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How we rate credit repair companies?
We have developed the most sophisticated rating process of credit repair companies ever developed. When you see other websites out there that are ranking or rating credit repair companies you have to be careful. First of all every website we have ever seen that ranks credit repair companies the people at the top are paying that website to be up there. You are not really getting true reviews. Many of the websites are just affiliate programs that rank the credit repair companies based on how much they get paid for getting a lead out of that. Many websites that rank credit repair companies actually do not have much experience with credit repair companies and what to look for at all. There are a wide range of credit repair companies that offer a wide range of services and what to look for in these companies is not the same as your typical evaluation of companies who offer services. Our ratings are determined by a board of some of the top credit experts in the country.
Here are the things we consider in our rating and what we consider about them.
1. Results: The most important thing is results. What credit repair company can get you the best results? This is researched by a number of factors including their experience, what type of programs they offer, consumer reviews, reviews from lenders, and much more. The number 1 factor consumers look for is who can really get results. Of course every credit repair company out there says they can get results and they are the best, but we have done the research for you.
2. Experience: Experience and how that experience is applied is very important. It is important to note that experience doesn’t always mean how long you have been in business or how many clients you have. What kind of experience do the people working on your credit actually have and what kind of knowledge to they have? There are thousands of credit repair companies around the country all with smooth talking sales people who can tell you why they are the best, but many of them are actually very inexperienced. Due to the economic recession and housing market collapse many consumers’ credit reports have suffered and the amount of credit reports with inaccuracies on them have soared to all-time highs. This is why there are so many new credit repair companies popping up as people are seeing an opportunity, but many of them do not understand the laws governing credit reporting at all. We look into the principals and employees of the business and find out what experience they have that will contribute to you achieving results!
3. Types of programs offered: There are many different types of credit repair programs and with so many popping up most of them offer a program that is just simple disputes based on form letters. This type of program will yield the least amount of results it is something a consumer would just utilize out of convenience and not expect the highest level of results. As much as the FTC and the credit reporting agencies would like you to think it is easy to repair your credit yourself if you have inaccurate items on your credit report many times that is just not the case. Credit reporting agencies, creditors, and collection companies all make mistakes and they don’t always do what they are supposed to. Many consumers find themselves lost and frustrated with the entire process. This is where it goes back to experience. What experience do these credit repair companies have with the credit reporting agencies, creditors, and collection companies? Do they know the laws? What are they doing to keep the credit reporting agencies, creditors, and collection companies accountable for their mistakes? This is where it comes down to experience and how it is applied so you can get the best results! Another important part to ask is whether they offering credit education on how to build positive credit and how to understand your credit. We have been to many credit repair company websites that have basic credit information that is completely incorrect on their website and this actually spreads a lot of the misinformation about credit even more. A credit repair company should be offering you credit education so you don’t just get a “quick fix” on your credit report, but you can sustain good credit forever! As well they should also be offering a credit report evaluation before enrolling in their services and it is in our opinion that it should be free of charge. They should see your credit report to see if you do in fact have inaccuracies that they can help you with and be able to let you know what they can do.
4. Pricing/Value: This is where many consumers and many ranking companies make mistakes. We don’t rank on pricing we rank on value to the consumer. You have probably heard “you get what you pay for” and many times that is true. What we have down is taken the pricing, the flexibility to fit into consumer’s budgets, and combined that with the results and what comes with the product to assess the value for the consumer. The cheapest company is usually cheap because they cut corners and do not offer the best services, however this doesn’t mean a more expensive credit repair is better just because they charge more. We have done all this research for you as utilizing the services of a credit repair company should be looked at as an investment. If you are looking to finance a home or a car, lower you insurance rates, interest rates, or get a better job you should always save more than you will ever invest in a good credit repair company that does their job! We have done that research for you!
