ATLANTA — The popular Atlanta YouTube chef Darius Williams announced suddenly on Monday that his three restaurants – two of which are in Atlanta – are no longer in business.
Williams, who gained fame with his Darius Cooks YouTube channel, which has 160,000 subscribers, operated Soul Crab and Greens and Gravy in Atlanta.
He had also operated another Soul Crab location in Chicago.
The restaurateur announced the abrupt closings on Instagram and Facebook.
“Fam, wanted to take a quick moment to let you know that last night was our last night of business for all three restaurants,” Williams wrote. “I know this is sudden and a shock, so I apologize. Wanted to say thank you for everyone that supported the fried chicken, crab legs, fried lobster, and most importantly, my crazy vision. I love y’all – for real.”
In a live social media broadcast later in the day, Williams indicated the decision was a personal one made for the benefit of his mental health.
He said he had consulted with a psychiatrist and that he was “dealing with some challenges.”
“That’s it, I’m literally dealing with some challenges. One of the ways you work it out through therapy is understanding triggers,” he said. “And it’s hard for people to understand this, but one of the triggers is the restaurant business.”
Williams described being in California two weeks ago for a cooking event when he felt like he “wanted to break down and just cry, for like no apparent reason.”
“I have been dealing with some mental health issues over the last – for a while now, a couple years really, to be honest with you,” he said. “And about two weeks ago I had I guess what you call an episode, like a really sort of interesting situation happened that really caused me to take a step back and say ‘whoa, something’s not right.'”
Williams said he had dealt with something similar in the past, but that “this time it was a little heavier for me.”
Over the weekend he also outlined situation with his mental health in a post.
The restaurants had been well-received. Greens and Gravy was named a “neighborhood gem” in Atlanta Magazine’s 2017 “Best of ATL” issue, and Soul Crab quickly became a staple of the emerging College Park dining scene when it opened in late 2018.
In December, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced that Williams had come to a settlement to pay the state nearly $150,000 over violating the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act by “operating an illegal credit repair business.”
In that settlement, the Georgia Department of Law Consumer Protection Division found that the company, Above 701 Inc., had violated the law by
requesting and accepting payment from consumers for its credit repair services before those services were provided; and
making misleading claims that it could get bankruptcies and debts permanently deleted from consumers’ credit reports, without adequately disclosing that negative credit information cannot be erased from a consumer’s credit report if the information is accurate.
Above 701 was forced to cease operations under the settlement, and Williams was required to pay $110,000 in consumer restitution and more than $35,000 in a civil penalty to the State of Georgia.
Williams forcefully denied in the live social media broadcast that the matter with Above 701 was at all linked to his restaurants closing.
“One has nothing to do with the other,” he said.
The chef added he and his team never realized the credit repair business practice was specifically banned by Georgia law, and that $145,000 was not, in the grand scheme of his business enterprises, a large figure.
In the live broadcast, Williams did not directly address how employees were notified or what kind of advance notice they had that the decision was coming, only that they had “been made aware” of the decision.
“My decision to close the restaurants – people are asking, ‘Well did you know? When did you decide?’ To be honest I had the feeling a couple of weeks ago, but I wanted to hold off until I had a chance to speak with my physician,” he said. “I made the decision internally and dealt with it internally a couple days ago. I pulled the trigger on it this morning.”
When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.
However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.
What is Sallie Mae?
Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.
In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.
However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.
In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).
At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.
What is the difference between private and federal student loans?
With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.
On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.
Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.
As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.
Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?
In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.
However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.
If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.
With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.
The bottom line
Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.
Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.
PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have.
1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually
You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.
With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.
The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.
4. Savings and Retirement Accounts
The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.
A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies.
Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan.
Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito.