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How to Improve Your Credit Score: A Guide

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Living in the era of America’s worst consumer debt crisis makes one hyper-aware of one’s own creditworthiness. If, like most of the country, are pursuing financial independence, one of the most important metrics you need to keep an eye on is your credit score. Whether you’re looking to get a loan or just a credit card, this is the one thing every financial institution is going to check before decisions are made.

In this article, we will give you five tips on how to improve your credit score and maintain it. But before we get to that, it’s important to understand what a good credit score is. The range of credit scores is 300-850. Anything below 670 is considered poor; these are the scores for which credit lines and loans are rejected. So, you only need to work on improving your credit score if it is currently below 670.

Having said that, let’s talk about the five ways in which you can improve your credit score.

Review and Understand Your Credit Reports

As mentioned above, your credit score is a numerical value in the range of 300-850. It is derived from the information in your credit files which are assessed by lenders and landlords. This is done to assess your creditworthiness. Your credit score changes over time to depict your current financial behavior, be it positive or negative.

A credit report is a summation of your finances. Pending loans and debts paid are part of your credit reports. Whenever you apply for a loan, the company or institution requests your credit report from a credit-reporting agency. Credit reports are lengthy and require a lot of time to examine accurately. Sometimes, your reports may be inaccurate due to a variety of reasons. Lenders may reject your credit applications due to this.

Credit repair companies like Lexington Law assist you in analyzing your credit and disputing inaccuracies with credit card companies and bureaus. They analyze and review your reports with expertise, and provide suggestions wherever necessary. How long credit repair takes varies from case to case. Some cases may be easily resolved, but more serious issues like identity theft will require legal intervention and inevitably take longer.

Seek Legal Help

If you find inaccuracies in your credit report, you may need to seek help from legal experts or lawyers, depending on how severe your case is.

There are four types of errors while reporting credit. Typical errors include accounts that don’t belong to you, duplicate accounts, inaccurate accounts, and incorrect inquiries. A credit repair company like Lexington Law, which is operated by a team of lawyers, can directly correspond with the credit bureaus and creditors on your behalf to have even the most complex issues resolved. For example, if you are charged for a large transaction you did not authorise, and you try to report this yourself, you are bound to make at least a few small errors. Instead, if you let Lexington Law handle this for you, they will take care of all the nuanced steps, including contacting the institutions that provided your information to the credit bureaus.

Make Full and Timely Bill Payments

The most time-tested method for improving your credit score is paying your bills on time. Every time your bill payment is delayed, you run the risk of having it show up in your credit report. Negative remarks regarding delayed payments in your credit report will reduce your credit score.

Not paying your bill for 30 days after the due date immediately reduces your credit score. Things get more and more serious the longer you take to pay your bill. In 60 days, your score drops once again, this time more significantly. At the end of 90 days of non-payment after the due date, the creditor places a permanent delayed payment remark on your credit report. This is much more harmful to your creditworthiness than a mere drop in your credit score.

Moreover, late payment attracts exorbitant interest rates in most cases. To be clear: credit attracts interest in general, but the rate of interest rises steeply for any amount that isn’t paid on or before the due date. If you have a minimum payment policy, the balance amount will be charged with a much higher interest rate. For example, suppose you have a bill of $1000 (including 15% interest) in a given month, and you make the minimum payment required, which is $140. The creditor can then charge the remaining $860 with an interest rate as high as 30%. The later you pay the full bill amount, the higher these interest rates can climb.

To avoid having your credit score drop, getting negative remarks on your credit report, or opening yourself up to massive interest rates, ensure you pay your credit card bills on time.

Understand Basic Terms

A complete, nuanced understanding of the basic terms related to your creditworthiness will go a long way in helping you improve your credit score. That’s exactly what Lexington Law helps you develop.

An example of the kind of basics you need to understand is the difference between credit repair companies and credit counseling organizations. Credit counseling organizations are non-profit and assist you in debt and finance management. Credit repair companies such as Lexington Law, on the other hand, assist you with fixing inaccuracies in your credit report and advising you on how to improve your credit score.

Another basic thing you need to know is the concept of hard and soft inquiries. If you apply for a new line of credit, whether in the form of a loan or a credit card, the lender will ask credit bureaus for your credit report. This is known as a hard inquiry, and it is recorded on your credit score. A soft inquiry is when you ask the credit bureau for your own credit report, or when a lender does so on its own to pre-approve you for an offer of credit. Soft inquiries do not show on your credit report.

Knowing these things can heavily influence your actions when it comes to handling credit.

