Even those with the best financial intentions can find themselves with less than great credit. A few missed payments or a jump in your credit utilization due to an unexpected expense can be enough to lower your score and hurt your credit. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry – restoring your credit can be at your fingertips.
A credit recovery can make all the difference. Use Benzinga’s list of great credit recovery services and our credit recovery tips to get started on the road to financial recovery.
Best Credit Recovery
Recovering your credit on your own can feel like an uphill battle. Seek the help of a professional credit monitoring service can keep you on track.
Best for Credit Education: CreditRepair.com
CreditRepair.com offers credit recovery and education. Checking your credit score is free when you sign up with CreditRepair.com. Once you have a good idea of where you stand, CreditRepair.com will challenge any questionable negative points on your report.
The platform asks creditors to verify all items they report. Legally, if a comment cannot be verified, the creditor must stop reporting and can be removed from your credit report.
Once every potentially false negative comment has been investigated and removed if applicable, CreditRepair.com will continue to monitor your credit report. When or if other issues arise, CreditRepair.com will help you resolve them.
CreditRepair.com offers more than just credit recovery. It also has a solid stock of financial and credit skills resources. You’ll find easy-to-understand lessons (with great graphics for those of us who do better with visuals) on everything from understanding your score to improving it. These tools are accessible to anyone with a CreditRepair.com account.
Call CreditRepair.com or visit the website today for a free 10 minute credit analysis.
Cost: $ 99.95 per month for the most advanced coverage; basic and medium coverage available
Best for Multiple Debt Solutions: American Debt Enders
American Debt Enders (ADE) will pair you with individual affiliate debt relief programs, depending on your unique financial situation.
You can find nonprofit debt consolidation, debt settlement, credit recovery and bankruptcy services through ADE, along with advice on credit recovery.
Credit recovery advice at ADE is free. Professionals will help you identify the exact type of credit assistance you need and put you in touch with the right types of financial experts. You are under no obligation to follow their recommendations, so it is well worth trying it out.
Cost: Varies per service
Best for Attorney-Backed Credit Repair: Lexington Law
No one, not even the usually intimidating creditor or debt collection agency, wants to be accountable to a lawyer. Lexington Law use this to your advantage.
Even 1 false negative comment can hurt your credit, so identifying, disputing and removing errors in your report is crucial. Using every possible legal standard, Lexington Law professionals will negotiate with the credit bureaus to remove or correct false or inaccurate information on your behalf.
Lexington Law can also help negotiate with creditors, even accounts for which you are responsible. You get access to personal credit coaching and tailor-made credit recovery programs.
Lexington Law offers 3 packages: Concord Standard, Concord Premium and Premium Plus. Premium Plus is their most popular account; it offers comprehensive credit monitoring and recovery, along with identity protection and financial resources.
Cost: $ 89.85 to $ 129.95; choose from basic coverage, medium coverage or advanced coverage
Best Mobile App: Credit Karma
Credit Karma is a free personal financial service with an emphasis on credit health. You will have constant and consistent access to up-to-date information about your credit report. Credit Karma also offers targeted credit recovery recommendations with small, segmented steps.
A word of caution, because Credit Karma only gets its information from 2 of the 3 major credit reporting bureaus, your displayed credit score or other metrics may not be as accurate as they could be. So, use Credit Karma to get a general idea of where you stand and what actions you can take, but keep in mind that your score may differ from what’s shown.
If you need an accurate picture of your score, it is best to give your annual free report or use a service that calculates your score based on all 3 credit bureaus.
Why good credit is important
Should You Really Worry About Your Credit? It’s well worth it to stay in shape. There are many instances where you will benefit from good credit. Lenders should not let you borrow if you have bad credit. If they do, your shaky credit history could cost you money. You pay higher interest rates, have to adhere to stricter conditions and more.
Lenders aren’t the only people or companies checking your credit, either. Landlords can (and do) screen credit when considering tenants. A potential employer can scan your credit to assess your trustworthiness.
In fact, a bad credit score can prevent you from turning on utilities, such as electricity, on your behalf without paying a large down payment. In short, if you have bad credit, you not only limit your access in many areas, but it can also cost you money, doubling the negative impact on your day-to-day life.
Tips for Improving Your Credit
While it can’t be fixed overnight, small, deliberate actions and habit changes will put you on the right track. The following are proven credit recovery methods increase your score and improve your credit.
1. Review and review your credit report
This may seem obvious, but in the hustle and bustle of the day, things like this can get lost in the shuffle. Your creditworthiness takes work to maintain, and you cannot do the work if you are not aware of your creditworthiness and the factors that affect it. Your credit report may contain unfairly dragging it down or unpaid balances that you were unaware of.
2. Have good payment habits
Your payment history makes up 35% of your FICO score. The best way to build a good payment history is to make your payments on time every time. Do not miss a payment or be late. If you’re struggling to keep track of your monthly payments, auto-pay is your friend. Just make sure you pay enough for your balance each month.
3. Lower your credit utilization
The credit percentage you use determines your credit usage. In general, you want to keep the total credit utilization and with every line of credit you have below 30%.
The smartest way to cut your credit usage is usually through your credit card balances and other applicable debts (some debts, such as installment plans, have a rigid repayment term).
If you know that you can handle it responsibly, or if you know that you will benefit from entering into a relationship with a new creditor, you can also increase your overall credit limit. This can be done by opening a new credit card and keeping the balance low or through debt consolidation with a loan.
4. Diversify your credit, but maintain established relationships
This is a type of double-edged sword. Having a good mix of credit types (installment plans, revolving credit, and the like) reflects a beneficial impact on your credit score. However, you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew with more credit than you can afford. Plus, any new credit application can hurt your score, so handle this with caution.
Also, don’t close an older credit card when you open a new one. Your credit age is the average length of time that you have had a positive relationship with all of your creditors. Older accounts in good standing help this, while closing older accounts and having too many new ones can cause it to fail. If you find a better card, don’t cut ties with companies you have a history with.
Take control of your credit now
Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to restoring your credit. Knowing where you stand is the first step, so don’t be afraid to face your score, no matter how bad you think it is. A professional credit repair service can help you check and improve your credit. They will work for you with disputes or outline which targeted actions you can take to improve your score.
Contact one of our recommended credit repair experts to take the first step toward better credit today.