David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.
Published on May 24, 2021 Updated on November 13, 2023
$8,550 - $27,100
$24,000 - $120,000 p.a.
Time to build
1 - 3 months
$10,000 - $30,000 p.a.
If you enjoy helping people stabilize their lives and financial future, a credit repair business could be a great fit for you. The credit repair industry, which helps people boost their credit scores, took a major hit during the covid-19 pandemic, losing a quarter of its revenue in 2020. But analysts expect the industry to recover with slow but steady growth through 2026, which means the opportunity is there for the taking.
Of course, starting any business requires hard work and patience. Thankfully, you’ve come to the right place, as this article lays out every step you’ll need to take to develop a strong plan and get your credit repair business up and running and giving people greater financial opportunity!
Looking to register your business? A limited liability company (LLC) is the best legal structure for new businesses because it is fast and simple.
Before you dive into starting your business, let’s take a step back and observe what’s happening in the industry.
Pros and cons
The credit repair industry comes with both pros and cons. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Easy to scale, thanks to software tools
Everybody needs good credit
Low startup costs
Some clients are wary of fraud
Highly competitive due to few barriers to entry
Credit repair industry trends
Economic growth in the post-pandemic recovery could lead to increased demand for credit repair services. As consumers become more confident, they tend to spend more, which results in greater debt and more need for credit repair.
Debt-ridden Americans are filing for bankruptcy instead of seeking credit repair services
Increasing use of online credit repair services
Some of the challenges faced by operators are:
High level of competition in the industry
Distrust in credit repair companies
How much does it cost to start a credit repair business?
If you start from home and negotiate monthly payments for your surety bonds and software, you could launch a credit repair business for as little as $5,000. But if you want to invest more in your business and have a large office with staff, you could spend $50,000 or more to cover startup costs and your first month in business.
On average, though, most credit repair startups need around $20,000 to open their doors.
Setting up a business name and corporation
$150 - $200
Business licenses and permits
$100 - $300
Business cards and brochures
$200 - $300
$3,000 - $9,000
Office equipment and supplies
$3,000 - $4,000
$1,000 - $10,000
$100 - $300
$1,000 - $3,000
$8,550 - $27,100
How much can you earn from a credit repair business?
The main factors affecting your revenue are the number of clients you have and the primary services they purchase. Naturally, if you get great results for your clients, the more customers you’ll have in the future.
Your clients will usually pay a flat fee or a recurring payment for your services. But it’s up to you to find what structure works best.
Credit repair businesses enjoy profit margins of 25% to 40%, and most charge $79-$129 per month for their services. So if you start out with 20 customers paying $100 a month in your first year or two, you’ll do $24,000 in annual revenue and almost $10,000 in profit, assuming a 40% margin.
If you’re able to push your customer numbers up to 100, you’ll be generating annual revenue of $120,000. At this stage, you’d hire more staff, reducing your profit margin to 25%. You’ll be making $30,000 in annual profit.
What barriers to entry are there?
There are a few barriers to entry in the credit repair business. The main one is the high level of competition, because it’s easy to start a credit repair business. On the flip side, many of these businesses fail relatively quickly. So if you’re able to stick it out and build a track record as a credit repair specialist, success may knock on your door.
Related Business Ideas
If you’re still not sure whether this business idea is the right choice for you, here are some related business opportunities to help you on your path to entrepreneurial success.
Now it’s time to hone your idea so that your credit repair service can begin taking shape. First, let’s find out how to identify your target market.
Market research will give you the upper hand, even if you’re already positive that you have a perfect product or service. Conducting market research is important, because it can help you understand your customers better, who your competitors are, and your business landscape.
Why? Identify an opportunity
Your competition will be credit repair firms targeting the same market. While large companies that target broad demographics will still compete with you, you’ll have an edge in your market due to targeted branding.
Once you’ve got a list of competitors, here are some questions to examine:
What are my competitors’ value propositions?
