Feature Photo: Q11 Photography
Establishing and maintaining a good credit score should be an individual’s top priority. It plays a big role in the ability to purchase a house, car, or receive a loan at a lower interest rate. Employers, landlords, insurers, and others use credit information to see if an individual is responsible and reliable.
Forbes reports that people of color tend to pay more for consumer debt than white families. Bronze Magazine recently had a discussion with Detroit native Tierra Jae, credit restoration and tax expert, about her organization, their first Black-owned credit restoration management planner, and the importance of obtaining a good credit score.
Tell us about your organization New Beginnings Community Consulting & Restoration?
New Beginnings Community Consulting & Restoration specializes in second chances. We offer credit restoration services, bankruptcy assistance, non-violent criminal record expungements, and felon-friendly resources. We provide opportunities that allow individuals nationwide to enhance their overall quality of life. When I started my company in 2015, there weren’t many people in the finance industry that my demographic could identify with. Credit repair and criminal record expungements are personal to me because they are a part of my personal journey and what I’ve been able to overcome. I felt the need to share my knowledge and uplift my community because everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone has the knowledge to positively move forward. Credit isn’t a topic that is taught in schools and most adults are embarrassed to discuss it – yet it affects some of the most important milestones that take place in your lifetime. We’ve helped hundreds of individuals increase their credit scores, sold over 100 copies of The Credit Calendar since its launch in March 2021, and we’ve gained recognition by several local and national media outlets for our achievements.
How did you come up with the idea to create a credit restoration management planner called “The Credit Calendar?”
The idea of creating a credit restoration management planner was inspired by my clients. Many clients expressed to me that they had trouble remembering the tips I gave them or important due dates that are vital for improving credit scores. I had one client in particular who would always say that she wished to have some kind of tool that would help her remember everything that I coached her on. After that moment I decided to create a tool that could help everyone manage their credit score and ambitions. My goal when creating 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 planner work?
The Credit Calendar is a planner that focuses on credit management. It is intended to help you improve and manage your credit scores by keeping users on a routine and staying on track. I created the planner for any and everyone who needs it – even college students who may be independently managing their finances for the first time ever.
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 roughly, 80% of your life’s biggest decisions, will involve credit. A lot of people assume a credit score is only needed for loans and interest payments, but in reality, it determines much more. Credit scores are considered for home rentals, employment opportunities, car insurance rates, and many other necessities in our lives.
What is the credit score that a person should attain to have?
Credit scores range between 300-850. I always suggest having 750 credit scores or better with each of the three credit bureaus. Although a 700 is considered good credit, with a 750 score you can get approved for almost anything. A credit score of 750 can have the same power as an 800 – 850 but the difference is calculated in the amount of years you’ve been utilizing your credit. Most consumers have credit scores that fall 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 it takes time. Everyone’s credit situations are different, so timeframes vary. It’s important to get a handle on your credit accounts and make sure you are paying those bills on time. As you continue to pay your bills on time, your credit score will rise. If you have credit cards, you should aim for 10 percent credit utilization or less. Another way to improve your credit is to remove any negative accounts and make sure to replace them with positive accounts.
What things or actions work against your credit score?
One common thing that hurts your credit score is the lack of an open credit card. People tend to think that they can achieve good credit without one and that is absolutely false. Three out of the five factors that make up your credit score involve credit cards and how you manage them. Not having any revolving credit won’t 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 utilization rates on your active credit cards. Another action that many people are not aware of that hurts your score instead of helping it is closing aged credit accounts. Most people assume that closing a credit line is a positive effort – but it’s not. If you are not using a credit card anymore, keep the credit line open. The age of your credit plays a role in your overall score as well, so keeping them open works to your advantage. Lastly, I can’t stress this enough – try to avoid making late payments on your bills.
What is the best advice to give someone in reference to their credit?
My best advice to someone in reference to their credit is to keep working at it. Credit can take months or even years to increase. The more you work at maintaining your credit, the better it will get, 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 improving or maintaining it. Ruining it can be fast and easy, but repairing it will be long and hard. The Credit Calendar was made to be a tool to help you do the work, so as long as you are diligent and committed to the process you will definitely get the results you want.
For more information about the Credit Restoration Management Planner visit https://thecreditcalendar.com/.
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