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Your credit rating is an assessment of your creditworthiness as a borrower. The higher your rating, the more confident lenders are that you will be able to pay back your debts on time. Those who have a poor or limited credit history can run into many obstacles as it may prevent them from achieving their financial goals such as obtaining a car loan, mortgage, or even job offers in certain industries. Even if approved, those with bad credit will likely have to pay a higher interest rate or be susceptible to unfavourable loan conditions. 

How Much Does Credit Repair Cost?

The cost of repairing credit depends on the option you go with; it costs nothing except for time if you review your own credit file. On the other hand, credit repair software can range from $25 to $500 and hiring a licenced credit repair professional can cost up to $100 initially with monthly payments of $30 to $150. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular credit repair and credit building services in Canada below. 

Climb – Accelerator Plan-Secured savings loan that is released to you at the end of the term
-Payments reported to credit bureaus
-Setup fee of $150 to $250
-An interest rate of 8.99%
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Spring Financial – Spring Savings Loan-Loan amount placed in trust until it is paid off
-Payments reported to credit bureaus
-Eligible for $2,500 unsecured loan at 29.8% APR after 18 on-time, full payments
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Refresh Financial – Credit Builder Program-Loan held in secure trust and paid off in installments
-Payments reported to credit bureaus
More Info

-Product that allows for subscription payments and displays credit impact of your actions
-Payments reported to credit bureaus
-Monthly subscription ranges from $9.99 to $29.99
More Info

How Does Credit Repair Work?

Credit repair can help you achieve your financial goals. For those looking to repair their credit, there are several options available to them, as listed below.

Do It Yourself

You can request a free credit report from TransUnion and Equifax then review your own file for any errors. This option can take time and patience as you’re likely unfamiliar with the process and will need to contact various creditors, lenders, and even the credit bureaus

Use Credit Repair Software

There are a number of software solutions that can help you repair your credit, ranging from basic to advanced. Basic software will provide you with directions on how to dispute errors found on your report and a template for a dispute letter to be sent to the credit bureaus. Advanced software is more expensive, but they have a wider range of dispute letters for different errors and can provide alerts notifying you of the progress of your dispute. Additionally, they allow you to track your credit score.

Check out what credit score you need to reach the “good” credit score range.

Hire A Credit Repair Professional

Hiring a licenced credit repair attorney to identify and make disputes on your behalf can save you a lot of time. Also, a credit repair professional can coach you on credit management to prevent future issues. However, this tends to be the most expensive alternative as these services will typically involve both a setup fee and a recurring payment.

Lookout Are Credit Repair Companies Trustworthy? Our Team Investigates

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Lookout Are Credit Repair Companies Trustworthy? Our Team Investigates
Are Credit Repair Companies Trustworthy? Our Team Investigates

How To Choose A Credit Repair Service?

Before deciding which credit repair service to work with, consider the following: 

  • Are the fees clear? – Some credit repair companies charge hidden fees, be sure to choose a company that is transparent with their fees. 
  • Are they licensed? – Credit repair companies that are licensed can help give you the advice and guidance required to help you build your credit. 
  • Are they well rated? – Check to see if the credit repair company you’re working with has good reviews and is reputable. 

How Will Credit Repair Help You?

Credit repair can remove negative marks (if it is a legitimate error) from your credit history and ensure that your credit report is accurate. Items that may be corrected include:

  • Bankruptcy or claims against you that are not yours
  • Accounts that do not belong to you
  • Credit inquiries that you never made or authorized
  • Incorrect dates and personal information 
  • Debt that is not verified and cannot be validated
  • Past debt or derogatory items that should no longer be on the credit report

Note: One thing to note is that credit repair only removes items that should not be there. All derogatory marks that are accurate, timely and verifiable cannot be removed.

How Much Money Will Credit Repair Save You? 

Credit repair can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars depending on the loan product. Credit repair indirectly saves you money. By helping you build credit, you’ll be more likely to qualify for lower interest rates which will lead to savings. Here’s a table showing how much your loan can cost at different credit ranges. 

Cost Of A Loan For Different Credit Ranges

In this example, we used a $5,000 loan paid monthly with a two-year term to illustrate how credit scores can affect the total cost. 