How much do they charge for their services?
What’s included in their services?
What do customer reviews say about these companies?
What can I do to differentiate myself from these businesses?
What? Determine your products or services
Running a credit repair business requires a varied schedule. Here are a few everyday tasks:
Onboard new clients: New customers are the key to growing your business, so you need to make sure that your clients are informed about the credit repair process. You’ll also need to secure the new client’s credit report as part of this process.
Disputing claims: This includes creating and sending dispute letters and communicating with the required credit bureau or lender. Some claims you will dispute include late payments from debt collectors (also known as a debt collection agency).
Communicating with existing clients: You’ll need to regularly check in with clients to maintain their trust as well as update them on their credit score.
Marketing: To get new customers, you’ll need to run marketing campaigns.
How much should you charge for your services?
Most credit repair services charge a monthly fee between $79 and $129. While this is the average, to find your ideal rates, you’ll need to consider your costs and the time and effort it takes to complete your service.
Some credit repair services also charge a setup fee for initial document processing and administration. But, this is a grey area as the Credit Repair Organizations Act prohibits credit repair companies from charging upfront service fees. So, as a budding credit repair professional, you likely want to steer clear of upfront fees.
You’ll need to determine an acceptable price for your local market and then tweak it based on expenses. Once you know your costs, you can use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price points. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.
Who? Identify your target market
Identifying your target market is vital for maximizing your marketing dollars and the effort you spend on your business. You’ll first need to determine who would benefit from your services. An answer to your target market could be “people with bad credit.” While this is valid, it’s also too broad. You could narrow your market down by factors like age, gender, and earnings.
For example, you could target millennials who need help improving their credit for first home purchases, or in regards to student loan debt. To market your services to this demographic you might use social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
Where? Choose your business premises
Credit repair businesses can be run from home thanks to technology, but it may be worthwhile to an office, as face-to-face meetings are better for building trust than Zoom calls.
In the early stages, you may want to run your business from home to keep costs low. But as your business grows, you’ll likely need to hire workers for various roles and may need to rent out an office. You can find commercial space to rent in your area on sites such as Craigslist, Crexi, and Instant Offices.
When choosing a commercial space, you may want to follow these rules of thumb:
Central location accessible via public transport
Ventilated and spacious, with good natural light
Flexible lease that can be extended as your business grows
Ready-to-use space with no major renovations or repairs needed
Step 3: Brainstorm a Credit Repair Business Name
Your business name is your business identity, so choose one that encapsulates your objectives, services, and mission in just a few words. You probably want a name that’s short and easy to remember, since much of your business, and your initial business in particular, will come from word-of-mouth referrals.
Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:
Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better
The name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
Including keywords, such as “credit”, boosts SEO
Choose a name that allows for expansion: “Credit Care Services” over “Student Loan Relief Services”
Avoid location-based names that might hinder future expansion
Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these.
Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead with domain registration and social media account creation. Your business name is one of the key differentiators that set your business apart. Once you pick your company name, and start with the branding, it is hard to change the business name. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider your choice before you start a business entity.
Step 4: Create a Credit Repair Business Plan
Every business needs a plan. This will function as a guidebook to take your startup through the launch process and maintain focus on your key goals. A business plan also enables potential partners and investors to better understand your company and its vision:
Executive Summary: A concise overview of your credit repair business, summarizing its mission, goals, and key points to grab the reader’s attention.
Business Overview: Detailed information about your credit repair business, including its mission, vision, structure, and legal status.
Product and Services: Explanation of the specific credit repair services you offer, such as credit report analysis, dispute resolution, and financial counseling.
Market Analysis: Examination of the credit repair industry, target market demographics, and trends to justify the demand for your services.
Competitive Analysis: Evaluation of competitors in the credit repair market, highlighting your unique selling points and strategies to gain a competitive edge.
Sales and Marketing: Outline of your sales and marketing strategies, including customer acquisition channels, advertising, and promotional efforts.
