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 They promise they can remove outdated or non-verifiable items and raise scores in as little as 30 days.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.