Imagine a young boy who has always taken his father as an inspiration (who is a dentist & a businessman dealing in various sectors), deciding to take on life heads on, fight all the odds, come out as a winner & become what he desires to? Well, when life poses you with many difficulties, the intention is always to make you stronger & to make you learn how you can turn it around for yourself.
Alec Martin, now known as Astyle Alive is a true example of this, who never stopped at anything in life, kept moving forward & today with his consistent efforts & determination has reached a stage where he is known not only as a great businessman but also as a man with a noble heart. Martin, who was born on April 13, 1991, in Jamaica, W.I., got migrated to the US when he was still 8 years old. He graduated from New York City High School in the year 2009. By the time he was 18, he had realised that he would become an entrepreneur.
As soon as he graduated from high school, Martin got into the marketing of club venues & also media promotion work. While he was still in the media field, he also simultaneously got into designing apparels like T-shirts, hoodies & sweaters. He got in touch with renowned influencers like NBA superstar JR. Smith & also late Chinx Drugz, the hip hop icon among many other icons as well to take his apparel collection forward. It was in 2013 that he began branding himself as “Astyle Alive”.
As his businesses started growing & expanding, he started a construction & real estate development company called “One Umbrella Enterprise”. The business follows the method of fix & flip where it buys homes, fix them up & then resells them. When Martin realised that this business also became a success, then in 2018 he even went ahead & launched a company named “Credit Is A Must”, which is a credit repair company. This company has till now removed more than $1 Million in debt to help its clients.
Martin believes that when one achieves what he/she desires & life too blesses them with the best, then it becomes the moral duty of the individual to help others as well. With this, Martin became a part of the St. Jude Hospital Research Center, to volunteer & donate to help children with Cancer. For the pandemic COVID-19 as well, he has helped a number of families with thousands of dollars to extend support to the underprivileged fraction of the community.
The young lad has his plans ready for 2020 also, as Martin would be coming up with his new project in health & wellness called Tranquil Store – CBD (Cannabidiol) Company in June this year. With his father being his biggest inspiration, Martin also finds inspirations from Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah and, Jay-Z.
Martin advises rising entrepreneurs that keeping belief in oneself is of utmost importance. Also, taking risks & not giving up are other qualities that one must instill in themselves. He also believes that it is the constant growth & improvement that gives meaning to words like development, achievement, and performance.
The Credit Guru Credit Repair Review
Look at The Credit Guru’s website and you’ll find several enticing claims: credit dispute secrets the bureaus don’t want you to know about, settled debts for less than you owe, and better credit in as little as three months.
If these sound too good to be true, they just might be. Unfortunately, assertions like this rarely come to fruition—a lesson that many customers learn the hard way after losing hundreds or thousands of dollars in useless fees.
If claims like these have you thinking about hiring The Credit Guru to repair your credit, read our review that breaks down the good and the bad by evaluating services, pricing, reputation, value, and more.
- Free initial consultation: The Credit Guru’s initial phone consultation is offered free of charge, although you’ll need to supply your own credit reports.
- Two service package options: Customers can choose the right package and price range for their needs.
- Offers multiple discounts: Discounts are available for couples, military service members, and client referrals.
- Dedicated case management team: Each credit repair customer has a personal service team assigned to their case.
- Financial coaching available: Clients of The Credit Guru who choose the premium service package can benefit from a personalized credit repair plan to help raise their score from multiple standpoints.
- Expensive fees: Monthly prices start at $89.00, and that’s not including a $149.95 setup fee.
- Makes questionable claims: The Credit Guru’s marketing language includes a few claims we found to be potentially misleading.
- No educational materials: Many credit repair companies now offer free resource libraries to help customers improve their finances, but The Credit Guru hasn’t made a significant investment in consumer education.
- Lack of digital tools: You won’t find modern conveniences like an online portal, web chat, or mobile app with The Credit Guru.
- Strict cancellation policy: Customers only have five business days to cancel their membership and receive a refund. To discontinue monthly service, notice needs to be sent at least 15 days prior to the next billing cycle.
