How To Start A Credit Repair Business

amberhaydenBy Amber Hayden – Start A Credit Repair Business
MBA, Financial Business Research Specialist

So, you want to learn how to start a credit repair business?

If you want to Start a Credit Repair Business or company–just know that it is easy and a lot simpler than you think.  However, if you follow social media, there are so many sources and information that makes selecting the right training extremely difficult. You will learn how to start a credit repair business if you keep reading.

When searching online “how to start a credit repair business” or “credit repair training” the results will usually show credit repair software companies. They out spend everyone just to be on the first page of every medium.  However, taking their advice is the most expensive approach to starting a credit repair business.

If you take out the time to read this post, you can learn the steps on how to start a credit repair business or company.   I will explain the process and the best approach to getting started right from home and save you a lot of headaches and money.

First, you don’t need a degree or a special license to be a credit repair specialist. However, it is very important to be a member of a non-profit credit repair trade association that ensures high standards and police the industry as suggested by the CFPB and FTC.  They have charged this industry to police themselves. There are two great non-profit associations that supports credit repair industry standards: Credit Consultants Association (CCA) and National Association of Credit Services Organizations (NACSO). These organizations have two different approach for certification.

CCA is the oldest and has the largest membership. They have a very affordable annual fee and takes complaints from consumers, certify individuals, not companies, and go undercover to check and weed out bad credit repair companies. They require individuals to pass an exam and vow to follow ethical guidelines.  Because they address individual’s business owners, CCA is launching a criminal/civil background check system for credit repair consultants and company owners. This system will also check education and other certification credentials. This will fully go online by first quarter 2019. According to officials, it is their belief that bad business actors are good at disguising themselves and their intentions. They are usually gifted in having documents in order. However, one can’t run away from a quality background and credentials check. They are expanding to address more local level issues where credit repair companies are located.

NACSO makes sure credit repair companies are in compliance by checking their contracts, sales scripts and paper work. To get their certification can be a tedious process. This is because one must make sure all company’s paperwork and sales scripts are in order. They also have monthly fees.  These fees go to pay for a Washington lobbyist (Magnolia Strategy Partners) to help the industry. Officials reference success in fighting against legislation hurting the industry and has relationships with Washington regulators. They also have plans to take on more issues.

Both are extremely necessary organizations.  It is good to be a member of both when you can afford the fees. I only recommend that you get your certification and initial credit repair training from a non-profit organization. 

Starting A Credit Repair Business can be extremely lucrative; especially since all the issues facing the credit bureaus as of late. It also has a very low startup cost if you are SMART and do your research. DO NOT be persuaded by these FREE TRAINING listing, because nothing is free unless by a non-profit company. The FREE will attract you, as in most cases, ends up costing your money. In this case it will cost you $150-$500 per month just to start with no clients. Also watch out for some of these YouTube videos and personalities on social media that talks about making lots of money in the credit repair business. If you have low startup capital, you will be wasting your money getting started with them because of the cost. There is a source that will include that same information FREE in their materials.  These sources will have you spending $500-$1500 just for their training or to purchase their software. YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO THIS TO START and be successful from the start!

Watch Out For Unverified and Unnecessary Hype

money

Lately, I’ve seen a MILLIONAIRE’S CLUB listing of those that earned a million dollars in the credit repair business. Our research firm was NOT able to verify this information. Some of those listed, based on their name and company, did not make a million dollars or had other businesses outside of credit repair. It appears or maybe possible that collective businesses income was used instead of only the credit repair business. This discrepancy concerned our research department. We feel that the credibility of the source to verify financials maybe in question. In addition, we were not able to match sales or income with public government records.

It is important to know that you can make a great living, six figures or more, in the credit repair business. However, hyping a business, as I’m told it is called, to boost sales of a product is totally unnecessary; especially in the credit repair business. This could bring more unwanted scrutiny from a local state AG’s office. In addition, it can be embarrassing if a researcher gets involve and unable to verify such claims.

Who Should Consider A Credit Repair Business?

If you love helping people and could grasp credit concepts, you should consider a credit repair business. It has a low barrier of entry and the ONLY possible obstacle is affording your bond if one is required in your state. Bondexpress.com can help with this.

