Buyer Beware

We all have heard that one bad apple ruins the whole bunch. But, does it really? Every time I go grocery shopping with the family, they make me the designated fruit picker. They say since I grew up in Haiti, I’m better suited to choose the best produce for us. Most of the time, I’ll say my family is wise for trusting me in this process. Sometimes though, their guess would have been just as good as mine. I’m decent at picking mangoes, pears, and pineapples. However, I still struggle with avocados among many other fruits and vegetables. Fortunately for us, there are usually other people nearby. So, I use the same stereotypical logic my wife and kids use and turn to the Mexican for help. Turns out the guy was Guatemalan; but who doesn’t like guacamole?

By the same token, people mistakenly turns to me for help I can’t provide. Fortunately for them, I associate myself with some top notch professionals at Prime Time Business Network and I’m always able to connect the inquiring person with someone that can take care of them. Just like at the grocery store, there isn’t nothing in it for me but the feeling that did a good deed. Many of you have interacted with friends and families in similar ways whether it’s about produces, professionals, movies, music etc. This practice is so common, they made a business out of it. Say what?! Yes, but it’s not the type of “referring” I take part in. Quick side note, I’ve been approach many time about becoming a professional writer. It is my dream to do so, but I don’t want to do it for the main purpose of making money out of it. I’ve once heard the great Nipssey Hussle said in an interview that once you start writing for money, God leaves the studio. In other words, money could compromise integrity and altogether make you lose your inspiration. I bring that up to drive the point that all “referrals” aren’t equal. From the payola, to the payment under the table, and the phenomenon of Multi-Level-Marketing (MLM), you can end up being associated with the wrong people. In my line of work, I’ve seen people land in hot water from dealing with the wrong people. The horror stories I can share with you are endless. I won’t bother you with them, but I’ll help you differentiate the real from the fake.

Real credit repair companies fall under the Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA). MLM “agents” DO NOT. The CROA is a Federal Law that prohibits untrue or misleading representations and requires certain affirmative disclosures in the offering or sale of “credit repair” services. The Act bars companies offering credit repair services from demanding advance payment, requires that credit repair contracts be in writing, and gives consumers certain contract cancellation rights. In a nutshell, those are the guidelines I have to follow or else; well, I don’t even want to know what would happen. I’m a law abiding citizen, so I stay compliant. On the other hand, MLM agents can flat out lie to you and nothing will happen to them. The rational is that technically they are not actual credit repair agents but marketing agent for a MLM company that just so happen to do credit. You can identify them easily because as they are trying to offer you credit credit repair services, they’ll also offer you a plethora of services, and say we don’t just do credit repair, when in fact they don’t do it at all.

The fact is over 68 million Americans have bad credit. A FICO report states that over 43.4 million Americans have credit score of 599 and lower. It is a lot of reputable companies out there like Clean Slate Credit Solutions and The Oasis Firm that will get you back on the right track to better credit. My advice to you is to do your due diligence. I hope I’ve helped in knowing how to spot the bad apples so to speak. The truth tough, is that sometimes it’s not even a matter of one rotten apple, but you are confusing apples to oranges. Caveat Emptor.

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