit card, there are ways to do it so that the impact on your credit score and wallet is minimal. Here are some steps to take when canceling an unwanted credit card.

Pay off the balance

Credit card companies don’t take kindly to people that try to cancel their cards with a balance on it. In fact, they may raise your interest rate to the highest level as a penalty. This means you’ll have to pay off the balance with this astronomical interest rate. Avoid this by paying off the entire balance ahead of time.

Be sure also to redeem any rewards that are currently pending. If you have sky miles or cash back, make sure you use them. You won’t be able to access them once you close the account.

Contact the issuer

After you pay off your balance, follow up with the issuer in a phone call to confirm that the credit card balance is zero. There are sometimes lingering charges that haven’t posted yet, so it’s important to get a verbal confirmation.

You will also need to let the representative know that you are canceling the card. It’s good to tell them so that they can make a note in the file.

Send a follow-up letter

Simply telling the representative that you are canceling the card is not enough. You will also need to send a letter stating that you’re closing the account. Clearly state that you are closing the card and want this reflected on your credit report.

After closing the card, check your credit report in 30 days. You should see the account noted as ‘closed by the account holder.’ If you don’t, reach back out to the issuer and remind them to update your credit report.

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Should YOU Cancel Your Unused Credit Card?

It is difficult to give one-size-fits-all advice when it comes to your credit score. The way FICO calculates your score is tricky, and numerous factors can hurt or help your score. Unused credit cards have the potential to push your score in either direction.

Your credit score will be influenced based on the age, limits, quantity, and vulnerability of your unused credit cards.

Generally, it is best to leave a few unused credit cards open to boost your credit length and debt-to-income ratio. If you have a lot of unused credit cards, you will do well to close a few so that potential lenders don’t see that you have too many credit cards in rotation.

Ultimately, there is not a definite answer for success. It is up to you to decide if it is best to close the unused credit cards or leave them open based on these factors. If you are still confused, try speaking with a financial advisor. They can help you understand what decisions to make to move your credit in the right direction.

The 9 Best Credit Monitoring Services

If you haven’t been monitoring your credit up to this point, there’s no time like the present. Your credit score isn’t just a tool to help you get a loan. It’s also a barometer of the health and security of your overall credit situation.

First, by monitoring your credit on a regular basis, you’ll have an opportunity to raise your credit score over time. That could include a combination of continuing to pay all your obligations on time, lowering your loan and credit card balances, and disputing or correcting credit errors.

But just as important, credit monitoring is your first line of defense for detecting identity theft. This is usually discovered when your credit report reveals a new loan or some other suspicious activity taken in your name. Credit monitoring gives you an opportunity to intervene in those situations, which will help to at least limit the damage.

For that reason, you should select the best credit monitoring service for your needs, and keep an eye on the situation from now on.

The 9 Best Credit Monitoring Services of 2020

Here are the 9 best credit monitoring services you can start using today:

  1. PrivacyGuard: Best Overall Credit Monitoring Service
  2. Credit Karma: Best Free Option
  3. IdentityForce: Best for Additional Features
  4. Identity Guard: Best for Plan Options
  5. Experian IdentityWorks: Best for Annual Discount
  6. myFICO Ultimate 3B Credit Monitoring: Best Comprehensive Plan
  7. Transunion Credit Monitoring: Best One Bureau Monitoring
  8. LifeLock: Best for Security Features
  9. Credit Sesame: Best Alternative Free Option

PrivacyGuard

PrivacyGuard provides your VantageScore credit scores for each of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. It’s not your actual FICO Score, but an educational score meant to approximate your FICO Score. They will accurately track the activity on your credit reports, and alert you to changes in your credit score and the activity on your reports.

But PrivacyGuard goes well beyond credit monitoring. They provide monitoring of nearly all aspects of your financial and online existence. And they even have personnel available to help you with an identity theft situation, as well as ID theft insurance to cover you for certain losses. They offer three different plans, each with its own monthly fee and special features.

  • Number of credit bureaus monitored: All three
  • Credit score monitoring: Yes, the frequency depends on the plan selected
  • Credit alerts: Yes
  • Other features: Public and Dark Web scanning, monitoring of your Social Security number, driver’s license and passport, bank accounts, debit and credit cards, USPS address change, email, phone, name, date of birth, public records, and ID/application verification; also provides online fraud assistance, $1 million in ID theft insurance, lost and stolen wallet protection, secure browser and keyboard apps, and an annual public records report
  • Cost: Identity Protection, $9.99 per month; Credit Protection, $19.99 per month; Total Protection, $24.99 per month; all plans start at $1 for the first 14 days, and will automatically renew for the plan selected unless canceled during the trial period

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Credit Karma

Credit Karma is the largest and best-known of the free credit score providers. And free means free. They don’t even require you to put a credit card on file. In exchange, you’ll be presented with offers for credit cards and loans you’re likely to qualify for. Credit Karma will receive compensation from those lenders if you secure financing through one of them.