Management Team: Introduction to key individuals responsible for running the credit repair business, emphasizing their skills and experience.
Operations Plan: Details on day-to-day operations, including the credit repair process, technology requirements, and partnerships essential for smooth functioning.
Financial Plan: Financial projections, including startup costs, revenue forecasts, and break-even analysis, providing a clear picture of the business’s financial viability.
Appendix: Additional documents or information supporting the credit repair business plan, such as resumes of key team members, market research data, and any legal documents.
If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.
Step 5: Register Your Business
Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.
Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business!
Choose where to register your company
Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you are planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to credit repair.
If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state.
Choose your business structure
Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your credit repair business will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely.
Here are the main options:
Sole Proprietorship – The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
General Partnership – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)– Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts.
C Corp – Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation.
S Corp – An S-Corporation refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S-Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC, which just needs to elect to be an S-Corp for tax status. In an S-Corp, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization, and answer any questions you might have.
The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number, or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN.
Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.
It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you are completing them correctly.
Step 7: Fund your Business
Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:
Bank loans: This is the most common method, but getting approved requires a rock-solid business plan and strong credit history.
SBA-guaranteed loans: The Small Business Administration can act as guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval via an SBA-guaranteed loan.
Government grants: A handful of financial assistance programs help fund entrepreneurs. Visit Grants.gov to learn which might work for you.
Venture capital: Offer potential investors an ownership stake in exchange for funds, keeping in mind that you would be sacrificing some control over your business.
Friends and Family: Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your concept. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
Crowdfunding: Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer an increasingly popular low-risk option, in which donors fund your vision. Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
Personal: Self-fund your business via your savings or the sale of property or other assets.
Bank and SBA loans are probably the best options, other than friends and family, for funding a credit repair business.
Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as (DBA), health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits.
You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more.
Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your credit repair business as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.
Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account.
Step 10: Get Business Insurance
Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.
Here are some types of insurance to consider:
General liability: The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
Business Property: Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
Worker’s compensation: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
Property: Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
Commercial auto: Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
Professional liability: Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
Business owner’s policy (BOP): This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of any of the above insurance types.
As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business.
Essential software and tools
Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks.
DisputeBee streamlines the entire dispute process by automating it from start to finish. It allows you to import a client’s credit report to automatically generate dispute letters and track client progress. TurboDispute’s cloud-based software can help you manage everything business-related. From managing your team and clients to your affiliates and leads, they’ve got you covered. CRC provides a robust CRM, automated disputing, and even a recurring billing solution. Their all-in-one platform even helps you scale your credit repair business.
If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences for filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial.
Develop your website
Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism.
You can create your own website using website builders. This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.
They are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices. These are steps that help pages rank higher in the results of top search engines like Google.
For your credit repair business, the marketing strategy should focus on highlighting your expertise in improving credit scores, your success stories, and your commitment to helping clients achieve financial stability. Emphasize the trustworthiness of your services, the personalized approach you take with each client, and the educational value you provide about credit management. The goal is to establish your business as a reliable and effective solution for those looking to improve their financial health.
Professional Branding: Your branding should communicate trust, professionalism, and financial expertise. This includes everything from your logo and business cards to your website design and online presence.
Direct Outreach: Connect with local financial advisors, realtors, and lenders who can refer clients to your services. Networking with professionals in related fields can be a valuable source of referrals.
Digital Presence and Online Marketing
Professional Website and SEO: Develop an informative website that explains your services, the credit repair process, and showcases client testimonials. Optimize your site for search engines with relevant keywords related to credit repair, debt management, and financial counseling.
Social Media Engagement: Use platforms like LinkedIn for B2B networking, and Facebook and Twitter to share credit tips, success stories, and relevant financial news.
Content Marketing and Engagement
Financial Education Blog: Share blog posts that provide valuable information on credit repair, financial habits, and ways to improve credit scores.