Follow the 30 Percent Rule

Suppose you have three lines of credit. Each has a different revolving credit limit. In short, revolving credit is a system of credit without a specific end date. The most common example of this is a credit card.

To understand the concept of the 30% Rule, let’s say you have three credit cards. Card 1 has a line of $5,000 with a balance of $1,500. Card 2 has a line of $10,000 with a balance of $2,500. Card 3 has a line of $8,000 with a balance of $2,000. The total credit available to you is $23,000, with the total credit you’ve used is $6,000. The percentage of credit being utilized here is $6,000 divided by $23,000, multiplied by 100. This comes to 26.08% of the total credit being utilized.

Experts recommend that you should use a total of 30% or less of the credit available to you. People who spend above 30% of their total credit limits are generally seen as credit-hungry by financial institutions. Hence, they are given a higher rate of interest. You can use your card’s high balance feature to avoid adding new charges if the credit utilization ratio is exceeding 30%.

To help improve your credit score, you can get another credit card and use it minimally, i.e. for grocery shopping or mobile phone recharges. Why another card? Because when you get an additional credit card and use very little of the credit available on it, creditors see that you are not hungry for more credit.

Conclusion

Your credit score will not improve over a week or a month, but it can rise if you do regular checks. Ensure your monthly credit card bills are paid on time to avoid high interests and late fees. A good credit score stands anywhere between 670-739, out of 850. Seek advice from credit repair companies like Lexington Law, whose quick and hassle-free services ensure your credit problems are resolved quickly and reliably.

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Atlanta serial entrepreneur pens strategic, motivational book for entrepreneurs

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(Courtesy of Intrigue Media Group)

Atlanta-based serial entrepreneur Ivan Thomas recently released his first book, titled “Defy Gravity: Unleashing Your Greatness,” which provides proven strategies and motivation for aspiring entrepreneurs and everyday people.

“‘Defy Gravity’ is a book designed to help entrepreneurs, and anyone looking to live the life that they desire, learn how to think big, overcome adversity, release themselves from mediocrity and launch into their own personal and professional greatness,” Thomas said.

“My passion is helping people to grow and reach their fullest potential. As I matriculated through my career in entrepreneurship, and life in general, I was able to draw from some of the lessons that I’ve learned.”

Thomas is a 37-year-old Chicago native, who attained success over the last decade as an entertainment and lifestyle publicist, working with celebrities and major corporations as well as small businesses.

A Howard University graduate, he started his career in public relations working for his father Jerry Thomas, a journalist who started his own public relations company after working as the Press Secretary for Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Push Coalition.

After six years of working for his father, Thomas created Intrigue Media Group, a strategic communications company that has worked with Nielsen, The Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Xerox, Celebrity Credit Guru James Hunt, Rev. Jesse Jackson, rapper/actor Waka Flocka Flame, actor Darrin Henson, multi-platinum producer Khao, and many others.

He started the company in 2014 at 30-years-old.

“When I was younger, I was always seen as this highly intelligent person. I was always in the top percentile in science, reading and writing. I was always seen as a smart person but I was a dreamer. Sometimes I would space out in class, thinking about something else. And during our parent-teacher conferences, my teachers would always say, ‘You know Ivan is so smart but… He could do this but… He has so much potential if only he did…,’” Thomas said.

“When I think back on my life as an adult I was always someone who had potential. Who had enormous potential to the point that potential started to become a negative word to me. I resented the word potential because for me it signified that there was so much that I was capable of doing or that I could do, but I didn’t do it for whatever reason.”

(Courtesy of Intrigue Media Group)

According to Thomas, it was during his time at Howard University that he decided to start making changes in the way he lived his life. He credits the institution for opening his mind to the success he could achieve if stopped skating by and aspired to do accomplish great things.

“I made the choice in my life that I didn’t want to have potential anymore, I wanted to just be. I wanted to be successful. I wanted to reach my goals. I wanted to make an impact and not just have the potential to do it,” Thomas said.

And that decision ties in with the first chapter of Thomas’ book which focuses on not blaming others and taking accountability for yourself.

Thomas says that learning how to take accountability for his life and decisions, especially as an adult was the biggest lesson of his life and the key to turning all of that potential into action.

“If you’re not satisfied with the current state of your life, it’s your fault,” Thomas said. You have to blame yourself, particularly if you’re an adult. Blame yourself means taking accountability.”

“Granted, we’ve all been through trials and tribulations, some people more than others. But, there are so many examples of people throughout history who have come from the darkness, so many negative circumstances, and have risen to be successful.”

And with that realization, Thomas has managed to not only be the owner of a successful public relations company, but also the owner of a credit repair company and fitness brand, which he created with his wife Autumn.

