Ebony Cochran | CEO | Master Credit Consultant
Ebony I want you to go into detail about how you gained a working knowledge of business and building credit. Did you learn about these aspects growing up or did you teach yourself?
My working knowledge of business started at a young age. I started my first business in middle school and my granddad was a serial entrepreneur. I often rode around with him to his multiple companies and to his multiple properties to pick up his rent money. I later found out that there was not a specific formula for success and a cheat sheet for running successful businesses. Honestly, my knowledge came from trial and error and extensive research. Many people know me today for my credit consulting service, but they have no idea that I’ve owned a real estate company, a Brazilian hair company, an income tax company and a nonprofit organization. All those businesses have all taught me something different that was valuable and that I utilize currently in my business. My extensive background in business has also led to me assist fellow entrepreneurs who are not as well versed as myself. I have four degrees but day to day experiences in my business has taught me the most about business.
Building credit was something that I needed to do to get approved for business credit and a mortgage. I was like most people who were not taught the proper fundamentals related to credit and finance. Like most things, I knew I had to take matters into my own hands. I noticed that many of my clients have took the initial step that I took; Trying to work on something that I was not educated on. Doing this caused my score to drop more. I did years of research and learned how to decipher fact from opinion and applied what I was learning. I then created a program and tried it out on multiple people to perfect it before launching Blackwood Credit Services. To date, I have single-handedly consulted over 1800 individuals.
When you first started Blackwood Credit Services, what were some of the main objectives that you wanted to convey to your clientele?
Some of the main objectives that I wanted to convey was that education is key in the process, situations can change, and that bankruptcy should always be the last option. I also try to convey that most people have credit issues because they are not financially fit. Your personal finances can have a bigger effect on your credit than it may appear. Having the ability to pay something monthly and timely can result in a positive account or a negative one.
Talk about your recent event, The Detroit Black Wall Street Launch.
Detroit Black Wall Street was conceived from noticing how people in my community had a gap between them and resources offered. Many of them never knew these resources existed nor did they have the know how to apply. On social media, I would share certain resources and would receive a huge response from my community thanking me for letting them know about it. For the launch, I decided to take it to the beginning of where every business owner should start after the idea is conceived; the LLC and EIN documents preparation. Many local and national companies start off at $200 to prepare these documents and I wanted to do my part my eliminating the preparation fee.
The millennial generation is all about making their own way and ditching the traditional path that's been given to them. What advice would you give to millennial's about the importance of establishing good credit? What if they're credit isn't in such good shape?
With social media being such a massive force of influence, I would advise people not to use it as a form of research regarding credit. On social media, there is no fact checking before something gets posted. I’ve run across many Facebook groups that show the blind leading the blind, meaning that other people in the group are trying to assist you without truly understanding what the law says or how to combat your specific problem. Credit is something that will vary from person to person and because of that, something that worked for you may not work for the next person.
As a millennial, establishing good credit is important because it will play a role in some employment opportunities, car insurance rates and financing a home or a vehicle. The best advice I could give would be to learn as much as you can before you put a plan of action together. If you are someone that would like some assistance, Blackwood Credit Services is always a viable option.