Estimated Interest Rate Based On Credit ScoreTotal Interest Based On Lowest Estimated RateTotal Interest Based On Highest Estimated Rate
Poor Credit Score (300 - 559)18% to 46.96%$11,981.78$15,601.48
Fair Credit Score (560 - 659)15% to 35%$11,636.80$14,044.47
Good Credit Score (660 - 724)5% to 29.99%$10,529.13$13,417.84
Very Good Score (725 - 759) 3% to 17%$10,315.49$11,866.14
Excellent Credit Score (760 - 900)1.5% to 10%$10,157.00$11,074.78
Note: These rates are for illustrative purposes only. Actual charged rates will depend on the lender, your credit and your overall financial profile.

What To Watch Out For With Credit Repair Services

When evaluating different credit repair services, you should be wary of false promises or claims made by companies that they can remove any or all derogatory items from your credit report. It is important to remember that only negative items that are on your credit report in error can be removed. It is impossible to remove any items that are accurate, timely, and verifiable.

Credit Repair Laws And Regulations 

Knowing your rights and how credit repairers operate are crucial in this process. Let’s take a look at a few regulations set out by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services:

  • Credit repair services and companies must provide the consumer with a written and dated contract
  • Consumers have a ten-day cooling-off period from when they receive the contract during which they can cancel the agreement
  • Credit repairers cannot charge advance payments or fees unless they cause a material improvement to the consumer’s credit file
  • Credit repairers cannot make false claims or claim that they can cause a material improvement to the consumer’s credit file before reviewing it

How To Repair Your Own Credit? 

If a credit repair is too costly or you simply want to take control of your credit and finances yourself, there are many ways to help you get started. Here are some things you can do to help you repair your credit: 

  • Catch Up On Your Payments – If you’re falling behind on certain debts or bills, work on bringing those accounts to good standing. Your payment history tends to have a significant impact on your credit, so paying your bills on time and in full is crucial. 
  • Check Your Credit Report For Errors –  Errors on your credit report can cause your credit to fall, correcting these mistakes can help quickly build your credit. 
  • Avoid Applying For Too Many New Credit Products – When you apply for too many loans within a short period of time it can cause your credit scores to fall. Similarly, taking on too many new credit products can reduce the age of your credit accounts which may also negatively impact your credit. 
  • Keep Your Debt-To-Credit Ratio Low – This ratio is a common factor used in the calculation of your credit scores. Keeping this ratio low may positively affect your credit. In general, it’s recommended that you don’t use more than 30% of your credit card’s credit limits. 

Credit Repair Cost FAQs

Do credit repair companies work?

Credit repair companies can help you improve your credit, however, they cannot guarantee it. Moreover, they cannot do anything that you can’t do yourself. That said, they can help guide you and provide advice on how to get the best results. 

How can I check my credit score? 

You can check your credit scores for free at Equifax and for a fee at TransUnion (except Quebec). Depending on the credit bureau, you can request your credit scores online, by mail, or in-person. 

Is it worth using a credit repair company? 

A credit repair company can be worth it if you want help improving your credit. Credit repair companies can make the process more convenient as it requires little effort on your part. However, remember that a credit repair company cannot do anything for you that you can’t do yourself. 

How long does it take to repair credit?

  The time it takes to repair your credit depends on numerous factors, including how bad your credit currently is and whether you’re keeping up with your bills and the credit repair program. 

Should You Pay For Credit Repair?

Whether you should pay for credit repair depends on your knowledge of consumer credit and the time that you are willing to commit to the process. Keep in mind that with time and patience you can do anything that a paid software or service can do. If you are willing to pay for software or hire a professional to save you time and energy in the credit repair process, be sure to do your due diligence and verify that they are compliant with the rules and regulations of your province or territory.

Veronica Ott avatar on Loans Canada
Veronica Ott

Veronica is a writer who specializes in creating unique and educational personal finance content. She has extensive experience writing blog posts for companies in the financial sector. Veronica's background is in accounting as she graduated from Western University in 2017 with a degree in accounting. She is passionate about using her accounting expertise to help others with their personal finance questions and issues and enjoys using her writing to educate Canadian readers. When Veronica is not writing, she enjoys film, reading, travelling, going to the gym, and listening to music.

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