DISCUSSION: Jeanne Kelly, The 90 Day Credit Challenge
Sunday, February 12, 4:00pm
Financial guru Jeanne Kelly discusses her new book, The 90 Day Credit Challenge, at Oblong Books & Music, 6422 Montgomery St. (Rt.9), Rhinebeck, (845) 876-0500
Read The Rhinebeck Community Forums Interview with Jean Kelly!
Let’s Meet for Coffee!
Our roving morning reporter, Kathy Chaneles catches up with local residents around town…
Interview 10/29/2010 at Leonardo’s: Jeanne Kelly, local mom, home owner, business owner of The Kelly Group
K. Jeanne, since many people who follow Rhinebeck Community Forum may not know who you are, why don’t you start by introducing yourself and the type of work you do here in Rhinebeck?
J. Well, I’m Jeanne Kelly, of The Kelly Group, and basically, I’m a credit expert. I’m here in Rhinebeck, its back to my home town! Started the company over ten years ago to help people understand their credit report and their FICO score.
K. What made you think of getting into that type of work?
J. I’m a single mom and when I got divorced, I didn’t realize how bad my credit was and when I went to go for help to figure it out, I realized there really wasn’t a place to go. So I started learning the credit industry on my own and after I helped myself, I thought, this is something I could really do to help other people, and that’s how it started!
K. and you’ve helped so many people, it’s excellent.
J. It’s a great celebration this year, knowing that we’ve been around for ten years now. I started when Cassandra (Jeanne’s daughter) was in Kindergarten. That was my goal, you know? Once she started school, what am I going to do? You know, how I am going to figure it out, to be the single mom and still put her on the bus every day, but also work and make a living.
K. You sure have done it!
K. With the economic difficulties that so many people are facing at this time, and with the holiday season fast approaching, could you give some tips to help people get through and enjoy the holidays without making their financial stresses worse?
J. Yes. One of the things that is really important when you go to the stores and they offer you to get a credit card to get that ten or fifteen percent off, you really have to think about if it’s worth getting it. Timing is everything with your credit. If you know in the near future you’re going to need a big loan for a mortgage, an automobile, then you don’t want to be opening up new credit cards. That will drop your score, so that ten percent will not save you in the long run, when you have a big ticket item waiting behind it a few months later. So be careful about opening new credit cards during the holiday season. Now of course, if you aren’t getting something big, then it’s fine to do.
The other thing is: because of how crazy-busy we are, I always say it’s important to stay on top of the bills you already have. During the holidays, I always say,”Just like Santa checks his list twice, I want you to do that as well,” because you may go through your bills thinking everything’s fine, but just do a little double check and make sure everything goes out on time. One late payment on your credit report in the moment, if it happens in December and your credit is pulled in December, can drop your score 100 points.
K. 100 points!
J. 100 points.
K. I understand you grew up in the Rhinebeck/Red Hook area. How do you think the area has changed since you were a kid around here?
J. Well, I think the area has changed with the volume of people, because I grew up on a farm in Red Hook and when I was 16 and I’d get to the end of Linden Avenue, I could just stop and look for a second and go. Now I sit at that stop sign for five minutes, just many more people here. I think that the Rhinebeck community has grown charming. More town, more shops, restaurants…it’s fabulous, I love it!
K. I do too. We’ve been seeing many tourists here lately, strolling through the beautiful streets, shopping, enjoying our many eateries, driving spectacular cars! How do you think this will affect Rhinebeck now and in the future?
J. I think that it’s great to have more tourists. With the big wedding that was here, it may have made people think about Rhinebeck again! We found out about Rhinebeck…my dad was an iron worker in Manhattan…we found out because of the Dutchess County Fair, and that’s what brought us up here! I think it’s great when you go around town and you see more people going into the shops and restaurants. Yeah, I think it’s exciting too!
K. How would you like to conclude this interview?
J. Well, I think the number one message regarding credit is to be aware, no matter what! Whether you’re having financial good times, you should be aware and still on top of what’s being reported about you, and during these hard economic times, I want you to still, even if you know it’s bad, still look at it, know, so you can come up with a game plan. And so, my number one message is: be aware, and today, go pull your credit report!
K. Thank you so much for meeting, this is fun over coffee!
J. I love it, have me again.
The Kelly Group Web Site : http://www.kgroupconsulting.com Jeanne Kelly is a nationally recognized voice in credit consulting. In addition to serving her clients in their efforts to improve their credit scores, Jeanne has been sought out by real estate professionals, mortgage analysts and journalists for her thoughts and advice on how to best manage your credit portfolio in an ever-changing financial landscape. Most recently, Jeanne appeared on a WBNW radio show dedicated to addressing the ongoing mortgage crisis to discuss the basics of managing your FICO score.