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LEARN HOW TO START, RUN, OR GROW YOUR CREDIT REPAIR BUSINESS

Can You Create a Successful Credit Repair Business Just by Building Relationships? - Alicia Ault

By: Daniel Rosen July 28, 2020

This week, I had the pleasure of talking to Alicia Ault, a successful credit repair entrepreneur and certified credit counselor with over 16 years of experience. 

Before getting into credit repair, Alicia used to work at a mortgage company. After seeing people being rejected time and time again because of their poor credit scores, she decided to take action and do something about it. 

Alicia developed a passion for credit repair, and today, she is helping hundreds of clients, while having a quarter-million-dollar run-rate. She grew her entire business with absolutely no advertisement, just by building relationships!

In this episode, Alicia tells her story and shares her secrets about building quality, long-lasting relationships with your clients. 

Stick around, it’s going to be a great one!


Key Takeaways for This Interview:

  • Why Alicia got into credit repair (1:52)
  • How did Alicia learn about credit repair? (3:39)
  • Transitioning from a mortgage company job to running her own business (5:51)
  • How Alicia got her first clients (7:11)
  • How to build good relationships with your clients (9:24)
  • When should you ask a client for a testimonial? (13:20)
  • Learning about credit repair through trial and error (17:05)
  • What is the Money Game Expert? (21:17)
  • Rapid-fire questions with Alicia Ault (22:50)

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Topics: Podcast

Transcript

Daniel Rosen  0:00  

Our guest today was working for a mortgage company that was rejecting applicants who had credit issues. So she saw a huge need for credit repair, she developed a passion for it and now she has hundreds of clients, she's got a quarter of a million-dollar run rate, and she's going to share with us how she built all of this without advertising, just by building relationships. So stick around, because this is gonna be a great one. 

 

So the big question is this. How can we take our passion for helping people with their credit and turn it into a successful business without taking loans without spending a fortune by bootstrapping it from nothing, so we can help the most people and still become highly profitable? That is the question and this podcast will give you the answer. My name is Daniel Rosen and welcome to Credit Repair Business Secrets. 

 

Hey Credit Heroes! Our guest today is a certified credit counselor with 16 years of experience. She started out working for a mortgage company and watched as the loan officers would reject applicants who had credit issues. She saw a huge need for credit repair and she started to learn by trial and error on how to help them. And now she has an amazing business called Platinum Credit Now, and she's going to share with us her amazing journey. Hey, Alicia, welcome to the podcast!

 

Alicia Ault  1:33  

Hi, Daniel. How are you?

 

Daniel Rosen  1:34  

I'm doing great. How are you? 

 

Alicia Ault  1:36  

I'm great. Thanks for having me.

 

Daniel Rosen  1:39  

Thanks for being here. Okay, where are you? 

 

Alicia Ault  1:42  

I'm in London, Ohio.

 

Daniel Rosen  1:45  

Okay, is that where you grew up? 

 

Alicia Ault  1:47  

No, I actually grew up in Baytown, Texas. 

 

Daniel Rosen  1:50  

Oh, wow. Okay. Well, I want, before we get into this, tell me about your life before credit repair. What were you doing?

 

Alicia Ault  1:58  

I was a teacher. 

 

Daniel Rosen  2:00  

Really? 

 

Alicia Ault  2:00  

Yeah, I was a teacher for many years and I ended up getting divorced and finding myself... a single mam with two kids. And I realized that teaching wasn't going to be conducive because I needed to be able to be more flexible. So I went into the mortgage industry, and that's how I got into that. I could be very flexible in that, and that's where I found that there is a great need for credit help. I mean, people were getting turned down, and no one gave them an answer of why or what to do about it. So they don't only get a "no", but they also got, we can't help you. And you know, then they're crying, wondering what can I do, you know, and that to me, wasn't okay, so that teacher came out to me. And I wanted to figure out how to teach people how to do that.

 

Daniel Rosen  2:43  

Wow, that must have just felt terrible. Seeing those people in tears that couldn't get approved.

 

Alicia Ault  2:50  

It was very hard because people... And that was back in the day before credit repair was probably even popular, you know, and a lot of people didn't know about it and they had no direction on where to go.

 

Daniel Rosen  3:00  

Wow. And so that was the catalyst for you starting to learn about credit repair.

 

Alicia Ault  3:06  

Yeah. 

 

Daniel Rosen  3:07  

Amazing. Did you ever have credit issues yourself?

 

Alicia Ault  3:11  

I did not necessarily have credit issues myself. But when I got through a divorce, my ex-husband started to have credit problems. And even though we never shared anything joint stuff of his started popping up on my credit report, so I end up having to do the same kind of credit repair that I've already learned how to do for other people for myself to get my ex-husband stuff off my report.

 

Daniel Rosen  3:30  

Wow. Okay, so you really did have to be your own client as well. Yeah. So you start How did you go about learning how credit repair worked?

 

Alicia Ault  3:42  

Oh, lots of things. I, you know, we pay off a collection and find out that, you know, the reporting date hadn't updated. So we actually dropped the score and stuff. It didn't always work the right way. But, you know, we try to see learning how that whole system works, you know, and so we learned things like looking at the last year. reported date whether or not a collection should be paid or not. And, you know, learning how to dispute items. And so I read a bunch, although I will tell you that the reading didn't really do it. For me, it was really the trial and error, you know, it's really finding all the nuts and bolts to it. But so and then I did that for two and a half years for free, just because I was trying to figure it out and just helping people.

 

Daniel Rosen  4:20  

Wow, that's a long time to do it for free. Yes, people are always in a big hurry to start making money. But what did you gain by doing it for free, so long?

 

Alicia Ault  4:33  

So one is the knowledge, right? I learned how to be and now in my area, everyone knows my name. You know, I know who I am and where I'm at and that I'm what they call the real deal, you know, to get things done because I didn't just go at it and try to make money off of it without really caring for the person, you know, and that was a that was the primary thing was, I really saw a need and the reason I did it for two years for free was that I saw this need that people didn't know and I felt bad for them, you know. And then someone came to my office and said, your door never closes and you're always in here working. What are you doing? And I said, I tell them what I'm doing. They're like, well, how much you charge? I'm like, Oh, I don't charge. He's like, what? So that was kind of the turning point. I realized, well, maybe I am good enough to charge, you know, wow. But initially, were you doing that? Well, still at the mortgage company. I was a loan officer. So I did it in conjunction with that.

