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When people have a challenge in their life where they seek advice or assistance, they usually want to tell their story and then receive a solution designed specifically for their situation. In most cases of advice or strategic planning, there is no “one fits all” model. Whether you have a legal, financial, or health problem, there are always specifics to the puzzle that need to be addressed. When addressing a problem, one corrective action could create a remedy or possibly another challenge. This is why professional advice is so important.

In the world of credit repair, the online companies have done a great job with marketing a “quick and cheap fix your credit” campaigns. They promise they can remove outdated or non-verifiable items and raise scores in as little as 30 days. Now this sounds great, and the point of entry is fairly cheap…lower than most people’s monthly TV cable bills. The main issue with this business model is most of the companies are a “one dimensional” business. What I mean is they are only writing repetitive dispute letters to the credit bureaus for the client. This single effort credit repair model does not help solve the entire puzzle of the individual’s credit challenge. They are not able to properly evaluate open or active good standing credit accounts, or if the person needs to address a particular account and explore settlement. Maybe the client has a hard time with cash management in return led to many missed payments on a loan. It would be appropriate to offer assistance and coaching for cash management or budgeting. The goal with coaching would be to remedy the situation long term.

The end goal with a client seeking assistance with credit is to finish the job. However, in order to complete the task you must know the goal first and what the person is attempting to achieve. Is the client attempting to purchase a home? If so, are there certain “deal breakers” on the credit report such as a tax lien or judgment? This is a good example of items that just cannot be challenged by dispute and magically erased. They have to be dealt with carefully and with strategy for the most positive outcome.
Most public records today report to other sources such as PACER.GOV where they can be found by a lender or creditor, even an employer. So a simple deletion from the credit bureau doesn’t erase the transaction or its history. It can be found so it must be dealt with appropriately.

A professional advisor in any field must know who they are working with. Did the client have an event in their life that led to this distress or was it caused by a behavior created that they now struggle with? Credit is another money “component” for people and many times people create the drama. The drama is caused from a lack of knowledge or discipline of money. It could also be from excessive spending or sometime even the “I don’t care attitude”. Either way, a proper assessment of concerns must take place so a detailed plan can be put in action to address all the solutions.

In my 10 years of meeting with thousands of clients, I have never heard the same story from a client twice or reviewed two identical credit reports. Each person had a unique situation and required a unique solution. The online business is great for ordering a pair of shoes or tangible things we desire, but not for professional services. If so, the legal, accounting and even the counseling environment would offer it, but there’s no “one fix all” when it comes to providing peace of mind.
Harry Snedden
ScoreCrafters, LLC

 

 

71884753-718a-42a5-b9e7-05325af21852I always believe every person’s financial life is a story. With story structure, there is always a character that transforms throughout the story. Each story has external and internal problems that each character must confront. In our industry for example if a person has a low credit score, then they may have difficulty buying a car. That is the external issue. The internal issue is that they cannot provide for their family because their job requires dependable transportation. Or the same with a mortgage loan for a home. Most people do not care about the mortgage itself as long it is favorable terms; it’s the home they wish to buy for their family that offers comfort and stability. As credit using consumers, we realize that life events can reflect on a credit report. Whether it is a time of hardship such as divorce, job loss or health issues, a credit report always shows the struggle. The credit repair industry (especially the large online companies) does a great job of marketing better credit scores, but does that marketing address the “why” of the process. What does that better score bring? How does it enhance their client’s life? Is the client more knowledgeable about the process so they can avoid future harm? Basic finance understanding is still scarce in society today, so people need personal help and direction when confronted with a problem. Personal coaching of solutions is the tool to their successful story ending. Our process at ScoreCrafters allows us to visit with a client and learn their story. We review what has caused the concern, and then create a plan of resolution. One thing we have learned is the goal of our client is always bigger that the credit score or credit files itself. The credit file and better scores are tools to our client for a brighter story of life. Any professional service has to appeal to both the external and internal need of a client. Don’t forget, the internal need is the goal trigger that allows them to take action on their part too. As professionals, it is our responsibility to help them create a new story in their life.

Harry Snedden ScoreCrafters, LLC

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