Your personal credit score has a big impact on your ability to qualify for a business loan and the interest rates you’ll have to pay on the financing you obtain. To get the most favorable rates, you will generally need a FICO score of at least 650.
If your credit has taken a hit because of some late payments, identity theft, divorce, or other reasons, a good credit repair service can help you improve your credit score. In this article, we compare 3 of the leading credit repair companies and give you our top picks for small business owners.
Best Credit Repair Company for Small Business Owners: MyCreditGroup
MyCreditGroup, which has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and excellent customer reviews, has helped over 10,000 people improve their credit scores. They are our top pick overall because their services go well beyond basic dispute letters. They will also help you raise your score through debt negotiation and settlement and establishment of new credit lines.
Best “Budget” Credit Repair Company: Sky Blue Credit Repair
For business owners on a budget, Sky Blue offers basic credit repair services, primarily dispute filings, for less than what the other leading companies charge. They also get excellent customer reviews.
Best Credit Repair Company for Complicated Credit Histories: Lexington Law
For business owners with a complicated credit history, Lexington Law is a good option. They have attorneys and paralegals on staff who will analyze your credit report and score, answer your questions, and file disputes for you. For complicated cases, the attorneys may be able to rely on federal and state laws to your benefit.
MyCreditGroup vs. Sky Blue Credit Repair vs. Lexington Law
Credit report &
plan to improve
on credit report
Help in opening
new credit lines
to boost credit
& score analysis
to improve score
on credit report
Credit report &
plan to improve
on credit report
*Only in premium
plan of $99.95/month
$59 initial fee & $59 monthly after that
$99.95 initial fee & $79.95 - $99.95 monthly after that
about 15 disputes
every 35 days)
Phone and email
support and online account mgmt
Phone and email support only
Phone, email, and live chat support and online account mgmt
Refund available for the month only if services aren’t completed
100 % refund if you’re not happy with the service within 90 days
Refund available for the month only if services
Why We Chose MyCreditGroup as the Best Credit Repair Service for Small Businesses
MyCreditGroup is our pick for the top personal credit repair company because they have provide a completely comprehensive range of services for a relatively low price. Their monthly fee of $79 is just $20 higher than what our recommended budget option–Sky Blue–charges, but you get a lot more bang for your buck.
MyCreditGroup will do the basic things that most credit repair companies do, including reviewing your credit report, analyzing your score, and filing disputes to have errors removed. But they will go a step further by negotiating and settling debt on your behalf with creditors and collection agencies. They even try to arrange pay-for-deletes, where a collection agency will delete the collection item from your credit report for payment of a negotiated amount. This can lower the amount of money you owe and raise your credit score.
On top of their wide range of services, MyCreditGroup receives excellent customer reviews and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. They are the only company of the three we reviewed to have BBB accreditation.
Sky Blue Credit Repair: Best for “No Frills” Credit Repair
If debt isn’t a big problem for you, and you need just basic credit repair services, Sky Blue Credit Repair is a good affordable option. For an initial $59 fee and $59 per month after that, Sky Blue will analyze your credit report & score, develop a personalized plan to improve your score, and dispute errors on your credit report.
Established in 1989, Sky Blue has the most experience of the three companies in helping people improve their credit scores. They also offer the most generous money back guarantee also. For 90 days, you can get your money back if you’re unhappy with the results or the service.
There are some downsides. If you need debt management assistance, Sky Blue is not the place for you. Also, Sky Blue doesn’t offer online account management, so you cannot easily track the progress that your account rep is making on your behalf (the company says this feature is in the works).
Lexington Law: Best for Complex Credit Histories
Lexington Law is a consumer protection law firm that also provides credit repair services. The largest of the three provides, Lexington Law fixed more than 7 million credit errors in 2014 alone!
Since they are a law firm, Lexington Law has several consumer protection attorneys and paralegals on staff. After you sign up with the firm, you will be assigned a team of paralegals who you can call, email, or live chat with if you have questions. You can also track the progress on your credit file online.
