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Nothing excites me more than a good hack hunny! Especially as the hack pertains to credit and finance! If you are anything like me, you are invested in all that Tik Tok, YouTube and Twitter Universities aspire to teach us. I am an avid proponent of learning, I consider myself a student at life. As such, I whole heartedly believe that our greatest investment is always in and of self. Secondly, observation is the key component to longevity and success. That said, paying attention to what’s happening in the world is key. Many economists agree that although we have been immersed in an economic downturn in the last several years (mainly due to the pandemic), it is the most opportune time to take advantage of establishing and leveraging credit. How does one do that? Great! I am so glad that you ask! I have stumbled across the following credit hacks that have assisted me in making tremendous strides in improving and preserving my credit.

First things first, while the information I am sharing pertains to Navy Federal it can be replicated with any Credit Union or Financial Institution that offers secure (collateralized) lending products. Further, it is important to note that membership with Navy Federal requires sponsorship. This means that an existing member must provide you with specific information in order to join. YASSSSS! Membership is extremely exclusive- invite only Chile! My type of exclusivity. I promise you that if you follow these steps precisely, you will notice an improvement in your credit score within 30 days!

Now that we have all of that out of the way, let’s jump into it!

  • The first thing that you will need to do is establish a relationship with Navy Federal. If you don’t find a sponsor! 

  • To establish a relationship a membership must be created $5 into a savings account.

  • Once your membership has been cultivated you will need to open a checking account. There are several options, the most cost effective option is the free checking account with no miminum balance requirements. 

  • You then want to deposit the amount that you would like your secured loan to be in the savings account. E.g. if you want the loan to be for $1,000 you will need to deposit $1,000. 

  • I recommend going for as much as you can afford to not have access to for the next 11 months or so. 

  • By establishing a higher credit limit, the amount of the trade line will be reported to the credit bureaus. In turn, this will make you more attractive to lenders in the future.

  • Once the money is available in the savings account, open a CD. Again there are several options. ( I will post a picture of the Easy CD below).

  • Select a 12 month CD, then apply for a secured loan. A member representative will call you to confirm the details, discuss the rate and set up payment options. 

  • Once the secured loan is approved, ensure that the funds are directly deposited into the savings account.

  • Set up an automatic payment deduction from the savings account to begin paying the loan back. You may need to deposit approximately $100 extra in the savings account to cover the finance charge. (Again the interest rate and finance charges will vary based upon credit as well as how much the loan is for). 

  • Rinse and repeat the process of depositing cash into the savings account. This time apply for a secured CD.

  • The minimum for the secured CD is $200. There aren’t any annual fees, but the interest rate is a tad bit high. 

  • Our goal is to pay off the balance in its entirety every month, so we aren’t concerned about the interest rate. 

  • Remember, interest is only owed on a balance that is carried over from statement cycle to statement cycle. Paying the balance down to zero eliminates accrued interest.

  • Set up an automatic bill pay to a utility bill from your secured credit card.

  • This way you have monthly activity on the card and its going toward an item that you actually need. 

  • Set up an automatic payment through your new Navy Fed checking account to pay the credit card balance in full every month.

  • Split the payments in half. Make one payment at least three days prior to your statement cycle date, and the other payment at least three days prior to your actual due date. (This will trick the system into reporting two payments for you in one month as well as a reduced balance between your statement date and due date which helps the utitlization portion of your credit score).

  • The final step is to then create an Experian profile. Apply for Experian Boost by attaching the same utility bill that is being paid from your secured credit card to the Experian Boost profile. 

  • This will allow you to have the same utility bill used twice essentially to boost your credit. 

Listen, building, rebuilding, establishing and preserving credit is no easy feat. As with most things in life, it will only work if you do the work. It is also important to note that there is no easy fix to credit. Credit repair can be lengthy and requires personal dedication. I cannot stress enough how important it is to invest in protecting your credit! Keep in mind that your score will fluctuate, much like weight it is not a number that we should be married to. With that said, again, much like weight, credit is something that requires constant attention and monitoring! Please let me know if you find these tips to be helpful or if you are in need of more information! What are you interested in learning more about? Hit me up! I want to know!

Breaking generational course is absolutely not for the weak Chile.

It is a blessing that often feels like a burden.

It holds more weight than at times you may feel as though you are able to bear.

It is foreign in the sense that it goes against everything that you have been conditioned to accept. I am in the process of unlearning everything that I was conditioned to know and understand as my way of life. I am healing my inner child & raising my adult self at the same time. Unlearning and relearning simultaneously.

It is a painfully, yet equally beautiful coexistence that I endure with the very essence of my being. It’s loving the life that I lead & the lessons that turned into blessings. It was me then & it’s ME now.

For me, there wasn’t anything in my adolescent life that modeled the lifestyle I unknowingly set out to attain. There weren’t any precedented behaviors that provided me with the opportunity to mol d my own behaviors after.

Hurt and pain are magnificent teachers in the sense that they teach you what not to do.

Much of what my life is modeled after is based upon what I did not want to occur in my life.

I was so busy moving beyond what I did not want that I did not recognize the power of my own manifestations that afforded me the opportunity to control what I allowed in my life.

