The world flipped on its head during the coronavirus pandemic, hitting businesses and individuals hard throughout it. People weren’t prepared for this, which resulted in countless job losses, lack of steady income, not knowing where the next paycheck was coming from, and what would happen to their credit.
Credit is more important now than ever, as a bad credit score can be the be all and end all when it comes to making that purchase you desperately need. Fortunately credit consultant and expert Jose Rodriguez, aka The Credit Dude has the knowledge and expertise to maximise your credit, even during the toughest of times. Here The Credit Dude shares 5 tips to get your credit score in check.
- Always Call Your Creditors
Ignoring phone calls, emails and letters regarding past due accounts is never a good idea. It is the time to take control and find out exactly what is available to you, and if creditors can offer any kind of accommodations. If you decide to ignore your accounts that you’re required to pay and make no mention that you had been affected by COVID-19, then you’ll definitely not be able to take any kind of advantage of courtesy adjustments that may be on offer.
Make a habit of picking up the phone to see what is available for you, and for how long. A 2 or 3 month deferment on your mortgage or car can even allow you to breathe and pay down other accounts – or even build a nest egg for you and your family’s future. Make sure to ask if it is required of you to pay the deferred payments amount in full, or if they’re able to place it on the back end of the loan – once you’ve gotten past the accommodation period.
- Ensure You Apply for a Personal Loan
A personal loan application at your local credit union can prove to be a big advantage. This is because it allows you to pay off your credit cards and make just one monthly payment towards your personal loan. This keeps the credit cards open, however it transfers the debt from revolving to installment – which will cause your credit score to improve.
Don’t apply for a long term, 60-month loan. Keep it short and sweet, around the 24-36 month range. One of the last things you want to do, would be to take out a loan for 4 years, and then proceed to once again max out your credit cards, leaving you in a far worse position than before.
- Don’t Be Afraid To Ask for Credit Limit Increases
The higher your credit limits are, the higher your credit score can be – but only if you have low balances on your credit cards. If you do get approved for a personal loan to pay down your credit cards or if you’re able to pay off your credit cards on your own, ask for an increase in your limit once the balance is under 30% of the credit limit.
This increases your available credit, which ultimately contributes to maximizing your credit score. The amount you owe on your credit cards compared to the available credit, should be 30% of your credit score, or roughly 165 points.
- Use Turo To Rent Your Car
Turo is a business that enables you to rent your car out to people. And get paid for it. This can be a massive help when it comes to covering monthly payments. You can even make more money to cover other expenses and bills you may have. Some people in his network even have 2 or 3 cars on Turo. Not only are their car payments covered, but they can use anything extra they make to go towards their electric, water and cable bills.
Visit their site or download their app to check out reviews and scope out other cars in your area, in order to see how much you’d be able to rent your car out for. If for example, your normal car payment is around $400 a month. Let’s say you can use Toro to rent your car out for $50 a day, imagine what you could make renting out your car for the whole month – that’s an extra $1,500 per month.
- Start Your Own Business
Having a back up plan is more important now than ever. If you are lucky enough to have some kind of talent or a hobby that could make you money – leverage it. There are so many products in demand, and you can make nearly anything and sell it on Etsy or Amazon. “I have seen people go to garage sales and buy something for a few bucks and then sell it on Ebay for a lot more -making a pretty amazing profit. Even if it’s bracelets, facemasks, or even over a service like laundry, haircuts, or even cutting hair, that can help you start a business” Jose says.
You could be generating an extra $500 a month, which could go towards paying off your credit cards or other kinds of debt on your credit report. Every cent is important when it comes to paying off your debt. It helps with not only maximizing your credit score but saves you money interest if you can pay it off sooner.
So, there you go. Jose’s 5 tips will help you to maximize your credit score and get your credit back on track post COVID-19. Make sure to go follow Jose on Instagram at @thecreditdude where he shares daily tips on how to improve your credit and master your finances. You can also visit his website if you’d like to learn more.
How Berite Labelle Is Translating Her International Modelling Career Into Acting Through Passion and Self-Care
Moldovan-born beauty Berite Labelle has shed her chrysalis to emerge as an actor and writer.
For several years, Berite has deconstructed, redefined, and developed her modeling skills into techniques fit for an A-list actor.
