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Women’s Economic Ventures Workshop on how to get money to make money

February 20, 2010

I’d heard about WEV aka Women’s Economic Ventures here and there over the years. But when local social media maven Tea Silvestre of Social Good (and of the Social Good blog and Planet Good radio) started working for them, I became more interested in taking one of their classes, so I attended an orientation, and I actually signed up on Friday February 5 for the next class Tea was teaching starting the following Monday in Thousand Oaks, about a 30 minute drive from home.

Of course the evening of Friday February 5 is when my whole world went upside down when my husband did and landed on his neck. With the support of my sister Laurie and my friend Kathy, I made it to class the past two Mondays as well as today, Saturday for an all day workshop in Santa Barbara featuring sessions on finances, marketing, and a keynote by Zhena Muzyka founder of Zhena’s Gypsy Tea.

I took notes on all three sessions and with any luck, I’ll post them here starting with the session on credit and financing, “Start Your Business Venture on the Right Foot” or “Credit & Its Importance to You & Your Business” by Nina Erickson of Sure Path Financial Solutions and followed by Zhena’s talk on how her Gypsy Tea business got off the ground and ideas on how to get YOURS, then Maggie Dennison on marketing.

Personally, I read the financial section of the paper regularly as well as financial info on-line and from other sources. So there really was nothing new here for me in the financial session but there might be valuable info for YOU so I’m posting it.  Unlike most people it seems, I have never gone overboard on credit and had to find my way to financial shore. I am conservative with my money (what little that I have). Still, I was surprised when I applied for a car loan recently to discover I have such a good credit score because it had been a challenge getting my home loan nine years ago. Amazing how nine years of on-time mortgage and home equity line payments will rehab a person’s credit!

Of most importance, here’s where to get a free credit report: 877/322-8228. I know I know you and me and the monkey makes three we all get bombarded with offers for free credit reports. But this place is legit. ZThey will try to lure you in to a paying report but if you persevere you will be rewarded with a free one. You can pull one report a year for the following Experirian, Transunion, Equifax. Nina recommends that, over the course of the year, you pull one each quarter or so. Note: Experian scores are very similar to FICO.

What should you do when you get yours? Review

Public Record

Check for errors or inaccuracies:  80% or reports have errors, 25% have errors severe enough to deny someone credit etc

Dispute inaccuracies; write letters.

PRINT SCREENS SO YOU HAVE A RECORD; make copies, send reg cert mail etc.

Credit Bureaus have 45 days to respond

There’s nothing that a credit company can do that you can’t. Credit repair agencies are unreliable and

Don’t use debt settlement companies

Write and send a 100 word statement which will be on your record which can explain

FICO ranks orders consumers by how likely they are the pay their credit obligations as agreed

You gave to pay for FICO score:

Payment history 35%

Types of credit 10%

New credit 10%

Length of credit history 15%

Accounts owed 35%

730 is excellent
700 good above ave

670 good

585 fair

below poor

How to grow your credit score:

pay with cash or pay off every month
pay off debts on time ; get current, stay current
open mail every day and organize payments
rebuild emergency savings
if necessary, develop a plan to repay debt
surepath does free financial counseling
limit inquiries  on your credit: too many hurt your score
if you’re shopping for a loan, they’ll bundle them
they don’t really factor in small hits from

missing info
add missing accounts to file

too many open accounts
establish only as needed; close those you don’t

collections can reopen a can of worms & show up on your account

So what position are you in? Will you be working on improving your credit score in 2010? While mine might be great, it’s not something you can just forget about: a good score takes maintenance.And that’s my goal in 2010.

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