Types of Services
The Credit Guru makes two service packages available at different price points. Where most competitors create a strong distinction between their plans, however, The Credit Guru doesn’t offer much extra to those who upgrade.
All things considered, The Credit Guru’s regular service package is no more or less than what you’d expect from basic credit repair. The plan includes copies of your credit reports, unlimited monthly credit disputes, and phone and email from a dedicated case management team. Monthly account reviews are available, although the customer must request them.
The Credit Guru’s premium service package offers everything included in the regular package with three key differences:
- Credit disputes are processed every two weeks instead of once per 30-day billing period.
- Monthly account reviews are conducted automatically without the customer needing to ask for them.
- Each customer is provided with a personalized credit improvement plan that walks them through additional ways to build credit outside of the dispute process.
The only credit repair services offered by The Credit Guru are included in the two packages listed above. No optional add-ons like credit monitoring are available to further customize plans.
The Credit Guru may be one of the oldest credit repair firms, but the company hasn’t done much to keep up with industry trends. Many credit repair companies have adopted new digital technologies in recent years, providing customers with conveniences like online account management, web chat, and even mobile apps.
Customers who sign up with The Credit Guru will find themselves limited to traditional email and phone service. While those who prefer a more personalized experience may find themselves perfectly happy with their dedicated case management team, tech-savvy customers who are used to faster service could end up feeling frustrated.
Much of The Credit Guru’s website appears to be out of date; we found several pages and blog posts that hadn’t been refreshed since 2017 or earlier. But the information contained within the site raises a few red flags due to some troubling claims the company makes.
For example, The Credit Guru uses language claiming that the credit bureaus “don’t want you to use a credit repair company,” which isn’t accurate since the credit bureaus have nothing to gain from denying credit disputes. There’s also a particularly worrying claim that paying down past due bills won’t repair your credit, suggesting that a better option is to have The Credit Guru settle debts on your behalf for less money.
Credit repair companies sometimes offer to settle debts for their customers if they can’t be disputed as inaccurate. Those who agree don’t always realize the potential negative consequences of the debt settlement process. In some cases, customers end up owing more than they began with due to the high fees involved. Debt settlement can also ding your credit score more significantly than if you simply took the time to pay off the debt in full.
There isn’t much information available on The Credit Guru regarding customer feedback. While the company has a C+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), it’s hard to say what this rating is based on since the company has no reviews or complaints registered. Nothing is on file with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The company does have a five-star rating on Google, although too few reviews exist to give this rating much weight.
If you have a complaint about the services of a credit repair company, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or call 877-FTC-HELP.
The Credit Guru’s services don’t require a long-term contract. Customers are billed on a monthly basis and can cancel anytime. However, you’ll need to notify the company that you’d like to terminate your package at least 15 days prior to your next billing period to ensure you won’t be charged. The company states that most customers retain services for an average of three to eight months.
Unfortunately, The Credit Guru doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee if you don’t see any results after paying for services. Their refund policy is quite strict; you’ll need to request one within the first five days to have your fees returned, which is just two days longer than the legal minimum laid out in the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA).
By law, credit repair companies aren’t allowed to bill customers for services that haven’t yet been performed. If a credit repair service asks for payment in advance, find a more reputable company to work with.
Considering the services included in each package, The Credit Guru’s fees are exceptionally high. The regular service costs $149.95 upfront and $89.00 per month. For the premium service, you’ll be charged $199.95 in setup fees plus $129.00 per month. Most credit repair companies with fees in this range include a much broader scope of services, such as credit monitoring, identity theft insurance, and other value adds.
One positive note is that The Credit Guru is good about offering discounts. Couples who sign up together will only pay $269.95 in combined setup fees for the regular service plan and $369.90 for the premium service, a discount of about $30 in each case. Savings are also offered to military members and those who refer another customer.
The Competition: The Credit Guru vs. The Credit Pros
Similarly named competitor, The Credit Pros, is a credit repair company that also prices its services quite high, although not to the same extent as The Credit Guru.
