Special to Black Men In America.com
Posted April 2, 2018
They call him “The Credit Guru of Atlanta.” James Hunt is a celebrity wealth management expert who helps high profile individuals to manage their wealth, and most of all, get rid of negative marks on their credit that adversely affect their scores. Whenever they are looking to buy an exotic vehicle or purchase a multi-million dollar mansion in Atlanta, they stop by his office first.
Hunt helps many of the nations biggest A-list celebrities, athletes and businessmen and women to address credit issues, eliminate debt, manage their wealth and stay financially healthy. He has recently become the official credit adviser to the NBA, where he will help all 472 players with their credit starting in the 2018-2019 season. Connecting with can mean improving credit scores from 500 to 750+ and money management strategies that lay the foundation for generational wealth.
He is also the author of a book entitled “Debt Free is the New Rich,” which contains information to educate readers on things like how to identify and dispute inaccuracies, and how to remove negative marks from their credit reports. He wants people to recognize that no matter how much money one has, poor credit can have a very detrimental affect on your ability live the life you desire! Many of the rich have many of the sames issues as the everyday American. Credit education must start early, so this is perfect not only for adults or entrepreneurs, but entire families as well.
April is Financial Literacy Month and it is a perfect time to share valuable information about the importance of maintaining good credit.
In the black community, credit education is often not discussed in our homes or in church. However, poor credit is one of the biggest barriers to establishing the elusive generational wealth that we all seek for our families. James will share the work that he does not only with his wealthy clients, but also everyday individuals who are trying to get on track with their finances. He can share insight on how to better understand the information on credit reports, how to identify negative marks and inaccuracies, and also how to dispute them with creditors.
Here’s Our Exclusive Interview with the “Credit Guru of Atlanta,” James Hunt
Black Men In America.com: As the “Credit Guru of Atlanta,” can you describe for us exactly what you do to help your clients?
James Hunt: I handle credit issues and financial issues for all of the absolute top celebrity clients for the NBA, the NFL and the music and entertainment industry. Everybody from Akon to Jermaine Dupri, Bow Wow, Vincent Herbert and people I cannot even mention, you name it, I am their go-to person. I am the person helping them to secure the multi-million dollar home or the exotic car they are looking to purchase. If they need something, I make it happen.
Black Men In America.com: What is a typical day like for you?
James Hunt: I wake up and I am on my feet every morning by 6:00 am. I am in the office by about 6:20 am and then I print all of the emails and prepare all of the paperwork for when the workers arrive at 9am. From that point on, it gets crazy. I receive about 40 to 50 new clients who need help with their credit everyday.
Black Men In America.com: When considering the economic state of Black Americans in this nation, how big of an impact does credit (or lack thereof) have on our community’s inability to generate real wealth?
James Hunt: Your credit is basically your power. We have raised a new generation that simply thinks that cash is king. They find themselves trying to get cars and trying to get homes and they realize their signature means nothing. It is worthless. There are celebrities with tons of money and their signature is almost not worth anything but an autograph. Credit is really what makes the world go ‘round as far as finances are concerned. My opinion is, every door you need to get into financially is going to have something to do, if not completely to do, with your credit.
Black Men In America.com: What are some of the biggest mistakes people make regarding their credit, that they may not know they are making?
James Hunt: Neglecting to make on time payments and the assumptions that if you pay late there will be no serious repercussions, and not knowing that negative payments will show up on your credit report as a negative account for 7 years from the date of the late payment. There should never be a late payment in your credit report, ever.
Black Men In America.com: If you have a low credit score, what are some of the most important steps one should take to repair their credit?
James Hunt: This is not an easy question. If the score is only low as a result of utilization and you blowing your credit cards up, the only way to address that is to develop a plan to start putting money aside to start paying them down. If your score is low because of negative accounts, you must do everything you can to challenge those negative accounts and aggressively go after them. Make contract agreements with the creditors or collection agencies to see if you can get them to take a percentage of the debt with the agreement to remove it out of your credit report. If you see anything is inaccurate, then remove the entire trade-line by disputing those accounts and having them completely removed from your credit report.
Black Men In America.com: Word on the street is that you are currently in negotiations with the NBA to provide credit education to all 472 players in the league. Why is it important that athletes, many of whom are black, receive this help?
Photo: (From left to right): Rapper Rich Quan, James Hunt and NBA star Michael Beasley
James Hunt: I think that the tragedy with colleges across the nation is that while they prepare, or give the appearances that they are preparing you for the real world, some of the most important things in the real world they don’t prepare you for. These athletes come out of college just like any other student usually burdened with debt and even though a new NBA or NFL player has the potential to make a tremendous amount of money, they find themselves dealing with many of the same issues that regular people deal with. For instance, if you had a collection account or a student credit card that you had blown up and had late payments that went to charge-off status, all of that is going to stop you from being able to purchase that dream house or those dream cars that you wanted if you are going to finance it. Without the proper education, the cycle continues. Absent of paying a full amount in cash, if you are going to get the credit that you need, it doesn’t matter what your financial status is, you play by the same rules as everybody else. You have to make on-time payments and you have to keep your credit score up.
Black Men In America.com: Tell us about your book “Debt Free is the New Rich.” What is the meaning behind the name and what kind of information can people expect to find when reading it?
James Hunt: The name came about because I was in a heated debate with a celebrity client who was telling me that he really didn’t need credit because he was rich. I thought about it, and in the process, my argument to this particular music artist was that debt free is really the new rich, which turned out to be the title of the new book. It is a genuine argument. The person who has no debt and is debt free is the person who is really rich. So, it matters not necessarily what is in your bank account, or how many digits are in your bank account that makes you really rich, but what your debt is that determines whether you are rich or not.
Black Men In America.com: What do you say to the person who says they don’t know where to start to improve their credit?
James Hunt: We live in a society where all of the information is readily available at your fingertips with Google and the other search engines. If you really want to know what you can do and what your rights are as a consumer, you have the ability to know. The idea of not knowing is no longer an acceptable excuse. Educate yourself and get your credit in order so you can live how you desire to live.
Black Men In America.com: How can people get a hold of your book, “Debt Free is the New Rich”?
James Hunt: It will soon be available on my website, but for now, people can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow James Hunt on Instagram @thecreditguruofatlanta and @whoisjameshunt.
April is Financial Literacy Month. Here are some tips James Hunt is sharing for people to increase their credit scores and ultimately change the trajectory of their lives. Here are a few:
- Be proactive – Know what is in your credit scores. You can access your credit report once every 12 months for FREE from all three Credit Bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Transunion.
- Check your report for any discrepancies.
- Dispute any and all inaccurate information on your account immediately.
- Document Everything! Keep records and follow up with creditors. If they say they are going to remove something, make sure they do it and you have proof of their commitment.
Publisher’s Note: As a matter of policy when we post interviews about products and services we urge our site visitors to educate themselves and not be a “low information” consumer. Do your research and talk to people in an effort to educate and protect yourself.
Special thanks to Ivan Thomas for arranging this interview.