Grit Nation

Take Control of Your Credit Card - Patrick Town

April 11, 2022 Season 4 Episode 8
Grit Nation
Take Control of Your Credit Card - Patrick Town
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to Grit Nation, I’m Joe Cadwell the writer, producer, and host of the show and on today’s episode I’ll be looking into the complex world of finance credit.
To help me better understand the role credit plays in a building trades professionals life and career I have invited back to the show Patrick Town, director of operations for Union Home Plus

Accompanying him is Serge Bagdasarov

We’ll start our conversation by learning how to establish and maintain good credit and we’ll finish by giving you solid advice on how you can repair bad credit should you have it. 

Along the way we’ll discuss what FICO scores are, how you can create good credit without owing anyone anything and why wage garnishments can be so detrimental to your financial health and wellbeing. 

The Show Notes

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Joe Cadwell:

Welcome to Grit Nation. I'm Joe Cadwell, the writer, producer and host of the show and on today's episode, I'll be looking into the complex world of financial credit. To help me better understand the role of credit plays in a building trades professionals life and career, I'm invited back to the show Patrick Town Director of Operations for Union Homeplus. Accompanying him is Serge Bagdasarov. We'll start a conversation by learning how to establish and maintain good credit. Then we'll finish up by giving you solid advice on how you can repair bad credit Should you happen long the way we'll discuss what FICO scores are, how you can create good credit without owing anyone anything, and why wage garnishments can be so detrimental to your financial health and well being. Learn more about the topic, be sure to visit the show notes after this episode or visit the grid nation podcast website at www grid nation podcast.com. And now on to the show. Patrick Town and Serge Bagdasarov Welcome to Grit Nation. How are you doing today, gentlemen?

Patrick Town:

Very well. Thank you. Happy to be here.

Serge Bagdasarov:

Oh, I'm also happy to be here. Thank you for welcoming us.

Joe Cadwell:

So, gentlemen, today, we're talking about credit. And I'll be completely honest with you. If it wasn't for the for the good grace of me meeting someone who was financially savvy, my wife 25 years ago, I would probably still be languishing in sort of the credit doldrums. I had no idea. As I worked my way through my 20s In my early 30s that I needed to establish credit, I'd never had any credit, I paid everything for cash. I lived predominantly overseas where I never had a credit record established here in the US. So when I came back to the States, in the late 1990s, one of the very first things I wanted to do was to lease a pager so that companies diving companies could get in touch with me. And I was told at that time, that my credit was not bad, it was non existent, and that they could not lease me a $79 pager that I had to buy it. And then after that, I started making the payments on the pager, I started I got a credit card. Finally, I started making bought a car. And I started establishing credit pretty late in the game. I'm trying to avoid help set people up to avoid getting into the situation that I found myself in again, not bad credit, not good credit, just zero credit. And I know that's a bit extreme for the for the average American right now. But how do we go about defining what credit is surge

Serge Bagdasarov:

Credit? I personally believe in a debt free life you guys, I teach and educate people for over 15 years now I teach seminars on how to build, establish and maintain good credit without borrowing a single dime, believe it or not, it's a reality. You can have great credit and not borrow a single dime from anyway, credit, we always hear the term FICO FICO is, is coming back from the Fair Isaac Corporation that was established in the late 1950s. Actually 1956 To be precise

Joe Cadwell:

Serge real quick. That's called your FICO score. Yes. Okay. And and the higher the FICO score, the better your credit is perceived to be. Is that how it works out? Yes, sir. And is there a range is there a spectrum from from low end to high and what's like the best FICO score you can get in the credit world,

Serge Bagdasarov:

The best I've seen is 850. And that was my mother in law. The lowest, the lowest is 300. And I have yet to see somebody with 300 I've never seen that in my life. And I have over probably over 30,000 credit reports in my in my system, and I've never seen anybody with that 300

Joe Cadwell:

So FICO isn't the name of an organization that started in the 1950s, which is sort of a credited with establishing the FICO score that has a range somewhere between 308 150 800 The best 300 being the lowest. Okay, I'm, I'm catching up there. Thanks. So you were saying that mortgage companies primarily rely on FICO scores. Why is that? Patrick? What do you think?