 

Daniel Rosen  5:27  

Oh, so this also enabled you to put more loans through

 

Alicia Ault  5:31  

it sort of, but most of the stuff that I was doing was actually for other loan officers. So Wow. Yeah, you guys are hearing about me and they're like all center to it. You know. So yeah, it was pretty interesting how it all came about. I probably get a couple of loans out of it, but primarily it was for other people. So 

 

Daniel Rosen  5:48  

Wow. Amazing. And then what was the transition? Like? How did you go from that to having your own company? What did that look like?

 

Alicia Ault  5:57  

I got business cards. That's really how I started. And people I started saying, you know, I'm going to charge a fee for it. And I started charging a fee and people start paying me for. I got licensed with the state of Ohio and things and that's when it kind of took off from there.

 

Daniel Rosen  6:13  

Wow. And is that when you left the mortgage company? 

 

Alicia Ault  6:15  

It took me a while to leave the mortgage company. I was really scared to branch off on my own. So I did the credit stuff part-time. And then one day someone came up to me they're like, do you realize how much more money you can make if you do that full time and I started to not like the mortgage world anymore. I was a first-time homebuyer specialist, but it was getting harder. The rules were changing. So it wasn't quite as fun and I really enjoyed the credit part. Although I felt like as a loan officer, getting people in first-time homes, I thought, This is great. I felt good about going home every day that I helped someone getting their first home that being a credit repair expert is like 100 times more rewarding. Like every day, you've helped so many people, you know, it's not just their first home, it's their home, their car, their life. So just It's just so rewarding said I finally pulled the trigger. I think I cried. I stopped the mortgage and went full time and I tell you, it's the best decision I made.

 

Daniel Rosen  7:10  

Wow. Now, how did you first start getting clients? Or did they come from referrals from all those years of doing it for free?

 

Alicia Ault  7:19  

So referrals were big, but because I was in the mortgage industry, I knew a lot of realtors I knew a lot of loan officers had been in business for quite a while with loans of eight years and doing loans. So I just started talking to them that I don't do loans anymore. And that was the funny thing is I don't do loans anymore, but I do credit now. And so then everybody wanted to talk to me before was like, you know, realtor's like all so many people were coming to me to do loans and then so those same connections I had built up became even stronger connections because I'm not a loan officer anymore, you know. And so I would go to every networking event, though, that was possibly out there. Just every networking event. And I think that was and people will talk about that still today. I had some friends call me yesterday and said, one thing I remember about you that I model off of your business is you went to every networking event. And so I did that for a couple years and till people started knowing you, you know, and then you don't have to do it as quite as often.

 

Daniel Rosen  8:12  

Wow, that's so cool. So if you're at a networking event, how do you approach an affiliate? And what would you say to them?

 

Alicia Ault  8:21  

So primarily, I always would go to people and just as a friend, you know, and I didn't talk shop, because I didn't think that that was the appropriate way to get business. I felt like that was, I don't like to be talked that way. So I just go up as a friend and then let them ask me what I do. And usually, the conversation would then go, Well, I think you can help me and then, you know, we would go into this because everybody knows somebody who needs you know, help with credit. And most business industries need someone to help with, regardless of what it is. So if I own a business and my employees need it, you know, so there's so many ways that a credit counselor can help so just explaining when they ask what you do, you know, 

 

Daniel Rosen  8:58  

Cool and then You really make it their idea. Yeah. And then it does most of your business come from these affiliates now?

 

Alicia Ault  9:05  

Yes. And Google. Google. Yeah. Okay, a lot of reviews on Google, I started asking for reviews. And as I started doing that, I got a bunch of reviews. So the last two years people call me go, I picked you because I read all your reviews.

 

Daniel Rosen  9:20  

Wow. That's really, really great. So I want to know more about the affiliate stuff as well. How much of your business do you think comes from the affiliates? How much do you think comes from Google?

 

Alicia Ault  9:32  

I would say primarily, its affiliates.

 

Daniel Rosen  9:34  

So when you start to build this relationship with them, like how often are you in contact with them?

 

Alicia Ault  9:41  

Before I was in contact with them all the time, but now because of the system that we have with Credit Repair Cloud, they're in there and they just love it that their clients see a picture of them have their contact information. So really, now I don't have to talk to them as much because they can go in there and kind of see a screenshot of what their clients doing. And then also, they know Know that their pitcher and their contact information, which makes them feel very happy because they feel safe, like they feel like I refer to you, and I'm going to get that back because that person can see me all the time. So since I've had Credit Repair Cloud, it's been significantly less conversations before it was like I was constantly on the phone with unlike, you know, where's my client out? You know, what's the status and it was just constant, constant, constant. Now, I don't have to do that. So I get to do more work.

 

Daniel Rosen  10:26  

That's great. What are you doing before Credit Repair Cloud? Were you doing it all manually?

 

Alicia Ault  10:31  

Yeah. 

 

Daniel Rosen  10:33  

Oh, wow. What do you look like? 

 

Alicia Ault  10:36  

It's a lot of work. I had a lot of staff and that's a great question because I had five people in my office to help assist with a lot less clients than I have now. Some paying them and then so my, my actual revenue that you know, the or the actual income that I was receiving was significantly less before Credit Repair Cloud because now I just have one of the person in my office, and I'm doing probably triple the work that I was doing before.

 

Daniel Rosen  11:00  

Wow, I'm glad we were able to help.

 

Alicia Ault  11:04  

Yeah, software's amazing. 

 

Daniel Rosen  11:06  

What were the software's you were using, like Excel and Word and all those things? 

 

Alicia Ault  11:10  

Oh, I definitely use Word. I definitely use Excel. I did have a CRM system through Infusionsoft. Uh huh. So I had that. So I think I could make like, you know, tasks myself for different things. But it didn't automate and make the whole credit part of the process easy. That was all manual, typing in Word documents, that simple typing. It is. 

 

Daniel Rosen  11:32  

Well, amazing. Well, I'm really glad you found us. 

 

Alicia Ault  11:35  

I am too. 

 

Daniel Rosen  11:36  

Now, what's your process? When you first get a lead? Can you walk us through that?

 

Alicia Ault  11:41  

So most of my leads come either through an email, even though I've tried to get my affiliates to go right through the system, it's usually an email, which is fine, because I'll usually send the credit report with that. But what I typically do is I email back because they'll see the client on that and I email back with a link to my calendar and then they get on the calendar. And, you know, it's easy. It's not really a sell because the person is already ready to go. They need it. So we just go over the credit report together over the phone, we read it, we talk about, you know, some pointer things that they can do on their own if they choose not to work with me. And then they choose to work with me, we go through the portal and setting it all up.

 

Daniel Rosen  12:19  

That's so cool. What's really cool is that you said they're all pre-sold, because they're, they've either been referred by an affiliate who has talked to you up, or they've seen all those reviews, right? And so many people don't understand how important those reviews are. I mean, they really, the reviews and the testimonials, they really are proof and it really does pre-sell your services for you.

 

Alicia Ault  12:44  

Yeah, I was just listening to one of your podcasts earlier today. And you were talking about testimonials. And I was like Well, I think I did a pretty good job of that. And I do I think it's super important especially as a credit repair expert because there are so many places that are quote-unquote scams that people are scared of you know, I get calls every once from That, you know, I want help, but I got burned by this company or that company. So showing that you are, you know, sincere, genuine, you're there to help them and you're not just there to make money off of them. I think it's important in those reviews and testimonials are huge for that because you have to set yourself apart from the others. Right? And I think that's so important.

 

Daniel Rosen  13:20  

Absolutely. How and when do you ask a client for a testimonial?

 

Alicia Ault  13:25  

Usually, after they got to their goal, so we do goal setting counseling. So if they say, you know, I want to buy a house, then we take them through a process to buy the house or the car or whatever. So once we reach that point where I say, Okay, it's time to call the loan officer. Now it's time for testimonial. Right? And so they're happy, they're ready. They're excited. So it's a really good opportunity to grab that.

 

Daniel Rosen  13:47  

So it's all built into your whole process. 

 

Alicia Ault  13:49  

It is really, really important. Systems are important.

 

Daniel Rosen  13:54  

Well, can you tell us about one of your success stories? With one of your clients?

 

Alicia Ault  14:00  

One of my favorite ones, it's kind of it's a small story, but one of my favorite ones is a client who went through the credit repair process. And he initially came to us because he wanted to buy a house. But he ended up having to buy a car for his daughter at some point through the process. And he went in and he got the zero percent interest because his credit was so good. And he literally called me crying. And it was, you know, I mean, those kind of thing. Those moments are just, they're unbeatable, right? They're amazing to have. And so just having those kind of moments where a person gets something that they had no, they couldn't fathom, being able to do prior, you know, to working with us. And sometimes that happens within three months and six months, you know, I mean, it's not always a long process to get there, which is exciting, too. And they don't think that they're thinking a lot of people call me it's like, it's gonna take two years in it or something and we get it done much faster.

 

Daniel Rosen  14:52  

Wow. I love it. I love it. I love that you focus on the result and you focus on the changing lives. And the focus isn't on the money. Right. But the money comes.

 

Alicia Ault  15:05  

And does. You treat people right when you do people, right. I think that's key, you know, and I generally care about those people. That's why I got into it, you know, probably why I got into teaching. Same thing is that you know, to take care of people. And if you do that, and it comes back to you.

 

Daniel Rosen  15:20  

Super cool. How many clients do you have right now?

 

Alicia Ault  15:23  

Right now? I think I have 300. 

 

Daniel Rosen  15:26  

Wow. Yeah. And are you running this on subscription or pay per delete? How does it work?

 

Alicia Ault  15:32  

So I do subscription. And, I have some la carte services, if you will. So if it's like one or two things that they need, but most of its subscription.

 

Daniel Rosen  15:42  

So what's your revenue at like now monthly or annually?

 

Alicia Ault  15:46  

It looks like I'm projected to make 20,000 each month.

 

Daniel Rosen  15:49  

That's awesome. Yeah. So around 240,000 annual recurring. Good for you. Yeah. Thank you. Fantastic.

 

Alicia Ault  15:58  

Yeah, very excited.

 

Daniel Rosen  16:00  

Now what do you do differently for a client that wants a home versus one that wants a car?

 

Alicia Ault  16:07  

So I, because of my trial and error in my mortgage industry, I know that the mortgage industry's credit report calculates the score differently. So there's different algorithms. So that one that they use for mortgages is called 505. So I know how that one works versus like if someone said, I want to buy a car, that's 509. And so we decide what we're going to do with their credit report based on what they want to do. So with 509, if for an example, if you have a medical collection, and you pay it off, whether it's an old one or new one, it's not reported very long ago or not. You pay it off your score jumps. But with FICO five, if you pay off a medical collection that's hasn't updated in the last two years, you drop the score. So just those little tips to make sure that we're raising the score and not doing stuff to drop it. 

 

Daniel Rosen  16:55  

Wow, that's really, really fascinating. I didn't even know those intricacies about Falco.

 

Alicia Ault  17:00  

This is where trial and error comes in handy. 

 

Daniel Rosen  17:03  

Oh, I bet. No, everything I've learned about business has been from trial and error. I think it's the best teacher is usually the errors.

 

Alicia Ault  17:11  

Yes, it is. Yeah. And when I first started, it was trial and error and other people. So it was a little intimidating to because I knew that I could help you or I could hurt you. But I would have that disclaimer out there. And people were like, I don't care because right now we're not doing anything. So you know, do whatever we can, and we'll see what happens. So I dropped quite a few scores by paying something off, you know, but then learning that and then finding out that I can do the same thing with my car and actually improve this score. So it is interesting. And it's fun to know those little things because people don't know what you know, the general public doesn't know it. And then I'm more of an expert because I do know that stuff. Absolutely. And then they're like, Oh, she is the real deal.

