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With a potential recession looming, credit and budgeting is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Award-winning author and speaker Dr. Lynn Richardson stops by the Get Up Church to give tips on how to budget and what is good and bad credit.
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What is considered a good credit score and a bad credit score? And can you give some tips on how to improve yours?
Dr. Richardson: Well, so I want to just dispel one myth, because there are tons of people who don’t have a credit score at all. And so their credit score is 0. So when they go out and they try to buy a home, they’re told that they have bad credit and that is not the truth. If you have no credit score, so it’s zero, then technically, you have a great credit score. And if you are trying to buy a home, for example, then what the mortgage professional should do is prepare a residential mortgage credit report, it’s an RMCR. And what they will do is they will take any bills that you pay on time, for example, they’ll take your cell phone bill, everybody has a cell phone, they’ll take your car insurance, your daycare, and they will create a credit report for you and in that instance, you will basically have a superb credit profile. So I want to just dispel that myth because I run into so many people, so often, who only use cash, they don’t use any credit cards for anything.
Now, if you are using credit cards, if you are spending money, if you have had anything on your credit report, then a good credit score, what everybody should aim for, is 700 or higher. Anything lower than that puts you in a position where you may have to pay a higher interest rate for whatever it is that you’re trying to purchase. But I have something even bigger than all of this. Here’s what I have to say. And I remember having this conversation with a young woman then, probably 15 to 20 years ago, the question that I would have everyone ask themselves is this when it comes to your credit: Do you want to be honest or do you want to be a thief? When you do you want to be honest, or do you want to be a thief? I was living checked on Monday, I had bad credit. And this is what it comes down to. When you get a credit card and you promise to pay and you don’t then you just sold those items. You sold them. And you lie. I mean, it knocked me down. I was crying. I was the altar or the Goddess. That is really what it is. The second thing about credit is it’s very easy to get in alignment because I always tell people to treat your creditors as you would have your dentists treat you. Remember the last time your cousin who called you about $50 promised to pay you back on Friday, when Friday rolls around. You haven’t heard from Pookie you can’t even reach him on a cell phone that show 50 That’ll help stay on? And what are you saying everybody? I want to kill him? It’s not the money, it’s the principle. Because had he called you had your cousin or relative or someone called you. You probably wouldn’t said, listen, don’t worry about it. Pay me what you can or when you can. And that’s what our creditors will do. So if you are facing if you have a credit issue, call your creditors and you don’t have to come up with anything fancy. Tell the,m listen, “I don’t have it.” That’s it.
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