Credit checks and the home-based travel agent
I received this question from a potential home-based agent:
I emailed a potential host agency and they just emailed me back. They said that I had to be “bondable” and submit to a credit check.
I don’t own anything and I have bad credit. Does this preclude me from doing this at all? Is that the industry standard or just their rule?
Well, first of all, blindly emailing host agencies before you really understand the business is not the best strategy. Host agencies have their own agendas and their own interests which are not identical with yours. Once you have the Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course, this will not be a problem; you will have a firm understanding of the wide array of different types of host agencies and how they differ as well as more than 300 host agencies to start investigating.
But is having bad credit really something that will get you “blacklisted” in the travel agent community?
Let me reassure you. No, you do not have to be “bondable” to be a home-based agent. And having “bad credit” (whatever that means) will not disqualify you.
Now some host agencies, such as the one you contacted, do ask for things like credit checks. Some make you swear that you’ve never been arrested. And then the run a complete background check to make sure you told the truth! Some require that you have “x” years of experience and can prove it. That is their right. They can choose with whom they want to do business and make prospective agents jump through whatever hoops they see fit.
It’s also worth remembering that home based agents have the same freedom to define their business, something I strongly endorse in the course. For starters, you can choose which host agency (or agencies) you’ll do business with and if you don’t like them it’s an easy matter to switch to another. You can also decide what kind of travel you sell, which means that you can specialize in certain things while completely ignoring others. The list goes on.
There’s good news for my questioner on the host agency front. The vast majority of host agencies don’t require invasive credit checks or background investigations. Most are willing to deal with complete beginners. And some of them don’t even charge a sign up fee.
The Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course includes as one of its components, the Host Agency Directory which lists over 300 hosts in the US, Canada, and several foreign countries. Those agencies are cross-referenced by location, entry cost, commission splits and so forth. The course also contains a “Shopper’s Checklist” that lets you ask the right questions to be certain that you enter into a business relationship with a host agency that is right for you.