Are you in the finance sector? If yes, over the years, you may have had questions on credit scores, credit reports, and credit repair. Yet, it is a niche area that may be outside of your specialty.
But, your customers come to you for information about their finances. Before you send them off to the credit repair professionals, you can educate them a little.
So, what should finance experts tell their clients about credit repair in 2021? Let’s check out a few salient points.
- Understanding Credit Repair
One of the best financial advice you can give your clients is to keep a close watch on their credit reports. They can access a copy from one of the three reference bureaus. These are Transunion, Equifax, and Experian.
Some factors will affect the credit score. Such include missed repayments, and bills ending up in collections. But, that’s not all. Any inaccuracies or errors in the credit report can impact the score.
Your clients must learn how to read the credit report properly. They need to be watchful of any errors and take steps to correct them immediately. The good news is credit repair professionals are available to take on the onerous task.
The professionals will also share workable credit repair tips to keep the client’s credit score good to excellent.
The reality is correcting a credit report error is hard. Try dealing with the three reference bureaus to correct a mistake. They could have you running around in circles. It gets worse if you have no idea how to go about the process.
- Check For the Following Credit Errors
There are some common credit errors clients need to be aware of. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau highlights some of them as follows.
- Wrong personal information including name, address, and phone numbers
- Account status errors like incorrect payment dates. In some cases, the client may have closed an account but the report says it is open
- Incorrect account balances
- Multiple accounts with different creditors
- Paid collection accounts in the credit report.
Credit repair professionals are in the best position to advise on what to look out for. Please urge the clients to seek their services as soon as possible.
- Be Realistic About Credit Repair
Is credit repair a simple walk-in, walk-out process? The answer is no. Any credit repair professional who says it is may be coloring the truth a little. Please tell your clients the following.
- The process of restoring credit scores to good or excellent can take a considerable length of time. There is a lot of back and forth that happens between the reference bureau and credit professionals.
- The credit bureaus must conduct a proper investigation on the errors you point out. Once they determine there is a mistake, it will take more time to process the documents. Don’t be surprised if they undertake credit validation. Yes, debt collectors may have to provide proof that you don’t owe.
- Negative but true information will stay on your credit report. Yes, you will need to wait a minimum of seven years to remove it from your report.
- The credit repair company cannot guarantee results. A poor credit history stays and will show on your score.
As the finance expert, you have the task of encouraging your clients to practice financial prudence. They must ensure that they keep up with their repayments. Prepaid cards that report to a credit bureau, for instance, will share information about skipped or delayed payments.
- Teach Your Clients How to Find the Right Credit Repair Company
Some individuals will form companies posing as credit repair professionals. Yet, they lack the expertise to offer such services. Teach your clients how to find the right company.
They should look out for the following.
- Industry expertise of at least 3 years. Are we saying that a newer company cannot offer exemplary service? No, we would be remiss to take such a position. But, longevity in the industry is a mark of professionalism and expertise. Credit repair is a niche area, and it takes years to become an authority.
- Proof of licensing and certification
- Positive customer reviews or testimonials
- A company that is transparent in the pricing. They should provide a breakdown of exactly what the fee covers. Some will charge a blanket fee. Others will charge per bureau.
- Do advise them not to proceed with credit repair professionals who want an upfront payment. Reputable companies will only charge after they complete the work.
- The repair professionals must have a written contract highlighting the terms of services. A contract is a legally enforceable document. Signing on the dotted line without one is a big mistake.
- Credit repair professionals who do not make claims that they cannot meet.
The client should take time to do some research before engaging. There is a lot of information available on the online platform. We go back to the point of reading customer reviews.
They should look at how the company handles complaints or concerns. Ignoring or disregarding such is indicative of a company that may not live up to its promises.
Some clients want to know whether they can do credit repair on their own. The answer is yes, but they should be ready for plenty of frustration.
It can be a daunting task if you do not know how to go about the process. Writing dispute documentation can be difficult. And, it is possible to overlook critical areas that contribute to the low credit score.
As a finance expert, you have an important advisory role for your clients. Poor credit scores are an area that may keep on coming up. You must be able to walk the clients through whatever concerns they have.
Giving them an overview of salient points can start their journey to greater awareness. Advice any client with a poor credit score to seek the services of credit repair professionals. The fee they pay will be worth the peace of mind that comes with perfect credit ratings.
They should also be more active in the monitoring of their credit reports. The reference bureaus avail a copy on request.