At least 95% of all state prisoners will be released from prison at some point and nearly 80% will be released to parole supervision. 100% of these citizens should be able to aﬀord some type of ﬁnancial guidance to help them get on their feet. Very little- to almost no ﬁnancial help is oﬀered to individuals recently released from prison. Thoughts related to ﬁnances following release often can feel overwhelming and confusing for many.
Prominent Financial Consultants is here to change that and help former inmates on the path to re-entry into society. We are a local ﬁnancial ﬁrm that oﬀers a range of services from credit repair and income taxes, to real estate and investments. We oﬀer guidance and a personalized, structured plan to ensure individual success for all clients. Part of the process includes educating all individuals on how to eﬀectively manage their own ﬁnances, as well as necessary critical thinking skills such as goal setting, making positive and constructive choices and conﬂict resolution skills.
The #1 way to establish a healthy amount of funds is through the assessment of the current credit score. Your credit score is very important. Building your credit and maintaining it’s score can be quite challenging, but vitally important in all aspects of life. It is essential to maintain your score, having it as high as possible for the following reasons; all banks will check your credit report before approving you for any type of loans including credit cards, auto loans and even leases. Exactly why it's so important that the information included on your report is always accurate and positive. It is a vital way for lenders to assess how you manage ﬁnancial responsibility.
Below are 2 steps we recommend to ensure your credit score is ready.
❏ 1. REVIEW YOUR CREDIT REPORT
Many banks provide a free monthly credit score. To request a full report you can visit “AnnualCreditReport.com”, you can receive a copy of your report from the 3 major reporting bureaus once a year at no cost. The sites “CreditKarma.com” and “www.freecreditscore.com" provide free access to all 3 credit scores, with weekly or monthly updates. When looking over your credit report, you want to verify all details such as: name, address, accounts and balance. Make sure you are not being penalized for old, paid or settled debts. You will most likely discover errors on your credit report, sometimes even minor ones, can take months to repair. It is important to dispute these mistakes. PFC can do it for you.
❏ 2. DISPUTE ANY INACCURACIES
If your credit report contains any errors- you’ll want to ﬁle a dispute with the credit reporting agency. In most cases the agency will require disputes to be sent by mail. Make sure to verify the information they will need. If the credit reporting agency cannot verify the information that you are disputing, they must remove it. Once the dispute is sent to the bureaus, they are required to respond in 30 days. It is important you keep a record of your dispute, including copies of any documents you ﬁle for your own reference.
After completing all disputes it’s time to apply for new lines of credit, even when you establish a healthy credit score it's’ essential to keep building and maintaining your credit score. Good credit means lower loan interest rates and lower insurance premiums, that in turn will save you thousands over the years. Below are two keys to building and maintaining your score.
1. Building Credit- Open a secured card: One of your ﬁrst steps should be applying for a secured card. They are credit cards, on which you provide a security deposit up front to secure that line of credit. By regularly using a secured card, making timely monthly payments and practicing good credit management, you can build your credit up over time and even qualify to get your initial deposit back.
2. Maintaining Your Score- The number one thing you must do in order to maintain your credit score is always pay all of your bills on time. The key rule is: DO NOT spend more than you can aﬀord to pay back and try to always main a balance of under 30% of the credit limit. Things like your payment history, total amounts owed, the length of credit history and more all aﬀect your score. Paying your bills on time every month and keeping a healthy balance of debt can boost your credit proﬁle. Negative events like late payments, bankruptcies, foreclosures and collections can hurt your score and even force you to put your long term plans like auto ownership on hold.
Establishing credit takes time and patience, but it’s worth the eﬀort. Don’t miss out on the opportunities available to consumers with good credit – begin building yours today. Prominent Financial Consultants are here to lead you every step of the way.
Contact Rafel #305-396-200