In the more than 10 years I’ve been in the credit repair industry, the way credit repair companies operate has changed significantly. These changes are driven by state and federal government regulations. No longer can companies, or individuals providing credit repair services, legally charge high fees to consumers. And they certainly cannot do so before providing the services promised.
But what may have even more impact in the credit repair industry are the changes in the U.S. economy largely driven by the Covid-19 virus. Our economy was fragile prior to Covid-19. Historic low-interest rates were driving the stock market and the housing market. But when Covid-19 hit millions of people were laid off and many companies shut their doors. Many of those individuals that have since gotten new jobs can now pay their bills, but their credit score suffered in the meantime.
The full economic effect of Covid-19 hasn’t completely hit us yet. We have been further propped up by the printing of new money by the U.S. government. In 2020 alone, the government purchased approximately $3.5 trillion in government securities with newly printed money. A dramatic increase in the money supply will surely increase inflation and drive our country deeper into debt. That means everything will cost consumers more. Perhaps much more. This will likely lead to more past due and unpaid bills, and thus lower credit scores.
Credit Repair Companies Need to Change to Serve Consumers in the 2020s
Credit Repair Defined
To understand how companies in the credit repair industry need to change, let’s first define credit repair. Credit repair is widely perceived as the removal of derogatory items from a consumer’s credit report(s). If derogatory items are removed, credit scores rise. How much that consumer’s credit score rises is dependent on the number of derogatory and positive accounts, the type of accounts, and the length of credit history they have. However, there are more ways to affect a consumer's credit score than just credit repair. Surprisingly there is only one credit repair company that I’m aware of currently offering those services to consumers.
Credit Repair Companies Must Evolve and Offer More
In addition, credit scores are just one component of overall healthy personal finances. Consumers also need to be able to budget their income, pay down existing debt, save as much as possible, monitor and protect their credit, have access to affordable legal counsel, and have a last will and living trust. Throughout this process, consumers should be taught how credit scores are calculated and learn good credit habits so that they can maintain a good credit score long term. Again, there are no companies in the credit repair industry except one that offers these types of services in addition to credit repair.
The Challenge for Individuals and Companies in the Credit Repair Industry Moving Forward
Companies in the credit repair industry must find a way to offer the consumer more services to address their overall personal financial needs. The challenge is that they need to do it without increasing the cost to the consumer. The is a tall order for sure. But there is one company that already provides all the services I’ve mentioned above and more. And they do it for the same or less than most other companies charge for credit repair alone.
ERA Credit Services
You may have already guessed that the company I speak of is ours, ERA Credit Services. Let me clarify. We are an Independent Agent for a company that has partnered with other companies to put all these services together. Collectively they provide the services directly to the client. We are their marketing and sales arm. Our focus is on speaking to credit and financially challenged consumers and offering them a customizable plan to address their needs. It’s much like an independent insurance agent that can offer insurance products from multiple companies that meet their client’s requirements. We cover the entire U.S. with our network of agents.