Yes, I am at the young age of 21 but I have something that most folks within my age group do not have which is….GOOD CREDIT!!! From what I have been told within my age group we either have bad credit (580 and under) or no credit at all, which is a bad thing but I am here to help y’all either start your credit right or to fix it from what I have done and learned through the years! “You wanna know what’s more important than throwin’ away money at a strip club? Credit.” – Jay-Z (The Story of O.J.)
So….boom when I was ready to start my journey into this world known as credit I didn’t know much about it because I was only 18 years old! Here it is:
- Start with a small personal loan. My parents began to talk to me about building my credit and the possible things that I could do so we began to weigh my options either start me out with a credit card or get a small personal loan through the credit union I have been with. So what option did we go with? The personal loan which was only $500 so my payments were about $50 a month. Nothing too major and something that I could handle since I was only working at Chick-Fil-A at the time and just starting my journey in the military. SO PLEASE HAVE A STABLE JOB!!! The financial institution you will be borrowing from will want their cash and then some.
- Pay it off or get another loan? Get another loan at a bigger amount. Call me crazy but it’s going to make sense in just a second. I was eager to pay off the full $500 with some interest….GREAT!!! In that state of excitement telling my parents, they turned around and told me “Time to get another Travis just a tad bit bigger.” Now, I was confused why do I need to keep continuing this constant pay out of my hard earned money? Here is why your credit is forever growing so you need to keep something revolving which is more than likely going to be something payment wise. At least do it until you get to that amazing credit score which is about 700 and above.
- Note: CreditKarma.com is one place that is free where you can check your credit score. Even though most banks pull a FICO score. What is FICO? “FICO looks at a range of credit information and uses that to create scores that help lenders predict consumer behavior, such as how likely someone is to pay their bills on time (or not), or whether they are able to handle a larger credit line.” – Credit.com
- Make those payments! I am currently still paying my second loan off ($1000) but once again I am getting to that point where I either get another loan or just pay this loan off as a whole. I am leaning towards paying it off as a whole because I now have a credit card but I will get to that in just a second! Your credit score is nothing but a score of how responsible you are with your finances. “But Travis with all of this talk…why is credit so important?” Is the question you are probably asking here is why, “it helps you to get the things you need now, like a loan for a car or a credit card, based on your promise to pay later.” – MyGreatLakes.org
- Having My First Credit Card! To some people, this is taboo for a college student because sometimes we can get a tad bit out of hand when it comes to a credit card. However, this will not be you! As always my parents were assisting me with my credit card search but one day over the summer I took the search into my own hands. I sat down with myself and figured out which option was best for me and showed my parents. I had my first pick which was with my primary bank and my second choice is my credit union. Now, it was time for me to visit these financial institutions and apply. With a slight nervous spirit, I went into my first choice bank and applied and chose which card I wanted. I applied and my credit was checked and I was complimented on my score and was also within the range to be approved. However……I was:
Low-key I had the shame face and was heavily confused but had an understanding of my denial one big reason was that I did not have any type of revolving credit (will inform in a second) along with I did not have enough things that could build up my credit enough for my bank to be like “oh yeah here you go, Travis!” So walking out with no paper work I dawned on what the lady in that office said to me “Since we know that you are with a credit union try them because a majority of them are more lenient when it comes to credit cards.” Which was my second choice! So I raced down to my credit union which was less than ten miles away and ran inside before my shift at work started. I ran through the same application process and chose which card I wanted….and after a while I was:
With a really good interest rate and a $500 credit limit! Pretty simple and low which it should be starting out! With newly found plastic responsibility I have to properly use the credit card. Which simply means….NO RANDOM SWIPING!!! Even though my first purchase was a pair of Nike Uptempo ’96 sneakers. It was a small reward that will be paid back by the end of this month. If you can folks try not to carry a balance there is nothing wrong with it but if you can pay it off by the end of that month…DO IT.
So that is my journey summed up! Here are some things that you need to know though about credit and how to build it:
- The most common types of credit would be:
- Installment loans: A set amount of funds loaned to you for a specific purpose. Examples: Student loans or auto loans
- Revolving Credit: Line of credit you can keep after you pay it off. Purchases are still able to be made as long as the balance stays under that limit. (i.e my $500 limit) Having a credit card is the most common type of revolving credit.
- Interest rates are the cost of borrowing the money.
- The majority of places that offer credit cards will give you different choices of cards that may have special benefits pick which one best fits your life.
- A Fair Isaac’s FICO score is the most commonly used credit scoring formula.
- Ranges from 300 (low) to 850 (high)
- Higher the score the better.
- Your score can vary between the agencies.
- Hard inquiries are when a creditor accesses your score and credit report. A high number of these shows potential creditors that you are trying to open up more than one line of credit and they can possibly deny you from loaning you money.
- Soft inquiries are when your credit report is looked at when you are not trying to open a new credit line. Examples: Accessing your own credit report or landlords running a credit check.
- What can cause bad credit?
- Bankruptcies (Stays on credit report for 10 years)
- Late payments
- Good Credit Tips
- Avoiding too many credit inquiries within a short amount of time.
- Check your credit score often.
- Low balances on credit cards
Yes, this is a lot for you but just take your time with your credit journey and read while understanding of what is going on with your journey. Bad credit can become good and new credit can become good also so whatever is going on with you just know there is a positive outcome! PAY WHO YOU NEED TO PAY ON TIME!!!!
I SPOKE ON IT!!!!
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You may feel as though the day gets away from you and you aren’t accomplishing anything which is…..OK! Many people do but are you truly planning for your life or just planning for the day? Here is what I mean:
- Planning for the day: Going to work and going out with not much thought of what you are going to do in the future in the terms of career, life, or anything that will bring you to that next level of life. If it is finically or just overall happiness.
- Planning for Life: Living your daily life with goals that you are trying to reach that will bring you to that next level. You’re writing them down in places to remind you daily. You are setting up things that will benefit you in the long term!
Currently, this may be you!
Simple right? Right. You are probably asking, “Travis, how do I plan accordingly?”
In the simplest way…SET YOURSELF UP FOR THE FUTURE!!
Invest in something that will pay you back in the long run. Get that extra bit of education to get that promotion at your job. Start that small business that you’ve wanted to start. Just start planning for the bigger picture of life! If you have your own business already start doing everything and anything that deals with that business….dive into it. Don’t do what you believe you can and stick to that ground level. I am tired of hearing and seeing people who aren’t planning accordingly and are at a constant stand still with life. Never get comfortable!
Yes, enjoy the moment but when it is all said and done plan for the next step. Here is an example that is personal to me on both ends:
- Me planning for the day: Before graduating from high school I did not know what I was going to do for college! All of my friends knew but me….I applied for one school and that was my dream school. I applied and the day decision was given out I was…..denied. I was being lazy and counter productive that I did not know what to do so I planned for that day, not for my life. But thank God my parents were planning for my life now I am at a school that I love and would have wished I considered a long time ago!
- Me planning for life: Going into my senior year of college I already know what graduate school I want to attend and working to make sure that I am undeniable. I know the budget I want to be on for my first apartment! I know where I want my brand (#TravisSpeaks & 3>2.96) to be out in the future. Lowkey, I know where I want my Ph.D. and figuring out the requirements for that. I know where I want to be at organizational (ΑΚΨ & ΩΨΦ) wise when it comes to holding a national position within the organizations! But like always my parents are still helping me plan.
Take your time and sit down with yourself and say to yourself, “What is next for me?” Let the thoughts flow and write them down. Figure out your goals and begin to PLAN the steps it takes to get to that goal. It could all be so simple!
Prepare yourself to have one of these moments.
If you need some help ask someone who you think that knows best or….ASK ME!!! Email me at email@example.com or DM on IG @_thet_! I will be happy to help. It is always the season for improvements! So start improving but stay patient. It takes time to get into the new groove of improvement. God knows it was hard for me at some points because you either feel defeated or still nothing is happening. Like I said before what you are doing is not for the moment it is for the long run. Like a savings account for life, it is not needed at that moment but you will need it in the future!
I SPOKE ON IT!!!!
It has happened to all of us in some way, shape or form! Even for this blogger, it has happened and at times still, does. Being fearful of your goals when you get to them or working towards them. It is not a negative thing it is just you being a tad bit self-conscious in a goal abiding way. Just follow me! You’ll understand by the end of this.
You: Well….what is my problem, Travis?
Me: Well….I’ll tell you because I gots love for you!
If you are in a panic state….CALM DOWN!!!! It is a problem many people face if not all. The problem is not you can’t accomplish your goals the problem could be one or more of these components:
- Lack of motivation: Which can happen all the time or from time to time! “I don’t wanna!”
- Fear of completion: That you’ll work and nothing will come out of it
- Getting to the goal and not know what to do next: Yay you did it! But what is next?
- Not understanding your goal: Do you know what is going on?
Those are some of the main goal fearing components that I see in this day and age along with my GENERATION! Those negative components go with all goals not just those big goals of a promotion at work or improvements of your finances. It could be anything such as you wanting to gain some weight (me) or creating/furthering your small business. Goals are goals no matter how big or small some are easily accomplished while others aren’t and that is just how it is! Just do not and I repeat do not fear those goals be prepared for those goals and grow/accomplish those goals folks! So with every problem, there is a solution so let’s get to those!
You: So what is my solution to my problem?
Me: Now, you are asking the real questions! You hold the solution I am just going to bring it out of you.
Since you’re calm now we can now figure out what to do about our goal fears! It’ll be hard at first but I have total confidence in you. So with those four I gave a few words ago here is the solution to them:
- Find what truly motivates you: Maybe it’s the money or the passion that you have for that goal. Use that energy of DREAMING to DOING!
- Work is work: You may think that work is in vein but little do you know you probably done set yourself up for something bigger and better.
- Let’s not think of what is next: Let’s think about how you are going to grow that goal once you accomplish it! Completion = A Seed!
