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Graham the ‘Credit Corrector’: credit reporting accuracy advocate 24th in Start-Up Smart Awards
Innovative credit rating repair company, MyCRA Credit Rating Repairs has been placed at number 24 in the Australian Start-Up Smart Awards 2012.
Headed by entrepreneur Graham Doessel, who was once Australia’s most successful non-conforming broker – MyCRA was developed in a post-Global Financial Crisis economy as a solution to tighter lending criteria and loss of non-conforming lenders, and has quickly become a force to be reckoned with in the finance industry.
Start-Up Smart also placed MyCRA Credit Rating Repairs amongst the Top Ten new trends for 2012 in the finance category.
“As the banks toughen their lending criteria, the finance industry is witnessing the emergence of a new type of business – one that aims to make it easier for consumers to obtain credit and finance.
My CRA, which appears at number 24, was developed for the sole purpose of giving customers the cleanest credit file possible.
The idea behind the service is to give customers the best chance of getting approval, secure a lower interest rate or reduce the upfront fees that can be associated with obtaining credit,” Michelle Hammond reports in the article 10 trends from the 2012 StartupSmart Top 50.
Mr Doessel says there are three main reasons for the sharp rise in demand for good quality credit rating repair in this economy. Firstly, with tighter lending criteria a clean credit file has become an essential ingredient to obtaining credit in this market. Secondly, the number of errors and inaccuracies on Australian credit reports which affect consumers is high; and thirdly, individuals who wish to address, dispute and remove inaccurate data from their credit file have found the task quite arduous.
“Credit reporting is governed by strict legislation, legislation which most consumers have limited knowledge of, and often very little time to get to know. Plus negotiating with creditors can be tricky. Clients have to know who to talk to and the way to talk to them. Sometimes people can do more harm than good when trying to fix their own credit rating,” Mr Doessel explains.
There are four credit reporting agencies in Australia, and three in New Zealand, with Veda Advantage holding the majority of these credit files – with a total of over 16.5 million credit files in Australia alone.
Of these millions of credit files, it is not known how many contain negative listings. Some reports claim around 3 million in Australia. The number of negative listings which contain inconsistencies is also uncertain. A Veda Advantage spokesperson, Chris Gration was recently interviewed by Channel 7 Australia’s Today Tonight, about the possible number of errors which are contained on Australian credit reports.
“We give out about 250,000 credit reports to consumers every year. But only in 1 per cent of cases is there a material error on the file, so a default or an enquiry that’s incorrect,” Mr Gration told Today Tonight.
But an Australian Consumer Association (now Choice) survey from 2004 revealed that 34% of the credit files surveyed in their small scale study contained errors or inconsistencies.
Mr Doessel says listings are not removed by creditors unless the credit file holder can provide adequate reason and lots of evidence as to why the listing should not be there.
“It’s a bit like David and Goliath in many cases – so we are providing the benefit of our experience to tackle the big guys on the consumer’s behalf,” he says.
The concept and formation of MyCRA Credit Rating Repairs has interesting origins. Forced to declare bankruptcy on his Promotions Business following a bad business partnership, Mr Doessel’s experience led him to a passion for the finance industry – particularly in cases of helping the underdog.
He formed a highly successful non-conforming mortgage brokerage Mortgage Now – in 2004 which by 2006 was placed as a finalist in the Telstra Business Awards.
Then by 2008 he was faced with two major obstacles – Cancer and the Global Financial Crisis.
“Once I had recovered from cancer I found that the lending market had changed significantly. Suddenly, alternative lenders were folding and there was little way for those people who genuinely could service a loan but for their bad credit rating to obtain credit,” he explains.
After extensive study of Australian credit reporting legislation, he devised a framework to correct credit rating errors. Mr Doessel found demand was massive for this service, and the business quickly took off.
“It’s nice to do something which helps out people who would otherwise have never had the time, knowledge and skill to fight their own case. When I send people back off to their broker or lender to buy their dream home, that feeling is worth its weight in gold,” he says.
For the future, Mr Doessel is hoping MyCRA can increase their level of success by improving the frequency of removal and closing the gap on their current default removal rate. My CRA has a previous track record of up to 91.7% of cases having a default removed.
The team hope to accomplish this through further increasing skill level and team numbers, building even better relationships with creditors, and continuing to educate consumers on credit reporting.
With Mr Doessel’s heavy involvement with the Credit Repair Industry Association of Australasia (CRIAA) as an executive member, MyCRA has a strong policy of maintaining consumer advocacy and industry standards.
MyCRA has also recently begun a Premium Corporate Partnership with the Finance Brokers’ Association of Australia (FBAA).
Graham Doessel – Founder and CEO MyCRA Ph (07) 3124 7133
Lisa Brewster – Media Relations MyCRA Ph: 0450 554 007
MyCRA Credit Rating Repairs is Australia’s leader in credit rating repairs. We permanently remove defaults from credit files.