By Eboni Brown Robinson
Doubtful that I would get accepted because my score was so far from 700, I was overwhelmed with joy and so excited when I received the email saying that I had been accepted into the program, which is offered at Ebenezer Baptist Church as part of Operation Hope, a nonprofit that teaches financial literacy.
This would be the opportunity I needed to receive guidance and motivation as well as a game plan to get my overwhelming debt and falling credit score under control. After attending the first session, I was elated to see that I was not the only person having debt issues, and that I would be in a cohort of like-minded individuals ready to get their finances in order.
During my tenure in the 700 Credit Score Community, I have learned several things. The first and, I believe, most important was that you can’t change your credit score overnight. It takes time and patience and the practice of one day at a time.
I learned also to evaluate my life style. I needed to determine the root of the problem. Was I was living a caviar and champagne life with a Wendy’s and Coca-Cola budget? Was it the mistakes I made in my young adult life that were now catching up to me? Did I just not make enough money?
In all honesty, it was a combination of all of the above. So based on the principles I have learned thus far in the class, I began to budget my money, which forced me to live within my means. I put aside the thoughts that I would never become debt free and have a great score and filled my mind with more positive thoughts.
After adjusting to my new lifestyle and mindset, I was very anxious for my second counseling session to report to my coach all the things that I had put into place, and to receive her feedback. During that session, I learned that due to the work I had done within a three-month time frame, I had increased my score 52 points. To date, I have increased my score a total of 78 points.
I continue to apply the concepts I learned from the program, and I look forward to learning more. I am excited to cross the finish line and attain a 700-plus credit score. All things are possible!
Eboni Brown Robinson lives in metro Atlanta.
John Hope Bryant is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and is the only 2010-2012 bestselling business author in America who is also African-American. His newest book, due out May, 2014, is HOW THE POOR CAN SAVE CAPITALISM, and will be published byBerrett Ko
ehler Publishing. Bryant is a Member of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans, and co-chair for Project 5117, which is a plan for the rebirth of underserved America.