Also, attorneys, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, car salespersons, tax professions, and financial planners should consider adding this service to their current business practices.

There may be a conflict of interest with mortgage brokers with your license BUT creating a service outside of your company could be advantageous. Credit challenged individuals hurt many sales for most of these services mentioned. Also, many get direct leads from dealing with them in their normal business environment. Why not channel them to your own credit repair business or one you are affiliate with, for an additional profit center? It’s just smart business.

What Do You Need To Start A Credit Repair Business?

Credit Repair Business tools

All you need is a smart phone, a computer with internet access, an email account a word processor program to write letters, AND thorough basic training.  Thorough credit repair training is the key and can cost under $80 at the right source. You can seek a mentor after your initial training. The smart phone is helpful to place reminders for the letters you have written in behalf of your clients. To grow, you will eventually need a website BUT not to start unless it is very inexpensive. You can have a FREE Facebook page instead and it will work for a long time.  If you want some low-cost automation of your letters writing, there is a credit letters solution I will share later that is amazing. It is as low as $9.95 per month that will save lots of time in this process. It is also an easier way to track clients and to be reminded of letters.

So many believe that they need a full credit repair software program to start and manage their credit repair business. This is NOT true. However, you can purchase this much later. This will be when you have successfully helped enough clients after your initial, thorough basic training to afford the software program.  Why should you wait? Higher Startup cost and monthly expenses.

Most of the training you see online and in social media are from credit repair software companies or individual personalities or gurus and now FES.  Their training it geared towards marketing and branding and NOT about the thorough training you need to be an effective credit consultant. Selling is a must and extremely important, but someone must do effective work for the client. These individuals and companies are simply steering you towards their software company with free trials and seeking monthly fees afterwards. You are also being pushed to take their training to building your business. Your startup cost can be as high as $2500 just for training.  You also will find yourself with $99 to $400 per month in expenses before you have any clients. This can be a recipe for failure for many just starting out. Also, many go out of business because the initial expenses were too high.

What About FES?

FES, which stands for Financial Education Services is a direct sales organization. I have no issues with direct sales companies or this company. They are a good company. HOWEVER, the way some of their agents are selling this service on social media is fraudulent! I’ve seen posts that are flat out lies. Creating illusions that this company can guarantee to remove a bankruptcy or collections account off your credit report 100% of the time. Net Impression is extremely important when selling credit services. You can’t make people believe that everyone will get the same results, to do so is fraudulent but some agents are doing this. Therefore, so many think this company is a scam, when it is BAD direct sales agents going against company’s policies.

Here is my take: This is just an outsource service that allows you to focus on people and they do the work. When it comes to credit repair, it’s a personal business and clients want to connect to the one selling the service. Why give up direct access to your customers when you can collect all the funds yourself for your customers and still use an outsource service. FES maybe the best approach for some to make a great income but not all.

I’ve reached out to several FES agents when I see a post asking questions. I wanted to see if they could prove their success. I’ve had several to share that they have not made any money but know someone who has. When I’ve reached out to them, I noticed one thing: They were getting people into the business and making money that way. I feel that if some of these agents would put the same effort into getting credit repair customers, they probably would earn much more money in their own credit repair business. Just my take.

Can one make an excellent income with FES? YES!! It is just something that I would not personally get involved.  Not that the company is bad. Maybe I just don’t like hype and don’t feel many of their agents are serving the Public with their inappropriate sales tactics. FES will get rid of them and do reprimand them, but they are still out there. Again, I’m NOT knocking this company, just some of the bad direct sales agents that’s give credit repair a bad name.

What About Outsourcing?

outsourcing

Yes, you can outsource a credit repair business, but I do NOT recommend doing this when you first start. Why? Because you need to understand how this system works and know how to do the work yourself. What if something happens to your outsource service? Many of them may have one person that is the guru and their workers just follow their instructions. There was a case where one person was doing outsource work for several small companies but became extremely ill. It was tragic because the credit consultants that hired them for outsourcing services when out of business. This was because they did not know how to do the work themselves. Why did they shut down? Well, they had many requests for refunds because they did not have the skills to do the work themselves and couldn’t hire another outsource firm in time. In addition, the consultant did not know what work was done to hand it over to another source. However, If you are looking to outsource,  Nationwide Credit Expert is a great source.

