When you’re an adult, it’s the most important number in your life.
Not your Social Security number. Not your cell phone number. And not your birthdate.
No, when you’re an adult, the most important number in your life is your credit score, says Dionne Perry, an Atlanta-based author and military spouse.
Your credit score, which indicates your creditworthiness, or how likely you are to pay money back on time, “affects everything.”
“You can’t do anything without good credit,” she said. Perry’s first book, “Credit-Lit: Credit 101 for Teens,” provides easy-to-understand information about credit and credit scores, aimed at putting teens on a path to developing good credit.
“I’m really on a mission to educate as many youth, teens that I possibly can on the importance,” Perry said. “And hope that this may change their lives as they become adults.”
“And it could potentially also change the family legacy,” she added.
Self-published in February through Instill Publishing, the book provides teen-friendly advice about a topic that has intrigued Perry for 20 years. Perry, who works full time for a federal agency, says the pandemic gave her extra time to focus on achieving a long-time personal goal: to write a book about how to create and maintain good credit.
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Her interest in credit scores is deeply personal. As a college student, she was inundated with pre-approved credit card offers. But, like many people, she wasn’t always able to pay her credit card bills on time. At the time, she didn’t understand the negative repercussion that would have on her credit score.
That is, until she tried to get a car loan and was denied.
As Perry began the long journey to repair her credit, she started to learn more about credit scores and credit history. She became a board–certified credit consultant and briefly worked as a licensed mortgage broker.
The lessons she’s tried to impart to her family and friends — and four now-adult children — is that a bad credit score can affect your employment, your ability to sign up for utilities, “almost every financial decision.”
Bad credit information stays on your credit report for seven years. It’s possible to repair a bad credit history; Perry did it. But it’s hard, and it takes a long time. That’s why Perry’s focus with “Credit-Lit” is prevention.
“I think if we start having early conversations, we’ll have less people who are trying to repair their credit,” she said.
The 64-page book is written in a way to appeal to teens, using a question-and-answer format.
Along with her book, Perry has also developed a Credit-Lit Ambassador program, empowering adults and teens to spread the word about the importance of good credit.
Her book is available on www.credit-lit.com for $9.95, as well as through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online book retailers. Perry, whose husband served in the Navy for 20 years and retired in 2009, said military families can get a 10% discount when purchasing the book through her website by using the code “military10.”Read comments