While most people don’t require legal staff or legal assistance to rebuild their credit history, some may have a difficult or complicated credit background. In those cases, Lexington Law may be a good choice because, according to Randy Padawer, Consumer Education Specialist at the company, “Lexington Law invokes a larger legal buffet” than competitors. The attorneys on staff can dig deep into a client’s credit problems and leverage relevant federal and state statutes to help clients whose credit may have been impacted by medical issues, divorce, military service, identity theft, etc.
Lexington Law gets pretty good reviews, but not as positive as Sky Blue or MyCreditGroup’s. Part of this is due simply to the fact that they are larger than the other two companies and take on more clients.
Is a Credit Repair Company Worth the Money?
Credit repair companies often get a bad rap for ripping off customers. There unfortunately are many shady services out there that make false promises and overcharge customers, which makes it difficult to separate the good companies from the bad apples.
Even a legitimate credit repair company can’t help every person with bad credit. Negative but accurate information on a credit report can’t legally be removed, so the main situation in which a credit repair company can help you is if you have a lot of errors on your report.
When Credit Repair Companies Can and Can’t Help:
A credit repair company won’t be of much help if your credit report is littered with negative but accurate information. Bob (not actual name), an attorney and law firm owner who asked to remain anonymous, said he used Lexington Law a decade ago to boost his credit. The service didn’t help him, he says. “They just sent out letters claiming lates/charge-offs weren’t accurate. The credit bureaus removed the negative items for 30 days while they looked into the issue and then the negative items came back onto the report once the creditor confirmed the negative activity.”
On the other hand, if there are genuine errors on your credit report, a credit repair company can help you navigate the system and gets those errors removed. Becky Blanton, a writer and TED Global speaker on homelessness, used Lexington Law and saw her credit score go up by 40 points in 2 months. “There’s a lot of letter writing, date tracking, follow-up and information you need to know to do it yourself. Lexington Law simply has that system in place and does it well.” Lexington Law helped Blanton dispute debt that wasn’t hers and bills that went into collections even though they had already been paid.
The time it takes to see results depends on your credit history. You could begin seeing results in 1-2 months, but most credit repair companies suggest that you remain in their program for 3-6 months to see the biggest improvement in your score.
If You Want to Repair Your Credit Yourself
Anything that a credit repair service charges you for, you can do yourself for free. For instance, you can get free access to your credit report, free access to your credit score, and dispute errors for free.
The value add of a credit repair company is the time (and stress) they will save you by contacting creditors, collectors, and credit bureaus and filing disputes on your behalf. Also, because of their experience, credit repair companies know which big-impact items to focus on and which can be ignored. Some credit repair companies, such as MyCreditGroup, will also go a step further and help you manage debt.
Tamika M., who used a credit repair service in the past, says she would use a credit repair company for part of the work if she had to do things over again. “I would recommend credit repair companies to a friend if he or she felt very overwhelmed by the entire process of addressing negative/delinquent credit. They are a great way to get started with cleaning up your report and from there, I would recommend a free option [such as Credit Karma or Nav] to finish it up.”
If you’d rather do the work yourself, we suggest contacting a non-profit credit counseling agency. They typically won’t file disputes or negotiate debts for you, but they can provide you with credit education resources for free or for a nominal cost. They can also help you develop a budget and debt repayment plan.
In-Depth Review of Credit Repair Companies
Although there are exceptions, most credit repair companies charge in two parts. First, they charge you for initial work: getting your credit reports, analyzing your credit history, and developing a personalized plan to improve your credit score. For further help, including dispute filings and creditor negotiations, you may need to pay the monthly subscription fee since it generally takes a minimum of 30 days to start seeing results.
Fortunately, none of the services we reviewed here lock you into an annual contract. Once you have reached your desired credit goals, you can cancel the subscription.
MyCreditGroup: $79 for monthly subscription. They offer a refund if they are unable to complete promised work.
