By Hannah Ash
Long after everyone else has taken off for the weekend, Dr. Michael C. Grayson enthusiastically discusses the ins and outs of credits from his empty New York office. Dr. Grayson’s finance and credit service, The 990 Club’ was inspired by a rather lofty goal; to help his clients achieve the perfect 990credit score. 990? He knows it may surprise you to learn that 990 is now the perfect credit score (not 850), and that’s what he wants; he wants to get you thinking differently about credit. The ambitious CEO of Grayson Financial Services and The 990 Club believes that a credit score of 990 is a goal well worth setting (and achieving). Dr. Grayson is a man on a mission and his mission is to empower Americans to acquire financial literacy and excellent credit.
In this economy, his message of hope is both a rarity and a beacon of light. “Do you know what FICO stands for?” Dr. Grayson asks. That most people can’t answer this question, he says, is indicative of a problem. Dr. Grayson believes that as a country, we need to acquire a richer understanding of how the current credit scoring system works and what we can do to improve or perfect our scores. He is eager to point out that in the year 2000, a new credit regime quietly took over and rewrote the age-old model….too quietly, he implies. In previous years, he begins, “As long as you paid your bills on time, you could expect to have good credit…but in 2000, that changed.”
Americans, and their credit scores, now fall under the FICO-based system; FICO, or the Fair Isaac Corporation, scores are calculated based upon the length of credit history, amount of money owed, types of credit and newly opened credit while the payment history is a mere 35% of the score. What this means, Dr. Grayson concludes, is that a millionaire many times over who always pays her bills on time may end up with a less than desirable score. He has seen how credit scores can make or break a real estate deal. He recounts a cautionary tale of how he once worked with a real estate developer and millionaire whose funding for a project got held up due to her score. The developer, who always paid her bills on time, had assumed her credit was excellent. Her FICO score, which landed somewhere in the 500’s, was a rude awakening.
If a multi-millionaire isn’t credit-worthy, then who is? According to Dr. Grayson, everyone can be. The 990 Club and GFS were founded as a response to the financing problems Dr. Grayson, while working as a financial advisor, saw investors encounter as a result of lackluster credit.
The teams at GFS and The 990 Club function like something of a credit and financing think tank; through offering intellectual capital to those seeking capital and credit, Dr. Grayson’s company provides an innovative, and popular, service in a downturned economy.
Grayson offers unique FICO-compliant strategies that elevate investors, home buyers, corporations, small businesses and nonprofits to the credit level at which they want to be.
Dr. Grayson has cracked FICO’s algorithms and, he says, he has a formula that gets his clients results. Does his formula work? For Dr. Grayson, the proof is in the pudding. One of his clients was able to achieve the highest credit score in the world, a perfect 990. He is eager to spread the message that long-term financial growth and excellent credit go hand in hand. Simply stated; Dr. Grayson wants to change the world, one credit score at a time.
Though many companies offer credit repair services, Dr. Grayson isn’t flustered by the competition. The one-size-fits-all approach that most credit repair companies use doesn’t really repair anything: “The problem with the other leading companies,” he says, “is that they only address the negative items on a consumer’s payment history”. As payment history accounts for a just portion of the total score, the switch to the more comprehensive FICO system in 2000 actually made payment- history focused credit repair somewhat obsolete and the result, Grayson says, is that his competitors’ take far longer to do far less.
Credit repair companies today must address all aspects of credit scores, Dr. Grayson puts forth, and GFS does just that. Most credit repair companies are equipped with dispute form letters; GFS is armed with the “Grayson Formula” (the result of Dr. Grayson’s reverse engineering of FICO algorithms). Rapid Restructuring is Grayson’s secret ingredient; the Formula, he says with confidence, can give anyone good credit in approximately 30-45 days using his strategic credit restoration and development approach. Anyone? “Anyone,” Grayson reiterates; further, his formula can take good credit scores and make them great. Great credit scores can become perfect (or close to) and Grayson is proud of his success, “The 990 Club has more members whose credit scores are in the 900’s range than any other service club.”
Dr. Grayson wants to bring his message of financial literacy and good credit beyond his work with investors and individuals. He believes good credit is the key to obtaining loans, closing contracts, obtaining grants and even getting a job these days; GFS is committed to community outreach and empowering the disenfranchised. Dr. Grayson regularly works with government organizations, politicians, churches and nonprofits to discuss opportunities for financing, credit and financial growth; in 2012, Grayson presented before New York Governor Cuomo’s forum on small business.
Currently, he is undergoing a series of meetings with New York City’s high school principals to develop a pilot program: The 700 Club. Grayson’s goal for the project is to give every graduating senior the gift of good credit (a 700 score) and the skills to maintain it; a large task, no doubt, but one in which Dr. Grayson believes fully. For individuals looking to improve their credit scores, Dr. Grayson advises they learn what FICO stands for and what, exactly, is scored. Though a perfect credit score may seem impossible for most of us to achieve in the current economic climate, he disagrees. Where we see 500’s and 600’s, this determined CEO sees 800’s and 900’s. Is he a magician? No; Dr. Michael Grayson is a scientist who believes in the transformational power of great credit.