Resilience, Birthdays & Credit Card Debt
We're back with another episode of your favorite podcast! Last week if you didn't get a chance to listen, we swam across the pond to speak with our astute guest Vicki Wusche - wealth strategist and powerhouse of a woman. In our conversation with Vicki, we learned about how all the ways people can build a healthy relationship with money and how it can be turned into a positive force for good in life. So, if you missed our insightful discussion with Vicki, certainly circle back and check out Story 13: Never Assume.
This week, we got a chance to talk with the man, the myth, the legend, Keith Moore aka Mr. Credit Banking. A self-proclaimed "regular guy", Keith comes from humble beginnings. Having lost his job on his birthday, fallen ill to the cycle of insurmountable debt, and running out of options to turn to financially, Keith took it upon himself to turn around his life. Through perseverance and a bit of curiosity, Keith over time has mastered the art of personal finance and has amassed a zealot following of thousands - all listening to his refreshing advice on how to live the smart way financially. It's a treat of an episode, filled with joyous stories, personal struggles, and opportunities for hope for the everyday individual.
This Episode In A Nutshell
Resilience is something we all have, but few of us have truly mastered it. The ability to bounce back from financial hardship, overcome the inescapable cycle of living paycheck to paycheck, and recover from hearing about news of unemployment on his birthday - Keith Moore aka Mr. Credit Banking is a man who's mastered resiliency. A self-described "regular man" Keith teaches us how to conquer the world of personal finance. From stories of despair to guidance on how to learn the personal finance system, Mr. Credit Banking has transformed himself from a man with nothing, into a man with a plan, all accomplished with a little help from the "Google machine". Listen as Keith shares his marvelous story!
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Audio Transcript of Story 14: Paycheck to Paycheck, I Had Nothing
Hello everyone! I don’t know about you all but I’m really starting to get those summer feels. We’re nearing April now, and I hope an increase in temperature is happening wherever you are, unless you’re one of the lucky ones where it's warm all year round and, if that’s the case, count your blessings!
Great episode for you today on The Chirp! Being a part of Pigeon and its growth allows me to create awesome connections with other content creators, especially those in the personal finance and loans space. The interview you will be hearing shortly is with none other than Keith Moore, also known as Mister Credit Banking!
Keith has spent the last year building his online brand by releasing content on Youtube and TikTok, promoting healthy personal finance and spreading his knowledge, free of charge, to those who are looking to improve their own financial situation.
He releases inspiring content online, and has racked up quite a number of subscribers and followers across his channels. Keith himself prides himself on NOT being a finance guru or a leading expert in these areas, but rather just a normal guy who has been in some unfortunate financial situations, and learned to get himself out of them.
I was very keen to ask him on to The Chirp to hear these stories and to find out what exactly prompted him to take what he has learned and give it back to those who mightn’t be as read up on these topics as they would like.
So let’s dive in. Hope you like it and I’ll give you my thoughts after.
Keith, you are very welcome to the chirp. Thank you so much for joining me today. I know you also go by the title, Mister Credit Banking, and I'd love you to explain to me, to our listeners, what your YouTube channel is all about, but also your journey up until you got started with the channel as well.
So I started my YouTube channel to help people. Personal finance is something that I have struggled with all my life and, up until a couple of years ago, I really, really, really struggled. And I was doing a lot of things wrong in my life when it comes to personal finance. And so once I got on to YouTube and the internet and started doing some research and what I can do to improve my personal finance, I said, there's a niche out there.
My brand of personal finance, I'm just a regular guy trying to prove that most of the personal finance YouTube channels I see out there are, well, mainly rich guys saying “Hey, buy my book, buy my tape and see how you could improve on your personal funds.”
But there was nobody like me, just a regular guy, struggling with the day-to-day things of personal finance. And then one of the things at the time when I started that I was really, really struggling with was my credit card debt. I had maxed out all of my credit cards. I was behind on my mortgage. I was behind on a lot of stuff and I needed to find a way and how can I get out of all of that?
So I came across someone’s channel where they were talking about velocity banking, and I'm not going to get into it too much today, but you can Google it, search it on Wikipedia, see what it is, but what it mainly talked about was using your credit cards to help you pay off your debt.
Basically, you can use a dollar more than once. So what we did was, if you have to pay your bills, pay off that credit card and then use that credit to pay some additional bits. So using a dollar more than once. And I liked that concept and I said, you know what? That's what I'm going to need. Mister Credit Banking. We're going to do credit banking on my channel.
