That is an excellent question and the answer is not much. Almost every action a credit repair service typically performs you can do all by yourself without hiring anyone.
Let us first examine the typical process and we can discuss how doing it yourself versus having a service will differ. The first step is to get a copy of your credit reports from each bureau. In other words you will get three reports, one from each major bureau.
The next step is to identify what items are inaccurate or that you want to dispute. The Fair Credit Reporting Act says that you can dispute any item on your report you feel is inaccurate. In other words you can dispute every negative item, it is completely legal and no one has ever been prosecuted for disputing an item they knew was accurate.
Nor will anyone ever be prosecuted for this the Fair Credit Reporting Act was created to protect consumers from the bureaus and aggressive debt collectors. This piece of legislation also says that an item can remain on your report for a maximum amount of time of seven years. This law says nothing about the minimum amount of time an item must remain.
Now that you have your reports and have identified what items you want to dispute the next step is creating a dispute letter. In this letter you must include the item in question, the reason you are filing the dispute, and any other supporting documentation you have.
This next step is where many people get frustrated and either give up or hire a service. You must get each bureau to deem your dispute valid before they will investigate. The most common response to a dispute letter is you will get a letter from the bureau saying they need more information.
This is done regardless! Why? Don't the bureaus want to have accurate information about individuals especially for something so life impacting as your credit? You would think, but the harsh reality is the bureaus don't care if their information is accurate or not. The bureaus don't make any money from investigating items or correcting individual's reports.
It's quite the contrary bureaus spend money that would otherwise be profit to conduct an investigation. The only reason the bureaus do investigate is to try and avoid fines from the Federal Government for not complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The reality is the bureaus have been fined time and time again by the FTC.
The bureaus are doing everything they can legally do to avoid investigations, and sometimes illegally which is evident through their countless FTC fines. The bureaus have created elaborate methods to deal with consumer disputes, with their end goal being that the consumer will just give up and live with their credit report.
With a legal service working on your behalf you will have the legal resources to ensure your report is dealt with appropriately. Additionally the service is familiar with the bureaus and how they operate.
With a service once you get your reports you forward them on to the service and they will file a dispute for every item you indicate. You sit at home and wait for the investigation result letters. In these letters they will tell you if the investigated item was removed from your report or if it was verified by the lender. You then forward these result letters on to the legal service and wait for your reports to clear up.
You also have the tools of goodwill intervention, court intervention, and debt inquiry. Also should you need to settle some debts they can help with that too, they can use debt validation. This will force the debt collector to prove that they own your account and can legally collect the debt.
If they are unable to, then you don't have to pay the debt and the item will be removed from your report when you dispute it. Stop living with the high cost of a damaged credit history, take action today and let your score work for you instead of against you!