 

Daniel Rosen  17:56  

I know you are. In fact, I know you're a whiz with collections. So I have a question for you. What do you do if a collection account or a judgment has been verified?

 

Alicia Ault  18:08  

So I'm not big on continuously disputing something that's been verified. And the reason for that is because I've had clients actually send me the letters that they received from their creditors, when they worked with Lexington Law. And the creditors would literally say, We know you're working with Lexington Law, and it would say, save your money, because it's not going to work. They would actually send letters and I have those my office. And so what I was finding is that when people would go through Lexington Law, they were getting just, you know, having these disputes continuously, and then finally a judgment would be filed against them. So when we get to a point where a debt is validated, then that's when I have a discussion with the client and I say, Okay, do you truly believe this debt is yours or not, you know, and if it is, then we need to do a chain of title and find out you know, if this entity really has the documentation to collect on you, and then If it does, then we look at seeing about negotiating a settlement. Wow, make sure we do our homework first.

 

Daniel Rosen  19:06  

Wow. And when it gets to that point and you're offering a settlement, what does that process look like?

 

Alicia Ault  19:14  

So generally I'm calling on behalf of the client as their power of attorney to negotiate the debt primarily because I'm good at it. I got a certified debt negotiator. So I contact the entities and a lot of my already have business relationships with that worked on throughout the year. So I usually have a point of contact that I contact and then negotiate the debt based on the clients availability to pay it. That's

 

Daniel Rosen  19:37  

Really, really cool. guy I noticed on your site, it says you're a certified credit counselor, a certified debt settlement expert, certified financial management, a home loan preparation specialist, foreclosure prevention specialist. This is really impressive. All this stuff.

 

Alicia Ault  19:56  

It just started with disputes by the way. So it's not it didn't happened like overnight where I got all these just as I learned different things that people needed. I started learning that trades the same thing that trial and error thing. I kept learning different trades. And till I got things down pat and I didn't offer services until I knew that I was the expert there. You know, I think that's important. But yeah, so it's been fun. It's been a fun journey.

 

Daniel Rosen  20:20  

Yeah, that's really important. What would you say is the difference between a credit repair person and a certified credit counselor?

 

Alicia Ault  20:29  

I think the difference might be that from what I see with some of the credit repair companies that I've heard of from my clients is they generally just dispute items on their credit report. And they really don't do anything else they don't talk about, you know, you need to get a credit card, you need to have, you know, your balances at 20% of the credit limit, things like that. They don't say those things. So it's just the dispute process. And I think a certified credit counselor looks at the full picture and says, okay, you know, we don't have the credit cards we need, we're in debt, we need to find out a way to reduce that. So things like that.

 

Daniel Rosen  21:02  

And you're actually giving them the tools to maintain their good credit after your work is done. 

 

Alicia Ault  21:07  

That's right. 

 

Daniel Rosen  21:08  

That's really, really cool. 

 

Alicia Ault  21:09  

We do what we call reactive counseling, and then proactive counseling. So the wow portion. Yeah. 

 

Daniel Rosen  21:16  

Fascinating. Now, there's something on your site, I got to know what it is. It says the money game expert. 

 

Alicia Ault  21:23  

Okay. They called me the money game expert many years ago, because I can, and a lot of business owners will come to me for this, but I will take your credit report and your finances, and I'll find a different way and a better way for you to manage your money. And it could be just, I'm trying to think of an example to give you but there's just so many things that people do that they just do it wrong. And if you just tweak things just a little bit, you know, I got a client he had a bunch of credit cards, a bunch of credit card debt. I went and had him get a loan to pay off all his credit card debt. So what does that do skyrocket a score to seven hundreds. The loan wasn't a good loan because if we had to get a bad one to get you know Get it all in there. But then once our scores in the seven hundreds we refinance that now we're in a good loan at 6% interest rate where we were paying 29 you know, so just little things like that, that I don't think people realize that they can do. So that term came. She's the money gamer.

 

Daniel Rosen  22:16  

Wow. I love that. That's so cool. What's the Platinum Credit Now University?

 

Alicia Ault  22:22  

So I'm just starting to put that together. My goal for that is that there will be resources for the person to go into there and they can watch videos about, you know, where to keep your credit card balances at. Just the very basic stuff, how to settle your own debt, what to say what not to say what to get before you pay it... So things like that and have videos and little ebooks available. 

 

Daniel Rosen  22:44  

Wow, I love that. That's really, really great idea. That's really, really cool. Okay, we're gonna go now into what we call the rapid-fire round of questions where you answer in like a couple words or a sentence or two the first thing that pops into your head, okay, 

 

Alicia Ault  23:02  

Okay, sounds like fun. 

 

Daniel Rosen  23:04  

If you could go back in time, what do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started?

 

Alicia Ault  23:10  

Software. Software. Definitely. 

 

Daniel Rosen  23:14  

Good answer. What's the most important lesson that you've learned as a business owner?

 

Alicia Ault  23:21  

Having systems.

 

Daniel Rosen  23:24  

Is there a book that's changed your life?

 

Alicia Ault  23:27  

The Richest Man in Babylon.

 

Daniel Rosen  23:29  

Ah. What does business ownership mean to you?

 

Alicia Ault  23:33  

Freedom, flexibility.

 

Daniel Rosen  23:35  

Awesome. Do you have a morning routine?

 

Alicia Ault  23:37  

I do. I do. I do prayer time and then I do my goal setting.

 

Daniel Rosen  23:43  

Awesome. What's your definition of success?

 

Alicia Ault  23:46  

Having freedom and flexibility, being able to do things that you want to do.

 

Daniel Rosen  23:50  

Cool, and what's your advice to anyone just starting out with a credit repair business?

 

Alicia Ault  23:56  

Do it and you know, become an expert. Don't just try to get out there and make money for sure. Just really get your trade down know your trade. And there's a lot of resources. So, Daniel, you got a book.