Client Success Stories: Highlight testimonials and case studies from clients who have successfully improved their credit scores through your services.
Webinars and Online Workshops: Host educational sessions that offer advice on credit management and financial wellness.
Experiential and In-Person Engagements
Free Consultation Sessions: Offer free initial consultations to attract potential clients and provide them with a roadmap for credit improvement.
Community Financial Literacy Programs: Participate in or host community events focused on financial education and literacy.
Collaborations and Community
Partnerships with Financial Institutions: Partner with banks and credit unions to offer your services to their clients who might benefit from credit repair.
Collaborations with Local Businesses: Work with local businesses to offer credit counseling services as part of employee financial wellness programs.
Customer Relationship and Loyalty Programs
Referral Programs: Implement a referral program that rewards clients who refer others to your services.
Follow-up Services: Offer ongoing credit monitoring or follow-up consultations to help clients maintain their improved credit status.
Promotions and Advertising
Targeted Online Advertising: Use digital advertising platforms like Google Ads and social media to target individuals searching for credit repair services.
Email Marketing: Develop an email campaign to nurture leads, share success stories, and provide ongoing financial tips and advice.
Focus on USPs
Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that set it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your credit repair business meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire.
Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your credit repair business could be:
Fastest credit repair in your area
Better credit guaranteed!
You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running a credit repair business, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in the credit industry for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections.
The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in credit repair. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership. Online businesses might also consider affiliate marketing as a way to build relationships with potential partners and boost business.
Step 12: Build Your Team
If you’re starting out small from a home office, you may not need any employees. But as your business grows, you will likely need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for a credit repair business would include:
Credit Repair Specialist – analyze the financial situation of prospective clients
Administrative Assistant – handles clerical tasks
Marketing Lead – generates new leads
At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need.
Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Jobs.com. You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed, Glassdoor, or ZipRecruiter. Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent.
Step 13: Run a Credit Repair Business – Start Making Money!
You’re now ready to start repairing credit and improving lives. Now, how will you find your first client? There are many different ways. You can find business through extensive networking, an efficient referral system, or social media. Remember, having a strong social media presence could spell the difference for you.
On behalf of your clients, you will work with credit bureaus and creditors to remove errors from your client’s credit report. Some examples of creditors include banks and credit card issuers. It’s wise to touch base and establish rapport with these companies first. With these preparations, you should be well on your way to success!
Credit Repair Business FAQs
Is a credit repair business profitable?
The credit repair business opportunity can be profitable, especially if you’re starting from home with minimal overheads. A great part about credit repair is that it’s a recurring revenue business model. Clients will typically pay you a monthly fee for your credit monitoring services.
Is a credit repair business risky?
Starting a credit repair business can be risky, as it is a highly regulated industry that requires compliance with federal and state laws, as well as strict ethical standards.
Is it illegal to charge for credit repair?
While it’s not illegal to charge for credit repair services, it is illegal to charge any upfront fees. The Credit Repair Organizations Act states that no credit repair organization can charge or receive any money or valuables for any services before the service is rendered. So make sure that you don’t charge upfront fees for any credit counseling.
How do I get credit repair clients?
To acquire credit repair clients, establish a strong online presence, utilize social media, offer free educational resources, network with professionals, obtain client testimonials, and consider targeted advertising.
How long does the credit repair process take?
The duration of the credit repair process varies based on individual circumstances, the complexity of credit issues, and the effectiveness of the chosen strategies. It can take several months to a year or more to see significant improvements in credit scores and overall credit health.
How to Start a Credit Repair Business
Decide if the Business Is Right for You
Hone Your Idea
Brainstorm a Credit Repair Business Name
Create a Credit Repair Business Plan
Register Your Business
Register for Taxes
Fund your Business
Apply for Licenses/Permits
Open a Business Bank Account
Get Business Insurance
Prepare to Launch
Build Your Team
Run a Credit Repair Business - Start Making Money!
Credit Repair Business FAQs
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