Patrick Town:

Well, I think in the in the, in the qualifying criteria requirements for consumers. Mortgage just comes down to two things. So your ability to pay, that's your income and your willingness to pay that your credit. And the credit scoring is a gauge of risk. So if you have a very low credit score, you have a very high risk of default. Typically when you get someone who's got 400 500 600 scores, you're going to find that they have couple late payments and collections, maybe maybe a couple of accounts that are over their limit, and a number of enquiries, right? Conversely, if you have someone with an 815 credit score, you won't see any of that anywhere on their credit report, they have a very low balance to limit on their credit cards, and the say, and they don't seem to borrow money to live and keep their world cash flow moving. What I mean by that simply is that the algorithms and the sophistication of these of the credit reporting bureaus is so advanced, it's almost scary accurate, they can tell when someone's going to be default. For a lender. What matters is how do we provide a product or service as fiduciaries to a person within that full range and still keep compliant with the law and fairness. And so what we've been able to do is determine once that risk is determined that will determine everything from the maximum loan amount, the required down payment, the maximum debt, they're allowed to carry, even the actual interest rate. I mean, just to give you a quick example of how important this is, and let me make one comment that I think is the most impactful important comment that I can make today to any of your listeners, your credit score, and your credit is the single most powerful resource you contain in your arsenal. If you have that you don't even need money to buy a house, right? You it will affect your rent, it will affect your credit card debt, it'll affect everything across the board. And so if a person's got a 640 credit score versus say a 740, will on a Washington state bond loan, which is zero down or an FHA loan, that is a 1% interest rate gap? Well, that knocks you out of about 10 to 25%. More home. So not only do you have to pay a higher interest rate, you now lower your qualifying ability, and it gets worse from there. So from that position, they say, well, you're allowed to have a 50% debt ratio, meaning 50% of your total income can be used towards your house and your debt. This is not a bad thing. This is designed to help consumers so they don't run themselves into a wall and find themselves so riddled in debt. And so when it comes to, we have clients that come in, and the first thing we do after an application is pull their credit report, it gives us the full story. From there, we can determine one of three pathways. One if a person's credit is has lots of collections and judgments and garnishments. And it looks pretty obvious if they have some tough times. Whether or not they're their decisions or not, they're all of us have had something over the years, then that is probably the best pathway towards credit repair and credit clearance through LSI. And through searches organization. If an individual have I can look at the credit and say, Well, you know, you don't have any late payments, you don't have any judgments or collections, but you've got a 645 credit score. And then you look a little bit deeper, and you find out that they've got 15 Credit cards half or above the limit. Everything else is whatever limit which means they're a paycheck away from having that mountain crumble. And so what we'll do in that situation is we'll use a deploy a technology called rapid rescore. I won't get into ways but this is a very, very powerful tool we use on about, oh, probably 20 to 30% of our clients. If we don't sell the program, because we're not allowed to we have to pay for it, consumer cannot pay for it. It's rather spendy per line out and so forth. But it will it is a it is a technology program that has an algorithm that can look at the profile of the borrower's credit, and determine which accounts must be paid down by what amount to attain a given credit score goal. So if you're a 640, you need to get to 680 to get the best price and above those dynamics are pressing the system and it comes back literally in moments with pay this account down by a B to the penny, these amounts right here. From there, we look at the borrower's cash assets and we find out okay, we're gonna use that for closing costs, we're gonna have the seller pay closing costs, now use the rest of your reserves, pay those accounts down, get the credit score back up, takes about four or five days. And instead of counting the transaction, instead of having to initiate maybe a little bit longer, more more deeply rooted thorough credit cleanup through, say LSI, we could deploy that. Below that 640s 580s There's some serious issues taking place. So lenders are going to look at not just the credit score, they're going to look at are we going to put you in financial harm's way if we continue forward, giving you more money, and we need to dig deeper. We need to find out we care about people and as fiduciaries, we don't have a choice. We legally have to make sure that all of every one of our working families has the right type of structure to help support them. And so everyone we talked to has one of three lanes to go into and and just to reiterate this is adjust for those who are apprentices coming into the system with with a different type of steady income, those that are working their first job. For those that are facing retirement in two or three years, the responsibility each of us has on our credit history and our score is paramount. Everything that every strategy that I can share or this service can share with your with your listeners, can be deployed by everyone across the board, without exception. And everyone should, you know, I had to go with one of our clients this past week, and looked at but they had a number of inquiries, inquiries, just that. That means somebody applied for credit, somebody checked their credit, and they're either will or will not be an account. Well, if there's no account, that's a dang, it lowers your credit score, I get two or three or four of those in a row, you could take a nosedive on your credit score. Right. And and it there's no logic involved,

