How to Find a Real Credit Expert 18 Apr 2012 | By chane

f you're trying to get yourself settled financially, finding a credit expert to help you over some rough spots could be very useful. The problem is having to wade through any number of potential credit experts in order to find the right one. Scammers are abundant in the world of credit repair and it is all too-common for a person to think that he or she is hiring a credit repair expert, when in reality the only thing that happens is a clever scam that leaves the wallet lighter and the credit file unchanged, or worse than when the “expert” started helping. The truth is, of what a credit expert can do for you, you can do for yourself. But when figuring out what to dispute gets tricky or you are just too swamped to deal with the daily grind of checking and rechecking your credit standings, following up with creditors, and keeping on top of the process, hiring a real credit repair expert is well worth the money spent.

What should I look for in a Credit Expert?

When choosing a credit expert, look for qualifications. Don't just go to an accountant or bookkeeper, or even a lawyer if he or she doesn’t have the experience or training in the field of consumer law - you need to have someone who specializes in credit and the laws surrounding it. A membership to the NFCC ( National Foundation for Credit Counseling ), the AICCCA ( Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies ) and similar organizations is a good start. Being registered with the Better Business Bureau is also reassuring - they keep tab on their members. Also remember to think about the personality of the person you're dealing with - if they seem like you can work with them, and you trust them, it will go a lot better. Don't hire someone you feel is talking over your head - or down to you. You need to feel comfortable working with them.

Check their Record

Even if your potential credit expert isn’t a member, the Better Business Bureau will likely have some record of their past complaints if there are any to be found. However, you can’t rely solely on the BBB to inform your choice. For very young businesses and independent consultants that haven’t been in business long, the BBB may not have any information. Also, it’s quite likely that a scammer may change their company name often. Do a search for Doing Business As (DBA) names to be sure the credit expert you choose doesn’t have anything to hide. Look for good references from real customers - not just their blurbs in their handouts or on their website. There should be some real references you can go over that don't sound canned. If there are people you can speak with who have worked with this credit expert in the past, that’s even better.

Talk With a Credit Expert Before You Choose

Most real credit experts are not reluctant to answer questions --a free consult is part of many credit repair agencies. You should be wary of any credit expert who professes expertise in credit and credit repair but who doesn’t want to talk over what he or she will do for you, what your problems are and how they should be handled. A real credit expert will discuss your situation with you without asking for cash up front, generally speaking. The most reputable credit experts do not try to lock you into a contract before they’ve even discussed your situation to be sure that they are a good fit for your needs. Speaking of discussion, don’t depend on any credit expert who offers to take your case right away without speaking with you and asking a few questions. At best it’s a sign of a canned approach -- one that is likely to yield less than stellar results. At worst, you’ll find yourself locked into a contract with no results whatsoever. If you don't get a chance to discuss your particular credit problems during the initial consultation process, you may wish to look elsewhere for your credit repair expertise and assistance. The best advice with choosing a credit expert is to trust your instincts. If you feel rushed or if something doesn’t seem right, chances are good that the person or agency is not a good fit for your situation. Using your common sense and avoiding things that seem too good to be true will help as well. With careful planning and little research, you should be able to find a credit expert that meets your needs.