Being that I am an African-American woman, I felt the need to discuss the credit dilemma facing the African-American community. I currently own a credit repair business and I am constantly surprised at how misinformed we are in regards to credit and how it can both positively and negatively affect out lives. Recent Studies have shown that 33% of African-Americans have a FICO score of 720 or higher. This is a very disturbing percentage compared to 64% of Caucasians who have a 720 or higher FICO score. It is documented that minorities are also more likely to have insufficient credit based on a report released in 2015 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureaus. I am not sure how this makes you feel, but, I feel as though we are doing ourselves and children a disservice by not taking advantage of the tools and educational resources available to us.
As I previously stated above, I own C&S Credit Repair and Consultants, an extremely reputable and respected credit repair company, and I have continuously tried to pour any and all of my credit knowledge onto anyone who would take the time to listen. It has been my experience that Credit Repair and/or knowledge is not made a priority. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that there aren’t any African-Americans who have good or even excellent credit, I am just stating what I have seen from my experience with working in this field. It is amazing on how little we know and how little we are informed.
One of the reasons I fell in love with this field was because I felt like I was able to make a true difference in the lives of others. I wanted to assist people with buying their dream homes, cars, getting that job that they wanted, and owning their own businesses. I saw too many times that we as African-Americans were selling ourselves short by looking at credit as an option and not a necessity. I recall a day when I was speaking to a young woman who was adamant about getting her credit restored and buying a home for her and her boys. She told me that she was ready to make the leap and asked me how much it would cost her. I was excited and felt overwhelmed with joy because she made a decision that could truly impact her family for years to come. I told her that it would be a one-time fee of $99 and $80 for each month she was signed on. She looked at me like I cursed her out and proceeded to tell me how she had trips she was planning to take that year. I was so taken aback that all I could do was laugh and walk away. How could she even say that with a straight face. It was at that moment I realized why we are so deep in debt compared to many other races. What many of us place value on is materialistic and we don’t look at the big picture. So, my question to you readers is how can we change this? What can we do to bring awareness to how credit can really benefit you and your family within the African-American community?
I know we have a surface understanding of what credit means and can do, but I feel that we are missing great opportunities and money that can be saved just by having a 720 credit score compared to a 620 credit score. I have made it my mission to act as an advocate for those who are not informed and not aware of the power they can by just having and maintaining a good credit score. Let’s build within our community, it all starts with your credit.