- Understanding what it takes: All goals have a process you need to understand your process and ADJUST!
After reading this you have no excuse for being fearful of your goals! Goals are positive and not negative! It may take some time to achieve a goal but you can accomplish it. No goal is too big nor too small! Your goals are your goals and no one else’s only you can achieve em!
I SPOKE ON IT!!!!
An intern’s lifestyle at times can be a lifestyle of self-guiding! “What do you mean by that Travis?” is what you are probably asking and that is ok. Due to the fact of…..MY SUPERVISOR IS OUT OF TOWN!!! So now I sit here with my keyboard in hand trying to understand what is a little intern like me suppose to do. I’ll tell you what I am about to do….find some more work to do that pertains to my internship that is. As I finish up on some small projects I am almost starting to figure out my own. Projects that help the center out more than hurt it….even though it is under renovations. He is a busy man so what do I expect? For him to always be around by my side. No, not even a little bit! Oh lord! (Drake pun hopefully you caught it) At the same time though I will be out of town myself on a business trip so I will be guiding myself along the way to being productive still even though at times it will be challenging because I will be in Atlanta. I’ll find a way folks I promise. But I’ll be on standby folks when he gets back because when he does….oh buddy! I know there will be a meeting set up with not only us but one another special person. May I’ll give y’all the low down on that conversation. Oh and stay productive folks!
I SPOKE ON IT!!!
So you may or may not know that I Travis am an..INTERN!!!! Yes, I am I living the luxurious life as one. Now, I will not disclose the location but just know that I am doing some big stuff in my life. Since the spring semester has started I’ve been working on projects for my internship that range from art to how to better communicate my I guess you can say “employers” to the community. So with the young mind that I have, I’ve figured out some simple ways that I do not mind sharing that I am currently using:
- Social Media: Yes, I know everyone says this but do you really know how to use it? For example, we have two college campuses and a town that from it looks like isn’t all that interested in art. BUT!!! Those two college campuses are along with they have art departments. Following students on campus will get you recognized and connected.
- Getting Hip with The Times: Listen in this day in age you need a bomb website that is good on your phone and on a desktop! So simplify that website so people can truly navigate how you want them too.
- PR (Public Relations) Is NOT Scary: Hello, folks PR is the almost the backbone of a successful business other than money! It is the small things that count. Customer service and giving positive vibes as a whole for a business makes everything so much better.
Overall, I can say this year is about to be something serious! With this place going under renovation and me helping out with the rebranding…. ZERO GAMES WILL BE PLAYED!!! May if authorized I’ll show y’all some stuff down the line.
I SPOKE ON IT!!!
Most of you know who Wendy Williams is correct? If not I will give you some background Wendy Williams in simple terms is a radio personality who now has her own television show. Who is known for her trash talking and getting the facts out of folks which is her job if I must say. Simple right? Right, well her trash talking has gotten her in trouble like it always has but this time with the wrong group of people. Historical Black College/University students also known as HBCU students is the group that has been firing Wendy up. Maybe not fire…the hot chicken grease for fried chicken Wednesday is what they are dipping her into. Only my HBCU students would know what I am talking about. I digress. As she was speaking about the powerful Jeese Williams speech on the BET Awards…well I will let you read her statement yourself:
“I must say to you, he was on BET. His speech was very poignant,” Wendy says on her show this week. “On the other hand, I would be really offended if there was a school that was known as a historically white college. We have historically Black colleges. What if there was the National Organization for White People, only? There’s the NAACP.”
After her statement she then says “racism sucks” maybe that was her way of trying to make things up but I was already fed up at that point.
- For someone who is going into the same field that she is already in she probably said that to further herself and the show into the press. Think about it if folks talk about you…you are relevant!
- For someone who currently attends an HBCU (going into my junior year) and knows their history HBCUs were founded during a time where African Americans (Black) could not go to college (my school was founded in 1869) so we decided to make our own. Caucasians (White) did not have to worry about that during that time but we still gave their schools an acronym which is PWI which stands for predominately white institution. HBCUs are not meant for only African American students not at all we accept all walks of life that is just a stereotype that we have since we have majority of African American students and professors at some schools. Majority of the time any other race will receive a minority scholarship for attending an HBCU! Of all things Wendy didn’t attend an HBCU she went to Northeastern University. Don’t speak on anything if you do not have any knowledge of it! Plus, I am a memeber of the NAACP so you telling me that the organization that I am a member of offends people? Ok. Caucasians have more than enough organizations to help them.
- For someone who actually enjoys Wendy Williams and what she does for entertainment it is almost disheartening for her to try to get in on something that is very controversial in this day in age. Not saying she cannot speak on issues but know what you are saying before you say the wrong thing. Some are comparing her to Stacy Dash who has pretty much been deemed “whitewashed.”
Now a person who I have always looked up to that gathered Wendy all the way together has to be Roland Martin here is what he had to say:
Everything he said is so true because it simply felt as if she did not educate herself enough.
I SPOKE ON IT!!!