Joe Cadwell:

just from someone checking on your credit will lower your credit score. Is that correct? Patrick?

Patrick Town:

Yes, correct. Correct. It happened, if that happens to everybody. This is why most people are not sitting 780 and above. And here's part of the dilemma. In the world of money. The marketing of money is pretty sophisticated. And it's very impactful. We're all in a sense kind of impulse buyers, right. So you walk in so this client, I looked at their record, they had six different inquiries was during the holidays. So I asked him what he what what they were doing. Well, they went to a big box retailer, I won't say who it is. And they said, Well, we got to the counter, and they said, you know, we'll give you an extra 10% If you apply for a credit card. I said did you apply? Yeah. I said why? And it's a free extra 20% or 10%. I said, Well, if you made $100 purchase, and they gave you $10 off, when you get the credit card statement, you pay $22 to get the $10 off, you just lost $12. So people and plus it lowers your credit score by probably 25 points. So that $10 Literally, Bob, I'm

Joe Cadwell:

going to stop you there. I'm going to stop you there. So again, it seems like credit, credit can be your friend credit credit can be your foe, it's important to maintain a good FICO score. There are certain credit agencies out there, I think there's what three major credit, three, no surge holding up three fingers. So three agencies out there monitoring credit. And when you have anything such as benign as an inquiry, whether you have good credit can adversely affect your credit. So it seems like it's a pretty complicated system. Let's boil it down. By figuring out what can we do to establish good credit? First, let's start there. What's this? What can a person listening to this podcast saying, Hey, I'm considering buying a home in the in the next couple of years, I've got this great union job. And I want to get set myself up for success in the future. Last episode, we talked about buying a home through union home or helping union home plus his help in assisting us buying a home. So how can I establish good credit? Where who would like to answer that one?

Serge Bagdasarov:

Like I mentioned in the beginning, it's a reality to build maintain good credit without barring a single bank. So Joe just brought up that question, how do you do it? Very, very simple method that I will give you right now. Basically, all you need is to secure credit cards. And I recommend not traditional banks, because if you go to a traditional bank, like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, US Bank, they will actually report as a secured card. So everybody will know that it's your own money. If you go to a bank like Capital One discover Citibank, or even Chang ch i m e chime is amazing. So you establish at least two or three secured cards with a bare minimum of $200. Now these cards that I just gave you, Capital One, again, discover Citibank and chase. So you go to Google type in secured credit card, and you type in the names of the banks that I just told you, these guys will give you a complete free credit card secured credit card with no annual fees. So that's the key, there is no annual fee. And you can put down $200 And you can get a credit card. Now here's a trick on how to use it. And this will do the same thing as if you were to use it every single month. Because the algorithm works the same way if you use the card every month, or if you do it twice a year. So I always recommend to use it no less than twice a year. So you must show them activity at least once every six months. And I can pay them met the formula was don't go more than 33% from the given limit. Nowadays, the formula has changed. And it's roughly about 25% from the given limit. So if your limit is 200 hours, you want to use about $50 You buy your girlfriend, your wife, some flowers, you buy yourself some ice cream twice a year, and then you throw those cards back in your wallet and you keep them So you set yourself reminders to use them twice a year, that's what matters the most to show some activity. And you can also go to a local credit union because they like union members. So from a local credit union, you can also get a secured institutional loan for up to $300 $500. And that can also help you establish credit in about 90 business days, you will see very, very good progress. Now, if you guys are renting, if somebody rents an apartment, there's an amazing program through which we can help report your own time rent on your credit history up to 24 months each trade line that can help two of the three of your bureau bureaus incredibly increase your credit scores. There's also one less secret I'm going to give you a secret is experience. I recently came up with what's called Experian boost, where I'm sure me most of us have a cable bill, whether utility bill with Netflix, we have Hulu, all of those subscriptions, if we go to Experian boost.com, we can upload in there and Experian will tremendously boost our credit score. So just some simple solutions here and hope that helps.

