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Oct. 24, 2021

65. Poor Financial Decisions to a Perfect Credit Score with Al Jones

65. Poor Financial Decisions to a Perfect Credit Score with Al Jones

Join Mike Cavaggioni and Al Jones on the 65th episode of the Average Joe Finances Podcast as they talk about what financial decisions you can make to achieve a perfect credit score. Al is a personal finance author and a game developer in Phoenix, Arizona. After years of making poor financial decisions, thinking it was the norm, he decided to turn things around by learning finance, specifically credit repair. Today, Al shares his experiences, from barely living on a low credit rating to raising his FICO score to a perfect 850.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

●     What to look forward to when reading My Journey from Bad to Excellent Credit.

●     How society’s perception of financial literacy has changed over the years.

●     The power of “failure” and why we should always see it as a learning experience.

●     How the evolution of technology continues to change the game in financing.

●     The value of working with bill collectors and generating credit reports.

●     And much more!

About Al Jones:

Al Jones is a native son of Phoenix, Arizona, and a 1984 graduate of Maryvale High School. And for a while, he also served in the United States army. After being honorably discharged from the US Army, Al moved back to his hometown and began creating user-friendly games for mobile devices, live shows, playing cards, and more. 

Al also wrote a book called My Journey from Bad to Excellent Credit, where he discusses financial mistakes and a case of identity theft that tanked his score, leading him to many other issues. At the time, he knew something had to change, so he started educating himself about credit repair. As a result, his FICO score was raised from an eight credit rating to a perfect score of 850.

Find Al Jones on: 

Website: http://www.lyricsguru.mobi/ 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/al-jones-45b4b05/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LyricsGuruApp 

My Journey from Bad to Excellent Credit (Book): https://www.amazon.com/dp/0977460150 

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Transcript
Average Joe Finances:

This is average Joe finances podcast, episode 65. If you're watching this on YouTube, make sure you smash that like button and click subscribe for those of you listening on a podcast, but form be sure to subscribe on whatever platform that is and leave us a rating. If you can. The more likes ratings and subscriptions that we get, the more we can spread the message and grow our community. So we also have a free Facebook group. It's called the average show finances. Check us out. Join the group, join the community, ask questions and become a part of the team. All of our other social media accounts are listed in our flow page and we have them in the video or podcast description, the low, It seems

Al Jones:

as if people don't want to talk about it is because of their failures. They don't want to talk about well, okay, well I gave in, I bought the whatever, and now. Yeah, 30% interest rate. So it is making me look bad as a person makes me look bad as a father or mother. So they'd rather not talk about it.

Average Joe Finances:

Welcome to the average Joe finances podcast. Are you trying to get out of debt invest or just not sure what a start then? This is the place for you. Different ways to get out of the rat race and build your wealth. Join us on this wild ride to financial freedom. Hey, how's it going everybody? So today's guest is Al Jones and Al has had his own challenges with credit, right? So he's the author of my journey from bed. Excellent credit. And his book discusses financial mistakes and a case of identity theft that tanked his score and led to many other issues. He knew something had to change. So he started educating himself about credit repair and eventually races, FICO score, eight credit rating to the perfect score of eight 50. So Al Jones is a native son of Phoenix, Arizona, and a 1984 graduate of Maryville high school. And he also served in the army. So after being honorably discharged from the. He moved back to his hometown and BN create began creating user-friendly games for mobile devices live shows, playing cards and more so Al you've got an awesome background. You've done some pretty amazing things. And first off, I want to say thank you for your service for you serving in the army. But I'm really excited to have you join me today. Thanks for coming on.

Al Jones:

My pleasure. My pleasure. Thank you.

Average Joe Finances:

All right. Awesome. So, Hey, I gave a brief, a brief background about you, right. But I'd like to get a little more into detail about that. So if you could share a little bit more about yourself and your story for our listeners.