Overall, this is a solid credit monitoring service, providing most of the features you’ll need to keep track of your credit score and credit profile. Like most free credit score providers, Credit Karma doesn’t provide your actual FICO Scores, but your VantageScore 3.0, which is an educational score meant to approximate your FICO Score.

  • Number of credit bureaus monitored: TransUnion and Equifax
  • Credit score updates: Yes
  • Credit alerts: Yes
  • Other features: Recommends loan and credit card offers you’re likely to qualify for; free tax preparation service
  • Cost: Free

Learn More: Read our full Credit Karma Review.

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IdentityForce

IdentityForce has grown to become one of the most popular credit monitoring and ID theft protection services in the industry. They offer two different plans, and while their fee structure is higher than many other services, they offer more features and protections than most.

They offer two plans, UltraSecure and UltraSecure+Credit, but only the latter plan offers credit reports, monitoring, and scores from all three bureaus. (The UltraSecure plan doesn’t offer credit monitoring.) UltraSecure+Credit also offers a credit score tracker to track your credit scores with a month-by-month graph, and a credit score simulator that will allow you to run credit scenarios to determine the impact that certain changes will have on your credit scores.

  • Number of credit bureaus updated: All three credit bureaus on the UltraSecure+Credit plan
  • Credit score monitoring: Yes, on the UltraSecure+Credit plan
  • Credit alerts: Yes, on the UltraSecure+Credit
  • Other features: Monitoring of advanced fraud, change of address, court records, Dark Web, mobile attack, payday loans, sex offender registry, and social media identity; alerts for bank and credit card activity, investment accounts, identity threats, fraud, and smart Social Security number tracker; medical ID fraud protection, online personal computer protection tools, lost wallet assistance; identity theft insurance for $1 million, fully managed identity restoration, and toll-free customer service
  • Cost: UltraSecure, $17.99 per month, or $179.90 per year (comes with a 30 day free trial); UltraSecure+Credit, $23.99 per month or $239.90 per year

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Identity Guard

Identity Guard is another of the biggest names in identity theft protection, but a company that also offers complete credit monitoring. They have three plans to fit just about any budget, but only two offer credit monitoring.

The Total plan provides one-bureau monthly credit scores and three-bureau credit monitoring. The Ultra plan has a three-bureau annual credit report added to the menu. But both plans, as well as the basic Value plan, offer extensive monitoring and ID theft protection services. Monthly credit scores are provided as an educational score issued by TransUnion. Since it only covers a single bureau, Identity Guard is not recommended if you are primarily looking for a credit monitoring service.

  • Number of credit bureaus monitored: All three on the Total and Ultra plans
  • Credit score updates: Yes, on the Total and Ultra plans
  • Credit alerts: Yes, on the Total and Ultra plans
  • Other features: Risk management report, data breach notifications, monitoring, high-risk transaction monitoring, safe browsing tool, $1 million identity theft insurance, Dark Web monitoring; bank account monitoring on the Total plan; white glove resolution concierge, bank account monitoring, social media insights report, credit and debit card monitoring, 401(k) investment account monitoring, criminal and sex offense monitoring, home title monitoring, and USPS address change monitoring on Ultra plan
  • Cost: Value plan (no credit monitoring), $8.99 per month; Total plan, $19.99 per month; Ultra plan $29.99 per month; all three plans offer a 17% discount if you pay annually

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Experian IdentityWorks

Experian IdentityWorks has the advantage of providing complete credit monitoring and ID theft protection services from Experian, which is the largest of the three major credit bureaus. But in addition to monitoring your Experian credit report, they also monitor your reports from Equifax and TransUnion, giving you comprehensive credit monitoring coverage.

They offer two plans, IdentityWorks Plus and IdentityWorks Premium. Each will provide you with your Experian FICO Scores on a daily basis. But the Premium plan will also add quarterly three-bureau FICO Scores. Each plan also comes with credit score tracking, use of the FICO Score Simulator (to run credit “what if” scenarios), and access to different credit scores, such as those for auto, home, and credit card loans.