He says while the book is meant to help others, it’s also another piece of the puzzle for his three children.

“Legacy is very important to me, so as I’m charting my course in my career I’m focused on what legacy I’m going to leave,” Thomas said. “What I want them to take from it is that their dad was a dreamer and everything that he set out to do he accomplished.”

“That’s why I set goals and made it habit that if I said I’m going to do it, it’s my responsibility to accomplish it. And what that does it sets an example for them to do what they said they were going to do and don’t set limitations on themselves.”

Ivan Thomas’ “Defy Gravity: Unleashing Your Greatness” is currently available now on Amazon at www.amazon.com/dp/B08B39MR8W.



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‘Love and Marriage: Huntsville’ Season 2: Release date, plot, cast, trailer and all you need to know about OWN reality show

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‘Love and Marriage: Huntsville’ is all set to return for its Season 2 on OWN. The first installment of this series comprised of eight episodes, documenting the lives of three couples: Melody and Martell Holt, Marsau and LaTisha Scott and Maurice and Kimmi Scott. The first season of this unscripted series dealt with the challenges that the couple faced in their marriage, friendships, and business. Continue reading to find more about what to expect from Season 2. 

Release Date 

‘Love & Marriage Huntsville’ Season 2 will premiere on Saturday, July 11, 2020.

Plot 

The official premise of the show reads, “‘Love and Marriage: Huntsville’ centers around the lives of three high-powered African-American couples who come together to revitalize the thriving city of Huntsville, Alabama through their joint real estate venture, The Comeback Group. The couples are longtime friends and avid socialites with strong personalities and strong points of view, each facing the realities of dealing with love and marriage while wanting to make this huge undertaking a success. Along the way, there will be laughter, tears, heated arguments, and even a wedding as they try to transform both the city and their relationships to achieve their dreams. Will they succeed at mixing business with pleasure? Or will the personal quarrels make foes of the longtime friends?”

Cast 

Melody & Martell Holt 

Melody Holt and Martell Holt attend ‘Never Heard’ Movie Premiere at AMC CityWalk Stadium 19 at Universal Studios Hollywood on October 30, 2018, in Universal City, California (Getty Images)

Both Melody and Martell were teachers before they decided to take a leap of faith and turn to business. Becoming millionaires before hitting 30 years of age, the Holts are one of the most successful when it comes to finances but their relationship took a tumble when it was revealed that Martell was having a secret affair with his mistress for three years. In the first season, the couple were trying to move past that truth and realized that just like they were helping rebuild the Northern section of Alabama, their own marriage needed work as well and they were seen working towards it. The couple is parents to four kids: Mariah, Martell, Maliah, and Malani.

Marsau and LaTisha Scott

Marsau is a commercial general contractor and LaTisha is a commercial real estate developer. The couple has been married for 12 years and is parents to three children: Marsau Jr, Maci, and Mila. Season 1 saw the friendship between LaTisha and Melody go up in flames after Martell accused Marsau of having an extramarital relationship when his own affair was revealed. LaTisha had confronted her then-friend Melody about her husband’s “false statements” to which the latter replied saying, “How do you know they’re false?” Friction between them heightened when LaTisha further confronted Melody on her stance to remain quiet even if there was any truth in Marsau having an affair. Melody challenged LaTisha to “figure it out on her own” to which the latter replied that she had complete faith in her husband and she wasn’t being cheated on. 

Maurice and Kimmi Scott

Maurice is the brother of Marsau Scott. He is the owner of Credit 1 USA, a credit repair company and a part-time real estate agent. He was also seen transitioning to the legal side in Season 1 where he was preparing for the state bar exam. His wife of five years, Kimmi Scott, is a registered nurse. Maurice has a stepson Jaylin, from Kimmi’s previous relationship and he’s away at Troy University. Kimmi is the stepmother of Maurice Jr aka Monster from Maurice’s previous marriage and he lives with his mother throughout the year and visits Maurice and Kimmi for Christmas and summer breaks. Maurice is also the father of daughters, Tatyana and D’Shayla Scott from his previous marriage.

Trailer

This four and a half minute extended trailer for the second season breaks down all the problems that the couple had in the first seasons. It also highlights newer issues that have cropped up between all of them collectively. For example, the Holts and Scotts are still at each others’ throats for their explosive comments. Melody and Martell’s newest baby Malani’s birth has also been documented on the season. Kimmi and Maurice, too, are having issues between them as Maurice wants her to shift to real estate full time. Watch the trailer below. 



