People of Earnin: Andria Young
My Life Philosophy
I have a habit of taking in young people - specifically, young people who have found themselves without a home for some reason or another. Often they have been a friend of either my son or my daughter. I may not have a whole lot more to offer, but I can give someone a place to lay their head so they're not on the street. I'm happy to share whatever I have. So I have a few children from those incidents who decided that I was Mama and they were not ever going to leave me.
I'm a person who believes that any and everything that we deal with in life, can be used as an opportunity to help others. Once we progress from point A to point B to point C to point D, we can take that information, educate others, and bring others forward. It's one of the things that I really love about Earnin because it kind of fits into that pay it forward philosophy that I embrace and try to live.
Progress Isn’t a Straight Line
I was married and my then-husband deserted us. At that point, I was working on my MBA when everything happened so I was trying to finish that, being in school full time, then out looking for a job and all these other things. I found myself dealing with foreclosure and all kinds of debt that wasn't mine. I had to figure out how to survive with just my salary. We basically lost everything.
Eventually, I found a job in Pennsylvania. I had been promoted and my salary was right where I finally thought I was going to be able to dig myself out. But then, I had this really bad thing happen between myself and my supervisor. I’m one of those people who has no problem accepting responsibility for my actions, and I didn't handle it well. I ended up demoted, which meant I lost all that ground that I had gained financially. So I found myself, again, trying to dig out, but from that diminished place of my salary.
Now, I’m an administrative assistant. I work at a university, and I worked directly with the Dean of one of the colleges on campus. I love my work. I get to be around young, adult people and that's my group, they're the ones that I gravitate toward. They are very easy to be around, to be with, to serve, and to connect with.
I Paid Off a Debt!
Last time I looked, I was over $7k in debt. Right now, I’m making small payments to about five of my debts, and I'm happy to report that I paid one of them off on Friday! That one was over $1k dollars. I'm really excited because this is the first time I said it out loud. I literally confirmed it earlier today, overjoyed. I was calling to find out what date I would end up making my last payment and the person said I already made my last payment!
Before Earnin, I had borrowed so much money just trying to keep myself going. When I first heard about Earnin, I thought that it sounded too good to be true. After I tried it, I was like, “Well, it really was too good to be true, but it actually was great.” And of course, I loved having the opportunity to add a tip amount to pay it forward to other people so that they're able to benefit from Earnin as well.
Changing My Financial Habits
In terms of where I’m at right now, I’m making some concrete decisions on how to go about changing my current financial situation and improving it for the future, so not just focusing on what I need to do right now, but also focusing on what habits I need to form and maintain so that my future is much more solid, progressive, and provides me with opportunities to do more things like helping others.
My big financial goal right now is to pay off my debt and own a home. To me, paying off the debt gets me to the place where my credit score starts improving. I'm pushing to have that done by the end of 2021. That's my goal.
I have two credit cards that are part of the debt that I'm paying off. When I first allowed myself to use credit cards, I was out of control, so now I don't really use them. For me, it wasn’t good to have that kind of access to that amount of money. One of the cards is a closed account and I'm just paying the debt. The other is still open. That one I intend to keep because it's all part of teaching myself to do things differently moving forward.
The next piece is getting my credit score to the point where I can get a mortgage. I'd like to buy some land and do some things like farming, things that would be good for the earth and make my contribution to life as we know it.
To me, being in a stable, progressive place means no debt other than the normal, monthly household bills and being able to pay things on time, not having to rob Peter to pay Paul. It also means being able to give to other organizations who help others, also being able to pursue the next degree for me and do so without debt AND also, at some point, to start a nonprofit. That's what that looks like for me. I feel like those things would position me to leave a legacy for my children, my grandchildren, and my great grandchildren.