I did not know enough to know what exactly my power held.

I was hyper-focused on absolving myself of the life that conditioned my entire existence. I had not even begun to wrap my mind around the fullness of the legacy that I was steadfastly creating.

Often-times for me, reflecting is the way that I purge all that I have held on to. Creating the space I require to reflect, provides me with the opportunity to fully acknowledge my current place and purpose.

Establishing generational wealth requires a substantial amount of self-awareness. In an effort to truly embrace the journey, growth and adaption must occur. This means that we must step out of our comfort zone and do things that we have never done before. What’s more, we are unable to lean on our family for assistance, support or guidance. The responsibility shifts to us to manage the familial elevation.


Here’s how being armed with pertinent information aids you in the process:

We live in a world full of entrepreneurial endeavors which if leveraged appropriately can be paramount to breaking generational curses and gifting generational wealth. There is a clear delineation between the poor and the wealthy. If you have ever read 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' you know that the paradigm shift occurs when the author, Robert Kiyoaski reveals that the major difference between the two groups (aside from economic means) is the thought processes that could not be more abstract from one another. In the book, Kiyosaki outlines the thought process from his 'Poor Dad'- (which I am sure that many of us can relate to) is to work hard for money. While his 'Rich Dad' understand that no matter how hard one works for money, wealth will not be established until they understand how to make their money work for them. If you're like me, with a very Caribbean parent , and the other a from a generation of cohorts who believed in working for one company for 30 + years and retiring with a pension was the way to go. Then you are able to more than relate to the very limited capacity with which economically unstable communities operate with in regard to finance. The truth of the matter is that it does not matter how hard you work at a job that pays you less than minimum wage, you will not achieve success and wealth through working hard. Further, the discrepancies created from working under deplorable conditions with less than optimal wages is that, in that scenario one often finds themselves with more month than money. So the question becomes- how do we access the tools and resources required to free us from the oppresive way of thinking to truly take advantage of less than conventional ways of accumulating wealth?

  • Do your research. Which industries are growing rapidly? What skill set are you in possession of that aligns with said industry?

  • Check Eventbrite, YouTube, Tik Tok, Instagram and other social media platforms for others who have found success in the industry that you want to break into.

  • Develop a business plan- this should speak in detail to the ways in which your business will operate, logistically on a daily business,.

  • Seek funding opportunities- Angel investors, grants, leverage business credit, etc.

  • Build your brand!

  • W9 your child(ren) as a sub-contracted employee to establish employment and payment history for that child. Limited to $12,000 annually.

  • Invest the funds into an IRA, 529 Coverdell Education Plan, Whole Life Insurance Plan or an annuity.

  • Add your child(ren) as an authorized user(s) to your oldest (earliest established) credit card or trade line.

  • Add your child(ren) as an authorized user(s) to the trade line/ line of credit/ credit card with the highest limit.

  • Now you have established credit history and credit limits for your child(ren) to inherit.


Now that you have prepared your child(ren) to inherit good credit, it is essential to understand the ways in which credit parameters may positively impact their credit portfolio. In July of 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection act became federal law. Its purpose was to re-examine the financial instability ushered on to the economy by way of The Great Recesssion and further exacerbated by bail out money. I’m sure that you’re wondering how that impacts credit- well let me tell you!

Do you remember standing on the yard your first day of college and being offered a free pizza? As broke, hungry college students away from home many of us (myself included) opted for the free pizza, free t-shirt, free cooler, etc.. What we were unaware of is that by signing up for this ‘free’ pizza we were also signing up for a credit card. Dodd-Frank invoked consumer protection to increase the age of consent (as it pertains to credit) to 21. Knowing and understanding how to maneuver through credit restrictions and guidelines will further aid in the process of cultivating healthy credit habits. As such, when the child(ren) become of age it becomes time to transition their status as an authorized user to the primary user on a credit account. Begin with a gas card, this is a practical way to transfer responsibility from the child to the young adult as they are able to hone in on the previously established credit history for further support in the process.

One thing's for sure and two thing's for certain, cultivating, managing, and preserving both personal and business credit is an investment of time and energy. There is no quick or easy fix. One must truly exhibit a considerable degree of commitment to see the intended results come to fruition. With that said, let me know if the information that I shared was helpful? Do you need more? What do you want to know?

Drop a comment! I am waiting for your feedback!

Happy Finance FRIYAY! Welcome to the second and perhaps most integral component of our conversation. The purpose of this credit series is to arm ourselves with the education required to leverage the tools placed in front of us. Now I know in the past, many of us (myself included), have struggled with conceptualizing credit. What it means, how to manage it, best practices, etc. This blog post will provide the parameters of credit, tips on managing credit, building or restoring credit as well as tried and true tips to postively impact credit. So let's begin with the basics of credit. Let's get into it!

