The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has shut down a marketing scheme by as many as 50 websites that lured consumers into unknowingly paying monthly fees to receive a free credit score.
“View your latest Credit Scores from All 3 Bureaus in 60 seconds for $0!”, was one pitch to get consumers to actually sign up for a monitoring service that charged them monthly fees and was extremely difficult to stop.
Some of the websites that promoted these credit monitoring programs included www.ScoreSense.com, www.freescoreonline.com, and www.freescore360.com. The FTC claims that hundreds of thousands of consumers unwittingly signed up for their ‘free’ credit score not realizing that they were also signing up for a monitoring program and were being charged a monthly fee.
How to Avoid Getting Charged for a Free Credit Score
Be aware that anytime you are asked provide payment information, you run the risk of getting charged for something other than what you intended. Free trial offers that require consumers to include credit card or bank account information can be something you want to avoid. And, always research the terms of offers. Buried somewhere may be contractual language that obligates you to pay for something you do not want and/or was not disclosed in the original offer.
How to Get a Truly Free Credit Report
If all you desire is to receive a free copy of your credit report from either Experian, Equifax, or Transunion (the 3 major credit bureaus), then visit www.annualcreditreport.com. This website will allow you to see online, print out, or save as a PDF document one free credit report from each of the bureaus once per year. However, be aware that you won’t receive a free credit score. If you want to also see your credit score you will be asked to pay a fee. You may also see an offer to pay as little as $1.00 to see your score but, as the information above describes, be asked to sign up for a monitoring program that will charge monthly fees.
About ERA Credit Services
ERA Credit Services provides a truly free credit score and credit reports ongoing to it’s clients as part of the overall service of restoring their credit. ERA Credit Services specializes in working with consumers to leverage their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and remove erroneous, obsolete and unverifiable derogatory items from their credit report. ERA Credit Services works with consumers in all 50 states and is located in San Diego, CA and Clearwater, FL. Agents are available to speak with clients about credit repair in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, San Diego, all cities in Pinellas, Hillsborough and San Diego Counties and all other states in the U.S..
Do you need credit worthy clients? How often do you spend time with a prospective client, after having spent advertising dollars to get that prospect, only to find out they don’t have a high enough credit score to qualify to do business with you?
What do you then do with that prospect? You can spend further time trying to guide and help them which, in most cases is not productive. Or, you can partner with ERA Credit Services and allow us to work with that client to increase their credit score while you focus on your main business.
There are fewer credit worthy clients in Florida
Florida consumers have a lower credit score on average than those in the other 50 states. According to Experian in a 2014 study, the average VantageScore credit score in Florida is approximately 656 while the U.S. average is 669. In 2013 the Sun Sentinel reported that credit scores in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties had dropped to a 646 after it had been a 658 in 2012. Compare that to states where the average score is well over 700.
Here’s the Average VantageScore in Major Florida Cities (Experian- 2014)
West Palm Beach- 665
Fort Meyers- 673
What if you could spend very little time and effort, yet build your pipeline of credit worthy clients and qualified buyers? By working with us you can. We would be happy to discuss how our credit restoration service works and how you can monitor the progress of your client’s service online. Let us do the work while you build your business. Then we’ll pass that client back when they are ready to close a deal with you.
Better yet, what if you could become an Independent Agent and earn income associated with helping your clients? Our staff does all the credit repair work, analyzing credit reports, working directly with the client and the credit bureaus. After explaining our service your job is to input the client’s information into our online system. And, you get paid the next week! This could lead to some great part-time income or even to a whole new career.
Either way we would like to speak with you and see how we can increase your bottom line. What if we could help you close just a few more sales per year? What if you could now separate yourself from your competition by having a partner that can help prospective clients when no one else can?
At the very least someone is paying attention to the practices of credit reporting agencies. Maxine Waters, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the 43rd Congressional District (South LA County, CA), has proposed sweeping changes to the way the big 3 credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, Transunion) handle consumer information provided by creditors.