Al Jones:

So again, my name is Al Jones and I, my personal finance author and game developer. I am currently a resident. And live here now and was born and raised here in the Phoenix, Arizona area. And after years of making poor financial decisions and thinking it was the norm, I decided to take action, make a change in my life and document the process along the way. I'm here with you now with a perfect eight 50 FICO score and ready to share my story with your list.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah, that's awesome. And that's exactly what I'm doing myself too. Right. I started my journey into financial freedom and I started it as a blog. I had a friend of mine who was doing podcasts and doing quite well. And he said, Hey, Mike, you should start a podcast too. And I said, well, maybe after I get out of the Navy, he's like, no, do it. Now, if you could only do like one episode a month or one episode, sort of, we just do it now, get your story out there. Like the blogs. Great. People really like listening to different stories and different things. So I said, okay, I'll start. So I started the podcast that a couple of solo episodes. I said, Hey, I want to get some guests on here. And I want people to share their stories of what they've been doing because cool. I'm talking about everything I've done, but. So many different ways to do things in so many different ways to get yourself out of debt and get yourself to a point of financial freedom. Right? So that's why I bring on some awesome guests like yourself to share some of the amazing things that you've done. So actually, that's actually the next question I'd like to ask you. So what are you currently doing on your journey to, or in financial freedom? What I'm doing right now is I'm doing podcasts with a host like you, and that's probably one of the biggest. That I'm doing, getting the story out, obviously pushing the book that's available on Amazon, a paperback Kindle, and audio book, as well as searching for entities that are out there that are interested in having someone work with them to create financial literacy. Yeah, that's fantastic. So actually, I'd like to talk about that a little bit about your book, right? So I mentioned it in your intro. And so your book is basically, you know, your journey on how you got yourself to where you are today, building this perfect FICO credit rating. So can you talk a little bit about your book and just kind of. Give us some of the nuggets that, that, that are in there. And, and you know, maybe it's going to be like a good incentive to push people towards checking it out because you know, it's a, it's definitely got some good information. I know it's about a 45 minute read. That was correct. That was correct. So it's, yeah, I'd like to know a little bit more about.

Al Jones:

All right. So the book, what I mostly started years ago, I wrote a book, but it was more technical click. This link, I'm going to this website. But what happened was after I published that book, some of the websites went down, some of the phone numbers change. So what I decided to do for this current book, my journey from bad to excellent credit is create a story, a narrative of my journey from bad to excellent credit within the book. You'll see some different workbook. So you read a chapter, you take some notes and after you take the notes, then you can share it with others. So it's a storyline for my journey, childhood, dealing with a parent that had some bad credit issues thinking it was a norm following into the city. Footsteps doing bad things with my personal finances and coming to a realization that, Hey, this is bogus. I need to make a change and an advanced further. And what you'll see on the book, it'll say my journey from bank to XYZ credit and some of the paperbacks, we'll say 8 46. I think the audio book will say 8 48 after both of them were published. Then I got the actual eight 50 after the fact. So a little sidebar for you, but again, it's about a 45 minute read and Hey, pick up the book on Amazon and audio book Kendall as well as paperback as well.

Average Joe Finances:

Awesome. I'll definitely get some links from you and make sure we have that in the show notes as well. So that's, that's amazing. So, you know, you mentioned how in the book you talk about, you know, Some of your decisions being influenced by your parents. Right. And I find that you know, both for myself and a lot of other people that I talk to, you know, a lot of times we, we look at the previous generation and we get, we get this influence of what we should do with our money. But. Sometimes it's not the best advice or the best route to go. Right. And I don't know how it was for you growing up. But I know for me, when I grew up like talking about money and everything like that with family, like all of that was like taboo. That was not great. And you talked about sex and money. You don't talk. Yeah. Yeah. Right. So it's like, you know, I know at least with, with my family, with my children, I'm trying to like, I guess break the wheel. Right. And you know, I, I make it okay to talk about money. Like if, if my children want something and it's not something that's quite a good buy for us at the time, I'll explain to them, Hey, this is, we shouldn't get this. And here's why it's not that we don't have the money to get it. You know, there's other things that are more important that we should get first before we move into something like that. Right. And I even have my kids reading, like children's financial literacy books right now, so it's super important and we homeschool. So it's, you know, part of their curriculum is personal finances. So yeah, it's good stuff. I, I just, I wanted to kind of piggyback on that because, you know, you find that that's a very common thing. You know, money's a taboo TA a topic to talk about not many people like to talk about at the dinner table, but telling you sometimes if you have those conversations, it's, it's amazing what you can open up and learn about. At once I discovered even now as one that we, that it seems as if people don't want to talk about it is because of their failures. They don't want to talk about it. Well, okay. Well I gave in and I bought the whatever, and now I'm paying 30% interest rate. So it is making me look bad as a person makes me look bad as a father or mother. So they'd rather not talk about. Well, you know, it, it depends, right? So the way I look at failure, a failure is only failure. If you make it a failure, right? If you fail at something, if you don't use that as a learning experience than it truly is a failure, you should learn from your mistakes, different things that you may fail at and figure out a way to overcome that and never do that again. Right. And that's one of the beautiful things about failure is it can be an educational experience for you. So I, me personally, I embrace failure. If I mess up and something happens, you know what? It might be a very expensive lesson, but I learned, right. Just like, as I sit here and talk to you, I'm taking down. Hey, this is what I did. This is what I messed up on. It's time to move on to something else and take this as a learning experience to never do that again. So that's procure, man. Okay, awesome. So now you, you you were in the army, right? You got out. And now, now what are you doing since you got out of.

Al Jones:

What I'm doing now, I'm doing it. What they lo local government entity, as well as working on the game app that I've got, I've got completed and we're working on establishing different contracts with different entities. We're working on currently a renewal contract with the city of Phoenix to do entertainment services to where we've got. A game will kind of like a wheel of fortune game will bore our lyrics guru song, the retriever game. And what they're looking for is for game companies to entertain senior citizens at the senior citizens. Kind of entertain them as long, the way. So that's what we've got in place and we're just doing a finalization

Average Joe Finances:

of that, so right on. Yeah. So now I know you've, you've developed some mobile apps and this game right. Called a lyrics guru. Right. And, and now what, what is this game about? Can you talk a little bit more about that? Like what, what it is that you're feeling.

Al Jones:

Lyrics guru is a song lyrics trivia game where you try to match the correct word found within the lyrics of the song. For example, in the app, what you'll do is you download the app and then you pick a category, rock and roll for example. Okay. Then we'll give you a song, title, blue suede shoes, and old Elvis song. Then what we'll do is we'll give you a list of four words. And where it could be cat, dog run and step. Okay. Then you'll have eight seconds in the app to guess which one of those four words is found within the lyrics of the song. So if you get step don't step on my boots sway, choose you. Get that correct. Get a point. That object is to get eight, correct. Within a category. Then you've got to get eight categories. Correct? And or completed to be the lyrics guru. So that's the premise

Average Joe Finances:

of the. Oh, nice. Awesome. It definitely, definitely sounds entertaining, especially for, for people that like to listen to a lot of music, right.

Al Jones:

This one, you're not actually listening to audio tracks, you just seeing categories and you'll get a song title and the list of four words who is. Words only, but you're not doing any

Average Joe Finances:

audio tracks. All I can tell you right now that I'll be hearing the music. If I'm, if I'm sitting here in my head, like, oh, I hear you sing it, sing it out loud and you probably have people staring at you, but that's okay. That's there all the time. So that's

Al Jones:

the, the app

Average Joe Finances:

is about. Yeah, no, that's that's awesome. So have you developed other apps?

Al Jones:

That's the only one, the only app we've developed, we developed the iOS version. We've created the Android version. We've got a playing card version of the game, as well as the gained wheel because the wheel of fortune tech game that we did the pitch at the Catholic call pressure.

Average Joe Finances:

Okay, actually. Yeah. So actually I want to get into that in a little bit too. So now you said when I, when I did that intro on you, that when I was talking about the card and stuff, so we were talking about the, the cards that you developed for this game. So it's so it's different than the mobile app, but it's similar because is it like you shuffle them and it's random and you go through it. Do you have it broken down to like the different categories? Like how does that work in the, in the current.