The path from the catwalk to the film set is a walk of fame mastered by Hollywood legends including Grace Kelly, Nicole Kidman, and Noémie Lenoir. Naomi Campbell successfully transitioned to the small screen as an actor and performed brilliant comedy roles spoofing herself with perfect timing and delivery. Former model and Emmy Award winner Tyra Banks turned to acting and hosted her eponymous chat show. She also birthed an industry from her modeling career and today has a net worth of $90million.
Berite’s passion for communication is at the core of her acting and writing ambitions. She aims for both movies and the stage.
Already established as a successful model in Europe, Berite’s vertical performance started in 2019 when she participated in the World Championship of Performing Arts competition in Long Beach, California. She entered the Spoken Model category and claimed first place. Propelled by her competitive success, she went on to study acting at the New York Film Academy on a partial scholarship. She also competed in dramatics and comic monologues performances in Los Angeles.
During her modeling career, she showcased luxury brands including La Perla and France’s Aubade lingerie house at The Four Seasons Hotel – Geneva, and luxury jeweler Faberge. She also walked the runway for Tiffany’s fashion week in Paris and represented hair giant Toni & Guy.
“At the same time as modeling, I joined a small theatrical company in Switzerland. I decided that it was my mission to become an actor. As well as working with the theatre company, I set about teaching myself English. Communication is key in acting, and the more languages you can communicate in, the better.”
Berite has acted in music videos and is working on a project where she serves two different roles of important historical women: the last Egyptian Ptolemaic queen Cleopatra and the Victorian English writer Mary Wollstonecraft. Berite is also writing scripts.
“I love communicating in different languages, as shown by competing in California. Today my overarching professional desire is about expression and interchange. I am inspired to communicate as an actor on a deep emotional level. To tell a story non-verbally,” says Berite.
“Acting demands a high level of emotional intelligence that is outward-facing and creative, but you also need to be able to run a business. As an entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of my entertainment company – Berite Labelle.”
It is hardly surprising that Berite pivoted toward acting. Adaptation and learning new cultures are hallmarks of her childhood. Born in the tiny former Soviet country of Moldova in Eastern Europe, Berite traveled the world with her Chadian father, who worked for the United Nations. Constant traveling meant new schools, cultures, and languages. Berite thrived until her father died when she was 14 years old. Her family decided to send the teenager to school in Paris, where she fell into bad company.
It took three years for the young woman to determine that she was the only person empowered to change her life. It was an epiphany that changed the course of her life, and she walked away from the shady side of teenage years. At 17 years old, Berite enrolled in a diploma course studying commerce to set a positive direction. As part of her education, she landed an internship with the exclusive Swiss watchmaker and jeweler -Bucherer est 1880. During this time, the young woman understood that her way forward was to become a model. She immersed herself in a sophisticated and creative life.
It was not the first time Berite considered modeling as a career. As a child, a colleague of her father predicted the little girl would become a model. The prophecy triggered Bertie’s lifelong love of fashion, and the little girl’s favorite entertainment was watching Fashion TV. She also took up ballet, which helped her modeling career bloom.
To this day, the entrepreneur continues to dance as both a way to express her creative energy, de-stress, and maintain her physical form. She has also performed in music videos.
Indeed, a successful modeling career requires strict discipline and self-care – two covenants are a must for a career as an actor.
“It is essential to stay in shape, so I still dance, and I also enjoy going hiking, and I practice yoga. Drinking plenty of water is great for your skin, and I have a routine for sleeping and looking after myself,” Berite explains.
“Selfcare is as much of a priority as self-love. When you develop your routine and perform it faithfully, you learn how to love yourself and properly care for yourself. Confidence is important in the world of entertainment. To take good care of others and to love them authentically, you must feel good about yourself. It helps if you never forget about your own needs and feelings,” she says.
Berite is a great believer in reading for pleasure as self-care; “reading scripts, books and work-related material counts as self-care.”
Given that Berite is often exploring another person’s character, working on mastering accents, or running her business, she likes to check out of her dynamic workspace through meditation. She has also discovered a rich vein of joy by continuing her education with online acting courses with Acting Center in Los Angeles.
The final thread of Berite’s self-care regime is twice weekly hair and face masks, which she believes are well-earned breaks from a fully engaged life.
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