  • Number of credit bureaus monitored: One only on the Plus Plan, All three on the Premium Plan
  • Credit score updates: Daily for your Experian FICO Score
  • Credit alerts: Yes
  • Other features: Dark Web surveillance, identity theft insurance, US-based fraud resolution specialist, lost wallet assistance, multiple identity theft monitoring and alerts, real-time alerts on attempted credit inquiries, and lock and unlock your Experian credit file with Experian CreditLock
  • Cost: Plus plan, $9.99 per month; Premium plan, $19.99 per month; each plan is offered free for the first 30 days, and also gives you an opportunity to save 17% off the subscription price if you pay in full annually

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myFICO Ultimate 3B Credit Monitoring

One of the advantages with myFICO Ultimate 3B Credit Monitoring is that myFICO is part of the organization that is behind FICO Score. It’s like going right to the source. They offer a single plan — Ultimate 3B — that monitors your identity, your credit, and FICO Scores for all three major credit bureaus.

For a single monthly fee, you’ll have regular access to your FICO Score from all three major credit bureaus. But you’ll also have access to up to 28 different versions of your FICO Score (if you weren’t already aware, there are different FICO scores for different loan types, including credit cards, car loans, mortgages, and other financing arrangements). The service also comes with identity theft monitoring, much like many of the other services on this list.

  • Number of credit bureaus monitored: All three credit bureaus
  • Credit score updates: Yes, daily
  • Credit alerts: Yes
  • Other features: One-time identity analysis report, black-market websites surveillance alerts, detailed FICO Score analysis, Social Security number alias watch, quarterly access to a new three-bureau credit report, identity theft monitoring, lost wallet protection, 24/7 identity restoration, $1 million ID theft insurance
  • Cost: $29.95 per month
Monitor Your Credit Today with myFICO

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Transunion Credit Monitoring

Like Experian, TransUnion is one of the three major credit bureaus. That’s why Transunion Credit Monitoring may be of special interest to you. As a credit bureau, they offer some advanced credit services. This includes credit protection, a credit score simulator, a credit lock feature for your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports, and identity protection.

The disadvantage with TransUnion Credit Monitoring is that it doesn’t extend to either Equifax or Experian. And as the smallest of the three major credit bureaus, the information contained in your TransUnion credit report may not be as comprehensive as the other two.

  • Number of credit bureaus monitored: TransUnion only
  • Credit score updates: Yes, monthly
  • Credit alerts: Yes
  • Other features: $25,000 in identity theft insurance
  • Cost: $24.95 per month

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LifeLock

Due to its extensive advertising campaign on both TV and the Web, LifeLock is almost certainly the best-known identity theft protection service in the industry. LifeLock has joined forces with Norton, one of the top names in Internet security. But they also offer regular credit monitoring with their identity theft protection service. They also offer more plan levels than their competitors, allowing you to choose the program that works best for you.

Each of the four plans provides some level of credit monitoring that becomes more comprehensive on the premium plans. The credit score provided is the educational score, VantageScore 3.0, and not your actual FICO Score. Three of the four plans offer credit monitoring of a single bureau, while only the Ultimate Plus plan covers all three.

It’s important to remember that LifeLock is primarily an identity theft protection service, and not necessarily the right choice for someone who is primarily interested in credit monitoring.

  • Number of credit bureaus monitored: One bureau on all plans, except the Ultimate Plus plan that includes all three major credit bureaus
  • Credit score updates: Not offered on Standard and Select plans; annual credit score on one bureau on the Advantage plan, and on all three bureaus on the Ultimate Plus plan
  • Credit alerts: Yes, one bureau
  • Other features: Probably the most extensive identity theft protection suite in the industry
  • Cost: $9.99 per month for both the Standard and Select plans; $17.99 per month for the Advantage plan; $25.99 per month for the Ultimate Plus plan; however, be aware that all prices are for the first year and will increase in the second year

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Credit Sesame

Much like Credit Karma, Credit Sesame provides your credit score free. You don’t even need to put a credit card on file, since you will never be charged. And again, like Credit Karma, the service is compensated by providing loan and credit card offers from third parties, for which Credit Sesame will be paid should you choose to sign up for any.

Your credit score will be provided by TransUnion only, so the coverage may not be entirely comprehensive. But if you’re only looking for a simple, no-cost, credit-monitoring service, Credit Sesame is one of the best in the business.

  • Number of credit bureaus monitored: One, TransUnion
  • Credit score updates: Yes, as they become available
  • Credit alerts: Yes, in real-time
  • Other features: Factors affecting your credit score will be provided, in addition to $50,000 in identity theft protection and restoration
  • Cost: Free

Learn More: Read our full Credit Sesame Review.


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Which is the Best Credit Monitoring Service?