The Fair Credit Reporting Improvement Act of 2014 proposes the following changes which would increase millions of consumer credit scores immediately:
Currently creditors have the legal right to report a derogatory credit item on consumer credit report for 7 years, or 10 years in the case of a bankruptcy. The new bill, if passed, would reduce these time frames to 4 and 7 years respectively.
Paid or settled delinquent debt remains on a credit report as a derogatory account. The bill would eliminate this although it is unclear as to whether the item would be deleted, upgraded to a ‘Paid as Agreed’ status, or other.
When a consumer’s account has late payments their credit report reflects those late payments for the previously mentioned 7 year period. The bill would allow for a consumer to make a certain amount of on-time payments (perhaps 9 consecutive months) and have the previous late payments dropped from the report.
Currently when a consumer disputes an item on their credit report that dispute is reflected on the report preventing them from closing a home loan in some cases. The bill would eliminate reporting of disputes unless the dispute by the consumer is deemed frivolous. Of course, what is deemed frivolous is controlled by the credit bureaus so this may or may not have much positive impact.
The bill would eliminate the credit bureaus from offering a ‘free trial’ program to obtain their credit score and then switching consumers to a ‘paid program’.
Currently consumers have the right to one free credit report per year from each of the 3 credit bureaus but they still have to pay for their scores. The bill would force the bureaus to also provide free credit scores once per year.
Approximately half of all employers run credit checks on applicants. This bill would drastically reduce the number of employers able to do so by categorizing those than can. How this will be done is still unclear.
But Are Positive Changes to the Credit Reporting Agencies Really Coming?
This may be a welcomed bit of news for those in the know of current reporting practices but it isn’t cause to get excited just yet. Business Week stated that the bill is “unlikely to pass”. Business Insider goes further and states that, “the newest credit reporting act doesn’t have a chance”.
Most people when they learn about credit restoration, or what most people call credit repair, are skeptical that it is possible to have derogatory items removed from their credit report regardless of the reason those items are on their report. It simply comes down to understanding the law and perhaps using logic as well.
What Can Be Removed From a Consumer Credit Report?
There are 3 general types of accounts or trade lines that can potentially be removed from a consumer credit report with credit restoration. Obsolete items are those items that have a date of last activity older than 7 years, or 10 years in the case of a bankruptcy. Erroneous items have incorrect information that either must be updated or deleted due to the inaccuracy. And, items that can legally be reported but cannot or simply are not verified for accuracy by the creditor.
Understanding Credit Laws
The Fair Credit Reporting Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1971. Basically, it gives consumers the right to dispute any item on their credit report. If the creditor does not respond to that dispute or cannot verify the accuracy of the specific trade line, the law says the item must be deleted from the consumer’s credit report. What is happening here is that by not responding to the dispute the creditor is not verifying the accuracy of that reported item. Therefore, consumer protection kicks in and the item must be deleted. That part is pretty simple.
But why would a creditor not respond to a dispute, especially if the debt did not get paid and the date of the last activity on the account is within the last 7 years? This largely depends on the age and type of account, and if the creditor has a certain amount of debt owed to them.
Regarding items that are not obsolete or erroneous, there are those that have a higher probability of the creditor not responding, and those that have a lower probability. Nothing in this category is a sure thing that a creditor won’t respond, and therefore the item will remain. Yet, there is always a possibility.
Other Factors to Consider with Credit Restoration
In my experience as a professional in credit restoration it usually, but not always, comes down to the age of the account and the debt amount. An older account, at least 2 years but better when it is 4+ years, has a higher probability even if money is still owed by the consumer. The reason is that the account was charged off years ago by the creditor. In many cases the creditor wrote the unpaid debt off against income in a particular tax year recovering a significant portion of the debt. Then they perhaps sold the account to a collection agency recovering even more. Why would they, several years later, spend the time, energy, effort and money to respond to a dispute to all three major bureaus? Of course, an account that has a zero balance because the consumer eventually paid it but still shows up as a derogatory trade line, has a much better chance of the creditor not responding because there is no monetary incentive to respond.