Al Jones:

And the car came. You shuffle them. It's a big deck and the playing card version of the game. We created those initially after attending an event for those with disabilities, we created the app iOS, the Android version. Then I was invited to a program where we received an award for helping those with disabilities. After the program was over, someone tapped me on the shoulder to the Hey Al when are you going to create something for those with disabilities? Okay. There was an opportunity. So then we went fast forward and created a plain card version for those that have visual challenges, colorblind. So the playing card version have what they call colored barrier, free color. For those that are covered colorblind, that they can see those colors as well. We discovered that they can be used for senior citizens for cognitive rehabilitative therapy. So you play the card, you see the some kind of blue suede shoe. The senior will say, oh, you know, I was dancing at a party during that time and it kind of helps out with their memory. So that's great. The play card I'm shuffled the blank. Cardboard is the game yourself with the card, the dealer. Reads off, pulls the car, reads off the category, rock and roll. Okay. Then we use a song title, blue suede shoes, and then we'll read off the four words and whoever's the first one to raise their hand or whatever. And we kind of keep it open so you can kind of create your own house rules. Okay. And whoever gets it, the one, correct. Then they, they get that card. The object is to get eight of the different stuff. Rock and roll hip hop and so on. Then your desserts guru.

Average Joe Finances:

No, I like that. Yeah. And yeah, being able to create your own house is cool unless you're playing like a game of UNO, because then it gets cutthroat and then you got to go to the developers and say, Hey, what is, what is. Draw for really mean. So don't be surprised if people start hitting you up saying, Hey, we met our house rules for this. And we want to know what's, what's your take. So,

Al Jones:

and we're always open to creative, different variations of that game. We did that went after working with people with disabilities that had the color scheme for those, with visual challenges. We also have. Create one that has full color. And so if by chance you've got singer songwriters, like a Billy Joe wanted to create a Billy Joel edition with like a prince

Average Joe Finances:

edition without being me all day. Okay. I'm originally from long island, New York. So, you know, Billy Jean is long island sweethearts,

Al Jones:

singer songwriter, all Billy Joel's song titles, all his, you know, all this. So that's the kind of stuff that we would like to create. If we can get some go ahead and add a green light to partnerships

Average Joe Finances:

with us. Now that sounds fun. And like just the, the entire game sounds fun. Definitely. Something, something like that would be a good family night game. Right. So awesome. So now have you, have you been able to use this as a catalyst towards your own personal financial. Let's take a brief moment to hear from our show sponsors. What's going on everybody. So today I want to talk to you about the podcast editing service that we use for the average Joe finances podcast that is edit pods.com. And what I really like about them is it's a subscription-based service. So the prices are fantastic. And not only do they do the podcast episodes for us, but they also make us videos, audio grams, social media, caption videos. They do our show notes, thumbnails. It's just fantastic products. Go check them out@editpods.com. What's going on everybody. So today I want to talk to you about Buzzsprout the average Joe finances podcasts recently switched over to Buzzsprout and I got to say, I am super happy with the progress. Our podcast is now on every single major player. And reaching audiences that we couldn't reach before, which is just super awesome. So thank you to Buzzsprout for being such a great platform, but also I want to say, Hey guys, if you sign up for Buzzsprout and you sign up for one of their paid plans using our link, you'll get a $20 Amazon gift card. So go check them out. It's average, Joe finances.com/buzzsprout and we'll make sure the link is in the show notes below. Let's get back to today's episode. You're listening to the average Joe finances podcast, whether it's single or multi-family real estate, the stock market, or side hustles, we discuss it all strap in and enjoy the

Al Jones:

ride. Yes. And the revenue generated for that along the way is really helpful whittled down of the debt that I've got. It's the minimal debt that I've got to be a mortgage after the mortgage is the only debt that I've got. Additionally had a secrecy. And got the 8 55 code score and decided to leverage that and was able to get a refi on my high-rise conduit unit for

Average Joe Finances:

2.6. Yeah. Yeah. Good deal. Yeah. That's awesome. So, okay. I wrote this down because you, you had you mentioned it briefly and I know this is something I wanted to talk about with you is that you had a pitch on shark tank for a casting call, right. How was that experience? The

Al Jones:

spirits. It was great experience. I was able to meet if you've ever watched YouTube, some of the previous episodes, I was the pitch group immediately behind Metta called himself in metal world. Peace back then as well. He was the. I guess a celebrity with the group that pitch the butter cloth bins shirt line. So he was the pitch group immediately front of us, got a chance to meet him behind their group.

