Credit Experts, who do you Trust?

During tough economic times credit experts are popping up everywhere. It’s not hard to find a website with someone giving advice about credit reports, credit scores, financing, or stock market advice.

All of these topics are hot and everyone claims to be knowledgeable. But I have often wondered; what classifies someone as a “Credit Expert?”

I recently got in touch with John Ulzheimer about his knowledge of credit reports and credit scores. John, who has been classified as a Credit Expert by the media, replied that  his expertise comes from the fact that he worked for Equifax and Fair Isaac. He also claimed that one’s opinion is a matter of perspective when it comes to “Who is a credit expert.”

That’s partially true, but the whole reason I started was because of all the misinformation on the web from all these so-called credit experts.

During my years as a lender, prospective buyers have come to my office or called on the phone with all types of misinformation about credit.

The number one issue was credit report disputes. Everyone that had late payments or collections on their credit report had read somewhere on the web that if you disputed these negative items they would fall off your report.

Some also told me that they’d been advised to close out any credit cards they weren’t using.

The list goes on and on….

One reason I mistrust self-appointed experts is my experience with a former business associate. He owned a credit reporting company for banks, and like John, had previously worked for Experian.

He considered himself an expert, but consistently argued some of the methods I was using to help borrowers increase their credit scores and get their loans financed. When someone tells you “That won’t work” but you’re doing it and it’s working, you have to wonder about their expertise.

That made me believe that having worked for one of the bureaus didn’t necessarily qualify a person to be called an expert.

That said, here is who I consider a “Credit Expert.”

  1. An individual who deals with credit reports daily.
  2. Someone who can actually read a credit report.
  3. Someone who can point out credit report problems along with solutions to fix the problem.
  4. Someone who has a track record of helping individuals achieve better credit scores.
  5. Someone who can teach credit education.
  6. Someone who knows Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
  7. Someone that knows Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 (FACTA)

I think there are two problems with looking for advice on the web today.

One is that anyone can call themselves an expert – and in order to make a buck, these false experts prey on people that are in financial trouble. These are the “experts” who recommend shady practices that can actually get consumers into legal trouble.

The other is that some very sincere people don’t possess the knowledge they believe they gained from working for one of the bureaus. As is typical with the red tape that accompanies the corporate process, these big corporate companies work their employees with blindfolds on. Each employee learns their small part of the process, but doesn’t get the entire perspective that they might get if they were working face to face with consumers on a day to day basis.

So if you’re looking for advice on the web, don’t believe everything you read.

Get some references about a company or double check with 2 to 3 other sites. Google their name and company name to see what others have to say about them.

Author: Mike Clover

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