Feature Photo: Q11 Photography
Establishing and maintaining a good credit score should be a person’s top priority. It plays a major role in being able to buy a house, car or loan at a lower interest rate. Employers, landlords, insurers and others use credit information to see if a person is responsible and trustworthy.
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Forbes reports that people of color tend to pay more for consumer debt than white families. Bronze Magazine recently had a discussion with Detroit resident credit recovery and tax expert Tierra Jae about her organization, their first Black-owned credit recovery management planner, and the importance of getting a good credit score.
Tell us about your organization New Beginnings Community Consulting & Restoration?
New Beginnings Community Consulting & Restoration specializes in second chances. We provide credit recovery services, bankruptcy assistance, nonviolent erasures of criminal records and criminal means. We provide opportunities that empower individuals across the country to improve their overall quality of life. When I started my business in 2015, there weren’t many people in the financial industry that my demographic could identify with. Credit recovery and criminal record removal are personal to me because they are part of my personal journey and what I have been able to overcome. I felt the need to share my knowledge and elevate my community because everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone has the knowledge to move forward positively. Credit is not a subject taught in schools and most adults are embarrassed to talk about it, but it affects some of the most important milestones that happen in your life. We’ve helped hundreds of individuals improve their credit scores, sold more than 100 copies of The Credit Calendar since its March 2021 launch, and we’ve received recognition from several local and national media outlets for our achievements.
How did you get the idea to create a credit recovery management planner called “The Credit Calendar?”
The idea of creating a credit recovery management planner was inspired by my clients. Many customers told me they had trouble remembering the tips I gave them or important expiration dates that are essential for improving credit scores. I had one client in particular who always said she wanted some kind of resource that would help her remember everything I coached her on. After that, I decided to create a tool that would allow anyone to manage their credit score and aspirations. My goal in setting up this company and The Credit Calendar was to help those who may not have the tools or knowledge to help themselves in this industry.
How does the scheduler work?
The Credit Calendar is a planner that focuses on credit management. It aims to help you improve and manage your credit scores by keeping users on a routine and on track. I’ve created the planner for everyone who needs it – even students who are able to manage their finances independently for the first time.
How important is a credit score?
A credit score is a financial tool that can work for or against you! It is important to have a good credit score as an adult because approximately 80% of the most important decisions in your life will involve credit. Many people assume that a credit score is only needed for loans and interest payments, but in reality it determines much more. Credit scores are taken into account for home rentals, employment, auto insurance rates, and many other necessities in our lives.
What is the credit score a person must achieve to have?
Credit scores range between 300-850. I always suggest having 750 credit scores or better with each of the three credit bureaus. While a 700 is considered good credit, a score of 750 can get you approved for almost anything. A credit score of 750 can have the same net worth as an 800 – 850, but the difference is calculated in the number of years you have used your credit. Most consumers have credit scores between 600 and 720.
How does a person improve their credit score? How long does it take to improve your credit score?
Improving your credit score can be challenging and takes time. Everyone’s credit situation is different, so terms vary. It’s important to get a handle on your credit accounts and make sure you pay those bills on time. If you continue to pay your bills on time, your credit score will rise. If you have credit cards, aim for 10 percent credit usage or less. Another way to improve your credit is to delete any negative accounts and replace them with positive ones.
What things or actions work against your credit score?
A common thing that hurts your credit score is the lack of an open credit card. People tend to think that they can acquire good credit without it and that is absolutely wrong. Three of the five factors that make up your credit score relate to credit cards and how you manage them. Not having revolving credit will not work in your favor. Another action that works against your credit score is carrying high balances on your revolving accounts, because 30 percent of your credit score is determined by the usage percentages on your active credit cards. Another action that many people are unaware of that hurts your score instead of helping is closing old credit accounts. Most people assume that closing a line of credit is a positive effort, but it isn’t. If you no longer use a credit card, keep the credit line open. The age of your credit also plays a role in your overall score, so keeping it open works to your advantage. Finally, I cannot emphasize this enough: try to avoid late payments from your accounts.
What is the best advice to give someone regarding their creditworthiness?
My best advice to anyone regarding their creditworthiness is to keep working on it. Credit can take months or even years to increase. The more you work to maintain your credit, the better it gets, so don’t get discouraged.
Any final thoughts?
I want the world to know that credit can be complex. There is no one-step solution to improve or maintain it. It can be ruined quickly and easily, but it will be long and difficult to fix. The credit calendar was created to be a tool to help you get the job done, so as long as you’re diligent and committed to the process, you’re sure to get the results you want.
For more information about the Credit Restoration Management Planner, visit: https://thecreditcalendar.com/.
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