Average Joe Finances:

And I was just going to ask that, did you actually get a chance to, to meet them and talk about. Yeah.

Al Jones:

Yeah. We took a picture. He took a picture with me, sat at, you know, because we were standing kind of moving along the line. So it got a chance to get like, say, get a picture and chat with him for a few. So what happened in the whole process? I got the invitation to attend a casting call and Palm Springs. So I load up all my stuff, go to Palm Springs. What's a giant reel for the show. I'm standing in line, meet Metta, the butter cloth team. And. When you're going through. Initially, what I had wanted to pitch was a licensing deal. If you ever watched the show, Kevin O'Leary Mr. Wonderful. It goes by what to do a licensing deal with Mr. Wonderful for a brand licensing deal, where they would license the lyrics guru brand to create a lyrics guru TV show to rival beat Shizam beach standards. Really. Popular back then. So we want the show to Bible beaches. Damn. So anyway, we're going through the whole process minutes before you going in the cast and call staff say, all right, everybody, that's going in. You have to ask. I didn't need any money at the time. We'll do it pretty good. You know, financially, I just wanted to do a licensing deal. So going through and they said, no, you can't just pitch a licensing deal without money. You got to ask for money. So I had to quickly come up with something to ask for. I said, all right. All right, I'll go in and ask for 5,000. Yeah, right. I want to talk to some millionaires and billionaires and ask for five. Geez, that's crazy. Then I thought, okay. How about 50? Now? You can second mortgage your place for 50. So after 500 to finally after 500, when it was time for me to pitch, they didn't go for it. Did he go for the licensing deal, but a Metta and the butter coffee, they got to deal. So, yeah. Go for the good

Average Joe Finances:

for them. That's I am a big fan of the show. I, I love shark tank actually. And so that's that's really interesting that, you know, you had to go in there and ask for money. I don't think I've ever seen anybody go on. And not ask for money. So I guess that's kind of, you know, it's part of the whole thing, right? It's part of

Al Jones:

that. And I want to try attempt to new. I thought I would give them attention by not asking for money and do a strict licensing deal. All the other sharks that were out there, you know, mark David, I didn't want to talk about. Mr. Wonderful. Kevin O'Leary was my go-to guy, Mr. Licensing. And I want you to pitch him, but with this process, you've got to go through the cast and call crew that kind of does the initial weeding. If they like it, then they move forward to the law, to the actual broadcast.

Average Joe Finances:

Gotcha. Gotcha. All good. Hey but you know what an experience, right? To be able to do that, and just some of the people that you were able to meet. I mean, that's, that's just. Super cool. So, Hey all right, so there was a, so you've, you've got, you've got the game that you've got going on, right? You got to meet some really awesome people when you went on shark tank. What else are you doing right now? Are there any, like other asset classes that you personally invest in? Do you, do you buy any crypto or are you in the stock market? Do you have in real estate? What else are you doing on your journey?

Al Jones:

Financially what I'm doing is I'm putting my money primarily on this one company, and I'm not a certified financial advisor. That's my oldest claimer. But what I'm doing is I'm putting the large majority of my funds in a company called stereotactic. And the stock symbol is S as in Sam, T as in Tom X, as in x-ray, S as in Sam, a, it is a medical equipment device company, and it's a quick summary. And what they do is they created a device word, and a catheter is inserted, and the surgeon can control the movement of the catheter remotely with the click of a mouse. How, so I could be in LA and the surgeon could be in China with high-speed internet connection and do heart surgery remotely. And it's all controlled with magnets that are placed around the patient. Wow very well.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah. So, so I guess it's. The level of magnetism, like, is that, is that what they use to move the catheter around? Yep. Wow. That is is greatly

Al Jones:

Oops.