 

Daniel Rosen  24:12  

Lots and lots of resources. Wow. Well, I want to thank you so much for your time today, Alicia, you're really awesome and inspiring. And you guys out there watching I hope this was inspiring to you. If you're out there trying to launch or grow your credit repair business, be sure to click below to subscribe so you don't miss any episodes. And I will see you on the next episode. And until then, keep changing lives. 

 

Want a fast track to creating an amazing business that helps people changes lives and makes you a great living in the process? That I'd like to invite you to my free online training at creditrepaircloud.com/freetraining. In this free training, you will learn how to get clients willing to pay you even if you're just starting out, how to get easy credit repair results without being an expert and how to get all the clients you'll ever need without paying for advertising. Again, this training is absolutely free. Just visit creditrepaircloud.com/freetraining.

Daniel Rosen  0:00  

Our guest today was working for a mortgage company that was rejecting applicants who had credit issues. So she saw a huge need for credit repair, she developed a passion for it and now she has hundreds of clients, she's got a quarter of a million-dollar run rate, and she's going to share with us how she built all of this without advertising, just by building relationships. So stick around, because this is gonna be a great one. 

 

So the big question is this. How can we take our passion for helping people with their credit and turn it into a successful business without taking loans without spending a fortune by bootstrapping it from nothing, so we can help the most people and still become highly profitable? That is the question and this podcast will give you the answer. My name is Daniel Rosen and welcome to Credit Repair Business Secrets. 

 

Hey Credit Heroes! Our guest today is a certified credit counselor with 16 years of experience. She started out working for a mortgage company and watched as the loan officers would reject applicants who had credit issues. She saw a huge need for credit repair and she started to learn by trial and error on how to help them. And now she has an amazing business called Platinum Credit Now, and she's going to share with us her amazing journey. Hey, Alicia, welcome to the podcast!

 

Alicia Ault  1:33  

Hi, Daniel. How are you?

 

Daniel Rosen  1:34  

I'm doing great. How are you? 

 

Alicia Ault  1:36  

I'm great. Thanks for having me.

 

Daniel Rosen  1:39  

Thanks for being here. Okay, where are you? 

 

Alicia Ault  1:42  

I'm in London, Ohio.

 

Daniel Rosen  1:45  

Okay, is that where you grew up? 

 

Alicia Ault  1:47  

No, I actually grew up in Baytown, Texas. 

 

Daniel Rosen  1:50  

Oh, wow. Okay. Well, I want, before we get into this, tell me about your life before credit repair. What were you doing?

 

Alicia Ault  1:58  

I was a teacher. 

 

Daniel Rosen  2:00  

Really? 

 

Alicia Ault  2:00  

Yeah, I was a teacher for many years and I ended up getting divorced and finding myself... a single mam with two kids. And I realized that teaching wasn't going to be conducive because I needed to be able to be more flexible. So I went into the mortgage industry, and that's how I got into that. I could be very flexible in that, and that's where I found that there is a great need for credit help. I mean, people were getting turned down, and no one gave them an answer of why or what to do about it. So they don't only get a "no", but they also got, we can't help you. And you know, then they're crying, wondering what can I do, you know, and that to me, wasn't okay, so that teacher came out to me. And I wanted to figure out how to teach people how to do that.

 

Daniel Rosen  2:43  

Wow, that must have just felt terrible. Seeing those people in tears that couldn't get approved.

 

Alicia Ault  2:50  

It was very hard because people... And that was back in the day before credit repair was probably even popular, you know, and a lot of people didn't know about it and they had no direction on where to go.

 

Daniel Rosen  3:00  

Wow. And so that was the catalyst for you starting to learn about credit repair.

 

Alicia Ault  3:06  

Yeah. 

 

Daniel Rosen  3:07  

Amazing. Did you ever have credit issues yourself?

 

Alicia Ault  3:11  

I did not necessarily have credit issues myself. But when I got through a divorce, my ex-husband started to have credit problems. And even though we never shared anything joint stuff of his started popping up on my credit report, so I end up having to do the same kind of credit repair that I've already learned how to do for other people for myself to get my ex-husband stuff off my report.

 

Daniel Rosen  3:30  

Wow. Okay, so you really did have to be your own client as well. Yeah. So you start How did you go about learning how credit repair worked?

 

Alicia Ault  3:42  

Oh, lots of things. I, you know, we pay off a collection and find out that, you know, the reporting date hadn't updated. So we actually dropped the score and stuff. It didn't always work the right way. But, you know, we try to see learning how that whole system works, you know, and so we learned things like looking at the last year. reported date whether or not a collection should be paid or not. And, you know, learning how to dispute items. And so I read a bunch, although I will tell you that the reading didn't really do it. For me, it was really the trial and error, you know, it's really finding all the nuts and bolts to it. But so and then I did that for two and a half years for free, just because I was trying to figure it out and just helping people.

 

Daniel Rosen  4:20  

Wow, that's a long time to do it for free. Yes, people are always in a big hurry to start making money. But what did you gain by doing it for free, so long?

 

Alicia Ault  4:33  

So one is the knowledge, right? I learned how to be and now in my area, everyone knows my name. You know, I know who I am and where I'm at and that I'm what they call the real deal, you know, to get things done because I didn't just go at it and try to make money off of it without really caring for the person, you know, and that was a that was the primary thing was, I really saw a need and the reason I did it for two years for free was that I saw this need that people didn't know and I felt bad for them, you know. And then someone came to my office and said, your door never closes and you're always in here working. What are you doing? And I said, I tell them what I'm doing. They're like, well, how much you charge? I'm like, Oh, I don't charge. He's like, what? So that was kind of the turning point. I realized, well, maybe I am good enough to charge, you know, wow. But initially, were you doing that? Well, still at the mortgage company. I was a loan officer. So I did it in conjunction with that.

 

Daniel Rosen  5:27  

Oh, so this also enabled you to put more loans through

 

Alicia Ault  5:31  

it sort of, but most of the stuff that I was doing was actually for other loan officers. So Wow. Yeah, you guys are hearing about me and they're like all center to it. You know. So yeah, it was pretty interesting how it all came about. I probably get a couple of loans out of it, but primarily it was for other people. So 

 

Daniel Rosen  5:48  

Wow. Amazing. And then what was the transition? Like? How did you go from that to having your own company? What did that look like?

