If you have recently applied for a financial product, you may have been met with higher than normal rates. This, primarily due to inflation, is unfortunately out of your control. But working to improve your credit score through the process of credit repair can mean a higher score and potentially better rates in the future.
When choosing which credit repair route — a credit repair company, a credit counselor or through DIY approaches — consider the following factors to ensure the chosen method fits your specific needs.
- Time available
While the process of repairing your credit is not known for its quick speed, there are some options that might be preferred over others if the timing is top of mind. Of the routes, the do-it-yourself approach has the largest time commitment. It will require you to get copies of your reports, review them, file any disputes and adopt healthier spending habits.
If you’re looking to save some of your own time, consider a credit repair company. These companies handle the research and dispute filing for you. While it may not take less time overall, you won’t be actively handling the process.
- Current disposable income
Another important consideration when choosing the right approach to credit repair is an honest look at what’s in your wallet. The amount of extra cash on hand can make one option wiser than the other.
Working with a credit repair company will cost the most money of the options. Working with a credit counselor tends to cost less than a credit repair company, and can be free of charge. The free option here is to do-it-yourself.
- Other financial goals
While repairing your credit is a positive first step to better financial health, it can be helpful to approach the process with other financial intentions in mind. Saving more money for your emergency fund, for example, or organizing a more effective budget. So while any of the credit repair routes come with the intent of making it easier to take out other financial products in the future, some carry added benefits.
Working with a credit counselor will provide you with the most all-encompassing approach to handling your debt. Through this process, you will receive guidance from a trained professional at an agency or nonprofit, sometimes at no added cost. They may suggest a debt management plan (DMP) or just simply tailor a plan to your needs.
- Bottom line
The process of credit repair can cost you money or require additional commitments depending on the approach you choose. Consider your time available, disposable income and other financial goals when weighing your options. But no matter the route you take, the process of credit repairs can improve your credit and open the doors to future financial products.