Average Joe Finances:

It's just, it's just scary that you know, that we're at a point right now where technology has advanced so much including in the medical field. That we have the the ability to do things like that. It's absolutely amazing. And it's part of the ingenuity right. Of, of folks that are entrepreneurs that are like really pushing the limit on what they can do. Right. And, you know, it's the mind and the beautiful thing. And it's just amazing to watch what some people can do with some of the skillsets that they have and something like that. Man, just wows me, just blows my mind. That's an amazing

Al Jones:

Initially I use ago I got into it around eight, shortly thereafter. I'm on the phone with the brokerage firm shortly thereafter, and I do a very high risk, high reward stuff speculative. So I I've made the purchase actually, before I made the purchase, I was on the phone with them. Couldn't do it online on the phone with the person that, and the guy I was talking to, he says, oh, can you know the kind of high pitched? Like, are you sure you want to pull the trigger on this? Yeah. How is this guy? What are you trying to tell me? It was like, yeah, I make the purchase. So I made the purchase and just maybe two days, if that it takes. And Brian, right. And with the broker friend that I got, they've got the I think it's a COVID today a holding period settlement period. They call it. So I couldn't do anything within those two days, so would just text. So it got to the point to where it went from eight, then it dropped off. NASDAQ went to over the counter. It went below 56. Very out, very out. So rather than freaking out and selling, I just kept dumping money into it. Buy more, buy more people were chirping in my ear now sell, sell, sell, you know, and have to get no, no, no, but popping Tums, you know, like. Just going crazy. 1000 milligram peppermint Tums like candy. So anyway, that stomach a bit. Amen brother. So it goes below 50 cents. I'm still dumping money into it. And now it's like, Ken went up to like 10 50. So after buying them on the dirt sheet, everything is cyclical for the most part. And I I bought the dip.

Average Joe Finances:

You don't, you know, what's funny is that,, a lot of people at that point, they would've, they would've dropped out long before, any of that. And you just kept buying and buying and buying when it was so low. But you know, what that did is it took your entire, cost, average, your dollar cost, average of those stocks, and just lowered it each time you made one of those purchases under 50 cents. Yes. I don't know what your, your average dollar cost was when it jumped up, but, you know, if your initial, when you bought at $8 and change, and then it's up to like 10.50 you're doing pretty darn good.

Al Jones:

I ain't hurting.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah, no, that's good. And, you know I, I don't know what kind of research you did on a company like that. Cause I, when I, when I get into something that's speculative, that's when I'll actually like, actually sit down and try to look at some numbers because I kind of freak out when I don't know too much about a company that I'm going to invest my money into. It's funny because I had a fun money account or I still have a fun money account that I, that I invest in with with my brokerage and this particular account I was doing, like all my speculations and just like the stuff that I thought was going to be like my bets that, Hey, this is money I can throw away whatever. What that's actually turned into is over the course of time, I've actually wound up, as I was selling some of the more I guess, volatile stocks. They somehow wound up back into stuff I'm more comfortable with like some index funds and REITs. I love REITs. And I've got them now in a, in a spot where, you know, this past year, I'm up over 30% and I'm getting monthly payments that I reinvest. So somehow what I went into, like this was supposed to be, my I'll play around with it is, is doing better than then. One of the accounts that my financial advisor actually runs for me. So it's it's.

Al Jones:

Wow. Yeah. Well, as a quick little rundown of how I do it, how I came to stereotaxis. Back to what I knew my graduate degree was in management with an emphasis in health service administration, running hospitals. So I was familiar with them to some degree with the health service industry. So I've got a brokerage account, do it myself. Don't depend on somebody else to drive the bus. So I go into the brokerage firm, go to the online brokers, but sorted by industry. Did health service whittled down to see which one which of the sub categories would do in the best equipment was doing the best drilled into that found a company that will do the best in that sub category, just by jet. It was stereotaxis at the time and then just expanded the chart, saw it was down. It was going to. Okay. Did some moving average or below? I think it was seven. I got to use, I use a one day five minute moving average, a seven. I think it was. And the other part of it was the 0.75. And if it stays within that range three candles and is going up. Let's roll. So in summary, that's how I play it. You know, I'm at analyzing PE ratios and analysis paralysis. No.