 

Alicia Ault  5:57  

I got business cards. That's really how I started. And people I started saying, you know, I'm going to charge a fee for it. And I started charging a fee and people start paying me for. I got licensed with the state of Ohio and things and that's when it kind of took off from there.

 

Daniel Rosen  6:13  

Wow. And is that when you left the mortgage company? 

 

Alicia Ault  6:15  

It took me a while to leave the mortgage company. I was really scared to branch off on my own. So I did the credit stuff part-time. And then one day someone came up to me they're like, do you realize how much more money you can make if you do that full time and I started to not like the mortgage world anymore. I was a first-time homebuyer specialist, but it was getting harder. The rules were changing. So it wasn't quite as fun and I really enjoyed the credit part. Although I felt like as a loan officer, getting people in first-time homes, I thought, This is great. I felt good about going home every day that I helped someone getting their first home that being a credit repair expert is like 100 times more rewarding. Like every day, you've helped so many people, you know, it's not just their first home, it's their home, their car, their life. So just It's just so rewarding said I finally pulled the trigger. I think I cried. I stopped the mortgage and went full time and I tell you, it's the best decision I made.

 

Daniel Rosen  7:10  

Wow. Now, how did you first start getting clients? Or did they come from referrals from all those years of doing it for free?

 

Alicia Ault  7:19  

So referrals were big, but because I was in the mortgage industry, I knew a lot of realtors I knew a lot of loan officers had been in business for quite a while with loans of eight years and doing loans. So I just started talking to them that I don't do loans anymore. And that was the funny thing is I don't do loans anymore, but I do credit now. And so then everybody wanted to talk to me before was like, you know, realtor's like all so many people were coming to me to do loans and then so those same connections I had built up became even stronger connections because I'm not a loan officer anymore, you know. And so I would go to every networking event, though, that was possibly out there. Just every networking event. And I think that was and people will talk about that still today. I had some friends call me yesterday and said, one thing I remember about you that I model off of your business is you went to every networking event. And so I did that for a couple years and till people started knowing you, you know, and then you don't have to do it as quite as often.

 

Daniel Rosen  8:12  

Wow, that's so cool. So if you're at a networking event, how do you approach an affiliate? And what would you say to them?

 

Alicia Ault  8:21  

So primarily, I always would go to people and just as a friend, you know, and I didn't talk shop, because I didn't think that that was the appropriate way to get business. I felt like that was, I don't like to be talked that way. So I just go up as a friend and then let them ask me what I do. And usually, the conversation would then go, Well, I think you can help me and then, you know, we would go into this because everybody knows somebody who needs you know, help with credit. And most business industries need someone to help with, regardless of what it is. So if I own a business and my employees need it, you know, so there's so many ways that a credit counselor can help so just explaining when they ask what you do, you know, 

 

Daniel Rosen  8:58  

Cool and then You really make it their idea. Yeah. And then it does most of your business come from these affiliates now?

 

Alicia Ault  9:05  

Yes. And Google. Google. Yeah. Okay, a lot of reviews on Google, I started asking for reviews. And as I started doing that, I got a bunch of reviews. So the last two years people call me go, I picked you because I read all your reviews.

 

Daniel Rosen  9:20  

Wow. That's really, really great. So I want to know more about the affiliate stuff as well. How much of your business do you think comes from the affiliates? How much do you think comes from Google?

 

Alicia Ault  9:32  

I would say primarily, its affiliates.

 

Daniel Rosen  9:34  

So when you start to build this relationship with them, like how often are you in contact with them?

 

Alicia Ault  9:41  

Before I was in contact with them all the time, but now because of the system that we have with Credit Repair Cloud, they're in there and they just love it that their clients see a picture of them have their contact information. So really, now I don't have to talk to them as much because they can go in there and kind of see a screenshot of what their clients doing. And then also, they know Know that their pitcher and their contact information, which makes them feel very happy because they feel safe, like they feel like I refer to you, and I'm going to get that back because that person can see me all the time. So since I've had Credit Repair Cloud, it's been significantly less conversations before it was like I was constantly on the phone with unlike, you know, where's my client out? You know, what's the status and it was just constant, constant, constant. Now, I don't have to do that. So I get to do more work.

 

Daniel Rosen  10:26  

That's great. What are you doing before Credit Repair Cloud? Were you doing it all manually?

 

Alicia Ault  10:31  

Yeah. 

 

Daniel Rosen  10:33  

Oh, wow. What do you look like? 

 

Alicia Ault  10:36  

It's a lot of work. I had a lot of staff and that's a great question because I had five people in my office to help assist with a lot less clients than I have now. Some paying them and then so my, my actual revenue that you know, the or the actual income that I was receiving was significantly less before Credit Repair Cloud because now I just have one of the person in my office, and I'm doing probably triple the work that I was doing before.

 

Daniel Rosen  11:00  

Wow, I'm glad we were able to help.

 

Alicia Ault  11:04  

Yeah, software's amazing. 

 

Daniel Rosen  11:06  

What were the software's you were using, like Excel and Word and all those things? 

 

Alicia Ault  11:10  

Oh, I definitely use Word. I definitely use Excel. I did have a CRM system through Infusionsoft. Uh huh. So I had that. So I think I could make like, you know, tasks myself for different things. But it didn't automate and make the whole credit part of the process easy. That was all manual, typing in Word documents, that simple typing. It is. 

 

Daniel Rosen  11:32  

Well, amazing. Well, I'm really glad you found us. 

 

Alicia Ault  11:35  

I am too. 

 

Daniel Rosen  11:36  

Now, what's your process? When you first get a lead? Can you walk us through that?

 

Alicia Ault  11:41  

So most of my leads come either through an email, even though I've tried to get my affiliates to go right through the system, it's usually an email, which is fine, because I'll usually send the credit report with that. But what I typically do is I email back because they'll see the client on that and I email back with a link to my calendar and then they get on the calendar. And, you know, it's easy. It's not really a sell because the person is already ready to go. They need it. So we just go over the credit report together over the phone, we read it, we talk about, you know, some pointer things that they can do on their own if they choose not to work with me. And then they choose to work with me, we go through the portal and setting it all up.