Joe Cadwell:

It does and so let's back it up just a bit Experian is Experian is one of those three credit agencies that I had mentioned before, isn't it? There's there's two others.

Serge Bagdasarov:

Your credit bureaus that we forgot to identify is Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Joe Cadwell:

Okay, so there's three main credit check companies out there, right. That's how that works. Is that what you call it? Press? Okay. Yes, we made sense. Okay. So and Experian being one of those, and Experian has another way that you can kind of help boost your credit score through them. I'm a little confused. You were saying earlier search, not to rely on a major bank like a Wells Fargo or Bank of America in which to get a credit card like a lot of Alaska Air, for example. I happen to have an Alaska IRS credit card it's issued through Bank of America. So by using that credit card, what's the difference between using that credit card in regard compared to discover credit card?

Serge Bagdasarov:

No, you are absolutely safe with your I, I was talking about to those of us who wants to remain debt free. Who wouldn't want to borrow any money and who wants to build their credit with a secure

Joe Cadwell:

credit? Okay,

Serge Bagdasarov:

I understand. So when you when you use those three banks and you open the secured cards, the ones that I mentioned, they will not actually report as a secured card, they will report on your credit as your Alaska credit line. Therefore, the credit bureaus will say, Hey, he's got two regular cards, but nobody else. Card. It's you're already there.

Joe Cadwell:

I see. Okay, so that's the difference. And again, one last thing I picked up on their search, when you get one of those credit cards, you want to not spend more than 25% of the limit. So if you have a $200 allotment on that card, spend up to $50 Twice a year, put the cart away, that'll begin to establish that credit score that is so important when it comes time to get say a house loan. Does that seem about right?

Patrick Town:

That's it. Now, one of the things that I wanted to comment on and in addition to searches, comments and suggestions is, you know, there's for those people who are who are not just starting off who don't have any credit issues, and just need to have some some management to get the highest scores possible. We deploy a few different suggestions that everyone can do matter of fact, these three things someone can do before they get off the before today's at one of which is we all know that takes diligence and discipline to monitor and manage your debt. Right, to searchers point keep your credit cards below 25% relative to their maximum. Another solution is to increase the size of your limit, right? That's very easy to do. And when you do that, you may simply make a phone call to the credit card provider and request what they want at the same time. You can request a lower interest rate if you call Wells Fargo on the credit card. Hello Sir Madam, I'd like to increase my limit to $5,000 on this car for $2,000. And by the way, Capital One just offered me a 3% fixed interest rate for the first year and no fees and I'm paying 7% With you Before I, I just thought I'd let you guys know before I decided to go ahead and close my account. More times than not, they will not only increase your limit, but they'll also lower your interest rate on the phone, no one's going to call you and give you lower costs, you have to seek it out.

Joe Cadwell:

This episode of Grit Nation is proudly supported by the Carpenters Local 271 based in Eugene, Oregon. Thanks to their generosity, the hard working men and women of local 271 canal sport an official I've got great high visibility t shirt. This us made garment is produced by image point of Waterloo, Iowa, and features the American flag and the newly designed grit nation logo. I have to say it looks really sharp, I'm pleased as punch to have their support. If your local business or organization is interested in collaborating with grit nation, the building trades podcast, I'd be happy to hear from you. Grit Nation is proud to support those who support the blue collar trades people of America and Canada. And now back to the show.