There’s probably no definitive answer to that question. What really matters is the level of credit monitoring you’re looking for. If you’re only looking to monitor your credit casually, you can get the job done using one of the free credit-monitoring services listed below.

If you want enhanced credit monitoring, you can choose a premium service. There are several on this list, and each offers a different service level. The most comprehensive will include monitoring of all three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Most, however, will cover only one or two bureaus.

You should also be aware that there is a close connection between credit monitoring and identity theft protection services. Several of the companies on this list specialize in identity theft protection but also provide credit-monitoring services, sometimes extensively.

There’s no single best credit-monitoring service for everyone, so we’re presenting what we believe to be the nine best credit-monitoring services of 2020. Scan the reviews we’ve included for each, and choose the one that will work best for you.

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Which Credit Monitoring Service Is Best For You?

Given how important your credit score is — not just in getting financing, but also when applying for employment, an insurance policy or an apartment — you should be monitoring your credit on a regular basis.

There are plenty of options out there to do so, whether you want a free service that provides basic monitoring, or a premium service with more comprehensive coverage.

Choose a service and sign up for it today. Your credit score is one of the most important numbers in your financial life, and you should be aware of major developments as they happen. Credit monitoring is the way to do that.

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(Costs updated as of 12/24/20)

How to Remove Late Payments From Your Credit Report

Have you had a credit report for more than a few years? Chances are, you’ve been hit with a late payment or two.

They are very common because there are so many ways for them to happen. Maybe you were forgetful with 1 of the 12 bills you pay every month.

Or, you might be short on cash for a month or two. Sometimes, bypassed due dates can simply happen by mistake.

Late payments can be very frustrating. This is the case especially when it’s the result of some temporary bad luck or a silly oversight.

These pesky line items can affect your credit score for a long time. Thankfully, the negative impact on your score does diminish over time.

However, a late payment stays & will continue to be a blemish on your credit report for seven years after the original reported delinquency date.

Fortunately, just as there are several ways to add a delinquency, there are also several ways to remove them. In this guide, I will discuss a number of methods that may help you remove a late payment form your credit report.

Our best credit repair agencies guide analyzes the top firms in the industry that help you dispute & remove inaccurate items on your report.
Ask Lex Law for Help

What if there’s been a mistake?

If you think you have a delinquency that’s been misreported due to identity theft or because something was just misreported, you should attempt to negotiate with the creditor first. They will usually correct any errors quickly. Then notify the 3 credit bureaus once you contact them and present your evidence.

The first thing you should do is call the creditor. This is especially if it’s just a simple clerical error.

That’s typically something they’ll recognize right away. They might even be able to fix the error on the spot without needing any documentation.

If the problem is something more sinister, like identity theft, this may become a more tedious process. Your creditor may require copies of your identification, police reports, sworn affidavits, or other documents related to the case. The Federal Trade Commission has a helpful Identity Theft Recovery Plan on their website.

If the creditor is not legitimate, out of business, or not able to cooperate for some reason, you can always go directly to the credit bureaus. In this case, it’s best to send each bureau a dispute letter. Include any supporting documents you think they’ll need.

If you aren’t sure what to send, you can call the bureau first and ask. When you send the dispute letter, be sure to send it via certified mail.

It may be a quick and easy process or it might take a bit longer. However, once the issue is resolved, you could see an improvement in your credit score in a matter of weeks.

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How can I dispute a legitimate late payment?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives you the right to dispute items on your credit report. In that way, you can protect yourself from unseemly creditors and overwhelmed credit bureaus.

When you’re faced with a legitimate late payment, the key is to look for anything reported incorrectly within the entry on your credit report. Examples:

  • Misspelled word(s)
  • Incorrect date(s)
  • Incorrect dollar amount(s)
  • Any other errors

If you hit a wall here, try to find something that might be wrong. For instance: you can potentially dispute the late payment if the creditor is no longer in business or another company has acquired them.

Try to find something questionable to dispute. The idea here is to find a creditor that may have a hard time validating the late payment when the credit bureaus request supporting documentation for your dispute.

Once you’ve found your error(s) or suspected error(s), you need to send credit dispute letters. Send these to each of the credit bureaus reporting the erroneous information.

You can send these either by mail or online. In your letter, you should identify the error in question, and ask for them to remove the entire entry from your credit report.

Once the credit bureau receives your claim, they will label the item you flagged for review as “in dispute” on your credit report. Over the next 30 days, the bureau must investigate your claim. They will notify you of their findings.

If your dispute is successful, they might actually remove the entry from your credit report. Depending on the creditor and the severity of the error, this may not have a high chance of succeeding.