However, an account that is less than 2 years old has a lower probability that the creditor won’t respond. Or, the collection agency that purchased the account from the original creditor may now be the creditor of record and they may respond.
Accounts that are still open but have late payments which is the reason they are showing as derogatory will not be deleted because the creditor is reporting on that account on a regular basis. The hope here is that the consumer has a recent history of paying the account on time and that the creditor will update the account to a “paid as agreed” status.
Consider the Value of a Higher Credit Score
What is stated above are generalities. There are no steadfast rules as to why a creditor will and will not respond to a particular item that can legally be reported for 7 years. Credit restoration is an attempt to restore credit regarding these type items. Given the disposition of the item and the creditor it works a significant amount of the time and therefore, is very much worth the attempt especially considering the value of a higher credit score.
When considering starting a credit repair business there are many questions you need to ask and get answered in order to choose the right credit repair business model to satisfy your needs, goals and perhaps even limitations. I mention limitations because few of us come into a new business totally prepared with every skill set and requirement necessary. In most cases only after we are in a business do we realize certain elements that are required that we didn’t beforehand.
There are actually 3 different business model types in the credit repair industry. Here are some questions you need to consider before choosing the right one.
What Are Your Goals?
a) Income (initially and long term)
b) Time (time to recuperate investment and hours a week to devote to the business)
What Is Your Skill Set & What Do You Like To Do?
a) Sales & Marketing
How Much Can You Invest?
a) Start up costs
Which Credit Repair Business Model Should You Choose?
Here are those credit repair business model types, what is required, and some of the advantages and disadvantages of each. Choosing the right one for you depends on your skills, your time, and the money you have to invest.
Starting Your Own Business
1) Federal & state laws and regulations
5) Office (home or other)
8) Sales skills
9) Admin skills
10) Limited income unless you want to expand & hire staff
Conclusion- You must have a substantial amount of time & money to invest, and also enjoy admin work, as well as understand that your customer base will be limited unless you hire staff.
Buying a Franchise
1) Significant investment $12,000 to $20,000
2) Still need to be concerned with Federal & State laws and regulations
3) Website, training, administrative should all be provided
5) Marketing skills
6) Sales skills
7) Limited income unless you hire sales staff
Conclusion- You must have a substantial amount of time & money to invest, and the franchisor must train you on how to market and sell against the competition
Owning an Independent Agency
1) Low start up cost- less than $500
2) The parent company has satisfied all state & federal requirements
3) Website, marketing materials, training, administrative are all provided
4) Training includes Sales & Marketing
5) The ability to add multiple Agencies provides unlimited income potential along with a residual income component
6) No staff needed
Conclusion- This is the lowest risk option providing potentially the highest reward. It also provides the ability to start making sales and earning income quicker.
For a more detailed explanation on the topic click Credit Repair Business Model to watch a very informative. If you are interested in discussing our Independent Agency business model or would like to discuss your options use the contact information below.
If you’re in a profession or industry such as real estate, mortgage, auto, banking, solar or other situation where you need qualified clients with a good or specific credit score for financing, this article can help you close more business and earn more money.
What Do You Do With Unqualified Clients?
You talk to people on a regular basis that do not have the credit score necessary to qualify to be your client. What do you do with them? We have found that in many cases, professionals in the industries listed above would rather just move on to find someone that can qualify instead of trying to help someone that can’t. If it only took you 10 additional minutes or less to help these people why not do both? In other words, take 10 more minutes to assist your unqualified client to see if they can become qualified in the future, and then move on to find someone that qualifies now.
