Banking has been impacted by technology, but poverty as a societal issue for minorities and women until now, has been largely ignored by the private sector. But companies and startups are beginning to fill the space with innovative products truly built to help people.
This is where Sharita Humphrey’s story begins. Technology changed her life when she found herself in a financial disaster – a credit score of 342, two kids, and battling intermittent homelessness.
A New Sense of Self
With a score that low, a good-paying job is just out of reach. Bad credit, an all-too-common symptom of poverty, makes finding employment even more difficult. After struggling on the streets, Humphrey decided to make a change.
Almost by accident, Humphrey found Self, a company that provides inspiring financial education and innovative credit-building products.
“Self was a great tool and resource allowing me to really rebuild and educate myself on credit-wellness,” Humphrey said. “They are amazing for those who have no credit profiles or need to rebuild or reestablish their credit.”
Along with over 400,000 other users of Self, Humphrey started manifesting a money-mindset as she learned more about wealth and credit. She would eventually gain 500 points on her score, land a job as a government auditor working with small businesses, and launch her own career as a financial educator and speaker.
From the streets to the speaking stage, Humphrey manifested her financial destiny with education, a positive money-mindset, and a little help from innovation. Today, she is helping empower others through financial literacy as a certified financial coach, educator, and speaker.
Helping You Help Your$elf
Self is on a mission to improve the financial standing of people commonly left behind.
The company essentially gives you a small loan minus their fees, say $525. The company holds that money in a CD (certificate of deposit), where it earns interest for one or two years. The lowest monthly payment is $25. Self reports these payments to all of the credit bureaus.
This improves your credit profile every step of the way, helping you immediately look more creditworthy to prospective employers and lenders. That’s because on time bill payment is the most heavily weighted component in your credit score, comprising 35%. In addition, at the end of 2 years, you would get the $525 plus interest from the CD.
Self also offers a secured credit card based on your credit builder account.
But it’s how Self “taught her to fish” that Humphrey says was truly able to manifest a positive money mindset and begin making strides.
“They are amazing for those who have no credit profiles, or need to rebuild or reestablish their credit,” Humphrey said. “They give a lot of education, and one of the things that I liked about them from the very beginning was they were really behind helping people understand how to leverage their credit once they get into a position of building it.”
As their way of helping the next generation of entrepreneurs, Self also offers $1,000 college scholarships to students interested in business.
Self’s credit-building products put people into what Humphrey calls the “driver’s seat” of their finances. Poverty, debt and struggling to pay bills takes a mental health toll on women and people of color. Because of the unique, compounding effects of race and gender, Black women are burdened by an intersectional wage gap, according to the Black Women’s Roundtable.
Change Your Mind Change Your Money
Self helped Humphrey manifest her money mindset, giving her the key for her own financial destiny.
“I started looking at my finances and behaviors that were not healthy, and there was no way that I was going to do that without shifting my mindset,” Humphrey said. “I got back in the driver’s seat of my finances, that’s why I’m here now.”
It’s inspired one of the guiding principles of her life, which she puts best:
“Where you are is not your destiny, it’s the process to get to your purpose.”
Sharing Money Healing
It took 10 years of financial hardship, bouts of homelessness, and a toxic relationship to get there. With Self as her guiding tool, she found her way.
She appealed to a landlord for two free months of rent, knowing with her new mindset that she could get herself and her family back on their feet in that time…She succeeded.
With continued education experienced startling results. Her new job as a government auditor exposed her to more stories very much like her own. Her financial destiny led her to understand she – and the people she serves – are not alone.
“It’s more than money. We can give people the tools and education and the reports, but the foundation to be able to help minorities and women of color, and single mothers, is to help them shift their mindset, to show them that there is something greater for them.” – Sharita M. Humphrey
As she pushes forward in her own mission to help people manifest a wealth-focused mindset, Humphrey found that when people feel they are not alone, they can face their own fears and transform their own mindset.
“Even if you don’t know, write down what you want. What are your goals?” Humphrey asks. “That’s going to be an instant motivator. It’s powerful when you see something in black and white, especially if you wrote it.”
And, just as Self “taught her to fish,” Humphrey tries to change her clients’ mindsets because they’re otherwise destined for more financial hardship.
“It’s more than money,” Humphrey said. “We can give people the tools and education and the reports, but the foundation for helping minorities and women of color, and single mothers, is to help them shift their mindset, to show them that there is something greater for them.”
It was with innovative technology, and the transformation of her money mindset, that’s made Humphrey the financial cheerleader and wealth-minded powerhouse she is today.
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