Patrick Town:

To that end, a lot of us may have a number of credit cards that we just don't use, or many people feel or think, well, the best idea is I need less credit show and that'd be good. No, it's not. So if you have credit cards you haven't been using you close them your credit score will go down because you now have less credit available. And so the key on that is what do I do with these credit cards, I don't use one, put them in envelopes, keep track of them. But twice a year, call the credit card company make sure there's been no activity, there's been no fraudulent use, and keep the accounts open. That will show the algorithms within the reporting agencies the that you have a lot of credit available. One of the things that's that's that's dumps the score so quickly, when we talk about the high balance to limit, if you get five credit cards are all maxed out, why is your score down 100 points 150 points is because you're probably only one paycheck away from default. And if they can determine within 60 days when you'll be default, right, you've got hundreds of millions of data point entries. It's a pretty sophisticated system. So many people, most people it's dangerous thing to say when you say most. But I've seen 10s of 1000s of credit reports over the last 30 years. And I can tell you that most haven't seen their credit report in years don't have any idea what's on it. Don't know if someone's using it. Don't know if the information is accurate. The other half that people don't verify their statements every single month to make sure the charges are accurate, right. And so these are all things that someone can do today, that will have an absolute positive impact on the credit, whether or not they're trying to buy somebody tomorrow, get the house next year doesn't really well next month doesn't matter. But if you're looking to make a plan in the next 369 12 months, then these are things you need to to enact on your behalf right away. And you're probably going to be looking at a 50 to 100 points score increase that is significant that saves you over life a boss loans 10s of 1000s of dollars in needless interest payments.

Joe Cadwell:

Wow. That is amazing. To honest like to me, Patrick, it sounds counterintuitive, that the more credit cards you have, the more the higher your limits are, in my limited understanding of the credit world, it seems counterintuitive that that you would be a better credit risk or have a better credit score, because you have more credit cards and more potential to get yourself in debt. But you're saying it's actually the opposite, that having those credit cards with a limit on there, but not actually using them can bring down or bring up your credit score.

Patrick Town:

That's absolutely accurate. You know, and when it comes to, you know, a little point on inquiries, and to explain things in simple terms, well how these algorithms work is not just the fact that you applied for credit. If there isn't an account there or you have multiple inquiries, this computer, and they don't think the Calculate right is going to calculate that perhaps someone denied you credit. What don't we know about you? Why were you denied credit? Do you have too much do you have too little, all those little flags and points or data entry points that affect the score? No one has the scoring module, no one really knows exactly how it works. We've determined over the years, the different technologies, how to affect the system and get a positive response. And, you know, case in point was an interesting thing. Perhaps some of you or some of your listeners have heard, well, how do I get my credit established more without getting a new account, we didn't add yourself to your wife, your girlfriend, your boyfriend's your mother's account. And by doing that, you now report it onto your credit port. That was fine until the system got wind of it and stopped it. So adding yourself to somebody isn't necessarily going to get you an improvement in use. Right? There may be an inquiry attached to it that may actually lower your score. So every time that we as consumers try to catch up with these these systems that are maybe blocking us from doing what we think is the right thing They fail. And it becomes it does become counterintuitive. But it is the reality for all of us. And if you can accept that, the one good thing about having an extra three or four credit cards, you have the ability to weather a storm. You know, a lot of folks don't have enough money to buy a new transmission the truck if it fails tomorrow, right. And so those are gives a good explanation of why those credit scoring models are presented that way to all of us. So I hope that helps.

Joe Cadwell:

It sounds like it's very technically sophisticated. I think probably the industry as a whole learned a lot after the 2006 2007 housing bubble, that the credit industry really had to hold itself. And I think that the Fed stepped in and tried to, to hold people accountable to making sure that people didn't get themselves into harm's way financially. And I think you said as a credit lender, you know, you have a fiduciary responsibility not to just hand over buckets of money to people that potentially could find themselves, mismanaging it and going bankrupt because of it.