How do you do that? How can you help someone that can’t qualify due to a low credit score become qualified? By developing a relationship with a trusted credit repair professional that has a stellar track record of helping people raise their scores. All you have to do is say to your unqualified client that you’re getting ready to lose, “I know someone that can potentially help you. Would you like me to give them your information and have them contact you?” That’s it. It’s actually less than 10 minutes of your time.
Upsides and Downsides of Partnering with a Credit Repair Company
What’s the downside? Assuming it’s a reputable credit repair company and they have proven to previously have helped thousands of people, the only downside is that this client isn’t a candidate for credit repair, or the client goes somewhere else to buy your product or service once their score is higher because you didn’t stay in touch with them.
What’s the upside? The credit repair company you chose has a system to keep you informed of the progress of your clients score improvement allowing you to know when to call them back. You, of course, do so and you close a transaction with someone you otherwise would have lost. All for an investment of less than 10 minutes of your time.
We Help You Have More Qualified Clients
When business is good we sometimes lose sight of these type opportunities to build our pipeline of future business. But this is so easy and time efficient it truly is something everyone in a credit related industry should do.
If you are looking for a trusted company with a proven track record and an A+BBB rating visit ERA Credit Services . We work with professionals all over the U.S. helping their unqualified prospects become qualified clients, and helping them close more business.
How many people out there today have less than perfect credit? You may say, “a lot, or many, or even you!” A recent study says the number is about 77 million Americans. Our company is looking for people to capitalize on the opportunity to help individuals with a San Diego credit repair business. And, to help those that need clients with a particular credit score in order to close business such as professionals in real estate, mortgage, auto, banking, solar companies and more.
An Opportunity to Work in Credit Repair
Are you completely satisfied with your current position or income? What would an additional $1,000 a month on a part-time basis do to help you and your family? Or, are you looking to perhaps make a career change and earn a significant income?
Credit repair is booming and we are looking for Agents to help us expand our credit repair business in San Diego and around the nation. We are a 10 year old established company that has helped over 170,000 people improve their credit score. We have an A+ rating with the BBB and thousands of very satisfied clients.
Partner With a Proven Credit Repair Service
We have a documented and proven credit repair service. Your job would be to educate consumers and professionals in credit related industries on this service and input their information into our online system. Our staff of experts does the credit repair work and you get paid!
If you have management experience, and/or are willing to learn, you can also build a team of Agents here in San Diego and around the country and get paid on their production.
If you want or need to increase your personal credit score we are here to help. But if you also are looking to make a change in your income or profession you may also want to consider joining our team.
If You Want to Know More About a San Diego Credit Repair Business We’d Love To Hear From You
Either way give us a call at 619-492-3040. We’ll provide you with detailed information. If you are the right individual we will set you up with an interview with our Vice President, Dale Guiducci.
Even though most recent reports signal a recovery of the U.S. economy from the worst financial crisis in close to 100 years, delinquent consumer debt is still a major drain of individuals and the economy as a whole. Reports indicate that there is a bigger problem in this area than experts previously thought. And, many consumers don’t even realize they owe this delinquent debt.
A report by the Urban Institute from late July, 2014 revealed that about 77 million adults have delinquent debt on their credit report. This excludes mortgage debt and takes only into account unpaid medical bills, credit cards, utility bills and other forms of consumer debt.
Income Level and Consumer Debt
This report also found large differences in the amount of consumer debt owed based on income level. Areas with lower incomes, such as the South, had collection rates as high as 40%. They also found concentrations of past due debt in Texas and Louisiana amongst other regions.
What was also interesting about this report is that creditors don’t seem very active in seeking payment of this debt. Many consumers discover that they have unpaid bills only when they go to purchase or lease a car, rent an apartment, buy a home, or make some other type of purchase that requires a check of their credit report.
Our Advice to You
Based on these findings our advice is to get a copy of your credit report. You can obtain a free copy of your Experian, Equifax or Transunion credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. If you do have unpaid debt you can either call the creditor and negotiate a payment, or you can call us. Through our industry best credit repair service we can potentially get it removed from your credit reports on all 3 bureaus.