Going back to your own financial struggles before you even thought of starting the channel. What were some of the motivating tales that happened to you, that made you realize not only, before starting the channel, that you needed to educate yourself? How to use a dollar more than once, like you so eloquently put. What were some of the stories that prompted you to take action in your financial life?
So, probably about six years ago, I lost my job on my birthday. Congratulations! Happy birthday, you have no more job. Which was a horrible thing for me. And that was an eye opener for me, because up until then I've always had a very good paying job, but I live paycheck to paycheck. And so I’d get paid on Friday and by Monday I was broke again.
But for me it wasn't a big deal because I got paid weekly. So basically five days later, hey, I would have another paycheck. So, I survived. On the outside, nobody could tell that I was really struggling because every seven days I had a paycheck. So when I got laid off, I didn't learn my lesson.
I continued to live my regular life like I did have a paycheck. But anyways, I was surviving off of unemployment, which was basically half of what I was making. And so I could not make my mortgage payments. I could pay all my other bills, but I could not make my mortgage payment. And the other bad thing that I did is I did not have any type of emergency fund.
I didn't have any type of savings. I was truly living paycheck to paycheck. So, I just stopped paying my mortgage. And for three months I didn't have a job. It was three months of not paying my mortgage. So guess what? When I finally got my job, three months at my new job, three months later, I was three months behind in my mortgage and I was like, “Wow, I'm in a mess here.”
So I had to come up with a plan and it took me about six months. How was I going to get caught up in my mortgage? And so basically I got a side hustle, I got a job as an Amazon delivery driver, and that was going to help me get caught up on my mortgage. And it took me about two years to do that.
So in those two years, I have another 24 late payments. Although I wasn't falling behind. It took me two years to get caught up. And it took that long because life is still happening and emergencies are still happening. All these things are happening while I'm still trying to get caught up. And in between that I had a car that I was using to be a delivery driver for Amazon.
That car, because I was using a lot making deliveries for Amazon, it would break down a lot. And so, I still didn't really learn my lesson as it comes to personal finance. So whenever the car would break down, I just whipped out one of my credit cards, repaid it and I was on my way. I didn't really need to worry about paying the bill in August, I made the minimum payments on my credit card bill.
So, over those two years, to get caught up on my loan, I maxed out those credit cards and then, just my bad luck, guess what? The car broke down! So I have a maxed out credit card. Card that doesn't work and I'm slowly getting caught up on my mortgage. Things can't get any worse. So then I go to the car dealership and I say, “Here I am, I have a broken car, I’m behind in my mortgage and I have maxed-out credit cards. Can you guys give me a loan to get a car?”
And they said, “Sure, let me run your credit, you know, 14 times”, which I did not know that they were going to do. I thought, “Hey, I signed for them to run my credit.”
They ran it, I thought they were running it once, but I came to find out afterwards that they ran it 14 times to find me “a better deal”. The good thing is I didn't leave the car dealership with a new car, but unfortunately my credit card ran 14 times. So it even made my credit even worse. And the old car that broke down, I still owed $6,000. So now a payment from the old car for $6,000 and then the new car, $17,000, I'm in even more debt.
My credit is even worse and I’m behind in my mortgage, it's a mess. So I had to say, “Gosh, I got to find a way to get out of this.” So that's around the time I say, “Hey, I gotta do something differently”. I started doing more and more and more research on YouTube on the internet, and that's also around the time when I started my Youtube channel.
And I started getting serious, creating a budget, paying off my bills and so forth. And at the same time, create my content from my YouTube channel. I'm doing research and I'm paying off my bills. And one of the things that I really liked when I paid off my car, I came up with a creative way of paying that car loan because that car loan was horrible.
That was 26, I repeat 26% interest on a car loan. You know, most car loans are three, four, maybe at the max 10%, it was 26%! It was higher than all the credit cards that I had. That is crazy. So anyway, I came up with a creative way of paying off the car loan. I ended up paying off that car loan and becoming consumer debt-free. And here I am today, talking to you guys about personal finance. I love personal finance. Another reason why I created this channel is that I wanted to talk about personal finance so much, most people were getting sick and tired of hearing me telling them about personal finance.
So I said, “Instead of me annoying my friends I’m going to create this channel so I can get it out of me because I felt like, “Wow, I'm onto something big. I need to tell everybody that wants to listen.” My friends are sick and tired of hearing about my personal finance so here I am today.
