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Thousands of Americans are struggling with poor credit histories. Whether these problems stemmed from a job loss, excessive medicals bills or simply poor judgement at a younger age, credit problems are often just a part of life. Being able to fix a poor credit history is extremely important to leading a happy and successful life. Without a solid credit score and report, you’ll have a difficult time renting an apartment, buying a home or even landing your dream job.

Consumers normally have only two options when they set out to repair their credit: Hire a credit repair service or simply fixing their credit themselves. The option you choose will likely depend on how much you know about credit and how much time you can dedicate to educating yourself and fixing the problem.

Using a Credit Repair Service

There are numerous credit repair services that offer to assist consumers across the country. When looking into which companies can actually help you, due diligence is essential because many don’t have the expertise to experience to get the job done right.

A credit repair service can help repair your damaged credit by removing negative items that can’t be verified. They also have extensive experience dealing with various lenders, giving them the advantage if they need to negotiate a lower payment amount or simply want to negotiate a settlement to pay off a debt in full.

In most cases, a credit repair service works the best if you’re looking to have errors removed from your credit report. Consumers are also expected to a pay a minimal fee for this service. Check out this review for example.

Fixing Credit Yourself

While fixing credit yourself sounds like a daunting task, the process is actually quite simple.

If you find items on your credit report that are errors, head to the credit report agency website (Trans Union, Equifax or Experian). The agency will require that you fill out a short form and submit any evidence regarding the error. Once completed, the agency will contact the lender in question and ask them about the report. If no response is received within 30 days, the item is removed.

Bad credit that is caused by late payments or charge offs can be fixed as well however, you’ll likely need to negotiate some type of settlement with the lender before the item is removed from your report. In many cases, the lender will refuse to remove it even after payment has been made.

Which Option is best for You

Whether you decide to fix the credit report yourself or hire a credit repair service, always remember that many credit scores can only be fixed with time and responsible credit usage. Repair services that offer to magically fix credit reports within 30 days will not be able to deliver on this promise and should be avoided at all cost.