In a Nutshell: Each credit repair program implemented by Stephanie Black’s team at Andorra Credit Repair is customized based on the analysis of your individual credit report and includes a specific plan of attack to change your credit history and achieve your goals. Stephanie rewrote her story when she repaired her own credit, and she wants to offer home-buyers the real solutions she knows are possible to improve their credit scores and help secure them better mortgage rates.
About 15 years ago, Stephanie had reached a pivotal point in her life — her poor credit was keeping her in a small apartment on the wrong side of town with her young son. The area was noisy and unsafe; the apartment was old and cramped. So she decided to change how her son was going to grow up by taking control of her credit score.
“I put myself on a budget and started figuring out for myself how to fix my credit,” said Stephanie.
A few years later, she had risen her score high enough to move to a better area with enough space for her family to grow, and her friends took notice — “My friends even asked for help with their credit so they could buy homes.”
It was just a hobby, but she was passionate about getting it right and continued to help anyone who asked.
Fast forward a bit to when Stephanie was working as a loan officer, she noticed many of the client files coming across her desk received worse rates due to simple credit problems. She couldn’t not help. Soon, she was doling out tips for her clients to fix the credit issues that were pulling their score down, resulting in worse loan rates and higher fees.
Pretty soon the other loan officers she worked with started asking her how she fixed her clients’ credit and if she could fix their clients’ credit too. She was working on so many credit files that at one point, she realized it was worth getting paid to do. The check she soon received proved her concept and skill set was solving a real problem, and Andorra Credit Repair was born.
“I had accidentally started a business,” Stephanie laughed, “So I decided to quit my loan officer job to pursue this full-time, and, to be honest, it freaked out a lot of people, my husband and son included, but I knew it was the right path.”
Serving the Home-Buyer Niche = Better Service and Results
It can be difficult to find a true advocate in a credit repair company; more often companies are looking to make a dollar off you than they are trying to actually help you. Stephanie wants Andorra Credit Repair to be the positive change she wants to see in this industry.
The credit repair process begins with a consultation over the phone — to gauge their goals, if they qualify for the program, and more. Then, in-house experts analyze your credit reports to create a personalized plan of action to repair, restore, and rebuild your credit.
Stephanie’s team vets every potential client with a questionnaire that includes payment history such as whether or not they’re 90 days late on any of their bills. They do this because even if a collections account gets removed from a credit report, if the client can’t afford to stay current, then the account will fall back into delinquency as another blemish on the report.
A lot of credit repair companies offer immediate results from line item deletions, which don’t take into account your current financial standing, what your future goals may be, or what actions may be deemed frivolous. By law, the credit bureau must respond to disputes by 30 days, though they can also ask for an extension of up to 15 additional days.
Andorra takes a different approach. Instead of boasting the number of deletions or the turnaround time, Stephanie’s company focuses on your end goal. Most of her clients are home-buyers seeking to increase their score for better mortgage rates.
Once Andorra takes on a new client, the company immediately gets to work to issue enough disputes to be effective while staying under the “frivolous” radar. However, the disputes are targeted to the accounts that will help make the largest impact on a client’s credit for their goals.
“Everything we do has a reason,” said Stephanie about the customized action plan her team creates and follows each for their clients.
Credit Repair Should Start with an End Goal
While Stephanie pointed out the flaws in the credit repair industry, the recurring issue was the idea of a “quick fix.”
“Honestly, I don’t think credit repair is something anyone should just do,” she said. “You should have a reason to go in and fix your financial situation overall, with credit repair being a part of that process if you need it.”
Her company’s transparency about what credit repair can actually accomplish, versus what so many other businesses try to claim, is something she takes pride in. Andorra even goes so far as to publish credit repair “Myths and Tips” both on its website and in regular emails to its clientele.
Tips range from credit card facts to late payments and more:
- If credit cards are maxed out, your credit score could lose 30-60 points, even if you’re paying on time.
- Paying off collections and charge offs will not automatically delete them from your credit report — you must request removal.
- One 30-day late payment can tank your credit score instantly by up to 100 points.
Andorra’s Future Looks Bright As Housing Market Picks Up
Because Andorra focuses on home-buyers, the company is often at the mercy of the housing market. While that wasn’t so great after the bubble burst in the mid-to-late 2000s, now that the real-estate market is picking back up, Stephanie believes she’s poised to help a lot of people get the rates they deserve.
In fact, she’s developed a new program specifically aimed at securing her clients a pre-approval letter.
“It’s a whole different way to do credit repair,” Stephanie teased about her new program, which will launch in the coming weeks and takes her service in the home-buying niche to the next level. “We’re moving the experience to focus even more on what the client is trying to get.”
The program will help clients better understand the home-buying process and everything the client needs to walk away from the loan officer with a pre-approval letter, including down-payment budgeting and credit repair.
As Stephanie prepares Andorra for its new ground-breaking program, she looks forward to helping clients get on a realistic path toward the home of their dreams.