However, I’m one who always advocates for giving it a try. The worst that could happen is that the delinquency stays on your report the full seven years. So, why not try?

If the bureau finds that your dispute is unwarranted because the reported information is verified and determined to be accurate, they will simply remove the “in dispute” label. No further action will be taken.

If they are able to confirm the problem you identify, or if they fail to verify or validate the information that’s being reported, they are required to remove the disputed item from your record.

It’s certainly possible to dispute something online or even over the phone. However, it’s always a good idea to use certified mail and retain receipts in order to document what you sent and when you sent it. This will help you hold the bureau to the 30-day timeline required by law.

Ask Lex Law for Help

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What is a “Goodwill” adjustment?

A goodwill adjustment is when a creditor agrees to remove a late payment from your credit report as a show of “goodwill.” Note: Creditors may reward a request supported by one or more mitigating factors that contributed to the late payment, but are under no obligation to do so.

Goodwill adjustments can be tricky. This is because creditors must report everything accurately.

Some may argue that removing a late payment that was actually late could be false reporting. However, that’s not necessarily the case.

If the creditor decides to “believe you” when you tell them you sent the check in plenty of time, but must have gotten lost in the mail, they certainly have the right to determine that it wasn’t really a “late” payment as much as it was a “mishandled” payment.

Some excuses for having a late payment are going to be more convincing than others. However, it’s always worth a try.

There isn’t a true downside other than a small investment of time and/or resources. The upside, however, is significant. A successful removal can add several points to your credit score.

The best way to ask for a goodwill adjustment is to send a goodwill letter to the creditor. The most important thing to remember when writing a goodwill letter is that YOU are ultimately responsible for the late payment.

Take a conciliatory tone, and explain the circumstances with an emotional plea. Let them know you’ve learned from the situation, and that it won’t happen again.

A goodwill letter is more likely to work if you are asking them to remove a “first offense” late payment after a long history of on-time payments. If this is the latest in a long-established trend of late payments, it’s going to be much tougher to remove the negative entry from your report.

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How can I negotiate to have a late payment removed?

Some creditors might be more open to “reassessing” the circumstances surrounding your dispute or plea for a goodwill adjustment if you offer them some kind of incentive to take such action. The incentives can be wide-ranging, and would depend on your specific situation.

If you have a late payment in one of the first few months with a new creditor, you might be able to make a compelling case by offering to set up automatic payments. If you’re a new client with a late payment right out of the gate, your creditor might jump at the opportunity to set up automatic draws to “lock in” future payments.

If you suddenly came into some money through a large bonus or an inheritance, and you have a late payment on a long-standing account with a large monthly balance, you might consider offering to pay down a large portion or even the full amount of the outstanding debt in exchange for their agreement to remove the late payment.

Not all creditors will agree to these kinds of negotiations, but if you think strategically about what might interest the creditor in “making a deal,” this could be an option worth pursuing.

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Examples of creditors removing late payments?

Some creditors may be more receptive than others to goodwill letters, adjustments, or negotiations to remove negative entries. It can be immensely helpful to research your creditor & find out if others have had success removing their late payments with that company.

For instance, here’s a report from an individual who was able to remove their Capital One late payments via light negotiation.

Here’s another report from someone who disputed their Best Buy late payments with all three credit bureaus, and successfully had their marks removed.

Tip: pull up your favorite search engine and search “remove ‘Creditor’s Name’ late payments from credit report”. Keep an eye out for cases specific to the company you’re dealing with.

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Can I get some help with this?

Some of the methods I covered are quick and easy, but some of them require a fair amount of time and effort. If it starts to feel like your situation calls for more than what you are personally capable of handling, you may want to consider procuring the services of a quality credit repair company.

A good credit repair company can help you with any of these options, because they have experts that handle these issues each and every day. I’ve used credit repair companies to remove late payments from my report, and I’ve found them to be extremely helpful and well worth the cost.

There are several ways to attempt to remove late payments from your credit report, and it’s ultimately up to you to develop your plan and make it happen. Working to improve your credit always a worthwhile endeavor, regardless of how it all shakes out.

Sky Blue Credit Repair Review 2020

Bad credit can seriously harm your quality of life. After all, any negative items on your credit report can stay with you for years and prevent you from qualifying for any future loans or credit cards.

If you suffer from bad credit, finding a quality credit repair service company to assist your credit rebuilding process can seem daunting.

After researching for hours, pouring over past customer reviews, and chatting with firm representatives, our #1 rated credit repair company to aid with credit restoration is Sky Blue Credit Repair.

