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.
This Canadian Entrepreneur Tells Us The Highs and Lows of Running A Successful Hemp Company
East of Toronto lies a Canadian hemp company called The Hemp Spot which offers over fifty plus products.
CEO and founder, Jacob Moore started the company in 2018. Moore’s interest in hemp began when he was looking for a healthier protein product that would help with recovery and pain remedy. Moore has an autoimmune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis, which can cause some of the small bones in someone’s spine (vertebrae) to fuse. This can cause less flexibility and can result in someone having a hunched posture.
His discovery of hemp protein helped with the pain however, he realized there were not a lot of Canadian hemp products readily available. Knowing there might be others who were also suffering from joint pains or who were looking for safer, healthier options to help with recovery, Moore created The Hemp Spot.
“We are your local one-stop-shop for all things Canadian hemp. We have a variety of Canadian hemp products supplied by various Canadian hemp farmers and small Canadian hemp businesses,” said Moore.
Even though Moore found a natural product that would help many Canadians, he faced
numerous obstacles to get his business started. Banks gave Moore a hard time because of the misconceptions and stigmas surrounding hemp. Banks deemed hemp as marijuana. Although growing industrial hemp has been legal since 1998.
“When hemp was grouped in with marijuana it was declared an illegal substance. Slowly people began to ignore the benefits for the environment and for themselves. Till this day many people believe hemp is marijuana and has a high amount of THC,” said Moore.
To clarify, hemp comes from the same species of plant as cannabis however, it has lower levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compared to cannabis. The first license to grow industrial hemp for commercial purposes in Canada was issued in May 1998. Unlike its sister plant (cannabis) hemp takes around 90-120 days to grow, compared to four to eight months growth time for cannabis.
Moore continues to have problems advertising his company online because social media platforms such as Facebook bundle hemp with marijuana under their advertising regulations. As of 2019, Facebook has made some adjustments to their advertisement laws, which allows hemp companies in the U.S. to promote their businesses, as long as they’re promoting non-ingestible hemp.
“It may say hemp companies can advertise on Facebook/social media but hemp companies (in Canada) like myself are not allowed to promote, even when we try to promote our Hemp Face cloths. I’ve been flagged for selling illegal substances. I wish we were allowed to advertise however, we’re not able to,” said Moore.
Similar to advertising companies, Moore had to prove to banks that hemp was not a marijuana product. Nonetheless, Moore’s resilient spirit has allowed him to mount a thriving business and also to educate the public.
His company has helped many Canadian hemp farmers. Hemp expels four times more carbon dioxide than trees, and helps reduce greenhouse gases in the air. “We want everyone to experience hemp for all that it is; to utilize it as a food supplement, to clothe ourselves, to help transportation grow, and to help shelter families,” said Moore.
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