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Credit repair – How do you know which credit repair service is right for you?

December 2, 2019

Credit is a crucial part of your financial power, or your ability to access goods or services now with the promise to pay later. The most significant indicator of your credit is your credit score, a three-digit number based on your financial track record that tells lenders how likely you are to pay back a loan. Credit scores are primarily based on credit reports, compiled by three independent credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax – who use information about your borrowing and repayment past that is voluntarily provided by creditors. Good credit is essentially necessary in order to secure a loan to purchase a home. But what do you do if your credit is less than ideal?

People with bad credit often turn to credit repair services for assistance. While these services can be a valuable resource for remedying bad credit, there are things you should know when determining which repair service to work with. Read on to learn what exactly credit repair services do, what to watch out for when selecting a credit repair service and some alternatives to repair services.

What do credit repair services do? What are some red flags?

Credit repair services will review your credit reports looking for errors and negative items. Then they will submit requests on your behalf to remove errors as well as negotiating with creditors to resolve any outstanding disputes or negative items. Importantly, credit repair companies cannot do anything you can’t do yourself. People opt to work with credit repair companies as a way to outsource the labor needed for credit repair, but there is no silver bullet. Credit repair is a process and it can take months, even years, before you really reap the benefits – any company that promises you quick fixes should be avoided altogether. Here are some more red flags:

  • Credit repair companies that ask for an upfront payment – this practice was banned by the 1996 Federal Credit Repair Organizations Act. Any company requesting a payment before services should not be trusted.
  • Companies that don’t provide contracts – it should be crystal clear and in writing what services they are offering and what you agree to pay upon delivery of those services.
  • Companies that promise or suggest they can remove something accurate and negative – no one can do this, not you and not a credit repair service.
  • Companies that ask you to lie or suggest creating a parallel identity – this is quite simply fraud and you should run the other way from any company that conspires to commit fraud.

How do you know you’re working with a good credit repair company?

Signs of a reputable credit repair service include the following:

  • Free consultations
  • Documented track record of successfully helping people repair their credit
  • Warranties stating they will not charge if they can’t remove a certain number of items

Credit repair service alternatives

Before opting to hire credit repair services, you should also explore alternatives. Specifically you should check out nonprofit credit counseling services. For free or a small fee, these services will teach you how to dispute errors, how to handle identity theft and credit card fraud, how to budget and offer strategies to improve your credit score in the long-term. Sometimes they will even work with you on a debt management plan, a payment agreement between yourself and your creditors.

Bottom line: Do your research!

Your credit is arguably the most important aspect of your financial power and there are ways to fix bad credit. But, as with anything, always do your research. Explore your options, whether that be credit repair or credit counseling, and remember that if anything sounds too good to be true, it almost always is.

SetSchedule Member Spotlight: Len Renaud with Adams, Cameron and Co., Realtors from Ponce Inlet, FL!

November 21, 2019

Len Renaud
Adams, Cameron and Co., Realtors

Experience: 8 years
Specializations: Residential homes and condos
Areas Served: Ponce Inlet, Daytona Beach, Port Orange, New Smyrna Beach

Q: What made you become interested in real estate?
A: I love selling and meeting people.

Q: What is the most interesting thing that happened during an open house you hosted?
A:  I received a full price offer on the spot!

Q: What was your favorite moment in your career so far?
A: Studying for and passing my Brokers exam. 

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SetSchedule Member Spotlight: Jon Schnell with Bright Realty from Sarasota, FL!

November 18, 2019

Jon Schnell
Bright Realty

Experience: 7 years
Specializations: Listing, New Build, Buyers, Renovations
Areas Served: St. Petersburg, Brandon, Riverview, Tampa, Bradenton, Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice

Q: What made you become interested in real estate?
A: I enjoy assisting people in one of the most stressful events in their lives by making it enjoyable and smooth.

Q: What is the most interesting thing that happened during an open house you hosted?
A:  I really haven’t anything very interesting other than meeting some up and coming athletes.

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SetSchedule Member Spotlight: Danielle Russodivito with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate from Suffern, NY!