Average Joe Finances:

That's a common thing for, for people that I brought on the show to you. Like, can we talk about that a lot, especially in real estate, you have analysis paralysis where you're scoping out a deal. And a lot of times you'll psych yourself out because you're sitting here looking at the numbers. Now you don't want to fudge numbers to make it work for you. Right, right. A lot of times you just get caught up in the, well, what if, what if, what if, what if there's always a, what if right now you should be mindful of that you should always have that in the back of your mind. Well, what if this, then than that? What if this then that you should always have then if there's a, what there should be a then if you're asking yourself, what if, and there's no, then afterwards, then it's not something you should probably get yourself involved in. Right. And that's, that's one of the whole things about having like multiple exit strategies, right? So for you. When it came to this, what if it tanks and buy more? What if it tanks even more than buy more buy the dip baby? What you did by doing that is you kept lowering that dollar cost average to the point where you were back in the positive. Once it just went up a little bit. So that's, I mean, you can't beat that. There are some times where it'll just keep tanking and you know that sometimes you have to realize when it's time to cut your loss, but for those of you that are listening, you know, that's not financial advice. You, you, you got your own plan, right? And maybe go see somebody for help if you need it. But we're, you know, for what you're doing I mean, it obviously worked right and now look at you right now. You're at a point where you've got a perfect credit score. You're you're debt free. Minus your mortgage. I mean, that's, that's where you want to be. Right.

Al Jones:

And retiring at age 55 at age

Average Joe Finances:

55, age 55. Which, which is actually from, from our previous discussion is coming soon. Right? So you're actually getting ready to retire here.

Al Jones:

29th, actually, December 30th. We're tired of the turn discern turn 55 on December 29th and retire on the 30th. Okay.

Average Joe Finances:

That's amazing. That's awesome. So, all right, so I've got to ask then, right? Since it's coming and, you got, you got like six months, man. And then, and then it's here. What's what's retired life look like for Al Jones.

Al Jones:

What like backup to do the back of my eyelids. I'm going to sleep. I wouldn't, I wouldn't. That's the first thing. I'll get that out of the way you get the whole varying degrees of sleep deprivation. So I'm going to get some sleep first and then take it from there.

Average Joe Finances:

I don't know, no sailboat or anything like that. Sailing around the world,

Al Jones:

Sleep brother.

Average Joe Finances:

You could sleep on the boat. It'll rock you to sleep.

Al Jones:

We'll just start with sleep first and I'll go.

Average Joe Finances:

Oh, that's awesome. That's awesome. Hey, so I just want to say congratulations to you for all your success that you've had. I mean, you know, you, you set this goal in mind and you kept attacking it and attacking it and attacking it to get yourself to where you are now. So definitely the book is a good read for anybody that's interested in trying to figure out how to get your credit score up and even up into the same categories where Al's add up into a perfect score. So I definitely want to make sure people can check that out. So speaking of that, right. And actually there's one more thing I want to ask you before we go into that, but is there any last tips or tricks that you would recommend to somebody who's listening to this show that is in debt and they want to figure out how to raise their credit score and not be in debt anymore?

Al Jones:

