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The 5 credit repair secrets every agent needs to know

09 May 2019 Merrilyn Mansfield

If you want to provide the best service to your financially challenged buyers, it’s important you understand credit repair so you can steer them in the right direction.

Credit repair is often portrayed as a dark art, but the concept is actually simple: once you learn the mass of relevant industry regulations, you discover the different buttons you need to push in different situations. So, credit repair is actually a science, rather than an art.

That doesn’t mean agents should bother learning the intricacies of credit repair — your time would be much more profitably spent winning and servicing clients. But if you understand the basics of credit repair, you’ll become a more skillful agent.

Here are five credit repair secrets that will allow you to have better conversations with buyers whose credit histories are holding them back.

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1. Only incorrect listings can be removed

There are two reasons your buyers may have damaging listings on their credit file: they were either correctly placed or incorrectly placed.

Unfortunately, credit providers won’t remove accurate information from a credit file. But they will remove inaccurate information, provided you know how to work with them.

Takeaway: set realistic expectations for your buyers.

2. Credit repair can’t be done overnight

Removing incorrect listings is a process that takes weeks, not days.

While a good credit repair agency will move fast, they have to liaise with credit providers — and those providers can be big, bureaucratic organisations that operate at a slower pace.

Takeaway: give conservative timelines to your buyers.

3. Creditors are willing to negotiate

Credit providers often take a pragmatic attitude to debts, so they might be willing to offer your buyers friendlier payment terms, or even cancel some of their debt.

This sort of informal negotiation spares the credit providers the hassle of chasing someone for money.

Takeaway: reassure your buyers that all hope is not lost.

4. Part 9 Debt Agreements aren’t panaceas

Part 9 Debt Agreements are a formal renegotiation. Again, they usually involve credit providers accepting less money under a new repayment schedule.

This time, though, your buyers’ name will be entered on the National Personal Insolvency Index and the agreement will be recorded on their credit file, severely damaging their borrowing prospects for at least five years.

Takeaway: notify your buyers about the downsides of Part 9 Debt Agreements.

5. Consumers can solve problems themselves

Your buyers might not realise they can do their own credit repair without engaging an agency.

True, they might find it complicated, stressful and time-consuming. But it won’t cost them a cent.

Takeaway: tell your buyers about the self-service option.

The 5 credit repair secrets every agent needs to know
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Merrilyn Mansfield

Merrilyn Mansfield

Dr Merrilyn Mansfield is the lead adjudicator and researcher for Princeville Credit Advocates.

She is fascinated with the consumer laws that relate to credit reporting and in advocating for a consumer’s right to a correct credit report.

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