Credit Repair Explained: A Path to Financial Freedom

Unlocking Your Financial Potential with Expert Advice

Kerry Sainsbury



Meet Kerry Sainsbury, the visionary behind Credit Success. With a dynamic blend of ambition and empathy, Kerry has carved a prominent space in the credit repair, banking and finance sectors over two decades. Her journey includes pivotal roles as a Senior Business Development Manager, State Manager in a credit repair agency and a stint as a broker with a leading bank. Kerry’s extensive qualifications and experience have not only shaped her into a respected leader but also underscored her dedication to making a difference in people’s financial lives.

In this month’s interview, we dive into the world of credit, exploring common credit challenges such as late payments and defaults to the depth of the credit restoration process. Kerry illuminates the detailed journey of credit repair, underlining the profound effect of credit inquiries on scores and offers strategic guidance for boosting creditworthiness, crucial for prospective mortgage holders. Discover essential strategies for sustaining a healthy credit score after repair, aiming for long-term financial stability and preparedness for significant financial ventures.

What are the most common credit issues that you encounter and how can they be addressed?

“The two most common credit report issues we see as a Credit Repair Agency are late payments and defaults.

Late Payments are recorded against your credit report when a mortgage, credit card, personal loan, car loan or buy-now-pay-later account have been paid after the due date and past the 14-day grace period. The severity of the late payment is dependent on how many days past due the account is. Category ‘1’ listing = up to 29 days past due and the worst Category being an ‘X’ which is up to 180 days past due. Once the account is in ‘X’ it is highly likely that the account will also turn into a default, further affecting the customer’s rating. Credit Reports show repayment history on all these accounts for 2 years. Addressing late payments includes ensuring the client is in regular communication with the Creditor to advise when a payment will be made and making a request for the late payment not be listed against their report. In most circumstances major life events, illness, medical, relationship break downs, loss of work or reduced hours can happen and it isn’t always possible to stay on top of financial commitments. As credit repairers we can build a case for our customer to open a review for the removal of the late payments on warranted compassion grounds, errors or financial hardship.

Defaults can happen when a client has missed a payment, stopped making payments or is unable to make a payment towards a financial commitment in their name. At times there are defaults that are placed upon a client’s credit report due to error or fraudulent activity. At Credit Success we investigate all avenues and build a case by talking with our customer to understand their story and circumstances about how the default came to be. We then submit a review request for a total removal of the default. We encourage our customers NOT to make a payment towards a default until they have started the credit repair process. The reason we ask them to do this is so we can potentially reduce the outstanding debt, negotiate a payment plan or a pay out in order to have the default removed. We negotiate a plan that is approved by our customer and is within their financial means.”

How long does the credit repair process typically take and what steps are involved?

““The credit repair process can take anywhere from 1 week (best case scenario) through to 10 weeks if resolved internally between Credit Success and the Creditor. This is an estimate and does not include if a case will need to be submitted with the appropriate Ombudsman. Should a case need to be resolved using the Ombudsman, a complex case without supporting evidence may take up to 3-4 months and the reason for this is because the case will go into a queue while waiting for a case manager to be assigned. Our industry Ombudsman, AFCA is in back log due to Covid-19 Hardship cases. We request any supporting documents or evidence for the best chance at having any case resolved within 10 weeks.

Below are the steps for credit repair with Credit Success:
1. Contact Credit Success and submit your Equifax Credit Report for personal Credit Repairs or your Creditor Watch Report for Business related Credit Repair needs.
2. Tess or Kerry will arrange one free 20-minute assessment consultation with the customer to educate them on their credit report and the points system. The consultation also includes how we can help, what we do and your options for repairs and the cost involved for our services.
3. Tess will issue an email of the conversation and assessment, a quotation for service, important information and application forms.
4. Once the client has processed the application forms an invoice for a 50% deposit will be issued by email.
5. Once the deposit payment has been paid to Credit Success our Credit Repair/Negotiation agents Jency & Ana will commence work on the customers cases the very same day.
6. Each step and update between Credit Success and the Creditor will be communicated to the client and their broker via email.
7. Once Credit Success have reached an agreement with the Creditor, Jency or Kerry will make a phone call to the client and their broker of the result of the repair work and a final invoice will be issued to the client.
8. Lastly, the client will be able to review their squeaky-clean credit report via Equifax 14 days after the repair work has been completed.
9. The client can then proceed with financing options with their broker.”

Can you explain the impact of credit inquiries on a person’s credit score and how to minimise their effects?

“The Consumer Credit Enquiries section of your Credit Report is reflected in your score due to the frequency and type of enquiries you have applied for. Too many enquiries will flag you to be a ‘higher risk’ to lenders. The types of enquiries can also impact this, for example a secured loan will be worth less points than an unsecured short-term loan or credit card. Buy-now-pay-later schemes are considered high-risk as they offer a revolving credit to customers and are worth between 100-150 points.

We are only given 1200 points for 5 years and each enquiry is worth between 1-150 points so this can end up being quite a significant impact to your rating if you have frequent applications for credit.

Enquiries and defaults remain on our credit file for 5 years unlike late payments which drop off after each month passes and shows only 2 years’ worth of repayments. It is important to remember that even if we apply for a line of credit and do not accept the funds, this listing will still appear on your credit report and impact your rating.

If you use your business to obtain a line of credit or a loan and you use your personal name as a guarantor, this will also show up under your personal credit report and potentially impact your rating.”

What advice do you have for someone looking to improve their credit score in preparation for applying for a mortgage?

“We encourage customers to make their repayments within the 14-day grace period for 2 years’ worth of on-time repayments. Ensure any buy-now-pay-later schemes are paid out, closed and cancel/deregister your account to show the lender you no longer have access to revolving credit. If a customer does have outstanding or unpaid debts that have resulted in a default or late payment to contact us for assistance in debt negotiations to remove the defaults or late payments from their account prior to submitting an offer for a property and a listed Enquiry with a creditor for a mortgage. Lastly, we would encourage customers not to apply for any other lines of credit during the credit repair stages and prior to applying for the mortgage to ensure that the score does not take a hit while they are working towards the dream of their new home.”

What strategies can individuals use to maintain or continue improving their credit score after undergoing credit repair?

“Maintaining your credit score by making on time repayments against credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, car loan and pay day lenders to ensure clear repayment history information. Avoid high-risk applications such as buy-now-pay-later schemes or ‘unsecured’ loans. Making note that energy providers such as Energex, telecommunication providers such as Optus are accounts that also show up as an Enquiry listing on your credit report and reduce your rating. If client is unable to make a payment, they should contact the creditor immediately and have an agreement in writing for a payment plan. A payment plan with the credit provider will stop the outstanding balance from reaching a debt collector or resulting in a default. Make financial arrangements with business partners and personal relationships such as your partner or husband about the financial plan if a joint loan is taken out who is responsible and how will you maintain payments towards your mortgage or car loan should something not go to plan. Financial security and education is key for us at Credit Success, that each of our customers has the confidence and knowledge in maintaining a healthy score for life once we have assisted them in their credit repair journey.”

As we close this month’s insight into credit repair, the advice shared shines a light on the path to financial restoration. Kerry’s strategies for credit enhancement not only pave the way for securing mortgages but also highlights the significance of expert intervention in navigating the credit repair process. Emphasising the value of expert assistance, this discussion reveals the importance of seeking guidance from seasoned professionals to navigate the complexities of credit repair successfully.

Kerry Sainsbury



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