 

 

Where to Watch 

‘Love and Marriage: Huntsville’ Season 2 will begin airing on July 11, 2020, with new episodes premiering every Saturday at 8 pm ET on OWN.

If you like this, you’ll love these

‘The Haves and the Have Nots’

‘Ambitions’

‘Black Love’

‘Ready to Love’

If you have an entertainment scoop or a story for us, please reach out to us on (323) 421-7515



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Young Husband and Wife Team Helping Black Families Get Their Financial House in Order Thru New Small Business Capital Training Portal

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(MENAFN – GetNews)

Atlanta, GA – July 6, 2020 – Helping more African-American families become financially literate and learn how to create and pass generational wealth while weathering life’s financial storms, is a primary mission for Financial ID Capital, a financial services consulting company owned by husband and wife team, Javares and Samantha Banks.

As a result, the couple created Legacy Think Tank, a comprehensive online financial education and business building program, to not only help Black families get and keep their financial house in order but to unlock the secrets to not only starting a business, securing funding for growth, and succeed in business.

‘Creating paths to generational wealth comes through establishing stable family businesses, however, understanding the basics of financial literacy, such as personal credit and budgeting comes first, says Javares Banks, founder and General Manager of Financial ID Capital. ‘We show people how to master their financials starting with budgeting, how they’re spending their money, and building their personal credit report so they can attain business credit, Banks said.

Despite the fact that African-American consumers purchasing power is expected to grow to over $1 trillion by 2021, making it the largest racial minority consumer market, the economic landscape for the future of Black Families nationwide still lags significantly behind other racial communities due to higher unemployment, lower median incomes, lack of savings, investments, as well as owning fewer homes and businesses.

‘People are repositioning themselves and they are starting to do so younger than before, said Samantha Banks, the company’s Chief Financial Officer. ‘According to America’s Small Business Development Center, half of the millennials plan to start a business in the next three years and more than half said that with the right resources they would quit their job to start a business in the next six months, she said.   

However, not knowing where to go for help to start or run a business, along with having access to capital is the biggest barrier. 

‘Financial ID Capital and the Legacy Think Tank online course is a place to begin. We not only help people spark entrepreneurship, but we also help to arm them with the tools they need to through our comprehensive program, says Javares Banks.

Banks says that the company is designed to turn anyone into a Financial ID Capital expert who is proficient in learning how to fund almost any type of business. These include unsecured business funding, commercial real estate/investment properties, retirement rollovers, and SBA loans.

Only in their early to mid-30’s, Javares and Samantha Banks began their journey to business ownership in complementary areas.  She is a tax professional and he began by first creating a business to stop debt collectors, then moving to serve as a personal credit repair consultant, helping others repair and build credit.  He then took some online courses on business evaluations from New York University educating himself on understanding financial reports such as profit and loss statements, IRS business deductions, etc., which developed into forming Financial ID Capital and teaching families how to start building generational wealth.

‘Because some of this funding requires good credit reports, especially during this recession all experts are taught how to operate a credit repair company and boost a report with a tradeline business, how to do unsecured personal funding and much more, shared Banks.  ‘As a result, the Legacy Think Tank online course is attracting aspiring entrepreneurs all ages, needs, and backgrounds, as well as individuals with specific expertise, such as real estate investors, sports agents, tax professionals, etc., he said.

‘We are a family-owned business and families and business go head in hand, which we can see by the success of companies like Wal-Mart, a family-owned business, says Banks. ‘Financial Capital ID is also a family-owned business and we’re here to break generational curses within our community, by helping families get a better handle on their personal and business financial picture, by building businesses including Financial ID Capital consulting companies, trucking companies and even purchasing land to develop farms, that can be passed on to future generations, he shared. ‘However, you’ve got to know your numbers and it begins with accounting for expenditures, budgeting, and credit, and the Legacy Think Tank program offers solutions to securing it all, Banks said.

The Legacy Think Tank program is a comprehensive four-week course valued at over $25,000 but offered for $4,997, which begins the first Wednesday of every month. It includes master courses from business experts sharing secrets on how to secure access of up to $250,000 in business capital as a start-up, or mini-courses on how to become your own financial advisor for family and friends, with their financial restoration mastery class. 

For more information on Financial ID Capital and to register for The Legacy Think Tank online program, go to https://thelegacythinktank.com/ .  

Media Contact
Company Name: INFLUENCER 365 BRANDING COMPANY
Contact Person: KEVIN C. PRIDE
Email: Send Email
Phone: 770.870.8806
Address: 1372 PEACHTREE STREET
City: ATLANTA
State: GA
Country: United States
Website: https://thelegacythinktank.com/

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