Sky Blue hits on all 3 of the key things we look for in a reputable company: credibility, ability to get results, and a clear pricing structure.

However, the company sets itself apart in 2 other areas:

  1. Truly exceptional customer service
  2. A 90 Day Guarantee

Have a look around, and you’ll quickly understand how rare it is to find a credit repair company scoring even ‘passable’ marks for their customer service, let alone ‘good’ or ‘great’.

Sky Blue’s customer care team is consistently described as: friendly, prompt, professional, and knowledgeable.

And there’s only one other well-known company in our research (The Credit People) offering a satisfaction (or your money back) guarantee. Sky Blue’s is 3 months – a game-changer.

To sign up with our top-ranked agency, visit Sky Blue’s website or call their number below:

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(888) 558-2814

Our ensuing in-depth review identifies a few of the company’s Pros and Cons, what Sky Blue can and cannot remove from your credit report, and how long the process might take.

What We Like

We’ve already covered a couple of the major things we like about Sky Blue: customer service and the 90-day guarantee.

But, there are plenty other key ‘pros’ to mention. We’ll start with the top 2, then continue on to the rest:

Sky Blue ranked #1 in our research of the best credit repair companies.

1. Top-Notch Customer Service

PreventLoanScams.org ranks Sky Blue as having the best customer service in the credit repair industry.

The firm holds a C- rating with the BBB (as of October 5, 2020).

Think most “free consultations” have strings attached? Not the case with this company.

Reviewers have reported the company being up-front when a potential customer’s credit situation is not necessarily bad enough to require professional help.

In these scenarios, the firm recommends certain steps the potential customer could take to alleviate their credit problems on their own (without paying Sky Blue a dime).

How often do you find a company willing to forgo profit in order to genuinely help a potential paying customer?

And, something we really like: the company has been known to call customers to notify them personally that they would no longer be charged, as Sky Blue has finished their work.

2. Condition-free 90-Day Guarantee

It’s difficult for a firm in this industry to offer a money-back promise at scale. For good reason: credit repair is a unique process from individual to individual.

In order for a firm to offer this level of protection to its new & potential customers, the company must be confident it can handle even the most complex repairs.

Sky Blue’s track record leaves little room to doubt their confidence–they have years of experience in score assistance and debt settlement.

And, the length of the guarantee (90 days) is exceptionally generous.

We asked if the company honors refund requests (in the event of customer dissatisfaction) for just the final month’s payment, or for the total balance paid to Sky Blue during a customer’s stay of 90 days or less.

The answer: Sky Blue refunds all monthly fee payments made, including the initial setup fee.

Bottom line, we’re recommending Sky Blue because it’s a beacon of a company in an industry filled with pitfalls.

However, in the event your credit situation doesn’t see improvement, the refund policy is a comfort you won’t be able to find among many other reputable credit repair companies.

Now, for the additional (less-exciting) advantages:

3. Credit Report Error Identification

Sky Blue Credit Repair works as follows:

  • Fill out their online form and get your federally-mandated free credit report.
  • A representative with the company personally identifies items for dispute on your credit report, whether judgments, charge-offs, or missed payments to name a few.

Many companies will require you to do the hard and complicated work of identifying erroneous or duplicate items on your credit report yourself.

Sky Blue does this for you and aims to find even the most subtle of inquiries.

4. Disputes Handled Internally

Sky Blue files disputes with the 3 major credit reporting bureaus (Transunion, Equifax, and Experian) without your intervention.

Disputing each inquiry yourself, while possible, can be a time-consuming and difficult process. Even more-so for complicated repair cases dealing with cease and desist letters.

Sky Blue does the heavy-lifting and will include your contact information for each dispute.

Meaning: you receive the direct responses from the credit bureaus, at no additional charge, rather than waiting on a company representative to forward the notices to you.

5. Speed

Sky Blue works at an exceptional pace.

The company will dispute up to 15 inquiries (five per bureau) every 35 days.

This is one of the quicker rates in the credit repair industry (while not absolutely inundating bureaus with removal requests, a tactic we would not recommend), putting you back on the path to your financial goals in shorter order.

6. Assistance & Education

Sky Blue helps customers find ways to improve their reports and boost their credit scores.

Lenders are often looking for specific items on your credit report, like delinquencies & missed payments, or the age of your credit history.

Sky Blue will help you find those things and help you remove the ones that are negative & inaccurate.

While the content in your credit report is important, many financial institutions only look at your score and nothing else. Sky Blue’s specific suggestions help you take action immediately.

