When the pandemic hit, a lot of businesses suffered and started to seek funding from the SBA. However, to be able to qualify for the loans they were offering a good credit score was required. CEO of Merit Credit Solutions, Anetra Smalls, very much understands this algorithm and knows exactly what to do to help you get the funding your company deserves.
Smalls revealed that her passion to help people recover their credit scores began from her own experience with a bad credit score. “It happened when I was nineteen and trying to build my own cleaning business,” Smalls shared, “At the time, there was a major laundromat in my area that just recently closed and that caused a big issue to the community. The issue then really motivated me to build my own laundromat, which was prevented due to my bad credit score. I didn’t have a good foundation to apply for a loan and was lacking the knowledge on how to improve my credit score, and so I began to learn it on my own. I don’t ever want anyone to have to go through what I went through, especially minority-owned businesses, and that’s what Merit Credit Solutions is for.”
Smalls focused on helping business owners with their personal credit scores, which would help improve their businesses in the long run. She aims for her clients to be able to qualify for at least $50,000 in business lines of credit with her services. Merit Credit Solutions offers a thorough program called the “90 Day Wealth Plan Program” to ensure this result, which would begin with a 30-minute initial consultation. Within her 90-day program, Smalls and her team would help their clients properly structure their businesses, improve their companies compliant points to be lender and vendor friendly, and learn about the different tiers of credit. Within the 90 days, clients would also get credit monitoring from the NAV website, and the proper certifications for minority-owned businesses and other businesses who might need it.
What definitely makes Merit Credit Solutions unique is the education it offers. Smalls is committed to help her clients grow beyond numbers as she holds a coaching call once a week through zoom meetings and other digital platforms. Through the meetings, she provides a done-with-you program, to ensure that her clients are grasping the financial information she provides and a monthly meet and greet for networking purposes for every client that completes her program, “I used to hold these sessions in-person every Friday evening and Saturday in either Charleston or Atlanta, which have been held virtually since the pandemic hits,” Smalls explained, “I think that meet and greets are very vital to keep because I strongly believe that network is your net worth.”
Smalls is passionate about establishing generational wealth through ownership. One of her major goals is to see more legitimize minority-owned businesses thrive. “There is a significant wealth gap in our society due to the lack of ownership for minority families. In order for minority groups to overcome this issue we must own something, or have the information on how to own something, like a business. Credit is just something that you leverage, but business is something that you can own and can pass down as generational wealth,” the Female Entrepreneur explains, “Many people have an idea of how they want to build their businesses but not enough information on how to apply their ideas properly.”
Three major tips that Smalls would love to forward to anyone who are looking to improve their credit scores are:
Be honest with your spending.
Pay yourself first. Your bills come each month whether you have the money or not.
Write and keep track of your financial reports.