I have been talking a lot about generational wealth, financial freedom, and just knowledge in one’s finances overall! So I was super pleased to interview Anetra Smalls from Merit Credit Solutions about those very topics. I am a firm believer in helping people out especially when it is something that can really benefit them. So without further due, lets dive right into the interview!
About Anetra | While many people strive to acquire more money and material things, she’s focused on creating generational wealth. As a highly sought after speaker and finance-preneur, Anetra Smalls has helped hundreds repair their personal credit—enabling many of them to birth their own businesses and build business credit wealth. Known as “The Six-Figure Credit Coach” to many, this “Millionaire Mom” is passionate about helping single mothers eliminate debt as they establish credit health—using what’s in their hands to prosper and soar above the societal norms.
Featured on Bounce TV and in STS magazine, Anetra also authored 31 Keys to Success: Secret Affirmations That Unlock Financial Abundance. In this literary masterpiece, she divulges affirmations, secrets and industry tips to help readers achieve greatness on their journey toward financial freedom—moving them from the position of potential to vision and dream fulfillment. With a vision to help at least 10,000 people overcome the poverty mindset and live their “best lives”, she’s had the esteemed honor to present at numerous business conferences, self-esteem seminars and financial workshops.
Q: Why do you think financial freedom is important?
A: I think financial freedom is important because it takes away the need of having to do something out of obligation and gives flexibility to do for yourself and others because you can. You get to make life decisions without being overly stressed about the financial impact because you are prepared. You control your finances instead of being controlled by them.
Q: In your opinion, what steps should a person take in order to gain financial freedom?
A: There are 5 steps that I live by that will get anyone on the path of financial freedom. Step 1: Know where your money is going. Take a minute and evaluate your bank statements. See where you’re spending your money. Step 2: Pay yourself first. Health or even old age will eventually catch up to us. The bills won’t stop coming for either and every month the bill collectors will expect payment in full. When you pay yourself first you’re recognizing that you are more important than any job or bill. Step 3: Save 1000 in an emergency fund. Unforeseen events happen all the time. One way to stay out of debt is to have money set aside for those just in case events. Step 4: Invest. I often say money that isn’t growing is like having seed and expecting to see a harvest when you never took it out the packaging to be planted. You can’t expect to see a change if you never place your money in a position to grow. There are several options: real estate, starting a business, low cost stocks etc. Step 5: Give back. Committing to being of service to others will help you in more ways than you can imagine. Ask yourself “what problem can I solve that will help someone else today” and then whatever the answer is do it! The impact that you’ll have on someone will always pay you back ten-fold and sooner than you ever expected.
Q: Explain why having a good credit score is beneficial for the average person.
A: Having good credit is beneficial for the average person because it saves them money. Most people make large purchases that have some type of interest attached to it. Having good credit helps to avoid overpaying for items and gives you leverage to negotiate rates instead of accepting what’s being given to you.
Q: What are some easy ways to increase a credit score?
A: The top THREE ways to easily increase your credit score is: 1. Pay your bills on time. Being late on a credit monitoring bill can cause your credit score to drop as low as 100 points from where you started. 2. Strategically pay down your credit card balances. This can be done by choosing to pay off the smaller credit card balances first and by making more than one payment a month on your cards. 3. Becoming an authorized user on someone’s credit card who has good pay history and has demonstrated it for a while. An ideal authorized user profile is one that has been established for 10 or more years. This qualification is often found with parents. That’s always the best place to start
Q: If someone is the victim of identity theft, what are some of the steps they should take in order to rectify this issue?
A: Once someone realizes that they’ve been the victim of identity theft the first thing that they should do is report the identity theft to the FTC. Next, they should notify their bank so that there aren’t any more transactions being conducted through their accounts. Then they should freeze their credit. A credit freeze will require a pin and it remains for as long as the customer decides. In order to get the freeze lifted they would have to call and provide the pin to the bureaus for the freeze to be lifted. They should also get identity theft protection monitoring. This is an option that notifies you of any suspicious activity with your account.
Q: How can I get something negative off of my credit report?
A: Legally all creditors are required to accurately report all of your accounts to the credit bureaus. Most often times there are discrepancies that can be found just by looking at your credit report. Once the inaccuracies have been found submit a dispute with the credit bureau and proof showing why the account shouldn’t be on your credit report.
Q: What is generational wealth and why do you think every family should have it?
A: Generational wealth is wealth that is passed down in families from one generation to the next. I think everyone should have generational wealth because it shows that you value your family and it gives them a head start in life. Many people have a desire to create change in the world but they feel limited to do so because of lack of money. Imagine where your life could be now if your grandparents had left something for your parents? The same feeling of excitement that came over you with wondering what if is the same feeling you should want your children to experience because you did it for them. All of the major brands that we’re familiar with Rolls Royce, Bacardi, Balenciaga, Disney, Tesla, amongst others are named after someone’s last name. I believe the world needs to remember your last name long after you’ve left earth and your family should profit from it.
Q: How do you help your customers improve their credit?
A: I help my customers improve their credit through education. I created a program called The 90 Day Wealth Plan Program that teaches my clients strategies on how to leverage their good credit so that they can create cashflow to become financially free.
Q: What’s one takeaway you think will be beneficial to the readers of this blog interview?
A: The one takeaway that I think will be beneficial to the readers of this blog is that having good credit gives you options to overcome your money struggles, so you should protect your credit at all costs and then leverage it to become financially free.
Many thanks to Anetra for providing this information for us today! I can tell you that I definitely learned some things regarding my own credit with her responses. If you want to learn more about how you can improve your credit, please don’t hesitate to contact Anetra; her information is listed below:
Photo Credit: Images courtesy of Anetra Smalls