The Truth About Credit Repair

Credit repair may seem like a complex concept at first blush. But that’s often because several misconceptions cloud the reality of the process and the potential for results.

The truth about credit repair is that it isn’t as complicated as you might have been led to believe. And if you’ve read negative reviews about credit repair it’s important to note that the quality of your experience is often equal to the quality of the service provider you work with. 

These myths can be damaging if they end up preventing someone from repairing their bad credit and improving their personal financial situation—especially if that person is you!

    Call now for a FREE consultation
    CALL 844-639-6956

    To help, let’s explore the real truth about credit repair and what some of the most common misconceptions are.

    Truth: Credit repair is about your credit report, not score

    This is a fundamental fact to credit repair: The process is concentrated on your credit report, not your credit score. Believe it or not, your report and your score are two separate things. Whatever happens with your score is an outcome of actions taken to repair your report.

    The main thing to know here is that credit repair is focused on making sure your report is:

    • 100% accurate.
    • Fair.
    • Entirely substantiated.

    That means the credit repair process is more about going through your report with a fine-tooth comb to find inaccurate information and attempt to resolve the situation.

    Myth: Your credit score will jump immediately

    Credit repair is not a magic pill for your credit score. While it is a proven strategy for addressing bad credit, it won’t improve your credit right away. Typically, those who may be dissatisfied with the results or timeline of credit repair are looking at their scores every day and expecting it to increase.

    A little patience is needed with credit repair; as with many other good things, results come in time. 

    When a mistake or error is found on your credit report, the next step is to dispute the inaccurate negative item with a credit reporting agency. Once a dispute is lodged with a credit bureau, the reporting agency has 30 days, and in some cases 45 days to respond. It may correct or remove the negative item at the end of that time, but the impact to your credit score will still take some time to show.

    A general rule of thumb with credit repair is that you can expect results to appear in around six months. Sometimes it may be longer, especially if you are disputing several aspects of your credit report.

    Additionally, there may be other elements to a poor credit score that may be holding you back, and which credit repair alone cannot fix. For awareness, the five factors of a credit score are:

    1. Payment history.
    2. Utilization.
    3. Account mix.
    4. Hard inquiries.
    5. Age of accounts.

    Truth: You can try to repair your credit yourself 

    DIY credit repair is possible without the help of an outside credit repair company. The process includes a few steps, which consumers can complete on their own if they choose:

    • Auditing the credit report for mistakes.
    • Disputing errors with a credit bureau.
    • Taking next steps to further analyze or build credit.

    While you can do this all yourself, the effort and time required are immense. The actual mechanics of credit repair—like writing a dispute letter—can be time-consuming and call for expertise. Some may have the time and resources to get the job done on their own, but others may not benefit from such advantages. Or, they may not have the experience in disputing major credit report errors.

    Myth: Credit repair companies are a scam

    This is a particularly damaging myth, as the services of a reputable credit repair company are invaluable to the process. The key word in that phrase is of course “reputable.” And there’s a simple way for sussing out the credit repair scams from the rest of the market, which largely consists of effective and trustworthy credit repair companies.

    It’s essential that you do some research on the credit repair companies you’re considering working with and ensure it follows the guidelines of the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA). This consumer protection regulation “prohibits untrue or misleading representations and requires certain affirmative disclosures in the offering or sale of credit repair services.”

    There are a couple key consumer protections the CROA enshrines:

    • You can’t be asked for upfront payment before the company provides a service.
    • You are entitled to receive all contracts in writing.
    • You have certain cancellation rights the company must notify you of.

    While the CROA regulates what credit repair services can and can’t do, you still have a role to play in researching which firm is the best option. 

    Consider asking these questions:

    • Does the company care about personal aspects of my story?
    • Are they transparent about the process?
    • Will they update me on progress and ask me to collaborate?

    These answers will help shape your final decision. Before you get there, however, start with our reviews of reputable, results-driven services like Lexington Law and

    Get a Free Credit Consultation Today!

