Credit repair specialists claim they can help you improve your credit score. Some companies make claims about being able to raise your score by a certain number of points. While there's no guarantee your credit score can be "fixed," usually there are things that will improve it. But, do you need credit repair specialists to do it?
The whole concept of credit repair may not have that much meaning to you. It depends on whether or not there are mistakes on your credit report. Some of the time, repairing your credit is simply a matter of paying off old debts as quickly as possible.
If there are no errors on your credit report, there's not much to challenge. Repair specialists can't do much with credit reports that are entirely accurate. So if your bad credit is really because of accurate information, a specialist isn't going to be able to help you.
The older the bad marks like late payments and charge-offs become, the more your score should improve. Eventually, those marks will fall off your credit report entirely and your score will improve drastically.
If you settle a credit card debt for a percentage of the balance owed, for instance, that will help your credit. But it might not help it right away. As that charge-off ages it's not considered as important in your credit score. After it's over a year old you'll see an improvement.
You should see even more improvement after a problem is over two years old. And it should fall out of your scoring completely after 7 years. For this kind of credit problem, credit repair specialists can't do much. Though some will counsel you about the best way to pay off old debts and handle your credit to avoid future problems.
There are three major credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. They can all have slightly different reports and scores for you. It's important to check them to make sure they're accurate.
You're entitled to a free report from each of them each 12 months or after you're turned down for credit. If there are errors on one or more of these reports, then you might be able to benefit from someone who's experienced in credit repair.
Experts are used to handling the paperwork and the dispute process that's required by the credit reporting agencies. It may be easier for you to get a bad mark that's inaccurate removed from your report with help.
You should be aware that you can do all this yourself without hiring anyone. All you have to do is follow the rules and procedures put down by the credit reporting agencies. But if you're hesitant or unsure about how to handle it, credit repair specialists can handle these agencies for you and help you fix mistakes.