Beavercreek, OH-- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/15/2008 -- It seems fair to say that the true cost of about everything a consumer buys and/or finances these days will be determined by their credit score. When we associate the term true cost, we are speaking of what a particular item may cost the person over a period of time. Consider the following example: Consumer A has virtually perfect credit (720 plus FICO score) and Consumer B has fair credit (600 FICO score). Imagine that both of these consumers visit the same furniture store to purchase the exact same leather sofa. They both decide to open up a finance account with the store to “charge it”. It is almost inevitable that Consumer B will ultimately pay far more for the sofa than Consumer A, if financed. This is all because of that three digit number, which defines who we are as a consumer. Whether you are purchasing a car, a house or even shopping for insurance, that little number can determine how much you are going to pay for it over a period of time.
Statistics suggest that there are over 100 million consumers today that would be categorized as having less than perfect credit. According to some experts, it doesn’t have to be this way. Consumers can actually fight back. What most people don’t realize is that their credit score does not have a memory. This means they can escape their current score with some proper education and advice.
Sean McCartney, President and CEO of nationally recognized US Credit Experts, LLC, states the following, “The credit score is only reflective of what is being reported at the specific time you are asking for a credit score. When someone pulls a copy of your credit report today, it could very well be a different score tomorrow, if it were pulled again. By changing one simple thing, in regards to what is being reported can ultimately change the score in a range of 10 to 100 points. According to the Government Accountability Office, nearly two thirds contain errors. Getting an account removed that is being reported with errors can ultimately allow the consumer to have a higher credit score. If a credit report has a 580 FICO score today because of an erroneous account, and we remove that account tomorrow, they could have a 700 score tomorrow afternoon. A client like this could potentially save 1% - 3% over the life of their mortgage note. This alone could mean tens of thousands of dollars in terms of savings. Rather than paying this excess interest to the banks or finance companies, consumers can use this money to fund their retirement or children’s education.”
Firms like McCartney’s not only work to get accounts deleted when they are incorrect, but they also help their clients get higher scores in other ways. For instance, during consultations with clients and after analyzing the entire credit situation, some basic advice can go along way.
Here is another example given by McCartney: “A client may have an open credit card account that they are never late on. There has never been any derogatory activity on this particular account. So the client assumes that this account is in perfect standing and should help the credit score. However, this credit card account has a $10,000 limit and the client consistently carries an $8,000 balance. This, in essence is killing the credit score. 35% of the credit score is determined by the revolving debt ratio. Ideally you want to carry a balance of 10% or less on the high credit limit to get the best score. Simply transferring some of the balance to another card with more room could achieve this goal quite simply. This little piece of advice could mean the difference of 50 points or more in a credit score.”
McCartney’s firm trains business professionals to work with their clients to achieve higher credit scores and to become more knowledgeable on how to better manage credit. US Credit Experts, LLC, has an online training program established for mortgage brokers, loan officers, real estate agents and other professionals who consistently work with credit challenged consumers.
“A loan officer who takes in 10 applications for loans every month probably only actually closes two or three of those loans,” McCartney says. “One reason is because probably only four or five of those clients have good enough credit to be approved. A year ago it was simple to obtain 100% financing for a client with a 580 credit score. Today the standards are much tougher because of the mortgage market crisis. Lenders now are requiring much better credit and have a lot more stringent requirements. A 680 score is going to be the number that a client should be starting with at a minimum. Out of those four or five clients that can be approved, a couple of those will probably shop around with other brokers. In the end the loan officer can only close two or three.
“But if the loan officer works with those other five or six people whose credit was not good enough, he or she can turn some or all of those into actual clients. The loan officers who we train will put those clients through a program where they dispute and remove inaccurate accounts from the credit reports. They also give their clients priceless advice on several other areas of their credit profiles that will in turn help boost the credit score to where it needs to be. The loan officer closes a lot more business per month, without having to spend any extra money in advertising or marketing. The client gets a loan approved, probably with a much lower interest rate, saving thousands of dollars in unnecessary interest. But also, the client is now much more educated in credit and can manage and control their credit scores better in the future. It’s not that the client was any less intelligent before. It’s just that they didn’t have a good enough understanding about the process. That is the difference with professionals who go through our training. There are “credit repair” companies popping up everywhere because of the condition of our market. Our professionals are entirely different in the sense that not only do they repair credit, but they also advise and educate their clients. And everything we do is legal, ethical and responsible”.
Randal Jennings is a mortgage broker who went through US Credit Experts’ training program. His mortgage company has doubled its business in the last six months. “It has definitely been the absolute biggest difference for our company,” he says. “I have been in the mortgage business for 10 years, so I was a bit skeptical that I would really learn anything new. However, during the first hour of the online training I was amazed at how much I didn’t know. Before, when a client came to me for a loan and their credit report showed problems, there was nothing I could do but send them away. I would tell them to go fix their credit and then come back and see me. They rarely did. Now, I put them through a program and help to remove several negative accounts, which increases the scores tremendously. And if they follow my advice, they will take some simple steps to increase the scores even more. Usually the clients end up treating me like a hero, even though I don’t feel like one. It’s all really quite simple once you have an understanding. The other thing that happens is these clients usually send a ton of referral business my way, which is priceless. I used to spend thousands in marketing dollars, which a lot of times didn’t bring me one client.
“Another thing that I like about US Credit Experts,” continues Jennings, “is that it is continual training. I learn new things all the time. There are always new topics coming out that help our business increase profits weekly. I will always continue the training. I make my staff participate as well.”
Says McCartney: “It always bothers me that hard-working folks say they cannot afford to save for their retirement or for their children’s college. If they would only spend time with a professional who is trained in credit, they may be amazed on how they can create this extra money out of thin air, by simply improving their scores and lowering their current interest rates on items such as their homes or car loans.”
US Credit Experts, LLC is an educational company with offices in Ohio and Florida that trains credit restoration, mortgage, real estate, and advisory professionals.