Be more than just a salesperson to your clients. Show your clients you care about their financial future and they will appreciate you greatly. You see their credit reports and scores. There is no one better than you to point out credit issues and areas where improvement is needed. Of course, you will probably find a loan program to fit their profile, even if they have a low credit score. But the point here is that you could take it a small step further than that. A quick analysis of their credit situation, along with pointing your client in the right direction, can make a drastic lifelong change to your clients' financial future--in return, you will stand out from your competition and they will appreciate your advice enough to even refer others your way because you care.
Credit impacts many Americans during their lives. It is unfortunate that so many do not understand or realize the importance of their credit. Credit management is not a required course in any high school or college. Usually, by the time someone realizes the importance of their credit, they already have done damage to their credit report and score. This will end up costing them thousands of dollars in several financial areas, such as car loans, home mortgages, credit cards and insurance rates. It could even cost them a job. The good news is that the damage is not permanent. However, it takes time to improve.
Life events can be affected by your credit, and also cause credit issues. College or school loans affect students early in life. Divorce affects the credit of people of all ages. Getting married, changing your name, having children or even the death of a spouse will impact credit. Job interviews and background checks may include credit checks. Insurance companies now include a person's credit score in the ranking chart. A job loss or disability can affect someone's credit. The key is for your client to know about credit and how it impacts so many areas of their life so they can improve and maintain a good credit score for life.
The truth is that as a loan officer, your time is valuable. So why should you spend your time teaching your clients about credit? Well, you really don't need to spend much time at all. You already have their credit in hand. All you really need to do is point out any negative parts of their credit report that are weighing down their credit scores. Such areas include:
†High balances on revolving accounts
†Too many inquiries
†Credit history is too short
†No credit history
Many credit reports list reasons for a low credit score on the report so the job is already done for you. Your only job now is to point out the cause of the low credit score to your clients. Stress to them the importance of credit improvement and a higher credit score. Make them aware of the amount of money they could save on credit cards, car loans, home loans and insurance rates. But, most of all, stress the importance of understanding their credit.
Once you have advised your client of the need for and benefits of credit improvement, it is your clients' full responsibility to take action. You can make it easier for your clients to take action by suggesting ways to do so. The first and most obvious way to take action is to learn all about credit. You can recommend your clients read books or research the Internet for information about credit. Maybe they could use some guidance or motivation. There are some very helpful companies who can consult with your clients about credit improvement, so they aren't left feeling alone and in the dark. You may also refer them to specific books, Web sites or credit consulting companies, whose names, phone numbers and Web addresses you just happen to keep handy on your desk. However, keep in mind the ultimate responsibility belongs to your clients--you cannot do it for them.
Leave your clients with a lasting impression by changing their lives with improved credit and a better financial future. Be more than a salesperson. Standing out amongst your competitors can be tough, so set yourself above the rest by helping your client on their way toward better credit. Not only will you have more referrals, but they may even want to refinance when their credit improves.
Sherene Costanzo is vice president of Credit Consultants Inc. She may be reached at (888) 522-7007 or e-mail [email protected].