November 15, 2019

Danielle Russodivito

Danielle Russodivito
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

Experience: 4 years
Specializations: First Time Home Buyers. Buyers, Sellers, Investors, Landlords, Renters.
Areas Served: Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Morris & Hudson County NJ; Rockland, Orange, Westchester & Bronx County NY

Q: What made you become interested in real estate?
A: In 2010, when I purchased my first condo. I loved the whole process of searching for homes online, and touring them in person. I have a little bit of background in construction between friends and family, so renovating and staging also intrigued me. I also have worked over 12 years in customer service, and absolutely love to see a smile on the customer’s face when you have exceeded their needs and satisfaction.

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SetSchedule Member Spotlight: Sandy Cary with Sotheby’s International Realty from Austin, TX!

November 5, 2019

Sandy Cary
Sotheby’s International Realty

Experience: 20+ years
Specializations: Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (LHMS), Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE)
Areas Served: Austin, Lakeway, Bee Cave, Westlake, Dripping Springs, Spicewood 

Q: What made you become interested in real estate?
A: Ever since I can remember, I have always been fascinated with real estate. I took real estate classes in college and always knew real estate was going to be my field of interest. I also enjoy helping others and I get great satisfaction out of uniting my buyers with the perfect home. I also enjoy listing homes and working hard to get them sold quickly!

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SetSchedule Member Spotlight: Diane Gonzales with Shorewood Real Estate from Colorado Springs, CO!

October 31, 2019

Diane Gonzales
Shorewood Real Estate

Experience: 12 years
Specializations: Residential real estate
Areas Served: Colorado Springs

Q: What made you become interested in real estate?
A: The money!!

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SetSchedule Member Spotlight: Maria Russo Schwartz with Douglas Elliman Real Estate from Huntington, NY!

October 30, 2019

Maria Russo Schwartz
Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Experience: 20+ years
Specializations: Staging, Estate Sales, Marketing
Areas Served: Nassau & Suffolk County, Kings County

Q: What made you become interested in real estate?
A: It as been in my family forever, I love it!

Q: What is the most interesting thing that happened during an open house you hosted?
A:  I had a line of buyers putting in offers 

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SetSchedule Member Spotlight: Greg Kolandjian with New Castle Group from Stafford, Va!

October 28, 2019

Greg Kolandjian
New Castle Group

Experience: 7 years
Specializations: Home Sellers/Buyers and Military Relocation
Areas Served: Stafford, Prince Williams, Fredericksburg, Fairfax, Spotsylvania and Alexandria

Q: What made you become interested in real estate?
A: I owened rental properties and flipped house few times.

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SetSchedule Member Spotlight: Amelia Smith with McMullen Realty Group from Bentonville, AK!

October 28, 2019

Amelia Smith
McMullen Realty Group

Experience: 3.5 years
Specializations: New Construction, Resale, Land, First Time Home Buyer, Investment Properties
Areas Served: Northwest Arkansas

Q: What made you become interested in real estate?
A: My husband is a builder.

Q: What is the most interesting thing that happened during an open house you hosted?
A:  The same couple showed up at 2 different open houses, one week apart. Instant connection, they said “Well hello, again”. We closed on their new home this past May.

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SetSchedule Member Spotlight: Earick Rayburn with RE/MAX Synergy from Chicago, IL!

October 24, 2019

Earick Rayburn

Earick Rayburn
RE/MAX Synergy

Experience: 11 years
Specializations: Residential everything, light commercial.
Areas Served: all of Chicagoland and surrounding suburbs

Q: What made you become interested in real estate?
A: I was always a public servant being a teacher and coach, and I enjoyed construction and renovation aspects of home. I combined the two into a career and it’s clearly my purpose.

Q: What was your favorite moment in your career so far?
A: Not that I have one, but I’ve had multiple experiences where a buyer had virtually no chance of getting a loan but the buyer did and closed because of the team of lender, attorney at times and of course me as the realtor working together to solve the problem. The same has happened for me representing the seller where various things had to be done to bring the deal to closing and I played pivotal roles. These are the most heartwarming experiences but none of them are dull. 

Q: What do you wish you had known when you first got your real estate license?
A: I’m good on what I knew.

Q: In what ways have you seen the real estate industry change since you started?
A: Interest rates constantly changing, housing laws changing, ethics for realtors changing, and design going in circles.

Q: What’s the most challenging part of your job?
A: Educating people in a matter of hours on what is realistic in this industry vs what they’ve heard for years from family or the media.

Q: If you could sum up being a real estate agent in five words or less, what would you say?
A: I am happy to serve.

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