This July will mark 16 years since Alania Newson started working as a credit repair consultant. A job that started in what she calls a “really creepy, old, smelly building that we called the Shire” but one that she says has allowed her to help people who find themselves unable to purchase their dream car or home and sometimes even secure a job because of their credit score.
Newson is witness every day to uninformed people burdened by an overly complex system that does no one any favors. Newson said it’s actually become easier than most people to realize errors that appear on credit reports. When they appear most people don’t know what to do.
“People don’t realize that there is help and that it is possible to have stuff removed from their credit,” says Newson. “A lot of people think that it’s on there, so therefore I have to deal with it for seven years and there’s nothing I can do.”
The data that’s gathered for credit reports comes from a variety of places. Some of it today is automated. That complexity has led to plenty of room for errors. Whether it’s an address change, a name change, or simply a clerical error the margin of error is large. A margin that is only worsened by lack of knowledge.
“People don’t know that they have resources to look at their credit report or how important it is until they can’t get what they want,” says Newson. “[They also] don’t realize that if they have collections or if they pay something late, it doesn’t go away after it’s caught up or paid off.”
That’s when credit repair professionals, like Newson, come in. They answer consumer questions and walk them through the next steps and possible solutions.
“I even find out if they have anything that is helping their credit and find out their goals and what they are working towards,” she adds. “I spend a lot of time on that before I even go into their credit report because I want to know what their situation is first and what I need to help them with.”
But one piece of advice Newson has for first-timers: it may take a while to fix the mistakes on your credit report.
“It is [about] letting them know that it’s not gonna happen overnight. It didn’t show up overnight, so it is gonna take time,” says Newson.” But we work quickly and we work as fast as we can. So, it is a quick process, it’s just that it’s not overnight.”