What is a credit service organization bond?
In many states, credit service organizations must post a surety bond to become licensed. The bond offers credit service buyers protection from financial harm due to unethical business practices. The bond ensures that credit service organizations follow state laws and regulations for their industry.
This bond goes by various names, depending on your state:
- Credit repair service bonds
- Debt management services provider bonds
- CSO bonds
- Debt negotiator bonds
What is a credit service organization?
A credit service organization (CSO) is any business that sells, advertises, performs, or provides any of the following services, according to the Ohio Attorney General:
- Improves a buyer’s credit history or rating
- Obtains an extension of credit for a buyer
- Offers assistance or advice concerning improving or obtaining credit
- Removes negative information from a buyer’s credit record
Get Your CSO Bond:
- In many states, credit service organizations must post a surety bond to become licensed.
- This bond provides credit service buyers protection from financial harm due to unethical business practices.
- You may need a separate bond for each state or location in which you work.
- The bonding requirement for your state may range anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000.
How do credit service organization bonds work?
In most states, CSOs must post a surety bond before they can become licensed. A credit service organization bond is a contract between three parties:
- Principal: Credit service organization
- Obligee: Federal or state regulatory agency that requires the bond
- Surety: Financial Company that underwrites and issues the bond
The bond helps guarantee that the CSO performs its duties ethically and legally. It protects both the business’s clients and the state from financial loss due to unlawful behavior. If a client loses money because a CSO commits fraud or offers misleading advice, for example, the client may file a claim against the bond.
If the surety company investigates the claim and deems it valid, they may pay the client for the damages – up to the total bond amount. The CSO will then be required to pay the surety back for the same amount.
Credit Service Organization Bonding Requirements
The bonding requirement for your state may range anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 based on your location. For example, if you live in Florida, you may only need a $10,000 CSO bond, while California and Tennessee may require a $100,000 bond amount.
How much does a credit service organization bond cost?
The cost of your bond will depend on a few different factors: your state requirements, your credit score, and your business’s financial strength. If you have substantial financial backing and good credit, you could pay as little as 1-3% of the bond amount. With poor credit, you may pay more – up to 15% in some cases.
Licensing and bonding stipulations can vary by state. To comply with each location’s licensing regulations, be sure to check on the specific requirements. You may need a separate bond for each state or area in which you work.
Get a Credit Service Organization Bond in Your State
We can help you find the right surety bond for your credit repair business. ZipBonds offers the fastest and most secure option for acquiring license and permit bonds. Our all-digital platform is intuitive and straightforward. Apply online or call us at 888.435.4191 to speak with an agent directly.
Founders Ryan Swalve and Zach Mefferd formed the vision for ZipBonds.com when they realized how overly complicated it was to help clients place surety. The frustration of being unable to incorporate the technology they’d used in other insurance-focused projects left them thinking “there has to be a better way.”
Fast forward a couple of years, and that better way is the impetus of everything we do at ZipBonds. We constantly look for innovative ways to improve the bonding process for our clients and agents. Our team comprises individuals who understand all angles of surety – for companies, agencies, and individuals. Incorporating everyone’s point of view to improve the process while simultaneously integrating cutting-edge technology is what sets our business apart.