Learn how to do the work yourself and you can outsource the credit repair services much later if you desire. However, it’s OK to outsource while you learn the process. Keep in mind that credit repair is a personal business and your clients will want to feel that you are focused on them.  This is just as important to your long-term success.

What About Credit Repair Automation?

Credit Repair Business automation

Automation is excellent and the way to go as long and you can serve your customers with custom and personalized work. However, it is not always cost effective for startups with most credit repair solutions.  There are less expensive solutions to help you get started. For example, you can get a letter writing solutions while you grow that will get the job done until you are ready to handle a full more expenses credit repair application.

PLEASE NOTE: Some are not clear regarding the limitations of credit repair software. Just know that no credit repair software can legally pull consumers credit reports or load them directly from the credit bureaus. One must have a permissible purpose to do so and a credit repair company does not fit this legal standard. They can import them in using a couple of credit monitoring services that can display what is negative.  Therefore, credit repair software is only an effective management tool for a growing company if you are fully trained in this business.

If you want to start a Credit Repair Business and be successful, you must separate yourself from all the nationally advertised firms. You must brand yourself in a different way by offering a personal touch to your services in your credit repair business. This is because you won’t be able to compete with the big firms that advertised on the radio and TV. Many consumers that lives in your community, may feel more comfortable with you instead. You can brand yourself by saying that you offer custom credit repair letters for each client instead of cookie cutter letters. For this you will need a custom letter system.

As I stated in the beginning, you also should want to be a member of  non-profit organizations that police the credit repair industry and ensure that their members maintain standards. In my research, the public did not trust certification coming credit repair software companies or from individuals. They ONLY respected certificates from a trade association of the industry.

So, if anyone says that you don’t need to be certified, or put down certifications, it important to know this: Yes, it is true you do not need a special credit repair certification or certificate to be in this business. But it is NOT wise being without one. Just think, if something happens, or someone sues you, they could make the argument that you did not have any proper training credentials within the credit repair industry as have happened before. If you have credentials from the industry’s associations, that argument could NOT be made against you.  That’s why one should want to be certified by a non-profit credit repair association. It will say that you are one that has ethical standards. In addition, the public ONLY feels comfortable dealing with individuals and companies aligned with their industry’s associations and often call them verifying membership and credentials.

earnings

How Much Can I Make If I Start A Credit Repair Business?

credit repair company can make from $500 to $6,000 per month for the average person working from home part-time spending about 20 to 30 minutes per month for each client. However, you will spend more time in the intake process on the initial contact with the client. You can earn $95 to $300 in the initial contact based on evaluating a credit report and produce a plan to boost your client’s score in the initial stage.  If you are above average, you can earn $10,00.00 full-time and some are earning even as much as $75,000.00 per month. Yes, this much!  Now think about this, where can you earn an additional $1000 per month with little effort and time for a startup company that will cost under $250 to get started? Many software-based companies say that you can spend 5 to 15 minutes per client, but this is NOT enough time to offer the credit repair personal touch service that you will need to be successful in this climate.

The big credit repair firms like Lexington Credit and CreditRepair.com already have huge clients due to heavy advertising and have account representatives. This is great for you because their advertising helps you in your local market. However, some feel that the reps of in these firms have so many clients that it is hard to feel connected. Therefore, many consumers prefer finding someone close to them for help. Therefore, you should create a “personal services” type brand, sharing that your clients will not feel as if they are a number among many. If you offer the same quality service as these big firms with a personal touch in your community, your business will grow.

How Much Should I Charge for My Credit Repair Company?

Most credit repair companies charge $49 to $99 per month for their services and there is a reason why I will share after I show both methods.

There that said, one of the most successful method that many are using is called pay-for deletion. You are charge per deletion or per points increased. For example, some charge $50-$85 per deleted item off a credit report for each account deletions and $10-20 for inquires and late pays.  Some add more for deleting collections or public records accounts. Also, there are some just charge the flat $85 for all items.

