|Credit repair programs can be inexpensive or they can cost $1000 or more. Much of the cost difference depends on which program you choose and how much debt you have. If you're very far behind, a program could cost a couple thousand dollars. Yet some credit repair programs can cost very little, especially those used by specific creditors.
When you're trying to decide if you should look into a program of credit repair, consider how hard it will be for you to get out of debt. A credit repair program may be one that just fixes inaccuracies on your credit report, or it could be one that helps you with a system of repayment.
Some credit repair programs are designed for people who are struggling under crushing debt. These people may need someone to negotiate with their creditors for lower balances, lower interest or more.
Some programs can arrange for you to pay only a little more than half of what you owe. Other programs help settle your debts for less and may also negotiate for no more interest on what you owe. Some programs may combine both smaller balances and no or low interest, which can help you get your debts paid off.
If you really can't make your payments on time or feel that you're slipping under, a program could work for you. If you can keep up with your payments and keep paying the balances down, then that's your best option. Any other options like credit counseling or credit repair programs do leave dings on your credit.
That's because credit counseling programs may require the cards to be cancelled. Several cancelled cards with outstanding balances can hurt your credit score. And arranging smaller balances through programs for credit repair can hurt your credit because the charge-off amount will show.
Credit repair programs can help you in the long run, however. It's better to have a charge-off than months of late payments and missed payments. Also, if you're unable to make your payments on time, your amount of available credit is probably shrinking as the late fees add up.
When your credit cards reach their limit and you have less and less credit available, your credit score will suffer. When you have debt that equals too much of your available credit, it's known as a bad debt/credit ratio. It can even make the interest rates on cards you do pay on time go up.
If you have a lot of cards that are cancelled at once, it leaves you with a lot of debt and no available credit. This is why credit counseling is not always a good option for your credit score.
You should do everything you can to resolve your credit problems on your own. But if you can't, it's better to get help than to keep missing payments or making them late. This will hurt you more than anything in the long wrong.
Each late payment is another month your credit score can't start to improve. Look into credit repair programs before you do more damage.