score a better future | credit spotlight | britney

FICO has committed to educating consumers through their national Score A Better Future program. This program brings together consumer advocates, credit educators, and community leaders in a series of free educational events across the country. 

One of FICO’s key initiatives for Score A Better Future is to help communities of color, first time homebuyers, millennials, those with no scores and if you have less than strong credit to improve the understanding of their overall financial health.

Over the next few months, we’ll hear directly from attendees on some of the challenges they had before attending, what they learned, applied, and the amazing progress that they’ve been able to make along the way.

First up, let’s hear Britney’s story.

Name: Britney

Age: 35

Location: Maryland

Profession: Human Resources (Nonprofit)

Starting FICO® Score: Unsure

Current FICO® Score: 680 

Favorite TV show: Marvel’s Agents of Shield 

Next credit goal: 750!

When did you realize that you needed to start managing your credit? A few years ago after a bad break up I spent the money that I had in savings and stopped really caring about my credit. I hit an emotional and financial wall and didn’t know what to do about it. 

What did you want to accomplish? I  really needed to get back on track, identifying ways to create and stick to a budget that actually worked for me, how to curb spending, and how to release my desire to use credit cards for retail therapy.

What did you do to start managing your credit? I started tracking where and how much money I was spending each month in cash and on credit cards. Without knowing what I spent I had no way of understanding money or my patterns. I then listed my debts in a spreadsheet (smallest to largest). Being able to access my sheet from anywhere was really helpful to keep track of my budget. Additionally, I began selling unwanted items around my space, and used the funds earned to decrease debt.

What tips did you take and apply from the Score A Better Future event? I gained a better understanding around the importance of keeping balances low on my credit cards, and that amounts of debt account for 30% of your FICO Score. Ultimately my goal was to purchase a home; therefore, I needed to be keenly aware of my credit usage.

What have you been able to accomplish since attending Score A Better Future?

The Score A Better Future event was informative, and I was able to implement what I learned immediately. 

I am happy to share, that I was able to purchase a home in my home state. This has been a lifelong dream of mine. Quite honestly, if I didn’t attend the event, I wouldn’t have had the necessary tools, resources, and education I needed to prepare myself for such a large purchase.

To learn more, visit scoreabetterfuture.com 

I am an official brand ambassador for FICO. While I receive compensation for my participation as a brand ambassador, opinions are mine. 

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About

The Finance Bar is a personal finance suite helping women and couples achieve financial wellness through coaching, education, and an innovative learning hub on wheels. Creator Marsha Barnes is a Certified Financial Social Worker, Official FICO Brand Ambassador, and was named GOBankingRates’ Best Money Expert in the Net-Worth Category.

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