Let’s be crystal clear, without it, you’re just not going to get very far. Imagine sitting on the tarmac at a local airport waiting for hours on end, only to be notified that the maintenance crew didn’t service the airliner with fuel. Credit, good credit, is absolutely essential to fueling your financial future and building a solid infrastructure for wealth building.
Being aware of and working toward your credit health is crucial because “good credit” provides so many benefits from both a consumer and investor perspective. It can put you in favorable positions, conversations, networks and connections. Banks, companies, entrepreneurs and investors understand the power of leveraging (other people’s money) for a greater return of investment.
Constance Carter, CEO of Catalyst Real Estate Professionals and Carter Financial Solutions headquartered in Stockton, CA, became familiar with the effects of credit as a child after her parents were restricted or denied from some of the things they desired because of bad credit. It affected their quality of life to such a degree that Constance became obsessed with ensuring that she maintained high credit scores as an adult. However, when the market crash back in 2008 occurred, those scores plummeted from 800 to 300! She eventually had to rebound and felt compelled to help others do the same. When asked Constance about some of the primary reasons that individuals aren’t addressing their credit health, she replied:
A. Paralyzed By Fear! They’re afraid because of making mistakes in the past, and they’ve convinced themselves that these tiny mistakes are monstrosities.”
B. Experienced A Bankruptcy. After filing, they think they’re scarred for life. It’s an absolute MUST that you reestablish yourself after a bankruptcy, it’s one of the biggest mistakes people make after a credit crash.
C. Lack of Monitoring. If you’ve ever faced a major health issue, the physician will tell you to come back every so often to monitor the issue to ensure it doesn’t come back or get worse. And if something does occur, you can address it, attack it, and hopefully eradicate it in the early stages. The same principle applies with credit. If you’re not actively monitoring it, something can sneak on your credit report, wreak havoc and potentially threaten your financial standing.
D. Access To Education. Many consumers simply “don’t know what they don’t know” especially the underserved because they have been neglected with the proper information and understanding to position themselves for a solid financial foundation and quality of life.
Constance and her team have serviced consumers and investors through education and application throughout the country, therefore we’ve asked her to share 7 strategies to help others build credit and position themselves for financial stability and wealth creation:
1. Monitor your credit by signing up with a credit monitoring service (Credit Karma, My Fico, or the 3 bureaus) and monitor frequently
2. Avoid self-credit repair until you thoroughly understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. This is very important because your lack of understanding can produce the wrong experience.
3. Purchase real estate. This is one of best ways to build credit and build wealth.
4. Start saving towards a home purchase. Take your current rent and add the difference between that and your ideal mortgage payment to save monthly. For example, if your rent is $1,000 per month, and your mortgage payment will likely be $1500, start saving $500 per month. In 12 months, you will have $6000 saved and you’ll be closer to having enough funds for down payment
5. Reallocate your tax refund to invest in something that will grow your money and not blow your money!
6. Create multiple revenue streams to support your financial goals and dreams. It has never been as easy as it is today to begin earning money online and through other sources.
7. Diversify your investments - the difference between majority and minority communities is investment variety and diversification. You do not just have to “hold your wealth” in your home. Invest in your 401k, the stock market and other smart strategies. My 12 year old son began investing in stock last year and has already quadrupled his investment!
Programs (check out): My Wealth Roadmap!
“I truly believe that everyone is entitled and DESERVES everything this world has to offer. If God owns everything, and I am a part of his kingdom, then I should be able to choose whatever I want. With faith, coupled with hard work, it’s mine. Everyone has the same opportunities. We have the same 24 hours in the day, it’s all about what you choose to do with that 24 hours.”
With offices in Sacramento and 34 agents throughout the Bay Area, our mission is to create opportunities for home ownership for people from all walks of life. We are one of the few firms in Northern California (if only) that houses a real estate company, mortgage company, full service real estate school, and non-profit agency (Catalyst Community Connections).