Categories

Credit Repair

Is It Wise to Hire a Credit Repair Company?

Dear Experian,

Is it wise to hire a credit repair company?

- DVL

Dear DVL,

You don't need to hire a company to help you fix your credit. Credit repair companies charge substantial fees to dispute information in your credit report on your behalf, but you can dispute inaccurate information quickly and easily for free by using Experian's online Dispute Center. You can also submit disputes over the phone or by mail.

There is nothing a credit repair company can do for you that you can't do for yourself for free.

How Can I Dispute Information on My Credit Report?

If you haven't already done so, we recommend getting a free copy of your Experian credit report so you can see what's being reported. If you see information reported that you believe is inaccurate, the quickest way to submit a dispute is online.

Be specific about why the item is inaccurate and include any documentation you may have that supports your dispute. If you're disputing by mail, please send copies of your supporting documents and keep the originals.

Once your dispute is received, Experian will contact your lender to notify them of your dispute and ask them to double check their records. Depending on what they find, they'll make changes as necessary. The dispute process can take up to 30 days, but you will often have your results sooner than that.

How Can I Improve my Credit?

The most important factor in credit scores is your payment history, so making all your payments on time is key to having good credit scores. If you've had credit difficulties in the past, bringing any past-due accounts current and paying off any collection accounts or charge-offs is a good first step.

The second most important factor is your credit utilization, which is calculated by taking the total of all your credit card balances and dividing that number by the total of all your credit limits. The lower your utilization rate, the better for your credit scores, so paying down or paying off your credit card balances can help your credit scores.

You also should consider ordering your free FICO® Score from Experian. Getting your credit score is important because with it you will receive a list of the top factors negatively impacting your credit scores, known as risk factors. When you work on addressing your risk factors, you'll be working toward improving your credit scores also.

Finally, consider signing up for Experian Boost . Adding your on-time utility, cellphone and streaming service payments to your credit history can boost your score right away.

Thanks for asking.
Jennifer White, Consumer Education Specialist