    Lexington Law Logo

    Finally, be wary of any company that offers you a guarantee of results. This is a major credit repair red flag to be on the lookout for, as well as an unlawful practice.

    Truth: Credit report mistakes are common

    The reason why credit repair can be so intensive is that credit report mistakes are quite common. One study from the Federal Trade Commission found 5% of Americans had a credit report mistake that could negatively affect their score. 

    Most consumers want to trust that their credit report is fair and accurate, and sometimes assume so. But credit reporting agencies aren’t perfect and errors can slip through. Some mistakes are attributable to the creditor.

    On a deeper level, inaccurate information from your credit report can be more difficult to see from a consumer’s perspective. For example, duplicate accounts, incorrect inquiries and inaccurate accounts can all be present on a credit report. Without addressing these errors, or even knowing they exist, consumers may be unable to build their credit regardless of what they do on their own.

    The experience of a reputable credit repair company can help bring these inconsistencies to light, as they know what to look for. reported that in 2018, the average customer they worked with challenged 28 credit report items.

    Myth: Credit repair can remove correct negative items

    All that said, no amount of credit repair can lead to the removal of a correct negative item on your credit report. After all, the point of credit repair is to identify and dispute incorrect or inaccurate information from your credit report. 

    If a certain item is substantiated and verified by the responsible credit bureau, then credit repair is not the solution. Some may come into the credit repair process with this expectation that it can be a cure-all, even for negative items. If negative information is correct and affecting your score, supplementary strategies like debt validation may be needed. 

    Truth: You can do more to build credit

    Credit repair is best leveraged when you take action on your own part to build credit. Remember those five factors that comprise a credit score? Each of those is partly within your control as a consumer, and it may take some new lifestyle choices or spending habits to make poor credit history. For example:

    • Always make timely payments. If you need to, set alarms on your personal devices, circle dates on a kitchen calendar or just enroll in autopay. Many organizations grant a small discount for automatic bill pay, additionally.
    • Don’t open too many new accounts at once or in a short span of time. This could act in a doubly negative way. Each account you open will come with a hard inquiry while also reducing the average age of your accounts. 
    • Keep your credit utilization around 30%. This refers to the amount of your credit balance that you use or owe on. Accessing too much of your credit can be damaging to your score and make it harder to pay off debts.

    Looking for even more ideas? Check out some of our free, easy-to-use tips and tools.

    Visit today for more information about credit repair

    The most important truths to remember about credit repair are that it’s not a scam, it can improve your credit score in time and there are many services available to help you take control of your credit situation. In addition, these companies may be able to provide further credit analysis, next steps and credit monitoring to help you improve your situation.

    Interested in learning more about the nuances of credit repair and which are the most reputable companies to work with? Visit our resource page for all things credit repair for more information about the process and how to get in touch with effective and trustworthy services.

    [Disclosure: and are both owned by the same company, Progrexion Holdings Inc. John C. Heath, Attorney at Law, PC, d/b/a Lexington Law Firm is an independent law firm that uses Progrexion as a provider of business and administrative services.]

    You Might Also Like

    Why does the credit repair industry exist? It’s actually pretty... Read More

    March 16, 2021

    Credit Repair

    Two people reviewing paperwork about how to pay collections
    When you’re trying to conquer unpaid debts sent to collections,... Read More

    March 16, 2021

    Credit Repair

    A smiling person in a busy cafe works on their laptop
    Do-it-yourself projects are so popular, the market for them could... Read More

    March 16, 2021

    Credit Repair receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them. Compensation is not a factor in the substantive evaluation of any product.

    Hello, Reader!

    Thanks for checking out We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

    Our People

    The editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline,, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

    Our Reporting

    We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

    The editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

    In addition to appearing on, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

    Our Business Model’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

    Visitors to are also able to register for a free account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

    Your Stories

    Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    - The Editorial Team