Monica Crofton, CEO of Crofton Credit Consulting sits down to chat with Young Urban Voices Magazine. She dishes about what lead her to create the credit consulting business where it’s main goal is to assist members with poor credit and help them obtain creditworthiness, allowing them to achieve their financial objective based on good re-established credit.
Young Urban Voices Magazine: How did you get involved with banking?
Monica Crofton: Actually banking is something I fell into. I actually was working in the police department. But me hearing about people getting shot and answering 911 calls, and me taking my work home or hear about people getting killed over the phone wasn’t something I could do for the rest of my life. So I just started seeking another job and I was interviewed and hired at Chase Bank in Texas an that’s how my journey started.
YUV: What inspired you to start your own business?
MC: What inspire me was when clients needed something dealing with credit loans , credit cards, home loans and naturally the first place you go to is the bank. I get a hold of their credit history and they’ve been working at their jobs for a long time, paying bills on time and after we finish the application they get denied for credit. I started realizing that people were not getting ahead because they were getting denied the things that they need. I was thinking one day at work, well there was this client who came in and she had two kids but worked as a pastry chef and smelled of cakes and cookies. I asked why don’t you start a business with that? She stated that she couldn’t get approved for a loan. So I pulled her credit report and helped her to fix her credit and in about a month’s time she was able to come back and get a $6k loan from us so she could start her business. The joy that I felt to be able to help her. But it was just another regular day for me at the bank. That’s when I said I have to do this. I have to do this for the community for anybody who wants to get ahead in life and that’s basically how it started for me.
YUV: Why do you think so many people are suffering from damaged credit?
MC: Lack of education. We weren’t taught about good credit. We don’t know what it’s like when someone saves $5k under the bed. We simply don’t know what it looks like.
We don’t understand that if we’ve been working at a company for over a year, we don’t know about investing in a 401k. If you are an entrepreneur, the importance of having an IRA CD. The little things like that, people don’t have the knowledge to do it, or more importantly don’t know anyone who can help them do it to guide them in the direction they want to go in.
YUV: What advice would you give to people who really want to clean up their credit?
MC: The first thing I would do is make sure they’re ready to stop making the same mistakes they did in the past. Everybody has a past for a story to tell. But the matter of the fact is either you over extended yourself financially or you didn’t keep your end of the bargain or you were going through a rough time in life. So first thing first I need to know that my clients aren’t going to make these same mistakes. I still see some of them fall into the same mistakes even after I’ve fixed their credit. I want to explain to them that all of this has happened because of a habit. We need to write out a monthly spending plan because it shows us where’s your money going.
YUV: What can people do to get student loans under control?
MC: First thing people need to stop running from student loans. You owe your student loans. You knew that six months after you graduated that you had to pay it back. I need to make my clients aware that this is a Federal Loan. It’s as if you owe the IRS. They are going to get their money back one way or another. You ignoring them only makes the situation worse. The first thing you should do with anyone that you owe is communicate with them and get a deferment or forbearance. Just get it out of default so it can stop hitting your credit report.
YUV: When is it a good time to explain to teens the importance of good credit?
MC: I believe around 17 years of age, as soon as they go off to college on their own or they begin working. Those credit card offers are going to start coming in the mail. When they get it they’re going to think someone gave them $500 and not realize when they turn 23 , 24 years old, they need to buy a car it hits them again that the credit card they got at 18 is hindering them now as an adult.
YUV: How can people find out their credit score and what is a decent credit score?
MC: You want to make sure you’re pulling from all three credit bureaus which is Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Most clients just pull one like, credit karma. They only give you one and that’s not going to help you because when you go to get a car or a house they pull all three. So one place you can go to pull all three reports is https://www.annualcreditreport.com/. It will allow you to view all three credit reports from all three bureaus. The scores are never free through. All bureaus may charge differently but maybe for $20, $25 you can get your credit score. You should at least see what’s on your report.
YUV: Does your get credit forgiven after 7 years?
MC: It’s called the statue of limitations, seven years of when you went delinquent. If you opened a credit card in 2008 and it went delinquent in 2012. It’s not going to come off this year in 2015. It’s going to come off of your report the year it went delinquent. But you still have to take steps to get the credit together, repair, rebuild and maintain the credit.
YUV: How can people get in touch with your company?
MC: They can contact me at my office at area code (424) 702-5766. My website Crofton Credit Consulting which has information about my services and even testimonials.
YUV: Is there anything else you want to add?
MC: I want to thank all the people who have stepped up about their credit. There were so many people out there that once they got their credit repaired they were brand new people. I just want to acknowledge those who have stepped out of their comfort zone and allowed someone to help them. I want to encourage everyone to do that. Even as a parent who has bad credit they can’t help their children along the way to get their first car or even explain to them about credit. Because you made mistakes with your credit.