5. Guarantee: What type of guarantee does the credit repair company have and what is in the fine print of that guarantee? This is very important as we have found that many credit repair companies do not offer much of a guarantee. We have found that many take the approach as if they were doctors performing a surgery or lawyers representing you that you are paying for a service as opposed for results. We believe if they can get you good results they should back it up with some form of a guarantee to protect you if they do nothing for you. Specific items should not be guaranteed for removal and an account must be inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable according to FCRA to get it removed. Some companies have started doing a “pay for deletion” or “pay per delete” credit repair model where you pay for what is deleted, but from our research it is a great marketing tactic, but most companies with experience could not operate this way. Whatever the guarantee if any the credit repair company has we factor that into our ratings.
6. Reputation/Reviews: A company’s reputation is very important, but what most people don’t take into account when looking at reviews or reputation is how long that company has been in business, how many clients does the company have, what type of complaints are they, when were the complaints made, and what was done by the company to resolve them. Most credit repair companies will have positive and negative reviews out there and if they do not the chances are they haven’t been in business very long or do not have a lot of clients. No matter how much a credit repair companies tries there will always be unsatisfied clients. This is why we analyze any complaint or review and weigh in the previous scoring factors as well to determine the seriousness and validity of the complaint along with how many others they have and for what reasons. We then have done our research to find out about how many clients they have to determine if that is a “fair” number based on the amount of clients they had. You may see one credit repair company with 2 complaints and another with 50 complaints and many would assume that the company with 2 is much better. However, that company with 2 complaints could have 10 clients and the company with 50 complaints may have over 10,000 clients. Despite having 50 complaints on the internet (depending on the type of complaint, when it was filed, and how the company might have attempted to resolve it) this company might actually be a good company. This is where we would factor everything together and do the extensive research on this credit repair company for you. One thing we do not look at or recommend when determining which credit repair company you are choosing is the Better Business Bureau. The BBB has a different chapter in almost every major city or geographical area and they are all individually operated. The BBB has not been willing or able to conform to a single policy across the board when reviewing credit repair companies. Some chapters of the BBB will allow credit repair companies to be members and some will not. Some chapters of the BBB give credit repair companies an automatic “F” rating particularly if they have deemed them to be an advanced fee company by the BBB. However, the BBB has been unwilling to agree with legal precedent on what advanced fees are. With this being said can’t recommend considering the BBB for any type of evaluation of a credit repair company. We will look at complaints on the BBB as well as any other site and evaluate them for you combined with all of our other factors to let you know our opinion!
7. Time of program: We factor this is with pricing and all of the other categories, but time of program is important. Some credit repair companies may get you significant results early on in the program, but don’t listen to companies guaranteeing you a quick fix. Individual results will vary from consumer to consumer. Repairing your credit can take time and your participation in the program will be very important towards you getting good results. Some companies do only a limited amount of disputes at a time as well which only prolongs your program. They may do this in order to give you what seems like a lower price than their competition, but when you end up in the program for much longer you will end up paying more and will usually get less results, which will end up costing you more. As well for programs that do reach a certain point it is important to know if they are changing up their process as if they are just continuing to do disputes to the credit reporting agencies over and over the credit reporting agencies will flag these and will consider them frivolous and will not continue to investigate. In this case you would still be paying the credit repair company, but not be getting any more results.
8. Website Security: This is only factored in if the credit repair company has an online sign up process or a process in which personal information will be shared online. Many credit repair companies do not offer the online sign up process and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Most companies you can sign an agreement with using docusign or some other similar electronic signature process, but we don’t ever recommend signing up with a company whom you have not spoken with and has not done credit report evaluation for you.
9. Compliance: Compliance is very important and there are many credit repair companies that are not compliance with state and/or federal laws. The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) establishes federal guidelines regarding credit repair companies and many companies have state laws as well. It is important to make sure any company you are dealing with is operating compliant with these laws. A credit repair company may not charge “upfront” fees so it should be outlined in their agreement what they are doing before they charge and it must comply with the law. There are also requirements of the credit repair company’s contract. If we are able to obtain a copy of the credit repair company’s contract we will review this for compliance as well.