Lexington Law Review: Pros and Cons
Real Credit Repair Results, W/no Monlthly ongoing fees
If you are looking for a credit repair company to help you remove inaccurate items from your credit report, you have likely heard of Lexington Law. They are one of the most visible credit repair agencies on the Internet. However, it is important to look beneath the name and the advertising to find out how they compare to other credit repair agencies. Read on to learn all about Lexington Law.
Who Is Lexington Law?
Lexington Law is actually a law firm that was formed in 1991 by a group of lawyers. They started out with one office in Salt Lake City, Utah, and they have grown. Today they have offices in 20 states and offer online services in all 50 states. This company has done a good job and survived several federal government crackdowns on shady credit repair companies, including Project Credit Repair in 2006 and Operation Clean Sweep in 2008.
Lexington Law has attorneys and paralegals on staff, and a long history of helping people with credit repair. They also have free and available educational resources to help people understand how to protect their credit.
Does Lexington Law Comply with Federal Trade Commission Best Practice Standards?
One of the best ways to determine whether a credit repair company is good is to take a look at the recommendations and guidelines put out by the FTC in the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Take a look at the following:
- What Can a Credit Repair Company Do?
A credit repair company can help you dispute inaccurate items on your credit report. They can help you file disputes with all three bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. They are not allowed to lie to you. To understand what that means, it is important to understand what a credit repair company cannot do:
- They cannot remove valid debts or items from your credit report.
- They cannot tell you to lie to remove a valid debt.
- They cannot promise they will raise your score.
- They cannot recommend that you open a new credit file with an EIN (Employer Identification Number).
- They cannot charge you before they perform their services.
- What Are Credit Repair Companies Required to Explain?
In addition to explaining what credit repair companies cannot do, they list certain requirements that credit repair companies must follow, including the following:
- They must explain your legal rights in a written contract and write out the services that they will perform.
- They need to let you know that you can dispute the items on your own.
- They need to tell you that you have three days to cancel without any charges.
- They must tell you how long they estimate it will take to get results.
- They must tell you your total cost.
- They need to disclose any guarantees.
Lexington Law complies with all of these rules and regulations. They have an A rating with the Better Business Bureau, and they have helped over 500,000 people repair their credit. This shows that consumers can hire this company with a degree of consumer confidence.
What Can Lexington Law Help You Do?
Lexington Law can help you remove inaccurate items from your credit report. The government estimates that 20% of credit reports contain errors. The likelihood that you have an error on your credit report is one in five. For this reason, it is important to check your credit report regularly, and you are entitled to a free credit report every year.
The types of inaccurate items that Lexington Law can help you remove include the following:
- Duplicate accounts
- Inaccurate accounts
- Accounts that don’t belong to you
- Incorrect inquiries
- Inaccurate address or name
Lexington Law offers a free initial consultation, and they will look through your credit report. They know what to look for because they have a great deal of experience. They will not accept you as a client unless you have inaccurate items on your credit report.
If you hire them, they will dispute the inaccuracies for you. They know what documentation you need. Once they file the dispute, the credit bureaus will have to verify the debt, correct it, or remove it from your credit report.
Service Packages Offered by Lexington Law
When you hire Lexington Law to help you with credit repair, you have to pay an initial fee of $89.95, $109.95, or 129.95 depending on which service tier you choose. Then, you can choose from one of three different service plans.
The Concord Standard Plan costs $89.95 per month, and it includes the following:
- Bureau Challenges
- Creditor Interventions
The Concord Premier Plan costs $109.95 per month, and it includes these services:
- Bureau Challenges
- Creditor Challenges
- Score Analysis
- Transunion Alerts
In addition to challenging inaccurate information, with this plan, you can get a score analysis and future alerts on your Transunion credit report.
The highest level plan, PremierPlus, offers the following features:
- Bureau Challenges
- Creditor Challenges
- Score Analysis
- Transunion Alerts
- Cease & Desist Letters
- FICO Score tracker
- Identity Protection
- Personal Finance Tools
The PremierPlus plan may be useful if you have run into credit trouble and want help dealing with abusive debt collection companies, as well as tools to help you gain control of your finances and manage your credit.
Lexington Law also offers a friends and family discount where you will receive 50% off of your initial setup fee if you refer a friend or family member within 72 hours. Although they offer three different levels of service, they are pricey compared to a lot of other credit repair companies. However, you do get a professional company with extensive experience in this field.
Pros of Lexington Law
- Established professional repair company
- Has helped more than 500,000 people repair their credit
- Follows FTC guidelines
- Personalized customer support
- Expanded customer service hours
- Excellent educational resources that are free on eight topics
- Credit 101
- Credit repair
- Credit bureaus
- Improve credit score
- Negative items
- Life events
- Credit cards
Cons of Lexington Law
- Charge additional fees for additional credit report requests
- Not BBB accredited
- No absolute money-back guarantee, although you can request a refund if you are dissatisfied after six months of service.
Understanding Your Credit Report
If you sign up for one of the top two plans with Lexington Law, you will receive services that include helping you understand your credit report. However, you may want a basic understanding before you get started with any credit repair company.
You have three credit reports: one from each of the three credit bureaus. You need to look at all three because creditors do not all report to the same bureaus. They are designed the same way. There are sections with different information in each one.
