How many people you know that can boost a low 519 credit score by 200 points to 719 within just a few months? There's not many. But, we know one—Sypreme Essence, a self-taught, 6 Figure Credit Expert who transformed her life, and now transforms the lives of others through her credit repair company, Credit Warriors.
What’s unique about Sypreme’s story is that she went from prison to working minimum wage--making $300.00 a week—to now to being one of the most highly sought after financial advisers! Her practical approach to credit literacy is that she isn’t feeding folks a bunch of cryptic jargon that is not only hard to digest but also often even more difficult to put into motion. “I don't teach by the book. I teach the way that the people I'm talking to understand to reach their goals. People like me. I’m not trying to use all these extra big words and make it complicated. I got to visually show them,” Sypreme tells BET exclusively.
Sypreme started her Connecticut and Georgia based business, Credit Warriors as a humble Facebook group to connect with others like herself who wanted to take control of their credit but didn’t know how and has grown it into a reliable network where she reveals her budgeting, saving and investing DIY methods.
Just in time for Black Business Month, August, BET Digital caught up with Sypreme on what it takes to turn the credit tables, and discovered some tricks we should all employ to guarantee approval for a credit credit card without risk of being denied and how she successfully beat the system.
Sypreme Essence: I've been transparent from the beginning. So I've gotten in trouble with the law. I used to run the streets real heavy. The last time I was in prison was my breaking point. It was my shortest bid, but my hardest. In prison I learned I can manifest things. So I started to redefine my goals and write everything down. I said I wanted to open up a fashion boutique on wheels. So I went back to my bunk and I drew like a stick figure bus of how I wanted it to look. And then I just really meditated on it.
I felt the shift, and it was just so amazing. When I came home, I bought my bus. In 2015 it just kept breaking down for little repairs. And then in February 2016, it really broke down. The repairs were $4,000 or something major like that but I was trying to hold onto this thing because I invested my life into it. It was my dream. I didn't want to let it go and my bus wasn't even making that much money.
So, I went to the bank to get a business loan. After the third question, the guy was like, “I'm sorry you don't qualify.” I was like, “What do you mean?" He was like, “Well you know, first of all your credit, it's really bad. You have to get your credit together.” And then he was trying to explain to me some other things, but I didn't understand. I didn't know how I was going to get the bus out.
I didn't have a laptop so I had to go to the library to do credit research. I went and picked up a book and that’s when I really learned the credit repair process, I got so engrossed in learning and obsessed. I started taking the books home and then I would just study and then I would apply the knowledge to myself and it worked. My score would take like an eighty-point jump, a hundred-point jump and I'm thinking like, well maybe I'm just getting lucky. I tried it with my husband, same thing with him. My three sons are adults, tried it on them, got their credit up in like three months’ time.
Now I could do it in 30 days, but I was learning. So I started giving advice to people like my friends and family and it would work. They started coming to my job at Denny's. Mind you, the bus is still waiting to be repaired within three months’ time. I’m making $300 a week because they would only put me on the schedule to work two days a week.
I started my Facebook because people started coming to my job asking me if I can hook them up. They would sit in for hours acting like they're drinking coffee, but I said, “Look, you’re going to get me in trouble. I'm going to start a Facebook group.” So I started with about 12 people, giving my advice. We reached 10,000 [members] by October, and then I wrote the Credit Warriors handbook, which I give away for free on my website. We are 438,000 people now in my Facebook group for giving information away for free.
B: Now that we know your story, we want the knowledge too! Let’s start with, what are the biggest credit misconceptions?
SE: Most people have a misconception about what the credit bureaus actually are. People think that it's a government agency and that whatever they say is solid and true. Like you can't fight them, but it's totally opposite. They are private, like Coca-Cola and they're just in the business to report data. That's all they are. And you can challenge them. A lot of people are afraid to challenge them but there's a lot of loopholes that people don't know that exist and that's why we're able to challenge them as aggressively as we can.
B: Can you share some of your credit score secrets that you wish you knew early on earlier on?
SE: Everything I learned is self-taught. I wish somebody at that time in my life would have told me what to do. And one of them was how to manipulate the score. I jumped from a 519 to a 720-credit score, and the reason why I did that is because I had no revolving credit. So once I put two trade lines up there—boom—my score jumped like [Michael] Jordan. Once I secured a credit card, that brought me up about 80 points. I got a $5,000 a tradeline. There's a couple of companies out there that will give you $5,000 in credit no matter what your credit score is.
B: So for folks like myself who aren’t exactly financially literate, what's a tradeline?
SE: That’s an industry term that we use as another way of saying something that shows up on your credit report. That's all it is. If you have credit accounts (including car loans, mortgages, credit cards, and payday advances), you have have tradelines on your report.
B: So what builds credit?
SE: So when you look at the pie chart, 35% is your payment history. OK. There's 192.5 points that can be captured in your payment history that you can capture by making regular payments on time. Your score drops 60 points by doing that. See, there's a closing statement date on the credit card statement and there's a due date. The closing statement date and the due date are equally as important. You're not taught this, there's no curriculum about this. When you're given the credit card, you're just going to pay it off before the due date, but the statement date is when everything reports in that cycle but the statement date is when the cycle closes, then reports everything you spent to the bureaus.
Then there’s 30% for utilization, which holds the second most weight, 10% is a credit mix—installment loans, revolving lines of credit. So you want to have a credit mix or your score is not really going to move. So there's 55 points you can capture there. And then you have inquiries. Inquiries make up 10% and that's when every time you ask for credit, your score drops like 7 points or 11 points. If you get the card, it's going to go up as long as you don't have too many credit cards. That makes about 55% of 55 points of your score. Then about 15% is credit age. So someone who has very long history in their credit, like 15 years, 20 years, they're doing really well.
B: How about any credit hacks you can share to increase one’s score if you keep getting denied for credit cards?
SE: The shopping cart method. It's dope. So what you do is you take your computer and you have to erase everything, the history, and you have to allow popups. Once you go onto the web, you're going to look at Comenity Bank credit cards only. You can look them up in so many stores like J. Crew and Victoria’s Secret.
So after you manipulate the computer by erasing your history and allowing pop-ups, you go onto the website and you put in your email address. A guest can create an email and then when it's time to pay, the pop-up just comes up. You put like a hundred dollars’ worth of merchandise in the shopping cart. Then you go to pay and the message pops up. It's going to say ‘Congratulations, you've been pre-approved for our credit card’. You've got to keep doing it. Cause it's not always going to happen.
There's a card called JD Williams. That's the easiest one to get. Everyone gets that card. Victoria's Secret, too. Sometimes you guys got to keep trying and trying and trying, but eventually you're going to get it. And that's how you do it. That's how simple it is. So then you get pre-approved online and then you can go into the store and they’ll extend the credit card to you. They're going to send the credit card to your address. You have to live at the address at least three years or more to get approved. You should apply for no more than three cards in a year. You need your cards to age cause after the first two cards your score starts to kind of like plateau.
(Photo: Nathan Pearcy/ @npearcypics; Creative Director: Divine Influence PR/ @divineinfluencepr)
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