 

Daniel Rosen  12:19  

That's so cool. What's really cool is that you said they're all pre-sold, because they're, they've either been referred by an affiliate who has talked to you up, or they've seen all those reviews, right? And so many people don't understand how important those reviews are. I mean, they really, the reviews and the testimonials, they really are proof and it really does pre-sell your services for you.

 

Alicia Ault  12:44  

Yeah, I was just listening to one of your podcasts earlier today. And you were talking about testimonials. And I was like Well, I think I did a pretty good job of that. And I do I think it's super important especially as a credit repair expert because there are so many places that are quote-unquote scams that people are scared of you know, I get calls every once from That, you know, I want help, but I got burned by this company or that company. So showing that you are, you know, sincere, genuine, you're there to help them and you're not just there to make money off of them. I think it's important in those reviews and testimonials are huge for that because you have to set yourself apart from the others. Right? And I think that's so important.

 

Daniel Rosen  13:20  

Absolutely. How and when do you ask a client for a testimonial?

 

Alicia Ault  13:25  

Usually, after they got to their goal, so we do goal setting counseling. So if they say, you know, I want to buy a house, then we take them through a process to buy the house or the car or whatever. So once we reach that point where I say, Okay, it's time to call the loan officer. Now it's time for testimonial. Right? And so they're happy, they're ready. They're excited. So it's a really good opportunity to grab that.

 

Daniel Rosen  13:47  

So it's all built into your whole process. 

 

Alicia Ault  13:49  

It is really, really important. Systems are important.

 

Daniel Rosen  13:54  

Well, can you tell us about one of your success stories? With one of your clients?

 

Alicia Ault  14:00  

One of my favorite ones, it's kind of it's a small story, but one of my favorite ones is a client who went through the credit repair process. And he initially came to us because he wanted to buy a house. But he ended up having to buy a car for his daughter at some point through the process. And he went in and he got the zero percent interest because his credit was so good. And he literally called me crying. And it was, you know, I mean, those kind of thing. Those moments are just, they're unbeatable, right? They're amazing to have. And so just having those kind of moments where a person gets something that they had no, they couldn't fathom, being able to do prior, you know, to working with us. And sometimes that happens within three months and six months, you know, I mean, it's not always a long process to get there, which is exciting, too. And they don't think that they're thinking a lot of people call me it's like, it's gonna take two years in it or something and we get it done much faster.

 

Daniel Rosen  14:52  

Wow. I love it. I love it. I love that you focus on the result and you focus on the changing lives. And the focus isn't on the money. Right. But the money comes.

 

Alicia Ault  15:05  

And does. You treat people right when you do people, right. I think that's key, you know, and I generally care about those people. That's why I got into it, you know, probably why I got into teaching. Same thing is that you know, to take care of people. And if you do that, and it comes back to you.

 

Daniel Rosen  15:20  

Super cool. How many clients do you have right now?

 

Alicia Ault  15:23  

Right now? I think I have 300. 

 

Daniel Rosen  15:26  

Wow. Yeah. And are you running this on subscription or pay per delete? How does it work?

 

Alicia Ault  15:32  

So I do subscription. And, I have some la carte services, if you will. So if it's like one or two things that they need, but most of its subscription.

 

Daniel Rosen  15:42  

So what's your revenue at like now monthly or annually?

 

Alicia Ault  15:46  

It looks like I'm projected to make 20,000 each month.

 

Daniel Rosen  15:49  

That's awesome. Yeah. So around 240,000 annual recurring. Good for you. Yeah. Thank you. Fantastic.

 

Alicia Ault  15:58  

Yeah, very excited.

 

Daniel Rosen  16:00  

Now what do you do differently for a client that wants a home versus one that wants a car?

 

Alicia Ault  16:07  

So I, because of my trial and error in my mortgage industry, I know that the mortgage industry's credit report calculates the score differently. So there's different algorithms. So that one that they use for mortgages is called 505. So I know how that one works versus like if someone said, I want to buy a car, that's 509. And so we decide what we're going to do with their credit report based on what they want to do. So with 509, if for an example, if you have a medical collection, and you pay it off, whether it's an old one or new one, it's not reported very long ago or not. You pay it off your score jumps. But with FICO five, if you pay off a medical collection that's hasn't updated in the last two years, you drop the score. So just those little tips to make sure that we're raising the score and not doing stuff to drop it. 

 

Daniel Rosen  16:55  

Wow, that's really, really fascinating. I didn't even know those intricacies about Falco.

 

Alicia Ault  17:00  

This is where trial and error comes in handy. 

 

Daniel Rosen  17:03  

Oh, I bet. No, everything I've learned about business has been from trial and error. I think it's the best teacher is usually the errors.

 

Alicia Ault  17:11  

Yes, it is. Yeah. And when I first started, it was trial and error and other people. So it was a little intimidating to because I knew that I could help you or I could hurt you. But I would have that disclaimer out there. And people were like, I don't care because right now we're not doing anything. So you know, do whatever we can, and we'll see what happens. So I dropped quite a few scores by paying something off, you know, but then learning that and then finding out that I can do the same thing with my car and actually improve this score. So it is interesting. And it's fun to know those little things because people don't know what you know, the general public doesn't know it. And then I'm more of an expert because I do know that stuff. Absolutely. And then they're like, Oh, she is the real deal.

 

Daniel Rosen  17:56  

I know you are. In fact, I know you're a whiz with collections. So I have a question for you. What do you do if a collection account or a judgment has been verified?

 

Alicia Ault  18:08  

So I'm not big on continuously disputing something that's been verified. And the reason for that is because I've had clients actually send me the letters that they received from their creditors, when they worked with Lexington Law. And the creditors would literally say, We know you're working with Lexington Law, and it would say, save your money, because it's not going to work. They would actually send letters and I have those my office. And so what I was finding is that when people would go through Lexington Law, they were getting just, you know, having these disputes continuously, and then finally a judgment would be filed against them. So when we get to a point where a debt is validated, then that's when I have a discussion with the client and I say, Okay, do you truly believe this debt is yours or not, you know, and if it is, then we need to do a chain of title and find out you know, if this entity really has the documentation to collect on you, and then If it does, then we look at seeing about negotiating a settlement. Wow, make sure we do our homework first.

