By Amber Hayden
MBA, Financial Business Research Specialist.
So you want to start a credit repair business?
Starting a credit business is easy and a lot simpler than you think. I understand that most links you see when searching for “how to start a credit business or credit repair training” is from a credit repair software company and maybe very confusing. However, if you take out the time to read this post, I hope to explain the process and the best approach to starting a credit repair business and save you a lot of headaches and money.
First, you don’t need a degree or a special license to start. However, it is 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. 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). CCA is the oldest and largest with a very affordable annual fee and actually takes complaints from consumers, certify individuals not companies, go undercover to weed out bad credit repair companies and works with elected officials, NACSO make sure companies are in compliance, has monthly fees and works with a Washington lobbyist to help the industry. However some firms are members of both. I only recommend that you get your certification from a non-profit organization.
Starting A Credit Repair Business can be extremely lucrative; especially since all of the issues facing the credit bureaus as of late. It also has a very low start up cost. All you need is a phone, a computer with internet access, an email account and a word processor program. However, If you have a smart phone this could be helpful to place reminders for your clients. To grow, you will eventually need a website BUT not to start.
So many believe that they need a credit repair software program to start and manage their credit repair business. This is NOT always true. However, you can purchase this much later when you have successfully helped enough clients after your initial training to afford the software. I actually recommend that you get excellent basic credit repair training prior to purchasing software to run your business. Why should you wait? Startup expenses e.g. cost and it can create MORE problems for consumers with untrained people using software than it helps. YOU MUST GET A GOOD FOUNDATION e.g. credit repair training prior to getting software in order to control it.
Some credit repair software have many different company names e.g. credit repair training school, credit repair business training or academy offering maybe FREE “start a credit repair business books”, low cost credit repair and business training book, but they are still steering you towards their software company with free trials and seeking monthly fees afterwards. You also will find yourself with $149 to $400 per month in expenses before you have any clients. This can be a recipe for failure for many just starting out.
Automation is excellent and the way to go when the time is right. Therefore, it is important to know that I’m not against software companies. I just know that there maybe a conflict of interests and they just want to sell software. But because you don’t actually need software to start a credit repair company right away, you shouldn’t have to incur the expenses during the startup stage.
PLEASE NOTE: NO credit repair software can legally pull consumers credit reports or load them directly from the credit bureaus. One has to have a permissible purpose to do so and 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 once you are fully trained in this business. There is a software product that will offer better automation that I will be looking at thoroughly and report my findings.
Just know that the software is NOT the problem but how they are used. You see, a credit repair software program CAN NOT Think for you and if you rely on it to do the job of developing the strategy for disputing credit issues, it can actually hurt some consumers.
Many are using software as their first source to starting a credit repair business before they are trained to do the work. This is because some software companies spend a lot of money in advertising, When searching google to learn how to start a credit repair business, they are the VERY FIRST links you see and their training school is the second links. They have purchased all of the top links. Also to consumers seeking to start a credit repair business will think, “it seems easier to just click buttons that will do the work for you.” However, what they don’t know yet is that this can hurt a client’s effort to increase their credit scores if the consultant is NOT FULLY TRAINED to develop a strategy for their clients. Some software companies are offering these courses but steering you directly to purchase their software. You do not want to do this first in my opinion!!!!
With some software generated letters, credit bureaus may placed a flag on consumers accounts that they are attempting to repair credit using a credit repair company. Why is this important? According to interpretation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the law used to protect consumers rights, Credit Bureaus and creditors can refuse to investigate disputes if done by a credit repair company. Yes, you can get them to respond and it is within your right, but they have the right to reject what they consider frivolous claims. Why go through that hassle and time when you can get it right from the beginning to avoid this issue.
If you want to start a Credit Repair Business and be successful, you must separate yourself from all of the nationally advertised firms. You must brand yourself in a different way by offering maybe 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 otherwise. Many consumers that lives in your community, may feel more comfortable with you instead.
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. If anyone says that you don’t need to be certified, it important to know this: Yes, it is true you do not need a special credit repair certification or certificate but you should want to be certified by a non-profit credit repair association. It will say that you are one that is ethical with standards.
A 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 start up 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. This is why 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.
Some credit repair companies charge $49 to $99 per month for their services. However one of the most successful method is to charge per deletion or per points increased. For example, some charge $85 per deleted item off a credit report for each account deletions and $50 per non-account deletion. Some add more for deleting collections or public records accounts. Some just charge the flat $85 for all items.
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.
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 challengable accounts items on their credit reports. If you delete 3 items for all clients 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.
As I stated before, one does not need a special license or a degree to start a credit repair company but there are rules for each state. A good credit repair training source will provide this information.
I would get my initial training from a 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. It is a 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 really valid certification 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 makes protecting the public their mission.
I am recommending CCA, The Credit Consultants Association, Inc. I have no affiliations with them but like their program and mission. They are a non-profit trade association offering credit repair certification, membership and excellent self-paced training. Many of the top successful credit repair professionals received their initial training with this organization. They are a perfect source in starting your credit repair business. They also offer one-on-one phone coaching 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 followup 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.
Credit Repair Software?
As I stated, you don’t need software. However, there are some good software packages available when you are fully trained. You should learn how to do this business manually and when moving to software it will help you manage your business better.
Many packages are great for startups companies 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 becomes extremely frustrating for business owners. That’s when these business owners may look for other solutions or creates their own software.
Therefore, after you have done credit repair manually and understand how this business works. After 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 do all the work for you. When their disputes works for your client, use it but DO NOT throw away your word processor. Some challenges to credit bureaus and furnishers have to be customized for each client and most of these software programs will not accommodate these issues.
To sum it up, I’ve looked at most of them some has many features.
Therefore, I’ve looked at a few package: Credit Repair Cloud is the number one selling package out there. It’s an excellent software packages for startups and midsize companies and their software support is very good. Credit Money Machine has been around for 20 years and probably the oldest. It is a small company but has a good product. In addition, it has a learning curve and requires training. I’ve never heard of a company that has outgrown their desktop application. Client Dispute Software is a low cost business in a box software program. It’s an excellent package for startups and midsizes credit repair organizations. They also have helpful built-in credit repair training videos. Credit Admiral software is excellent too and was designed by credit repair specialists the creator of Credit Con which is the best conference.Credit Detailer is another reasonable price package that many are using. 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 bootcamp 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 package startup package too. Disco is FREE 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 are a good startup package too.
There are many more that are good startups packages on the scene that I’m just discovering such as Credit Score Techs and TrackStar. I will take a look at them and 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 as long as you are aware that the software can not 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 services; unless you will just use an outsource. However, the goal is to still get certification and training first. You must learn how to develop strategies for your client and not cause them any harm. 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 training. Credit Consultants Association Coupon Code is available.