Read This If You’re Starting a Credit Repair Business in Florida
Article posted November 2019 and updated in February 2023.
If you’re thinking of starting a credit repair business in Florida, now is the time. The industry itself is growing. Credit repair businesses are making upwards of $3 billion a year and this is your opportunity to take a piece of that market.
America is in debt. In the second quarter of 2019, the state’s credit card debt has increased from a total of $66.4 billion in 2019 to a total of $986 billion in 2023, according to a 2019 report by WalletHub and a 2023 report by Lending Tree.
Anf Floridians have an average credit card debt of $6,542 according to Credit.com. And recent market fluctuations and events have not made things easier on the American people.
So if you’re planning on starting a credit repair business in Florida, you’re on the right track. But to make sure that you stay on track, here are some useful tips that you can follow:
Learn the law.
Because you’re dealing with finances, you must know everything there is to know about the federal laws in Florida first. On September 1996, the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) was passed in the state to regulate organizations whose purpose is to increase a consumer’s credit score through credit repair.
The law clearly states that no credit repair company should make false claims and that a written contract should be read and signed by the client. There are other laws that cover credit repair companies, so make sure that you know all about them before you get started.
Before you even think of starting a credit repair business in Florida, you need to familiarize yourself with the credit laws in Florida. The credit repair industry is heavily regulated.
Find a provider that knows and understand these laws; a company that will go to bat for you and guide you through the process and sign up for a high risk merchant account.
Learn more about the credit laws in Florida.
Comply with licensing and bond requirements.
In general, all states require any credit repair business to apply for an occupational license, which is regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) in Florida. You will also be required to get a surety bond with a bonding agency.
You can learn even more about the regulations governing credit repair agencies in florida here.
Keep in mind that all your clients are slowly learning more about credit repair, so your number one priority after great customer service is to avoid chargebacks.
As of 2023, Florida credit repair agents are required to get licensed as a CSO if you plan on providing personal information on how to improve credit scores or if your Florida repair agency plans on negotiating with credits on behalf of your customers. AND you will need to purchase a Florida credit surety bond.
Of course, you will still need to follow local, state, and federal business registration and regulations (like registering your business on www.sunbiz.org.
Software for Payments, CRMS & Record Keeping
The software you pick when starting a credit repair business will make or break you. It’s that important to the overall, long term and short-term success of your business.
We could write an entire book on this subject alone. Instead, here are the most important points to keep in mind. Use your initial capital to make sure you get the best possible software in each category
Of course, we are a little biased here. We offer payment processing through our system. Do we want every credit repair business to use our software to ensure their businesses are successful? Yes. But even if you don’t plan to use First Card Payments, we still want you to make the right decision for your business.
Take your time vetting payment processing companies. Make sure they have experience in the credit repair industry AND in dealing with high-risk merchant processing.
This is a tip for anyone starting a business, not just credit repair. Your customer relationship management software is going to change your long-term or short-term success.
A good CRMS will foster loyalty by means of strengthening your relationship with current clients. Though a good CRMS is not important when starting your business, it may be important long term, so implementing one, in the beginning, will save you the hassle of important old files and learning a new system later on. A good CRMS is also a fantastic way to track records.
Chargebacks are a real challenge for any high-risk merchant account business. The industry is closely monitored by financial institutions. If you reach a certain level of chargebacks, it could effectively end your means of collecting payment and destroy your business.
But chargebacks can be fought, and won if you keep track of everything. Maintain detailed, timelined, meticulous records of each client you take on and your ongoing communication. Because if there is a dispute, these records can save your business.
Build a strong partnership with credit bureaus.
Since you’ll be dealing with chargeback disputes on behalf of your clients, it would help to build a strong relationship with credit reporting agencies.
Know who the dispute department managers and supervisors are and make sure they also know you by sending them your brochures with a cover letter. Get in touch with these managers regularly and take the time to learn about their dispute procedures.
Find ways to market your credit repair business.
With the number of people in Florida who are struggling with debt, the credit repair industry has become very competitive. So, if you want to thrive in this business, you have to be creative with your marketing strategies.
For one, you need a website that offers information about your credit repair process, your fees, and of course, your mission as a business. You can also combine both online and offline marketing strategies to cater to a wider demographic of consumers.
You could go traditional with print advertising and mix it with social media or pay-per-click advertisements.
Are you ready to get started with your own credit repair business in Florida?