Fantastic. Now I'd love to hear more about how you did pay off that horrible car loan, but what I really want to ask you about is, just going back to your self-education and how all of these shit things that just piled up on top of you. How are you able to get yourself out of it? Can you talk a little bit more about how you actually educated yourself?
You touched on it earlier saying that you did your own research, but what a lot of guests that I talked to on this podcast, they were all in agreement that the education really isn't accessible. It's out there. It's there to be consumed, but it's just not something we learn in schools.
You have to study it, to specialize in it in university or in college if you want to learn more about it. You have a full, up-and-running YouTube channel dedicated to educating people to handle their personal finance. Where did you begin on educating yourself so that you could educate others?
I know I've seen on YouTube a lot of people saying, “Hey, school systems are not really educating you on personal finance.” And I wish that I had that excuse because believe it or not, when I was in junior high, we actually had a class on personal finance!
That's how I learned to write a check. That's how I learned to balance a checking account. And back then, when I was a little kid, you had to have a little passport book to balance your checking account. So I did learn about personal finance, but unfortunately I was 14 years old. And that stuff I forgot.
So, I'm 18 years, and an adult, old and I've forgotten all about that stuff. And I just was like every other crazy consumer - just consuming, consuming, consuming. So anyways, like I said, 30 years later, when I got stuck behind such a financial barrier, I had to figure it out.
And I was in so much personal financial debt. I wasn't going to go out there and buy a book because I couldn't afford it. I wasn't gonna go get a course. And a lot of people said, it's an investment in yourself by going out buying books and courses. I was in such huge financial debt. I could not afford any of those things.
It wasn't even an option for you.
It was not an option. So I had to go the free route. Somebody told me one day, and I loved the way they called it, “Hey, just get on the Google machine and just start Googling stuff about personal finance” So I just start reading it...reading, reading, reading - reading to the point where I went to the extreme. One of the things I did on my financial journey was cancel cable.
I do not watch TV. I have not watched TV in 4 years. So I take that time that I used to dedicate to watching television, to educating myself anywhere. I asked any stranger because I want to talk about personal finance all the time. I'll get onto the “Google machine” like someone told me and I just Google as much as I can find out and just keep digging and digging and digging.
And then also I look at my own finances. I look at my own budget. I spent some weekends just staring at my budget and going like, what else can I do? What else can I do to make it better? And so between asking people, getting on the internet and Googling like crazy and reading some books, listening to some free audio tapes on the internet, I was able to educate myself.
And so that's the way I did. I did not go to any official classes, I'm not a financial guru or anything like that. I'm just a regular guy going through life struggling with my personal finance and trying to come up with creative solutions or whenever I run into those particular problems.
I know a lot about personal finance, trust me, the stuff comes up, these problems come up and I just have to do some research. I know the answers. I just have to find it and keep going.
Going back to that car loan. What did you learn there on your own that allowed you to tackle that demon and get it sorted? What was your remedy?
So my remedy was very, very, very creative and I do not recommend this for everybody, but you know one of my days doing research. I'll spend a weekend doing research every weekend, I'm doing some type of research because I have to. I'm creating content and so forth.
So I try to make sure that the information that I'm given that it's accurate and if it worked for me, I also want to see that it worked for other people. On this other guy's YouTube channel, he just briefly talked about something. I think most of his listeners probably miss that you can take your credit card and pay off your car loan.
And I was like, no way, why would you want to do that? That's a dumb idea. And I said, I'm going to try that. So he said, just take a 0% interest rate credit card and you can pay for your car loan. And I was like, there's no way that's going to work. So I ended up doing it, I did end up getting a 0% interest rate credit card and then.
I did a balance transfer to my car loan, which was at 26%. And it went through, I could not believe it. I was shocked that that actually worked. And then, basically I moved my car loan to my credit card and I know that's probably not for everybody, but at least I'd stopped that building up, paying 26%.
Now I'm truly only paying the credit card principal, instead of playing know a little part of the principal and a whole lot of interests. Most people don't know that most loans are front loaded. So at the beginning, you're paying a lot of interest and very, very, very little principal.
And I was tired of doing that. So that car loan is paid off. I didn't pay it off completely because one of the things I do know is that when you pay up a loan completely, it hurts your credit. And my credit is very, very important to me. So I left a little bit on them, actually paying them $5 a month, so that loan does not go away and it's going to stay there for them, the normal life of the loan.