The first section is your personal information, such as your name, other names you may have used, your address, phone number, and employment. This should all be accurate. Sometimes they accidentally put another person who has a similar name on your report, so check this section carefully.
The next section will have any court-related financial issues, such as judgments, liens, wage garnishments, and bankruptcies. This section can hurt you, but these items have less impact after about two years.
The next section contains all of your creditors. This includes mortgages, auto loans, student loans, and credit cards. For each creditor, they will have your original loan amount or limit, your payment history, and how much you owe. You need to check this section very carefully.
Another section has your recent credit inquiries, which are places you have applied for credit in the past two years. You don’t want to have a lot of inquiries, or it looks as if you are in need of credit to get by.
Finally, they will have your collection accounts, and you always want this section to be empty. They use all of this information to come up with your credit score, which is the three-digit number creditors look at when you apply for credit. They break your score into five categories, including the following:
- Your payment history (35% of score)
- Your credit usage (30% of score)
- The length of your credit history (15% of your score)
- The type of credit you have (10% of your score)
- Credit inquiries (10% of your score)
It is important to look at this because your payment history and your credit usage make up 65% of your credit score. Make sure that you are paying your bills on time every month, and keep your credit usage below 30% of your available credit. That will help to keep your score where you need it.
How Long Do Legitimate Negative Items Stay on Your Credit Report?
The FTC regulates how long legitimate negative items can stay on your credit report. In most cases, it is seven years. That is the time limit for the following types of debt:
- Late payments
- Short sales
- Charge offs
- Tax liens (from the date of the payment)
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy
If you have a collection account, it can stay on your credit report for seven years and 180 days. In addition, bankruptcies other than Chapter 13 will remain on your credit report for 10 years from the date of filing.
The good news is that the impact of these negative items is reduced after the first two years. You can build good credit while you are waiting for these items to fall off of your report, and if they are the result of a life event such as divorce, illness, or loss of employment, you can add a personal letter to your file to explain the situation.
How to Improve Your Credit
The first thing you should do to improve your credit is make sure that your bills are paid on time. You should take care of bringing all of your accounts current as soon as possible, and after you make on-time payments for six months, you will start to see a difference. After a year, it will be even better. For some credit, such as a mortgage, you may not be approved if you have more than one late payment in the past year.
The second thing that you should do is pay down your credit card balances. The credit bureau wants you to use less than 30% of your available credit, which means that you should carry a balance of less than $300 if your credit limit is $1,000. If you are not able to pay down your balances, there are other ways of achieving this.
One option is to open a credit card. This will increase your available credit, thereby reducing your credit usage. You should only use this card once a month for small purchases to keep it active, and make sure that you pay it on time. If you are unable to open a new credit card, you can get a secured credit card. You will make a deposit, and the amount of your deposit will be your credit limit.
You will pay this credit card bill every month just as you would an unsecured card. The deposit is there to reduce the bank’s risk. This is a great tool for building credit.
Another way to improve your credit is to use Experian Boost. This will allow Experian to add your on-time payments for utility bills and your cell phone to your credit report. The best thing about it is that late payments will not hurt your credit. It is only available for your Experian credit report, but it can help to improve your score.
You can also become an authorized user. If you have a family member with excellent credit, they can give you a card from their credit card account. This will be reported to the credit bureaus every month. It is important not to abuse this privilege. If you make charges on the card, you or the account holder will need to pay for them or both of your credit scores will suffer. However, it can help to improve your score if used responsibly.
Finally, if you have collection accounts, you can negotiate with the creditor to take care of them. If you call them, they may be willing to let you settle for less than the amount you owe. You can then ask them to remove the item from your credit report if you pay them. Make sure that you get any agreement in writing before you pay them. This way you can hold them to their end of the deal.
When to Call for Credit Repair
If you have anything inaccurate on your credit report, from a misspelled name to a debt that doesn’t belong to you, credit repair is a good idea. You can dispute the items yourself, or you can use a reputable company such as Lexington Law. The important thing is to take care of it before it has a chance to harm your credit. If you check your report regularly, you will know when these items appear. This gives you the opportunity to challenge them right away.
Credit repair companies cannot help you get rid of valid items on your credit report, but some companies, such as Lexington Law, offer other services to advise you on how to improve your credit. If you have bad credit, it is important to change your approach to your credit cards.
Credit cards can make people feel as though they have more available cash than they do, and this is how people’s finances get out of control. It happens to most people because the credit is there, ready to be spent. If you want to improve your credit score and repair your credit. You will want to change your approach. Use credit cards for small purchases, and pay off as much as you can every month.
Lexington Law is an established credit repair company that was started in 1991. They have lawyers and paralegals on staff, and they operate in all 50 states. They have offices in 20 states, and they have helped more than 500,000 people repair their credit.
They follow the guidelines and regulations put forth by the Federal trade Commission, and they are straightforward with you about what they are able to do. From this perspective, they are a good credit repair company.
The downside is that there are no guarantees with Lexington Law or any credit repair company, and you will have to let them work with the credit bureaus to do what they can to remove any invalid items. They are a little bit expensive compared to some other services, but they do have qualified professionals, and there are lawyers available to review your case.
If you have inaccurate items on your credit report or you want to find out, calling a credit repair company could be the answer. You can have an initial consultation to learn what a credit repair company can do for you. You can always dispute items on your own, but turning this task over to the professionals could make your life easier.
Ready to take your Credit to the
Ready to take your Credit to the