What Is a Credit Specialist?
A credit specialist is any person whose job it is to analyze credit reports, give counsel on how to improve your credit score, initiate disputes, or deal with any number of things related to improving credit. As you can see, the range of activities credit repair specialists do is quite wide. Furthermore, no special education or license is needed to become a credit specialist, so it can be hard to find a legitimate one.
The law protects you from unfair practices by credit repair specialists, but it does not prescribe who can become one. Unprofessional credit repair specialists can do more bad than good to your credit, so you should always be wary when you decide to employ one.
What You Should Look For in a Credit Specialist
At the end of the day, you can never be certain how effective credit repair services are until you try them out. However, there are certain practices that are considered optimal in the credit repair business and they can help you distinguish a legitimate credit specialist from a bad one.
Good Credit Repair Specialists Give a Time-Frame
Good credit repair specialists will always be able to give you a time-frame for seeing results, after analyzing your credit reports. How long credit repair services take depends on the level of damage to your credit score. Take note that the time-frame is an estimate, so if they give you a specific date for when your credit will improve, you should consider it a red flag.
Similarly, credit repair is a process. If they claim that it is possible to improve your credit within just a few days, you should be concerned. On the other hand, if they are unwilling to give an estimate, they are likely going to prolong the process for as long as you are willing to pay them. You know how good or bad your credit is and can guesstimate what a reasonable time-frame for improving it would be.
Enables Lawyer Involvement
There are multiple consumer protection laws designed to protect you from unfair practices from creditors, collection agencies, and credit bureaus. Good credit specialists should be prepared to work jointly with legal experts in improving your credit. At the very least, they should inform you of the possibility and counsel you on where to find good legal representation.
It is not uncommon for a loan officer, collection agency, or even a credit bureau to break the law. Most respectable credit repair companies will have in-house lawyers who will assist you in seeking legal redress.
A Customized Process
The chances of you and another person having the same credit profile are little to none. No reputable specialists will use a one-size-fits-all approach. A good credit specialist will analyze your specific situation and devise a plan based on it.
If it seems to you like you are getting generic answers and tactics, the credit specialist is either inept or unwilling to put in the work necessary. They should be able to explain in detail how they plan on improving your score.
Explains The Situation in Terms You Can Understand
Credit repair is a complicated procedure and nobody expects you to understand all the minutia and fine details. Nor are credit specialists expected to be teachers. However, all professionals worth their salt should be able to explain the basics of the procedure, in terms you can understand.
If they start bombarding you with terms like revolving credit, installment debt, credit utilization ratio, FICO and VantageScore, etc., without taking the time to explain what each term means, you could be dealing with a fraud who is trying to cover up by using industry terms.
Let’s give you a couple of examples. FICO and VantageScore are the two most common models used to judge a person’s credit score. They both go from 300-850. Revolving credit are your credit cards and credit lines – the credit you have at your disposal for regular use and don’t have a set amount of time to pay off. Once you pay it off you can use it again.
Installment credit are your house mortgages, auto finances, student loans, and similar. So, the loans you pay back in set monthly installments. The terms are more complicated, but these are the basics. See how easy it was? Genuine credit repair specialists will guide you through the process and help you understand what is going on with your score.
Consult a Credit Specialist Before Taking Out a Loan
While finding legitimate credit repair specialists can be hard, their services are invaluable. If you plan on getting a loan, a good credit specialist can get you much better deals and save you money. Always consult with credit repair specialists before making long-term financial decisions.