FICO- short for Fair Issac Corportation, that's right! FICO is a for-profit corporation largely in charge of monitoring credit. FICO scores range from 300-850, a 'Fair' credit rating can range from 540-600 (which is approximately the current credit average), a 'Good' credit rating is from approximately 640-720 (660 is the typical FHA range, while 720 will afford price breaks on things like insurance, HELOCs, etc.) 800 or better is currently the holy grail in terms of credit and is typically attached to at least 8 trade lines, an auto/installment line and a term line such as a mortgage or other collateralized line. To get a better understanding of not only how your score measures up, but what your credit history looks like, I recommend obtaining one free credit report every 12 months from each of the three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and Transunion. We commonly see the FICO score attached to our bank account information when we log in. It is important to note that credit scores will vary almost on a daily basis due to several variances, which include statement balance and billing cycle versus the actual statement closing date, but that's a conversation for another day. What's important to note is that your credit score will fluctuate, so please do not get too attached to any one number. It is important to stay within in a range and avidly monitor your credit to ensure that everything that is reported is accurate.

Now let's jump into the five characteristics of credit:

  • Conditions- are the conditions with which you obtained your credit. Installment, Auto, Collateral, Revolving, etc.

  • Capacity- the ability to repay the financial institution that has extended a credit offer to you, also expressed as DTI or debt-to-income ratio.

  • Collateral- may be held in a collateralized savings account to obtain credit or may be extended solely on credit score and history.

  • Character- expressed by credit history- this tells the financial instruction your 'story' so to speak.

  • Capital- expressed as reserves, or savings available to you in a liquid form.


Now that we have are armed with the information required to positively impact our credit let's ensure that we are doing everything within our capacity to increase our buying power! We do this by first managing our credit utilization, we are in a conservative credit era due to the fragile state of our economy. Managing credit utilization is directly correlated with the credit line that has been extended. A best practice is to keep the credit utilization down to 30% or less. If an emergency arises that warrants going above that 30% threshold, it is imperative that the balance in full is paid prior to the statement closing date. To break it down: let's say that you have a credit card with a credit line of $1,000, 30% of $1,000 is 300. Best case scenario in the example used to positively impact credit utilization is to ensure that on a monthly basis, no more than $300 is charged to that card. To add an extra boost to positively impact your credit score break your payment down into two payments, one payment before the statement state and one payment prior to the billing cycle date. Both should be listed on the top of your credit card statement. Making two separate payments allows you to bolster your credit score due to the fact that 1.) the balance (amount due) reported to the credit bureaus is significantly reduced, and 2.) when the statement cycle ends a $0 balance will be reported with timely credit payments made. Don't say I never taught ya NOTHING ;)

Pro-tip: Set up one of your utilities on auto-pay for your credit card, then add that utility payment to Experian's BOOST which allows you to leverage consistent utilitiy bill payments in enhancing your credit score. This way when the card is paid off in full monthly, you are knocking out two goals with one payment! You are reaping the benefits of timely payments (great for credit history) in addition to leveraging Experian's BOOST by adding your consistent utility bill payment to your credit history.


Okay- so we have so much under out belt now! We have a thorough comprehension of the characteristics of credit, and we are fully aware of the best ways to manage our credit utilization and positively impact your credit score. Now let's talk about establishing and rebuilding credit. Having no credit and bad credit are equally detrimental. No worries, both can be easily remeided. If you are seeking credit for the first time, the likelihood of approval will come from a store card. Think Macy's, Belk, JC Penny, those large national chains with brand recognition. Once you have been able to establish credit with one of the aforementioned department stores, be sure to make a small purchase. Remember to keep your credit utilization in mind. If Macy's extends you a $100 credit limit, spend no more than $30 then pay it off in full. Once you have established a rhythm with the charge card, it is time to strategize for the Visa, Mastercard, AMEX or discover. Start with your local bank where you have established a good relationship with direct deposits and monthly bill payments. Then move on to the digital space with Capital One, Synchrony and Barclays. There are several options, do your research and determine what works best for your credit score and history.

Pro-Tip: Capital One's minimum credit requirement is 500 (with no judgments, liens or deragatory items).

Now that we have established credit, let's talk about rebuilding credit. Rebuilding credit can be timely and challenging but it is very doable. Just like any other investment in self it is absolutely worth it. If you are restoring your credit capacity after a bankruptcy, divorce or just overall bad decisions, follow these steps and watch how quickly your credit will improve.

  • Obtain Collateralized Credit- in the form of a secured card. This means that you will put a cash down payment to establish your credit line. For example, if you want your credit limit to be $500, you will put down $500 in a secured savings account and the credit card will be issued to you. There are more than likely annual fees affiliated with it. Do your research and determine what works best for you. (I will link a few secured credit card options)

  • Authorized user/signer- This may a situation where you pay like you weigh! If you don't have access to a friend or family member who is willing to add you to their current trade line that is in good standing with good credit utilization and payment history, there are plenty of people willing to exchange the trade line for a fee.

  • Follow the credit utilization and payment tips mentioned previously in the post.

WHEW! That was a pretty extensive overview of the characteristics of credit, credit score and credit reports, building and re-establishing credit in addition to credit utilization. As promised, I have linked a few of the top secured credit cards below. Follow me on IG: @__krownmeking and TikTok @krownmekingkmk for more Finance FriYAY tips!

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