Credit awareness expert Corey Smith talks ‘The Conspiracy of Credit’

(Photo Courtesy: Corey P. Smith)
(Photo courtesy of Corey P. Smith)

Corey P. Smith is a noted author and credit awareness expert who has used the lessons learned from his unforgettable life experiences to position himself as one of the nation’s foremost trailblazers in his arena. He is widely known as a credible, highly knowledgeable and invaluable resource. Smith has penned two notable books on credit, How to Outsmart the Credit Bureaus and his latest release, The Conspiracy of Credit.

His knowledge, wit and true passion for educating people about credit and how to utilize it to better their lives financially, emotionally and personally, led him to mentor two homeless men. Within 40 days, Smith was able to obtain credit scores above 700 for both men, as well as establish stable housing for them.

Here, Smith, a true advocate in the credit industry, provides readers with applicable information to empower, inspire and take fast action toward their credit goal.

Is it true that credit cards can be used as a tool to help build your credit?
It’s absolutely true that credit cards can help build your credit, but credit cards can also damage your credit, if you do not fully understand how to leverage credit. People must learn to seek out credit cards that can be used as a savings or investment account. What I mean by that is staying away from department store and gas credit cards. These cards will only serve as a debt magnet and place you in greater financial ruins. The best credit cards for building credit are Capital One MasterCard, [and] Wells Fargo and Bank of America secured credit cards. Once you have made two consecutive payments on these credit cards, you should then apply for the Discover it, Cabelas Club Visa and American Express EveryDay card.

What is a good credit score?
A good credit score is a 680 and anything below a 640 is bad. A great credit score is a 720 and above.

What is the leading cause of poor credit?
I would start off by saying that credit is indeed for poor people. In general poor people suffer the most from bad credit because that’s basically all they have as opposed to money. Poor credit stems from a lack of understanding and pitfalls already put in place to exploit this ignorance within the lower and middle income communities. I believe that more emphasis should be placed on credit and money management starting in high school.

How does credit worthiness affect people who are applying for loans post the housing market crash?
Since the housing market crash and September 3, 2010, credit worthiness coupled with the proven ability to pay is very important. In general, a person needs a 580 credit score to be approved for a FHA loan, but getting a loan or line of credit from the banks is far more stringent. Many banks have taken precautions by making applicants sign a 4506t, which allows them to verify the true earnings of any applicant. In my opinion, credit unions have been a better alternative for people seeking to get loans or lines of credit, if they have a 680 credit score or better.

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