All 3 major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax & Transunion) give consumers the ability to fix your credit and dispute derogatory or negative trade lines through their websites. This is required by the federal government. However, because the credit bureaus give us the ability to do this doesn’t mean they are an advocate of the process or are working on our behalf to help us clean up our credit reports.
Here is why and its basic logic. The credit bureaus do not generate revenue or make a profit by having to address negative items on our credit reports even if they are erroneous or obsolete. This process is a huge expense for these companies. It’s simply a downside of their business. Therefore they are not going to make it easy to fix your credit.
Steps To Fix Your Credit
First, they are going to require that you prove your identity. If you cannot prove you are who you are they are not going to allow you to submit a dispute. There is actually a very valid reason for this, identity theft. The bureaus are not going to send updates on your credit report giving out personal financial information to someone that they are not sure is you. Therefore, be prepared to answer random questions that will give the bureaus enough information to validate that you are who you say you are.
Then you will have to provide a valid reason for the dispute. What is valid to you is not necessarily valid to them. For instance, because you co-signed for a loan or credit card for someone and they didn’t pay is not a valid reason to have the item removed from your credit report, nor is being deployed on active duty in the military, or going through a divorce. There are valid reasons for disputing an item such as, the account wasn’t yours. But the credit bureaus are not going to publish this information. This is further evidence that they want to make it as difficult as possible for consumers to fix your credit.
If you are successful in submitting a dispute through the credit bureau website or writing a letter, and you receive an update from the bureau verifying the accuracy of the account on your report and thus stating that the information will remain unchanged, don’t give up there. This is the biggest mistake consumers make when trying to dispute items on their own. Dispute it again. Make the credit bureaus contact your creditor and have that creditor respond again. Do it several times. In some cases when the creditor sees that you are not giving up they will simply not respond to the bureau(s). When this occurs the item must be deleted from your report.
A Professional Service Can Save Lots of Time and Frustration
As you can tell this is a lot of work and most of the time leads to failure and frustration. Many consumers make the decision to pay for a professional company with a good track record to go through all of this for them. Companies that have been in business for several years know exactly how to navigate through this process, the proper dispute reasons and codes, the acceptable proof of identification needed, and will not give up.
If you decide that your time is worth far more than trying to fix your credit on your own give us call. We have been in business since 2004, have helped over 250,000 people, work in all 50 states and have an A+ BBB rating. We will work on all 3 bureau reports, dispute as many items as you have, all for a one time activation fee of just $188 and $89/month. We also give you online access to view your items and see the progress we are making on your behalf.
Looking for an MLM or Network Marketing Opportunity was originally posted in 2014 and was updated January, 2017
If you’re setting out to find an MLM or network marketing opportunity you most likely have experience in the industry. Therefore, you want to find a company with the attributes that are important to you. But at the same time eliminating many of the pitfalls or disadvantages you may have discovered with a previous company.
What if you could find a company that offered all the advantages and attributes of a great MLM opportunity but had eliminated many of the pitfalls and disadvantages? Let’s examine what some of these advantages and disadvantages are.
Advantages of an MLM or Network Marketing Opportunity
Residual and recurring income
Utilizing the efforts of other people (OPE)
Start up/ground floor opportunity
Low start up cost
Selling products that are needed not just desired
Unlimited income potential
Disadvantages of an MLM or Network Marketing Opportunity
Ongoing monthly fees/costs for product
Trying to recruit family and friends
Ground floor opportunities usually come from inexperienced companies
Products that are over priced
Products that have competition at retail stores
Selling a product that is a desire not a need
Having to train and manage people
Carrying inventory so people can try the product
Competition from other MLM’s in the same space
Low initial income
If you have experience in the industry you can perhaps add items to each of the lists above. The point is that choosing the right network marketing opportunity is the key. And, you want to have as many advantages and eliminate as many of the disadvantages as possible.