Patrick Town:

You bet. I mean, that's you hit the nail on the head, Joe, you know, when it comes to, to to credit worthiness, the system isn't trying to find ways to say no, it's trying to find ways to say yes, without hurting you. And that really becomes the crux of the matter, because that opens up a whole new gateway to liability, and no one wants liability. So you know, and when it comes to the housing market, you cannot put a loan through for a borrower, if it does not under their benefit, that doesn't meet the most stringent underwriting affordability guidelines, and doesn't jeopardize their credits substantially. It can't go through the system, this is a good thing. It's not a bad thing, I get class of the times that tell me, yes, turned down over there. They're not as good as you guys are. One I agree. However, it's important to understand that we all have to live in the same criteria. The difference is, is how we take a very consultative approach to working with clients and a surge in his class, same situation, they need to go through a lot of data polling, find out some information, and not just find out the mechanics of it. Why did it happen? Can we leave you in a better position? Can you score up is a mechanical process that is black and white, just plug it in, do it, it gives you a result, it doesn't change the underlying situation that may have caused it, we take it a step further to make sure that we actually help people not just raise their score to kind of get around the system quickly to get the house done. Right. Even though that takes place, we want them to come back and when they walk away from the table in a better, more secure and more stable position than where they started. And I think that's the that is the minimum standard, I think for any organization should have for their clients.

Joe Cadwell:

So what is different about the construction industry, people in the building trades? Why would their credit scores be different perceived to be different than the the average person who was, you know, consistent nine to 5, 40 hours a week, 50-51 weeks a year work? How does someone in the building trades credit differ? And why?

Patrick Town:

I'll just not, I don't want to talk over search. But we've been working with the building trades labor organizations for 22 years now. And we've seen from a variety of locals, but in the in the Washington button condition trades department some 58 50,000 members, why do we continually see seem to find a lower average credit score, then some other professions, and we look a little bit deeper, especially in construction field, what's happening right now and clay on snow? What happened to house building today? Nothing. Right? You have a higher level of layoffs, or suspensions, if you will, between job sites. Whatever your call number is, if you're between job sites, maybe five weeks, six weeks, all those disruptions with affect your income. And let's face it, you know, if you're in the trades, you make a finite hourly wage, you have a finite amount of debt you have to pay, you pull your income out of that just going on a plan for two months. You're going to feed your children before you pay a max. Right. And so I think that part of that will be telling our building trades people is if we know that prepare for it. Give yourself some leeway when you don't need the money, put the credit cards on there, get the loan, put it in the bank on the CD prepare for that time frame when you're going to need to call upon it. The challenge is it takes discipline that you can't go out and buy a car with it. You can't go out buy a new tool or whatever and if you do those things you're gonna you're gonna really buffer yourself against the challenge isn't the building trades as we see it just as a seasonality and there but there is one other other reason and this is goes back to our very first podcast and that comes down to financial well being If the trades are not going to educate their people, where will they find that education, they won't. And if they don't have the education, you can imagine what's going to happen. And so we that's why we provide the resources like search for those who have some severe challenges, or just want to start getting some credit to financial wellness classes, so that we can make sure everyone has enough information. So they can make the right decisions. It's not complicated, it doesn't cost a dime. But everyone walks away with a better understanding and a higher level of confidence. And that shows all the way through. If you look at statistically, I don't have it for just the building trades. But here is basically families that are underwater financially have experienced bankruptcy or near bankruptcy, you see the highest level of no shows at work, you have a much, much higher level of sick days, you have late days, there's just a lot of production, that wanes, when people are going through these types of challenges. And if you have credit challenges, you're likely going to have financial challenges right next to it, whether it's intentional, or it's bad decisions, or it was a, you know, an A medical anomaly that knock somebody off their feet, any number of things. But it's not the end of the world, you don't accept it, you go in you plug in some basic strategies, you get back on the horse, and in three to six months. So it could it could be as if it never happened. I've I've seen scores go from 580 to 780, in less than 12 months. Right? That is a different world for some.

Joe Cadwell:

Alright, so So here, we started off with what is credit? How do I establish credit? How do I improve my credit score? Now we're going to get back into what Serge got into the business by I've had that that bad luck that run a bad luck, I've have done some significant damage to my credit score, what can I do in order to bring that back into good graces with the the powers that be in the in the big credit? What can I do search to repair bad credit?

