Aug 23, 2013 | Updated Oct 23, 2013
Felix Tarcomnicu Entrepreneur and Internet Marketer
Are you good with money? Do you have a great credit score and want to help others do the same? Then your calling might be to become a credit repair specialist. While many lenders consider a good FICO score one that is above 700, the average credit score in America is between 687 to 692, depending on which source you refer to. You also have over one-fourth of Americans with a FICO score of 650 and under. So with so many Americans falling below the threshold of what is considered a "good" credit score, you can clearly see that credit repair can lead to a very lucrative career. So if you want to venture into a career as a credit repair specialist, read on to see how you can become a successful one.
Get a Degree in a Related Field
In order to gain some practical experience and knowledge in the field, you should major in a degree that is closely related to the credit industry. The most closely related degrees are business and finance. However, economics and math are degrees that are often useful in the credit repair industry. With that said, there isn't a requirement to obtain a 4-year degree in order to become a credit repair specialist.
Learn How to Negotiate
As a credit repair specialist, you are an advocate for your clients who are in need of help in repairing their finances. In order to do that, you will negotiate with lenders and creditors on their behalf. If your client comes to you with $20,000 in credit card debt, you have to be able to negotiate with creditors to somehow lower your client's debt down to something more manageable.
Know the Procedure to Get Negative Items off Credit Reports
Aside from negotiating with lenders and creditors, a huge portion of your time will be committed to getting negative items off your client's credit reports. There are three credit bureaus in which creditors report to -- Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. Creditors report credit limit, credit balance, late payments, collections, charge-offs, bankruptcies, defaults, and many other negative items that can adversely affect one's credit score. In order to do this, you will have to be familiar with how each credit bureau deals and responds to complaints of errors on credit reports. This is probably the most important thing you can do to improve your client's credit score. A removal of a 30-day past due mention on the credit report can raise your client's credit score by more than 100 points.
Check Local Licensing and Insurance Requirements
Because money (and money problems) is such a sensitive topic, there will surely be licensing and insurance requirements in your area. Each locality has different requirements for licensing and insurance, so be sure to do your homework. Licensing and insuring yourself is a requirement if you plan on starting
up your own credit repair business -- but it may not be a requirement if you are planning to join a credit repair company as an employee.
Do a Thorough Background Check on the Company You Plan to Work For
There is no easy way to say this, but there are a lot of slimy businesses out there. So before saying "yes" to an offer, you need to check credit repair company reviews on the internet to see what others are saying about them. Are most of the reviews bad or good? What do they offer their clients? Have they been around for a long time? Are they accredited? What accolades or rewards have they received? These are the questions you should answer when you are looking at a company to work for.
Stay on Top of the Personal Finance Industry
In addition to getting your clients out of debt, you have to ensure that they don't go into debt again. This may be a bad way to get repeat business but it is a great way to obtain new customers by offering excellent customer service and knowledgeable (and actionable) advice. In order to ensure that your clients don't go into debt again, you will have to educate them on how to better grasp their finances. You should be able to educate them on the latest apps to manage their finances, the latest long-term growth investment vehicles, and the latest tax breaks to get them more money back at the end of the year. Educating your clients after you have gotten them out of debt will provide your customer with unsurpassed customer service and will give you peace of mind in knowing that you did everything possible to help.
The financial industry is big and there is a lot of money to be made. By networking and partnering up with others in the financial industry in different segments, you can increase your bottom line and make more money. For instance, you can network with mortgage lenders, financial advisors, accountants, real estate agents, and even car salesmen and refer business to one another. It is a win-win as everyone is in different segments of the financial industry so there aren't any overlapping interests.
Know How to Market Yourself Online
Although there is a lot of money to be made in credit repair, it is also extremely competitive and cutthroat. As such, you should gain the upper edge by learning how to market yourself on the internet. Your clients are everywhere online, be it Google, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. So the bigger digital presence you establish for yourself, the more money you will make. At the very minimum, you should have a Facebook page that is solely dedicated to your business and start looking for business within your Facebook network. Once you have that down, you can move onto other methods of getting business online, such as PPC marketing or search engine optimization.