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Good Credit Matters...Advice

For more than 35 years, D. Alexander Washington has been giving sound, practical advice to people on how to improve their credit profiles and, at the same time, gives people with sound credit how to maintain their profiles.

Washington, who operates in an office in Bala Cynwyd, PA., also is a commentator on radio station WNJC AM in Sellersville, NJ on Sunday mornings from 7 to 9 AM. His program covers a wide range of topics including civil rights, politics and economic issues including debt. Washington’s radio career began in Philadelphia where he worked with Wendy William, Colby Cole and D. Lee, three prominent radio personalities.

Question: What is debt?
Answer: Debt is a burden we volunteer to engage in and most of us pledge all we have to get it.

Question: Are you saying it’s like an addiction?
Answer: Yes, debt controls and rules everything we do with our money.

Question: How would you define debt?
Answer: Debt is much like a master thief that steals our financial stability by causing us to feed it every month almost and sometimes up to and after death.

Question: What would you say is a side effect of too much debt?
Answer: Stress can be a silent killer. It causes you to worry, to lose sleep, to lose or gain weight, men and women grow bald and both can develop medical issues.

Question: Are there other side effects?
Answer: “Stress can affect our loved ones by making us short tempered and causes us to turn cold and distant to our spouse, children and loved ones. Stress can also lead to depression and worse if we let it get out of control,” he said.

“First we have to recognize there are four levels of debt – The first level is current and on time. Do your best to maintain this status. The second level is late and past due. Catch up and then keep current. The third level is charge offs and collections. Confirm compliance first then mitigate them. The fourth level is judgments. Have the courts confirm liability first then mitigate.

He said budgeting represents the primary factor. People must take and maintain control of their money, this is done by budgeting. Budgeting is based on net not gross income.

Williams then listed several musts that people should practice. First, 10-percent, depending on your belief, should be in tithes and offerings to the church. Next, 10-percent should be put into savings for the future. Third, 10-percent is money you spend on yourself. 35-percent should be spent on living expenses like mortgage, rent, utilities, food, life and car insurance and child care. 35-percent should be spent on retiring old debts (credit cards, car loans, student loans).
He then explained the factors involved between single people and married couples.

Single people should have 3 checking accounts: 1. Personal: 30% of your bring home income goes here. 2. Housing: 35% of your bring home income goes here. 3. Old Debt: 35% of your bring home income goes here.

Married couples should have 4 checking accounts: 1. Husband: 30% of your bring home income goes here. 2. Wife: 30% of your bring home income goes here. 3. Housing: 35% of your bring home income goes here. 4. Old Debts: 35% of your bring home income goes here.
Washington concluded this interview by stating it is always better to get ahead of debt.

“My job is to educate people about the terminology of credit. You want to eliminate debt as soon as possible because debt can create unneeded stress and stress can kill.”
The Washington Consulting Group can be reached at 800 597-0663.

(The ideas presented in this article do not necessarily represent the official position of Willingboro Township.)