 

Daniel Rosen  19:06  

Wow. And when it gets to that point and you're offering a settlement, what does that process look like?

 

Alicia Ault  19:14  

So generally I'm calling on behalf of the client as their power of attorney to negotiate the debt primarily because I'm good at it. I got a certified debt negotiator. So I contact the entities and a lot of my already have business relationships with that worked on throughout the year. So I usually have a point of contact that I contact and then negotiate the debt based on the clients availability to pay it. That's

 

Daniel Rosen  19:37  

Really, really cool. guy I noticed on your site, it says you're a certified credit counselor, a certified debt settlement expert, certified financial management, a home loan preparation specialist, foreclosure prevention specialist. This is really impressive. All this stuff.

 

Alicia Ault  19:56  

It just started with disputes by the way. So it's not it didn't happened like overnight where I got all these just as I learned different things that people needed. I started learning that trades the same thing that trial and error thing. I kept learning different trades. And till I got things down pat and I didn't offer services until I knew that I was the expert there. You know, I think that's important. But yeah, so it's been fun. It's been a fun journey.

 

Daniel Rosen  20:20  

Yeah, that's really important. What would you say is the difference between a credit repair person and a certified credit counselor?

 

Alicia Ault  20:29  

I think the difference might be that from what I see with some of the credit repair companies that I've heard of from my clients is they generally just dispute items on their credit report. And they really don't do anything else they don't talk about, you know, you need to get a credit card, you need to have, you know, your balances at 20% of the credit limit, things like that. They don't say those things. So it's just the dispute process. And I think a certified credit counselor looks at the full picture and says, okay, you know, we don't have the credit cards we need, we're in debt, we need to find out a way to reduce that. So things like that.

 

Daniel Rosen  21:02  

And you're actually giving them the tools to maintain their good credit after your work is done. 

 

Alicia Ault  21:07  

That's right. 

 

Daniel Rosen  21:08  

That's really, really cool. 

 

Alicia Ault  21:09  

We do what we call reactive counseling, and then proactive counseling. So the wow portion. Yeah. 

 

Daniel Rosen  21:16  

Fascinating. Now, there's something on your site, I got to know what it is. It says the money game expert. 

 

Alicia Ault  21:23  

Okay. They called me the money game expert many years ago, because I can, and a lot of business owners will come to me for this, but I will take your credit report and your finances, and I'll find a different way and a better way for you to manage your money. And it could be just, I'm trying to think of an example to give you but there's just so many things that people do that they just do it wrong. And if you just tweak things just a little bit, you know, I got a client he had a bunch of credit cards, a bunch of credit card debt. I went and had him get a loan to pay off all his credit card debt. So what does that do skyrocket a score to seven hundreds. The loan wasn't a good loan because if we had to get a bad one to get you know Get it all in there. But then once our scores in the seven hundreds we refinance that now we're in a good loan at 6% interest rate where we were paying 29 you know, so just little things like that, that I don't think people realize that they can do. So that term came. She's the money gamer.

 

Daniel Rosen  22:16  

Wow. I love that. That's so cool. What's the Platinum Credit Now University?

 

Alicia Ault  22:22  

So I'm just starting to put that together. My goal for that is that there will be resources for the person to go into there and they can watch videos about, you know, where to keep your credit card balances at. Just the very basic stuff, how to settle your own debt, what to say what not to say what to get before you pay it... So things like that and have videos and little ebooks available. 

 

Daniel Rosen  22:44  

Wow, I love that. That's really, really great idea. That's really, really cool. Okay, we're gonna go now into what we call the rapid-fire round of questions where you answer in like a couple words or a sentence or two the first thing that pops into your head, okay, 

 

Alicia Ault  23:02  

Okay, sounds like fun. 

 

Daniel Rosen  23:04  

If you could go back in time, what do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started?

 

Alicia Ault  23:10  

Software. Software. Definitely. 

 

Daniel Rosen  23:14  

Good answer. What's the most important lesson that you've learned as a business owner?

 

Alicia Ault  23:21  

Having systems.

 

Daniel Rosen  23:24  

Is there a book that's changed your life?

 

Alicia Ault  23:27  

The Richest Man in Babylon.

 

Daniel Rosen  23:29  

Ah. What does business ownership mean to you?

 

Alicia Ault  23:33  

Freedom, flexibility.

 

Daniel Rosen  23:35  

Awesome. Do you have a morning routine?

 

Alicia Ault  23:37  

I do. I do. I do prayer time and then I do my goal setting.

 

Daniel Rosen  23:43  

Awesome. What's your definition of success?

 

Alicia Ault  23:46  

Having freedom and flexibility, being able to do things that you want to do.

 

Daniel Rosen  23:50  

Cool, and what's your advice to anyone just starting out with a credit repair business?

 

Alicia Ault  23:56  

Do it and you know, become an expert. Don't just try to get out there and make money for sure. Just really get your trade down know your trade. And there's a lot of resources. So, Daniel, you got a book.

 

Daniel Rosen  24:12  

Lots and lots of resources. Wow. Well, I want to thank you so much for your time today, Alicia, you're really awesome and inspiring. And you guys out there watching I hope this was inspiring to you. If you're out there trying to launch or grow your credit repair business, be sure to click below to subscribe so you don't miss any episodes. And I will see you on the next episode. And until then, keep changing lives. 

 

Want a fast track to creating an amazing business that helps people changes lives and makes you a great living in the process? That I'd like to invite you to my free online training at creditrepaircloud.com/freetraining. In this free training, you will learn how to get clients willing to pay you even if you're just starting out, how to get easy credit repair results without being an expert and how to get all the clients you'll ever need without paying for advertising. Again, this training is absolutely free. Just visit creditrepaircloud.com/freetraining.

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