How long should you stay with a credit repair company?

In general, it takes three to six months for credit repair to resolve all the disputes that the average consumer needs to make. Of course, if you only have a few mistakes to fix or if you repair your credit every year, it may not take that long; it may be over in a little over a month. Unfortunately, there is no quick way to repair or fix your credit. The time it takes to rebuild your credit history depends on the severity of your credit problems and how your credit history is affected.

It could take only a few months, or it could require several years of commitment. In either case, there are steps you can start taking right away to help get your credit back on track. To hear Steve Weisman tell it, credit repair is part police work and part legal experience. Although it may not qualify as an episode of NCIS, Weisman, who is a leading lawyer, university professor and one of the country's leading experts on cybersecurity, identity theft and scams, paints a picture of a process similar to a criminal investigation.

In this case, the crime involves false information that harms you and your credit. Weisman, author of 50 Ways to Protect Your Identity and Your Credit, accessed an exclusive interview with Investopedia on the topic of credit repair, including how to find and hire the right credit repair agency or even whether to try to repair your credit on your own. Credit reporting agencies are required by law to investigate error claims and respond within 30 days of receiving notice from someone attempting to fix your credit report; however, sometimes this period may be extended if credit reporting agencies require more information or documentation to complete your research. It's not unusual for credit repair to take many months to complete.

Legitimate negative items can't be removed through credit repair disputes, so you may simply have to wait for them to pass. They have no more power or authority to do so than individuals, but some people prefer credit repair companies to do the work for them. There are hundreds of credit scores, but the two most common credit scoring models are created by FICO and VantageScore. However, if you keep your credit card balances low and make all of your payments on time in the future, your credit score should continue to improve and you can eventually get that house.

Whenever something changes on your credit report, that's when you usually recalculate your credit score, Grant says. After your payment history, your current credit usage is one of the most important credit rating factors. This is where the credit repair service asks you for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service, which has the same number of digits as a Social Security number. The views expressed here are solely those of the author, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

A federal law, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), governs how long certain negative items can stay on your credit reports. Rebuilding your credit can take anywhere from days to years, it all depends on what is hurting your credit. To determine if a credit repair company is legitimate, you should check with the FTC to see if any complaints or legal action has been filed against you. How long it will take to get a good credit score will depend on where you start from, what kind of negative information is on your credit report, and how quickly you can pay off the debt.

Paying your credit cards can quickly lower your utilization rate, making it a great option for credit repair, but it's not always financially feasible. In addition, many credit cards now offer free FICO score tracking, especially those designed to help you build credit. Unfortunately, bankruptcy won't improve your credit score, stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, and even when you're gone, many lenders will ask you if you've ever filed for bankruptcy as part of the loan application process and will use it as a reason for not approving a loan. For those people, hiring a credit repair company can be beneficial and convenient, although convenience comes at a price.

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Kristie Bocklage
Kristie Bocklage

Bacon specialist. Total travel practitioner. Total tv evangelist. General twitter scholar. Subtly charming travel aficionado.

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