A couple of things. One is if you're in debt and bill collectors are calling, you do not avoid the calls. Face your issues, head on, talk with them. And that's the big thing. Talk with them. Tell them your situation. And in many cases they'll actually work with you. So that's one of the big things. The other thing is generate your credit reports and scores from each of the three separate notice. I would say separate through each of the three separate credit bureaus, equifax.com, experian.com. transunion.com because. when you order your credit report and scores on each of the three separate credit bureaus? You're going to get a confirmation number. Once you've made that order. What'd you dispute the items you're going to need a confirmation number. So that's why it's important to get them from each of the three separate credit bureaus. Don't do the three for one, they get from other services out there. Go directly to the source and get that. Okay. The last thing I would record. In addition to buying the book and whatnot is to consider doing what they call the settlement agreement with those that are calling you, because let's say you owe a thousand dollars and you only have 750, talk with them saying, Hey, I'm willing to work with you, but I only have 750. All right. So if I pay you and use a use a personal check, don't use a money order. Okay. Cause money already, you have no tangible proof that you've paid. Just the receipt that the money order was purchased. I'll use a personal check to use it to pay or Western union quick collect something where it's tangible proof. Talk with them saying, Hey, I'm willing to pay you the 750. If I give you the 750, will you clear the delinquency is on my credit reports if Mo most of the time, they'll say, yeah, they just want something from ya. So they say, yeah, then you get that in writing, get them to reply back. That is a go then you make your payment and it's more than likely it will wash out all of the stuff from that collection agency on your reports.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah. Right on. I have a buddy of mine who used to be a debt collector. And, one of the things is like, when you. When a debt collector now has your delinquency or your debt, they purchased that debt from the company that you originally did it with. So a lot of times they buy it for quite a bit less than what you actually owed, but that, because this is how they make their money. Right? So if you come in on a debt that is, you know, a thousand dollars. You offer them 750, if that's 750 is usually if it's over what they paid for your debt, most likely accept that because they've made a profit now, and then they don't have to waste their time calling you anymore. Right. So that's just something to keep in mind. It's you know, when you think about it now don't try to like, Super low ball these guys, because this is, this is how they make their living. And they could just tell you to kick rocks and say, no, you owe a thousand, you pay a thousand. Right. So, keep that in mind and, be polite when you're talking with a debt collector. I mean, this isn't like. They're out to get you or anything. I mean, you racked up that debt, you should own it and be responsible for it. Right. So keep that in mind, you're talking to another person on the other side of the phone. That's why I, like, when you said that, you know, you have debt collectors calling you, you should actually pick up the phone and face the music, right? Because at the same time, you know, you need to be responsible for what you've done. And I can tell you right now that when you stand up and you take responsibility for your own actions, The weight of relief that comes off your shoulders when you do eventually get this delinquency off your report or pay something off, is that much more gratifying because you owned it instead of trying to run. So I just, I want to point that out and that's my personal take on it. You know, I believe that if you do take on debts, you should pay them off because it is something that you, you know, you did to yourself. That's absolutely awesome. Like those, those tips that you gave are fantastic. I really appreciate it. Now here's the most important thing, right? Cause we talked about your book, we talked about your game and everything. I want to be able to provide that to my listeners. I want to make sure that they can find it. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to put all that in the show notes, but could you share with us where they could find a copy of your book and where they can go check out your mobile game?

Al Jones:

Okay. They can check out the book on amazon.com and just search for my journey from bad to excellent credit. It's got paperback. You've got Kindle and you've got audio book, the app. You can pick it up from the google play for the Android and the app store for iOS. It's a free game you guess the song lyrics trivia game called lyrics guru, and you can easily find it on both Google play and the app store by typing in three separate words, lyrics guru app, so app. All right. So, Hey, like I said, I'll make sure I have a link to that in the show notes. I think I could post the link to the play store in there as well. So I'll try to make it easier so people can just click it and get in there. But if not, that's how you search for it. Look for lyrics guru app.

Average Joe Finances:

I'm definitely to go download that game and I'm going to try to see if I could play it tonight. With the family. It sounds fun. Definitely, definitely something that's right up my alley. So Al it's been an absolute pleasure talking with you today. I generally really respect people's time and I really appreciate the time that you took to speak with me today and share your story with our audience.

Al Jones:

My pleasure, the side bar, the app the website is www dot lyrics guru dot M O B I all right.

Average Joe Finances:

We'll get that in there too. So you can go straight to the source, right. To the website, which I'm sure we'll have links to the actual play store and everything. So, yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Well, Hey Al, like I said, truly appreciate it, man. Thank you for taking some time and chatting with me.

Al Jones:

My pleasure.

Average Joe Finances:

All right, Aloha. Thanks for listening to the average Joe finances podcast, your source for beating debt, saving money and investing. Learn more at averagejoefinances.com. The average Joe finances podcast is for informational and entertainment purposes only do not use this for any real estate or investment making decisions.