Rumble: What unique challenges do women face when it comes to their finances?
Amber: I don’t feel women face any more unique challenges with regards to their finances than men. Ultimately, I feel it is all about the individual’s unique situation, short & long term goals, personal responsibility and accountability.
Rumble: It's been difficult to feel financially stable during this pandemic and economic hard times, what's your advice for women who may be struggling financially right now? What's perhaps one thing we have control over right now?
Amber: My advice to all struggling right now during this pandemic and economic hard time would be to show some self-love and grace. When there is a will, there is a way. Connect with people, voice your struggles and don’t be afraid to ask for help. We are all in this together.
Rumble: What are some tips for women who are working toward financial freedom?
Amber: The one and only thing we have control over right now is our words, actions and emotions. One of my favorite quotes lately --- “Get comfortable with feeling positive, healthy and rich. This will help you become these things!” Abraham Hicks. Anyone working towards financial freedom should absolutely understand, know and continue to work on their credit score. There is a “consumer” credit score and there is a “mortgage/auto” credit score; these two scores utilize different algorithms, therefore will be different. It’s important to understand the difference and leverage your credit wisely.
Rumble: What’s the quickest way to improve your credit score?
Amber: The quickest way to improve your scores, is to KNOW your scores. Be sure you are monitoring your consumer credit scores regularly. Personally, I utilize Credit Karma and Credit Sesame to gain access to monitor two bureaus. Check to make sure all of the information reported is 100% correct. Make sure your name is spelled correctly and the same across all bureaus. If any information is incorrect or unknown to you, dispute it. Be sure to pay your bills on time, open a new (secured/unsecured) credit card and DO NOT carry a balance over 30% of the credit limit. Or, get with me and let’s discuss your unique scenario.
Rumble: Any other investment advice for women?
Amber: Things and times are always changing. I am currently engulfed learning investment in cryptocurrency, personally and professionally. I would encourage you to explore small investment opportunities to learn more, grow your money and plan for the future. Other investment vehicles would include retirement accounts, IRA’s, money markets, etc.
Rumble: I think many women feel torn right now on what to do — save, pay down debt, spend wisely — any advice on the best financial moves to make right now? For example, is it a good time to buy a home, refinance, or should we be holding on to our money?
Amber: With interest rates at a historic low, it is a great time to purchase a home. However, everyone’s situation, goals and lifestyles are different so purchasing a home isn’t for everyone. If you intend on staying in one area for a 3-5 year period, I’d say purchase all day long. There are many no to low down payment options available, and paying someone else’s mortgage (via rent) should be avoided, if possible.
Rumble: We all received a $600 stimulus check and more government assistance could be on the way, what should we do with it?
Amber: BE SMART! Be smart with the assistance money you receive. I’d say evaluate your unique situation and make your money work for you. If you have massive debt, look at paying down the debt with the largest interest rate. If you are currently renting and have the ability to save, look to continue saving and explore your options for purchasing a home. If you are unable to work because you have children at home, look to start a company or a work from home position.
Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, Amber Patterson and her family (husband, three children and two pups) relocated to Maggie Valley in August 2020. As a little girl, Amber recognized and fell in love with the power of financial freedom. At age 25, Amber began her mortgage career bankside and hasn’t stop learning and growing since. Amber transitioned to a direct lender in 2015 and in October 2020 opened her own branch for her company, Allied Mortgage Group here Waynesville. Amber focuses on overall financial wellness and treats every client like a family member. No wonder she’s been coined “The Mortgage Mommy.”