7. Additional Services

The firm provides extra services as part of their overall package (at no extra charge), including:

  • Debt validation
  • Goodwill letters
  • Assistance negotiating with credit bureaus
  • Sign up with a second member, such as a spouse or partner, and they earn a 50% discount on the initial fee AND monthly service fees.

8. Customized Disputes

Most firms are known for sending ‘form mail’. In this case, every letter they send to a reporting bureau looks identical from customer-to-customer.

Sky Blue customizes its correspondence, disputes & re-dispute letters, based on your situation for all three major credit bureaus.

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(888) 558-2814

What We Don’t Like

There are a few downsides to keep in mind if you’re thinking of working with Sky Blue:

1. The ‘Basic’ Website

Say what you will, but most other well-known companies in this industry have a much more visually-appealing web presence.

We wouldn’t fault potential customers for picking another company based solely on web design (assuming they performed no additional research).

Sure, while a fancy website doesn’t necessarily mean an agency provides an exceptional service, a pleasing user experience goes a long with cus.

However, when you’re competing with firms like Lexington Law & CreditRepair.com with major marketing budgets, an agency like Sky Blue should be expected to put their best design-foot forward.

After all, which orange are you going to pick in the produce aisle – the one with a couple of brown-ish dents, or the pristine gem sitting right next to it?

2. Credit Repair can be a ‘DIY’ Endeavor

Don’t be told otherwise – you CAN DIY credit repair.

Hiring a credit repair agency is a means for cutting back on hassle & potential headaches, however, it is not a requirement for successful repairs.

If you choose to save the money, you can absolutely acquire your annual free credit report and start sending off debt validation letters to start the process.

It can be time-consuming as most collection companies aren’t exactly the easiest companies to deal with, however it can absolutely be done.

3. Additional Costs

The service itself is $79/month. Simple enough.

The company used to charge additional fees for credit report pulls or a monthly ‘Credit Monitoring’ service.

However, Sky Blue no longer requires the customer to pay extra for these extra services. They’ve officially done away with the “Additional Costs” we used to note as a negative in our review.

Note: It’s very likely you’ll need multiple report pulls during a credit repair program, if for nothing else than to observe potential improvement in your FICO score.

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Customer Reviews of Sky Blue Credit

Looking at customer reviews for any company can be a touch-and-go game.

Most people don’t log on to leave glowing reviews. In fact, most people are ready to pound out scathing reviews on platforms like Yelp or Google.

That said, Sky Blue has some great reviews and a well-reviewed profile with the Better Business Bureau, so they appear to be doing something right.

The Positive

Many customers of Sky Blue have logged on various review portals to share their experience working with the company and overall, the reviews are positive.

One customer noted a common refrain; his time is valuable to him and rolling up his sleeves to do the heavy research just wasn’t cost efficient.

Another customer reported Sky Blue actually refunded her money because their dispute process wasn’t likely to pan out in her favor. She notes that if circumstances change in the future, she will “definitely go back to them.”

A customer in Philadelphia noted that customer service was great and the representatives were very knowledgeable. Most importantly she never felt like she was being “pushed around.” This is critically important at a time when a credit repair company may be necessary.

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(888) 558-2814

The Negative

Some users did report issues, however. The company’s BBB profile displays two complaints, which deal with a lack of communication from the company and what appears to be false advertising.

On another site, a user reported that he did not believe the service was valuable because consumers could (possibly) do the work themselves.

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When to Use Sky Blue?

Deciding when to use a credit repair company can be a difficult decision.

It involves walking a fine line between paying for a service that may help at a time when you’re already pinching every penny.

The best time to give Sky Blue a call is after you’ve done a bit of your own research. Sit down and take a hard look at your credit report – are there lots of errors or items that shouldn’t be there?

If so, and you value your time (and in some cases your sanity), contact Sky Blue and see what they can do for you.

At best, you can repair your credit. At the worst, you won’t do any harm, will become better informed and will get your money back.

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What Can Be Removed From Your Credit?

It’s important to take a look at what Sky Blue can do to repair your credit, and what it can’t.

Having appropriate expectations before engaging any credit repair company is critical.

What Can Be Removed

  • False Debts/Accounts. If a company reported a debt that you don’t owe or opened an account in your name that isn’t yours, it shouldn’t be on your credit report.
  • False Inquiries. An inquiry can’t be on your credit report more than once, Sky Blue can help you remove any additional inquiries.
  • Accounts Older than Seven Years. Accounts that are past due, contain former charge-offs or in collections can only be on your credit report for seven years – after that, they must be removed.
  • Bankruptcies & Tax Liens. If you had to declare bankruptcy or have an unpaid tax lien, they must come off your report in ten years.