Here is how this works:

Let’s say you have one client and they have Five (5) challengeable accounts on their credit reports and 3 non-account items. You can earn up to $575 with that client: 5 x $85 and 3 x $50. This client will happily pay when they see these results. You can ask for an escrow payment to hold a portion of the funds to be received until the service is rendered. As service is performed, you will get paid. Just having two clients per month will earn you over $1000. Because most clients will have at least 7 to 15 accounts issues.

What if you have three clients per week? This is where you can earn over $6000 per month part-time. You will spend no more than 2 hours per week working on each new client and about 5-10 minutes per old client getting paid for another round of deletions until you complete them.

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Here is an example:   Say that you have 10 clients for one month. I like to be reasonable because many small based credit repair companies working from home can easily get 10-20 clients per month. Normally they will have 7 challengeable accounts items on their credit reports. If you delete 3 items for all client’s credit report that’s 30 x $85. You will earn $2, 550 but still have more to earn for the next rounds of challengeable items. Without getting a new client you will still earn another $2550 off the same 10 clients and depending on their accounts this could go on for about 3 to 6 months. The key is that since you are getting results, you will keep adding clients and watch your income soar.

Here is the issue with this method: There is a federal statue (Telemarketing Sales Rule) that come into play that will prevent one from collecting funds for 6 months after the work is done using this method. This is when conducting business over the phone. It hasn’t been enforced yet and may never will– but it’s there if someone ever wants to shut you down. BUT regulators really like this method because you are only getting paid for success. Just know that it can be tricky, but many are still using this successful method. It is also why most choose the monthly payment method charging after the work is produced for a client.

How Do I Get Started?

As I stated before, one does not need a special license or a degree to start a credit repair company by the government, but there are federal rules and guidelines for each state. A good credit repair training source will provide this information.

I would get my initial training from a non-profit source where credit repair training is their primary business model and have an interest to protect the industry with standards. They will not attempt to sell you software or anything but provide you a solid foundation on the process of being a successful and in compliance credit repair consultant.  After your basic training, then seek a mentor or coach to help you take your business to the next level.

Again, it is BEST to get certified by one the credit repair industry’s associations so that the public will have the confidence that you can do the job and trustworthy. Certification from any other source other than the two associations, are not valid certifications in my opinion and neither in the eyes of officials I’ve spoken with.  You want to be a member of an association and vow to adhere to industry’s standards.

FTC and regulators want the credit repair industry to police itself because of past bad actors. However, so many are offering certification and training BUT are NOT expressing concerns regarding compliance, protecting and policing the industry. They are just selling a product or training service. Therefore, a lot of people are now getting involved in this business without a clue of how not to cause harm to the public. Again, and this is worth repeating, if you are going to be part of the credit repair industry, align yourself with the either or the two industry’s non-profit trade associations:   CCA or NACSO because they make protecting the public their mission.

Where to Get Credit Repair Training and Credit Repair Certification?

I am recommending CCA,  The Credit Consultants Association, Inc.  I have no affiliations with them but like their low cost program and mission. Additionally, their startup credit repair training material is in-depth.  They are a non-profit trade association offering credit repair certification, membership and excellent self-paced thorough basic/advanced training.

Many of the top successful credit repair professionals and the individuals selling their training in social media and YouTube received their initial training with this organization. They are a perfect source in starting your credit repair business with training for under $80. They also offer one-on-one phone coaching services if needed and free email support for members. In addition, they are like the better business bureau of the credit repair industry collecting and resolving complaints from the public. If you know of a company that is not following guidelines, alert them and they will follow-up and take action. Also, they will keep you abreast on various industry changes. It is their goal to police the industry and provide their members with compliance information. You should become a member, get your training and certification from them.  They are extremely affordable and an excellent source to learn how to start a credit repair business and provide a foundation.

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Credit Repair Software?

As I stated, you don’t need a full software program. There is an excellent credit letter writing system that is amazing and extremely low cost. I’ll provide their link below.

However, there are some good software packages available when you are fully trained and ready to afford the solutions.

Many packages are great for startups companies with more resources and one can earn a great living with them. In some cases, those with a large client based will noticed slower speeds and this can become extremely frustrating for business owners. That’s when these business owners may look for other solutions or creates their own software.