But The Credit Pros’ entry-level plan, priced at $119.00 upfront and $69.00 per month, offers a comparable service lineup as The Credit Guru’s most expensive plan that costs nearly twice as much. The most premium package available from The Credit Pros also includes credit monitoring, debt management, identity theft protection, and discount programs, none of which are even offered by The Credit Guru. It’s easy to see that The Credit Pros is the winner between the two.
|The Credit Guru||The Credit Pros|
|Services Offered||Credit repair, financial planning||Credit repair, monitoring, identity theft protection, financial planning|
|Customer Service Touchpoints||Phone, email||Phone, email, client portal|
|Upfront Fee||$149.95 to $199.95||$119.00 to $149.00|
|Monthly Fee||$89.00 to $129.00||$69.00 to $149.00|
Given The Credit Guru’s outdated tools and limited services, it’s hard to see why anyone should pay the company’s lofty prices. Much more affordable options are available from competitors, many of which include even more valuable services. Even if value wasn’t a factor, we’re concerned about some of the misleading claims The Credit Guru uses to make its services seem more appealing to potential customers.
How We Review Credit Repair Companies
To help consumers avoid the pitfalls of the credit repair industry, we review credit repair companies using a rigorous set of criteria. Our quantitative scoring system analyzes each firm’s plan offerings, cost structure, customer service, and reputation within the industry. We assign each company points based on their performance in every area to calculate an overall score on a scale of zero to five.
Learn more: Read our full Credit Repair Review Methodology here.
Dylan Shively, Owner of James Warren Group, Inc. on Repairing Credit and Promoting Financial Education
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When it comes to working with a credit repair company for a good financial turnout, one can never be too careful in looking for the perfect organization that is not only sincere but also has an impressive track record. James Warren Group Inc. is more than able to attend to the credit repair needs of clients by offering free consultation, free in-depth credit analysis, and free credit recommendations.
The company has been in the credit repair business for quite some time now, and fulfilling the expectations of clients is of utmost importance for Dylan Shively, the company owner. The 27-year-old entrepreneur not only prioritizes credit repair, but he also valued credit education. Educating clients on how to best take care of their credit scores will help them greatly in the future. Seeing that more and more Americans are falling into the trap of bad credit, Dylan believes that educating them will protect them in future transactions.
“Anybody can lower the price, but honestly I found most people, while wanting a deal, care way more about making sure they made the right choice. My company is built on doing the right thing, not the easy thing. We do what is right for our clients by not just performing our credit repair service, but we also offer education with every package for no additional cost. Why? Because my goal is to not only have clients have the best credit possible, but it’s to actually take the time to educate them and give them our best tips, tricks, and hacks so that they can win at life and this so-called ‘credit game,'” explains Dylan Shively.
As a well-meaning and thriving entrepreneur, Dylan puts a high premium on building a lasting working relationship with his clients by being transparent, genuine, and sincere in every transaction. One of his most prized personal philosophies both as a family man and as a business owner is that success comes when one learns how to put others first before himself. It is this simple yet meaningful philosophy that has allowed Dylan to establish lasting professional relationships with all of his clients.
Additionally, Dylan always reminds himself that the negativity of the people around him can easily affect and alter the kind of person he is. For this reason, he strictly adheres to the value of discipline and structure to experience sincere happiness in life. With his philosophies intact, Dylan is looking at the future with so much hope and plans for his company. He aspires to one day have more than 2,000 employees working for him at James Warren Group Inc. Moreover, he dreams of one day being present in all the states in the country. Finishing strong greatly matters to Dylan and his whole team.
Aside from his credit repair company, Dylan also owns an Amazon store. He is also the co-founder of UCAA, an academy that teaches people how to start, grow, and scale their own credit repair business. Apart from his business, he is very passionate about his family and will soon be welcoming their third child.
Company Name: James Warren Group, Inc.
Contact Person: Dylan Shively
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