Serge Bagdasarov:

Well, first of all, if you don't have time to deal with it yourself, you call us and my company actually provides you settlement coordinator that will actually help you to negotiate to settle if you have any unpaid collections, we actually represent you we handled the whole nine yards, your claim manager will go item by item, through every single thing on your credit report every derogatory item, that item we'll talk about, we'll make a solid plan. And all of that is available for a very affordable fee. Everybody can afford this, no contract, no commitments, if you have time to deal with it yourself. The plan is actually it's not that complicated if you want to deal with it yourself. But most people why they come to us is because they don't have the time to deal with it themselves. And because it takes so many hours, sometimes even to negotiate and settle one unpaid collection, you spend hours and hours being transferred from one thread to another rep and it's it can become very, very time consuming. But basically anything that they report on your credit, the credit repair, the credit reporting companies have up to 45 to 60 business days to reply. If it verified with the actual creditor, then it can stay on your credit for up to seven years. If they file for legal they have up to six years from the date of last activity to actually file for a judgment, then it extends the statute of limitation to up to 10 years, which can be indefinitely chase you and it can basically they can file for extension and keep on chasing you. And the judgment is an open door to garnishment. So now when they get a garnishment against you, they have up to 90 days that they can garnish your wages for up to 25% from all of your paychecks and there is no way to get out of it, your employer will have to withhold that amount from your paycheck and pay the creditors so you don't need lawyers to help you stop garnishment and you don't need lawyers to help you keep your late a judgment and get on the payment plan.

Joe Cadwell:

Alright, so as we get close to the end of our conversation, I'm going to kind of put you guys both on the spot Imagine you are creating a one slide PowerPoint presentation, and you want to put up two to three bullet points just two to three takeaways for someone looking at this PowerPoint slide. First on how to establish good credit Patrick and then Serge how to repair bad credit. So approach this from from that perspective, two to three points. What would you bring on your slide, Patrick down,

Patrick Town:

I would say the first being to begin monitoring your credit. Make sure number one, that your balance relative to your limit is substantial over 75 to 80%. Right? Secondly, I would have make sure you have enough available credit. In the third is old school, grandpa told you pay your bills on time, right? If it looks like there's going to be a challenge with things jump in ahead of time. And I think lastly, I think that by monitoring your credit, you're able to be aware of your spending habits, and realize that maybe you don't need that latte every day, that's going to make your your your visa payment go behind for a month, right. And if you had and, lastly, if you have any questions on it, if you just don't get it or you have a unique or specific situation that just reach out to myself, or we should the search, and we'll be one of us will be able to answer for you. All right,

Joe Cadwell:

Serge, someone dealing with bad credit, two or three talking points there for the for the takeaway.

Serge Bagdasarov:

Definitely order your credit report from all the three bureaus and learn how to actually read your reports, identify your balances, identify if your lack open credit, then open enough cards to reestablish credit, which can get really confusing. So that's where we come into picture. But having the right idea is starting with or with ordering the three bureaus report, which you can get either from my FICO or from straight from the three credit bureaus once a year at no charge. Because my FICO will send you like 100 page report, and then if you order straight from the three bureaus, is going to be the same story and they'll send you a 300 page report. So yeah, identify the problems and make a plan and execute it.

Joe Cadwell:

Okay. And I'm gonna finish up if I had to make a slide I'd say, number one, understand the importance of having good credit for life, time big purchases, like houses and vehicles and the importance of having good credit. Number two, work your butt off to establish good credit and repair any bad credit. And number three, if in doubt, work with some professionals get the professional help you need, and work on making sure you have the best credit available to you. It'll save you a lot of money in the long run. Patrick, how can people get in touch with Union Home Plus and Patrick town?

Patrick Town:

The most simplest way is to go to our website, UnionHomePlus.org and you'll find phone numbers and emails ways to reach out you can reach out. They want to click personally. It's just my initials PT at Union homeplus.org.

Joe Cadwell:

All right, thank you again for taking your time to be on the show. I look forward to speaking with you again in the future. I guess they've been Patrick Town and Serge Bagdasarov. For more information to help you dive deeper into the subject of financial credit. Be sure to visit the show notes for this episode or visit the grid nation website at www gritnationpodcast.com