Here’s a company that I believe has done so and something you may want to take a strong look at. Many “traditional” network marketers will find this company to be very unique. It may be a bit foreign to them and they don’t quite grasp the differences.
Network Marketing Opportunity
Financial Education Services (FES) is a 14 year old company so the infrastructure is solid and stable, and they have tremendous scalability. FES is also debt free. It’s a ground floor opportunity without the typical risk associated with a company that is new.
The flagship product of FES is not a product at all. It’s a service, credit repair. Tens of millions of people are in need of this service and will continue to need credit repair long into the future. Because FES and its credit repair division, United Credit Education Services, have not only a 14 year track record but they have already serviced 250,000 customers. And, they both have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
They also have other financial services that people need such as a will & trust and identity theft protection. Also a service that helps people pay off their debt faster, on line credit monitoring and more. By offering services and not products they eliminate the issue of buying and maintaining inventory. And, the margins for services are far better than for products because there are no manufacturing and shipping costs. Therefore they can actually offer these services for less than traditional businesses can. This puts their independent Agents in a great position to compete in the marketplace and still have a very lucrative pay plan.
Referrals for Sales from Other Professionals
Something that FES has to offer that perhaps no other company in the MLM or network marketing space has is the ability to get referrals for sales from other professionals. Real estate agents and brokers, mortgage brokers and loan officers, auto salespeople and dealers, banks, solar companies and more. Any professional or company that has a need for their clients to have a certain credit score to close business with them is a potential referral source. Individuals and companies in the industries listed above lose a significant amount of their business because their prospective customers cannot qualify due to credit score. The FES Agent can solve this problem by developing relationships with these people who are happy to refer these “lost” prospects to them.
Eliminating the Negatives of Network Marketing
This company certainly provides all the advantages listed above but here’s how they have eliminated the typical disadvantages of MLM or network marketing.
Ongoing monthly fees/costs for product- Agents for FES can choose, and should choose to purchase their services for a nominal monthly fee. But once they have 5 other Agents or customers on the services theirs is now free. No more monthly fee.
Recruiting everyone that you know- FES promotes recruiting of Agents certainly but trains their Agents to look for serious business-minded entrepreneurs. That may be one’s neighbor but more than likely friends and neighbors become customers or simply referral sources.
Ground floor opportunities usually come from inexperienced companies- This company has a ground floor opportunity but is not a start up by any means. It’s the best of both worlds.
Products that are over-priced- FES services are priced lower than what is found in the current marketplace for an inferior service.
Products that have competition at retail stores- the consumer cannot find the services FES offers at a store. They aren’t going to replace these services while running their errands.
Selling a product that is a desire not a need- The services that FES offers are not just a desire. People need what FES Agents have to sell to be able to refinance or buy a home, car, rent a home or apartment, and more.
Having to train your own team- FES provides the top training in the industry. The concept is to plug your new Agents into the training system and allow the top producers in the company to train your Agents. Also, FES trainings are not hype and not just motivational. Their trainings are filled with content about building a business.
Carrying inventory so people can try the product- no inventory is needed
Competition from other MLM’s in the same space- there is none
Low initial income- this may be the best part. An FES Agent can earn a $1o0 commission on a credit repair sale, and $12/month residually. What other MLM company has a product or a service where one sale can result in that type of pay off? FES Agents can get themselves in a position on a part-time basis to be earning $4,000 or month or more in 90 days or less. Of course, results are based on the individual Agents efforts and time they put into the business. Click here for details and our income disclosure.
Contact Us About This Network Marketing Opportunity
If you are looking for an MLM or network marketing opportunity but want a company that is different, and has eliminated many of the pitfalls in the industry, FES just might be for you.
Contact Dale Guiducci, Vice President with Financial Education Services and owner of ERA Credit Services, an independent Agent of FES and United Credit Education Services.