Therefore, getting the software should be after you have done credit repair manually or a maybe use a low-cost letter writing system. Most of all, after understanding how this business works. Once you have received some real results, then you may want to get software to help manage your business. However, NEVER allow these software programs dispute engine to do all the work for you. When their disputes work for your client, use it but DO NOT throw away your word processor.   Some challenges to credit bureaus and furnishers must be customized for each client and most of these software programs will not accommodate these issues. They offer basic customization with limited placeholders. The low-cost letter writhing system could help with this problem.

To sum it up, I’ve looked at most of them and some has many features.

Here is what I will share: 

For Startups:

Credit Letters Cloud formerly (Dispute Letter Generator) is the powerful low-cost solution I mentioned early that costs as low as $9.95 per month for a basic plan.  This is excellent for credit repair startup companies. But they have added some new features that may be a winner for startups too. They have a complete plan package. This is extremely affordable compared to the expensive credit repair applications out there.  Although you don’t need software to start, this package will not run any startup out of business and really a time saver.  It is also a robust automation solution. Current features of the complete plan as of now is: billing and invoicing, credit card processing, an extremely nice secure online client portal, a way to automate the disputing process, credit audits and much more. This version has not launched to the public yet but available.

With Credit Letters Cloud, one can upload credit reports from Privacy Guard and IdentityIQ. My favorite part is that it has Letter Stream integrated in the system and users can send letters via first class and certified mail directly from their dashboards. Why I’m mentioning them? Well, it’s what I use to send my credit letters when helping friends and family. I recently move to the professional plan and still pay $9.95. I use it just for writing and sending my letters quickly. I also purchased their pre-formatted letters.  

PLEASE NOTEI’m not getting paid one dime or anything for recommending them or any other solutions.  If you need to organize your letter writing process this solution is perfect! By the way, I’m not in the credit repair business but a researcher. However, I do help family and friends with their credit and Credit Letters Cloud is under $10 and helps me.

Disco is a FREE application and they are getting traction from many startup credit repair companies. You will have to do a lot to set it up but Free is Free. They maybe a good startup package too. However, when I tried the application, I noticed that it became extremely sluggish and very slow often. It was difficult to setup for me. I’ve tried it day and night and was getting the same results. I tried it over 30-days. This was just my experience and not sure if they were having technical problems.

Credit Detailer is another reasonable price package that startups are using and a flat price business in a box program and nice.

Software For $100 to $299 Per month.   

Credit Repair Cloud is the number one selling software package out there. It’s an excellent software packages and their software support is very good; it is very user friendly too. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s the best software available.   Credit Money Machine has been around for 30 years and probably the oldest and very robust. It is a small company but has an excellent product. In addition, it has a learning curve and requires training.  I’ve never heard of a company that has outgrown their desktop application. They do have a lite version that’s under $100 but its limited.

I also love Client Dispute Manager software. It is a business in a box solution with built-in training. It’s an excellent solution for credit repair companies.  Credit Admiral software is another excellent package I love too. It was designed by credit repair specialists and the creator of Credit Con which is the best credit repair conference. Dispute Suite is another solid package that many credit repair companies are using and has a support team. They have gained popularity mainly because they host a successful boot-camp each year.  SX3 is another software program that has been around for a few years and has the ability to use unique dispute letters for each client. They are a good startup package too.

There are many more that are good startups packages on the scene and as I take a closer look at them, I will update this post accordingly.

Just make sure you get good basic training and credit repair certification prior to purchasing any software program, but if you can afford to do both it’s OK if you are aware that the software cannot think for you.

Finally, sales are very important to making money in any business and one will need leads. But please be aware that credit repair is a personal business just as if they are going to a barber or hair dresser; and people want results for their personally situation.

Make sure you know how to do the work prior to selling this service; unless you will use an outsource service.  However, the goal is to still get certification and training first. You must learn how to develop strategies for your client and without hurting them. These steps will protect the credit repair industry and keep this a lucrative business. Again, I like the Credit Consultants Association (ccasite.org) for membership, certification and startup basic training.

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