So I'm winning on both sides. I stopped the bleeding of the interest and then the loan is still sitting there and I'm paying $5 a month. So I do not get dinged for paying off my loan, probably. So anyways, that's the creative way I paid off my car loan.
And just a question from a novice like me: What is the thought process behind financial institutions not wanting you to pay all of your loan off in one go, is it that they don't want to let you go too soon? That they still want to have money coming in, paying off that loan in your experience? Why is that the case?
So you answered it. They want to get that interest off of you. So they do not want you to pay off that loan. They want to drag that thing out as long as possible. So they do not want you to pay off that loan under any circumstance. Cause they've already estimated how much money they're going to make off that loan. And when you pay it up, you're cutting into their bottom line. They do not want you to pay up that loan sooner than what they anticipated and they will.
So they will punish you if you do that by affecting your credit score?
Yes, so the financial institutions are not punishing you themselves, but the credit reporting agencies will punish you for paying it off soon because the financial institution wants you to have a certain amount of things. They want you to have some revolving credit.
They want you to have some loans. They want you to have all these. And they say, “Hey, that shows that you're very responsible. You're a responsible person when it comes to credit.” So when you don't want to have that loan, they say, “Well, maybe you can't really manage a loan, so that's why you don't have a loan”.
So, they punish you for not being able to manage a loan. But I think, in the big picture, it is the banks. They want you to keep paying the interest rate on that loan because they were counting on that money coming in. That's why they gave you the loan for that amount of time at that particular interest rate.
I want to ask you some more questions about your YouTube channel and the content that you're creating, but I'd love to get your opinion on the topics of financial institutions.
Do you think that it is better if you're in a position to get a loan off a loved one and someone you trust over getting a loan from a financial institution? Do you agree with that or do you think maybe going to a bank or a credit union is sometimes better and more safe? What are your thoughts on this?
I think it all depends - on the amount of the loan. I think that, for something like your mortgage or your cars, those are huge loans. I think it's better to go through a financial institution, but I think once you get into the microloans, the smaller loans, I think it's better to go to a family member or someone else other than those financial institutions. You know a mortgage or a car, those things are huge!
Not too many of us have a family member who has that much money sitting around. So I think when it comes to the bigger loans, it's better to go to the larger financial institutions. I personally prefer credit unions because they're better and they'll work with you. The big banks. I mean, they're just in it for the money and they could care less about you.
Now as a content creator. I think you've been doing it now for over a year. Is that correct?
Yeah, last month has been a year. So I'm excited about that.
How are you finding it? Are you enjoying it?
I'm enjoying it. I'm truly enjoying it. And it's taken off more than I anticipated because I'm not doing this for the money. I think I'm just doing it for the fun of it and sharing the information that I have.
And now I have people asking me questions like I'm a guru or something and I'm not. And the one thing I did not anticipate, that content is up there and people are looking at it 24 hours a day, and people are interacting with me like I'm up 24 hours a day. And I'm not!
Yeah, you’re not a 24 hour YouTuber!
And I was checking out your channel and the videos are amazing. The quality is great as well. I'm just curious. I read your comments and there's great engagement. I think you respond to almost nearly all of them, which is fantastic to see. What are some of the facts that you've noticed while engaging with your audience? Any questions or stories that surprised you about people that are looking for financial guidance in the areas that you cover?
Oh, wow. Stories that have surprised me… Ah, well, a lot of my content is about a particular credit union, which I was amazed at. Navy Federal Credit Union, and I've made content about lots of stuff when it comes to personal finance. But I've noticed that when I make the content about Navy Federal Credit Union, it gets a lot of engagement.
And if I noticed that before I even had my own channel, whenever I would go try to do research, Navy Federal Credit Union would come up all the time. That's the one thing that surprised me. How much content there is out there by Navy Federal Credit Union and how much people engage with it.
I know it's the biggest credit union out there, but whenever I put up a video about Navy Federal Credit Union, people always ask me lots of questions. For example, I put up a 40 second video on TikTok about two weeks ago. And most of my videos will get a couple hundred views or whatever. And I think when I looked this morning,it had over 20,000 views. It just seems like everybody wants to know more about Navy Federal Credit Union, how to get into it, how to use their credit cards.
And then a lot of people haven't like specific questions about using the different financial tools that Navy Federal has.
Why do you think that is? Is there a controversy around this credit union or is it a fact that they're just so common? Why is there so much attraction around this credit union, especially with your content?