What Generally Cannot Be Removed

  • Actual Debts. Debtors are required to show evidence that you owe a debt. If they can do that, generally you cannot have the mark removed from your credit report.
  • Actual Inquiries. Same as above, if a company can show that you did give them permission to pull your credit, they are permitted to do so and are permitted to report that activity.

You should not attempt to dispute actual debts you owe or legitimate inquiries.

However, companies are required to provide evidence that you owe a debt or give authorization for the inquiry.

f they cannot do this, you could have the item removed from your report.

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How Does Sky Blue Repair Your Credit?

Sky Blue Credit Repair can help you navigate a very complicated area and help you get back on track.

Let’s talk a bit about how Sky Blue actually accomplishes that.

When you attain credit from companies, they are required to report your payment activity to the three major credit bureaus. Other companies who are considering issuing you credit can then adequately assess if it is appropriate to extend it to you.

Sky Blue Credit Repair will sift through your credit report, line-by-line, and flag items for you to dispute.

Then, they will submit dispute letters on your behalf. These letters inform the credit bureaus that you do not believe the item should appear on your report.

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How Much Does Sky Blue Cost?

Of course, the most important question is: how much does this cost?

  • $79 per month gets you everything that Sky Blue Credit Repair offers.
    • Couples pay a total of $119 per month (the couples’ discount=$39/month for the individual).
  • Sky Blue no longer requires extra fees for credit reports or monitoring. The company used to charge for three-bureau credit report pulls ($39.95 per pull) or monitoring service for your credit report ($14.95/month).

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What to Expect When Signing Up

First, you’ll sign up through their website with basic information.

You’ll get some simple instructions to follow on how you can get a three-bureau credit report, and forward it to them.

After Sky Blue receives your credit report, a representative will conduct a line-by-line review.

The rep will identify any derogatory marks on your report, as well as any questionable looking items that may be to your benefit to dispute. Finally, the results will be emailed to you in an easy-to-read format.

Additionally, Sky Blue will send you an email with some simple ways to build your credit score. These could be suggestions as simple as opening a new credit card account or more regularly using accounts you already have.

After you identify items for dispute, Sky Blue will challenge the items on your behalf to the three major credit bureaus. They will use your contact information so you can see the responses in real-time.

The company will also send customized re-dispute letters if the items are not changed.

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What Results Can We Expect from Sky Blue

So, what can you expect at the end of your time with Sky Blue Credit Repair?

One of two things.

First, the disputes and suggestions provided by Sky Blue will result in a cleaner credit report and potentially an overall increase in your credit score. This can take some time, but many of the reviews we’ve assessed have reported results within a few weeks or months.

On the other hand, Sky Blue may not be able to successfully remove items from your credit report. In this case, you will not have done any harm to your credit. And, you’ll be able to take advantage of their money back guarantee.

Our #1 Rated Company for cleaning up the errors on your report, and improving your credit score: Sky Blue

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(888) 558-2814

Who is Sky Blue Credit Repair?

Sky Blue Credit Repair is a comprehensive, easy-to-use, fee-based credit dispute service headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida.

Where Are They Located?

It operates in all 50-states and the District of Columbia helping consumers straighten and strengthen their credit report.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does Sky Blue Offer a Guarantee?

The company offers a 90-day 100% money-back guarantee.

Sky Blue will refund the entire price paid if, for any reason, the consumer is not satisfied with the service.

Is it Possible for Deleted Items to Reappear on Your Credit Report After Working With Sky Blue?

It’s important to remember that deleted items from your credit report can be reinserted.

Also, items can be removed if they are expired, incorrect, or duplicate. So if the items do not necessarily meet these guidelines they can be reinserted.

If they are, the credit bureau must explain to you why it reinserted the item within five days.

How Long Does the Company Take to Repair Your Credit?

The amount of time Sky Blue takes to repair your credit really can vary on your credit report and how long it takes for each credit bureau to respond to your disputes.

The company is able to dispute 15 inquiries (five per bureau) every 35 days. That’s very quick.

Additionally, it’s important to remember the responsibility of ensuring the process goes quickly and falls somewhat on your shoulders, too. Reviewing documents and answering correspondence from the firm in a timely manner is critical.

What are Sky Blue’s Hours?

Sky Blue is ready to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week through their online form. Company representatives are also available via phone.

What is Sky Blue’s Phone Number?

1-888-899-6241.

How to Cancel Your Sky Blue Membership?

Simply call and cancel any time.

Sky Blue will refund your money if you are dissatisfied & still within the 90-day refund window.

Sky Blue Credit Repair Review
Rating: 9.7 out of 10