Lexington Law: $99.95 for initial work and $79.95-99.95 for monthly subscription, depending on desired services. More on this in next section. They also offer a couples/family discount. They offer a refund if they are unable to complete promised work.
The purpose of a credit repair agency is to analyze your credit history and take action that increases your credit score. To achieve this, they will do two things:
- Analyze your credit report and provide recommendations on how to improve your score. These recommendations may include paying bills on time going forward, not applying for new loans, paying down credit card debt, etc.
- Conduct investigations and/or file disputes to remove errors from your credit report. Legally, you cannot remove negative but accurate information from your credit report. If there are errors or unverifiable data in your credit report, the credit repair company will help you investigate the details and if necessary, dispute the errors
Both of these things work together to improve your credit score.
We like MyCreditGroup because they don’t stop with investigation and disputes. They will take further steps to improve your credit rating. They will help you negotiate debts for a lower amount than you owe to your creditors, arrange pay-for-deletes (the collection agency agrees to withdraw the account from your credit report if you pay the outstanding balance or a negotiated lower amount), and assist you with opening new credit accounts to improve your credit score.
MyCreditGroup: Services include credit report & score analysis, personalized plan to improve score, investigation into errors and dispute filings, debt negotiation and settlement, pay-for delete arrangements, and help in establishing new credit lines to boost credit.
Credit report & score analysis, personalized plan to improve score, and dispute filings. Sky Blue will not talk directly to creditors or collection agencies.
Pace of Investigation & Dispute Filings
One benefit of a credit repair service is that they will investigate and dispute unverifiable items or errors on your credit report. As a result, you may begin to see your score improve in 1 month, but it normally takes about 3-6 months to see the full difference in your score. The pace at which the companies investigate and dispute negative items affects how long you need to pay the monthly subscription fee.
MyCreditGroup: They will dispute an unlimited amount of items on your behalf, but they do not make any promises as to how many disputes they will file in a specific time frame.
Sky Blue will file approximately 15 disputes (5 with each of the 3 main consumer credit bureaus) every 35 days. The accelerated pace can help customers who have a lot of errors on their credit reports. Also, according to Sky Blue, strategically filing a limited number of disputes with each bureau each month increases the likelihood that the disputes will be resolved in your favor.
Licensure & Regulation
Under the Credit Repair Organizations Act, the Federal Trade Commission sets out certain guidelines that credit repair companies have to meet to safeguard consumers. However, they’re primarily regulated at the state level. Credit repair firms need to get licensed by their home state and register with the state attorney general or other appropriate state entity. Registration and licensure doesn’t guarantee that a credit repair company is legitimate, but it does show that the firm complies with certain consumer protection laws.
In addition to licensure and registration, credit repair companies should ideally be bonded. This means that the company is insured and backed by a surety company if it is sued and needs money to cover litigation costs or other losses.
Sky Blue is bonded and licensed and registered with the Florida Attorney General Office.
Lexington Law is bonded and licensed and registered with the Utah Attorney General Office.
Credit repair companies will typically assign a credit specialist to work with you. It is important to be able to reach him or her as needed. Though email and phone support are both important, be careful not to send sensitive information, such as your social security number, via email. Some conversations are best had over the phone because your account rep can verify your identity.
MyCreditGroup offers phone support, email support, and online account management.
Sky Blue offers phone support and email support, but there’s no online account management to track progress that the staff are making on your behalf.
Lexington Law offers the greatest number of support channels: phone support, email support, live chat, and online account management.
It can be difficult to separate the legitimate credit repair agencies from the shadier operations. Customer reviews provide a basic guidepost to help you select a reputable service.
Credit repair companies can help you reach your goal credit score, so you can more easily qualify for a business loan and enjoy lower rates. Of course, you can always take steps to improve credit on your own. A credit repair company can save you time, however, and they have expertise in knowing which actions will result in the biggest impact to your score. If you decide to use a credit repair company, we recommend working with MyCreditGroup.