I think because Navy Federal is a financial institution that caters more to regular people. Most banks will tell the people who watch my videos, they'll probably tell them no, but Navy Federal will say, yes, not only will Navy Federal say yes...
Because a lot of people are looking for credit cards and not only would Navy Federal say, “Yes, I'm going to give you a credit card”, the would also say, “I'm going to give you a credit card with a high limit.” And in the credit card business, that makes a huge difference if you want to use your credit cards and not have your utilization being really high and it hurt your credit.
So most people want that high limit credit card so they can use the actual credit card! If you're not perfect and you're not rich, most banks will give you a $2,000 credit limit or $3,000 limit, but Navy Federal will give somebody a $25,000 credit limit.
And not that they're going to use $25,000, you get to use $1,000 or $2,000 of it and the rest just sits there. So it doesn't hurt when you use that credit card, it doesn't hurt your utilization, and that’s big when it comes to managing your credit.
Brilliant. And I suppose, back to being a content creator. What does the future look like for you?
Where do you want to take the channel? It's clear that you've such engagement. You have so many fans You're helping a lot of people. you've been at it a year and you've already had this amount of traction and engagement. What do you hope for the Mister Credit Banking brand and the future that it brings?
Oh, wow. Well, I just want my channel to grow. I want all my social media to grow because I want to get the information that I have out there. I know a lot of people that do this because they want to monetize it. I'm not too crazy about that. I really want to get that information out there and I want to grow all of my social media when it comes to getting that information out there about personal finance.
I want people to see a regular guy that gives information from experience, and not something that I read in a book. These are the problems I ran into and these are how I solved it and you can do the same thing also. So I just really just want to educate people. I just want to grow my channel so I can educate more and more and more people
Because I know the issues over the past two years, a lot of people are going to be into some huge financial problems and I want to help them as they go through this stuff because more and more people are going to the internet to try to educate themselves because they're going to be just like me.
They're not going to have the money to go out there and buy a book or a course and stuff like that. And I want to give my content away for free. I wanted to be there so you can search and find it all in one place without having to spend any money to get the information.
Brilliant. And Keith, if people do want to find you, to know what platforms you’re on, or even just send you an email, what is the best way to get in contact with you and ask you some questions about personal finance?
Oh cool! So I am on YouTube as Mister Credit Banking, the “Mr.” is spelled out. And then on TikTok, it's abbreviated. It's mrcreditbanking1. And on Instagram, it's @mistercreditbanking. So that's where I'm at on all my different plans!
Well, listen, Keith, it was fantastic talking to you and getting to know why you got started in all this, and the selflessness of not wanting to do this for the money.
You're doing this to help people. And I really, really wish you all the best of luck with the channel. I can only see good things happening and all the growth that's happened as well. So best of luck with it all Keith.
Thank you very much. I really enjoyed being on your podcast today. It was great just getting to share my story with your listeners, with your viewers.
Always a pleasure. Thank you, Keith.
All right. Thanks. Bye. Mister Credit Banking out! Peace!
What a man! Keith is a guy who has taken his financial hardship and turned it into something enjoyable and beneficial for others! He doesn’t rate himself as a Financial Guru. He doesn’t necessarily appreciate those who use their content to promote themselves or their courses or their books. He is a man of the people whose sole purpose is to help as many as he can.
I loved all of Keith’s stories. From his bad car loan where they ran his credit 14 times, to using his credit card to pay off that loan. Keith has been at the bottom of the financial barrel and used his intelligence to get out of his mess.
The main reason why Keith was such a great guest for me is his emphasis on financial education and why it’s so important. I touched off this point with Keith when I mentioned that there isn’t a huge amount of compulsory education on topics like these. I was very surprised when he said, when it comes to the lack of financial education in schools, that he has no excuse and he did take a class in Junior High on all this stuff!
But it’s great that he is now giving back and, in the wonderful world of online content that is so readily at our fingertips, Mister Credit Banking represents a community of people that are helping each other out in an area that is so often misunderstood.
And Keith himself is an example of just that! He educated himself by using free resources that are already out there. He didn’t “invest in himself” by buying a book or course, he focused on what was available to him and he bettered himself - Now, Keith passes on that same mindset to his followers.
Until April, we shall leave it there for now. Be sure to check Keith out by typing Mister Credit Banking into youtube. Not only does he share his wisdom, but he’s also energetic and very enjoyable to listen to.
We’ll be back on the 12th of April with another episode for all you crazy Chirp fans. Until then, stay safe and stay sensible! Take care.