What is a credit services organization bond?
Credit services organizations (CSOs) must post a surety bond to operate a business in many states, including Pennsylvania. The bond offers credit service consumers and the state protection from financial harm due to unethical business practices by ensuring that CSOs follow state laws and industry regulations.
Get Your Credit Services Organization Bond:
What does a Pennsylvania credit services organization bond cost?
According to the Credit Services Act, your surety bond must equal 5% of the total fees you charged buyers the previous year. The amount could range from $5,000 to $25,000. You can adjust your bond annually as your fees change.
The amount you pay is called a premium, which is dependent on your credit score. CSO bonds start at $50 (or 1% of the required bond amount). Apply today at ZipBonds.com.
Who needs a CSO bond and why?
In Pennsylvania, credit services organizations must post a surety bond or establish a trust account. The amount for either option will be the same, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 based on the fees you charged in the last 12 months. This bond protects the interests of the CSO’s customers and governing agencies.
The Pennsylvania Credit Services Act defines a credit services organization as “a person who, with respect to the extension of credit by others, sells, provides, performs or represents that he or she can or will sell, provide or perform any of the following services in return for the payment of money or other valuable consideration:”
- Improving someone’s credit rating, record, or history
- Obtaining an extension of credit for a buyer
- Providing advice or assistance regarding the first two points
Frequently Asked Questions
You must file your bond with the Department of State Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations. Pay a $70 filing fee with a check or money order payable to the “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” You can send your bond and payment to the following address:
- Department of State
- Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
- PO Box 8722
- Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722
Yes, you must renew your bond and CSO registration annually. Ensure you renew your bond and registration before they expire each year so they remain active. You must also keep your bond active for at least two years after your CSO ceases operations in the state.
The best way to avoid claims is to follow the laws in your state for your industry. Avoid committing fraud or breaching contracts. Working professionally, addressing consumer complaints, and resolving them quickly can also help prevent claims.
How to Get a CSO Bond in Pennsylvania
ZipBonds offers the fastest and most secure option for getting the surety bonds you need. Our all-digital platform is intuitive and straightforward. Apply online or call us at (888) 435-4191 to speak with an agent. Most of our bonds are approved and processed immediately from our site.
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.