People of Earnin: Corie'l Mack

Corie’l has a lot on her plate. Ever since her late husband’s passing, she’s had to juggle being a mother of four while working her day job, paying bills, increasing her credit score, and so much more. While it hasn’t always been smooth-sailing, she remains dedicated to providing the best possible life for her and her children. Here’s her story:

How Corie’l Met Her Husband

“We dated in college. I came back home so we went our separate ways. We were still friends and eventually we got back together and it was just like nothing ever stopped.”

The Diagnosis

“We were not prepared. He was working at the airport at that time and he just got really sick. We went to the hospital and that's when they told us he had stage four. With chemo, he could have two years, without chemo, he had a year and it was just like, “Wow.” From him getting the diagnosis, we got almost two years... like four months shy of two years from the date we got his diagnosis.

It was the last thing we thought was going to come about because we were still engaged at the time when he got the diagnosis. The crazy thing is he was diagnosed four months before we got married and a lot of people were like, “You're still gonna do it?” and I'm just like, “I can't leave him! Who would do that?” So we still got married. It was the biggest thing on our list to make sure we got married. Once we were officially married, I was able to do more things through my job like get a life insurance policy. I couldn't get a big policy because he had already been diagnosed, but I was able to get something to cover the funeral expenses so that was one good thing about that.”

Medical Bill Blessings

“With the medical bills, there was this lady, I call her Angel, who was with the hospital. She was able to put all his paperwork in for him to get approved for Medicare instantly. Because of the number of children that we had in the home, they were able to get him qualified for Medicaid so that we wouldn't have any out-of-pocket expenses at all. That was a blessing.”

How Earnin Helped After Her Husband’s Passing

“When I went through the whole process of my husband passing, social security put a freeze on his disability payments. They had hit the bank right before he passed and they froze everything so I couldn't get money like I needed to pay bills and cover the funeral and travel costs. I was trying to use the card, but it kept declining without giving a reason. Thank God for Earnin then because it really helped me out. It was helpful to be able to just go in and request the money to take care of things now and deal with the card later.”

Life After

“He passed away three years ago. It's a learning curve. My kids were actually younger when it happened so it hasn't been that bad. They knew he was gone, but we still do stuff to keep his memory in the house. We do things throughout the year on his birthday and the day that he passed to remember him. It's one of those things where it's a hit or miss sometimes. It's a sad time, but also we're happy to celebrate what time we did have with him.”

Financial Goal: Purchasing a Home

“I’m trying to purchase a house this year. Right now, I'm in pre-approval status. It's just about locating the actual home cause I would love to purchase my grandparents' home, but if that doesn't work out, I'm still looking in the area at different homes. The banker at the company I'm working with told me that with my income and student loans, we have to be careful of the amount that I apply for because we don't want the bank to look at it as risky; with me working on improving my score and where it is now, going on a loan by myself, we just want to make sure it's strong.”

Financial Win: Getting a Car

“Initially I wanted to get my credit to a decent score. And it's like, I had been working and working towards that and I finally was able to get to where I needed to be. Then in 2019. I kept putting off getting a car because I needed to buy a house, but I still needed a car. I was driving an hour and a half to work in my Suburban everyday and it was just like, “I need something small.” I went to the dealership and told them that I just needed something. It can be used. I don't care. I just need something. The guy said, “Well, it's your lucky day. We got you approved for a 2020 with $500 down and I was so proud that I was able to do that by myself. I got a brand new car for $500 down with a decent car payment and my interest wasn’t 24%. I had a bad car loan before and it was horrible. When you have bad credit and you just need a car, you take whatever you can get. I feel like I reached a milestone in life.”

Not only is losing a spouse difficult emotionally, but it’s financially draining as well. According to research done by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, individual annual income falls by an average of $5,500 after the death of a spouse and remains at this level for the next two years. That’s why our mission is to help people like Corie’l get access to money when they need it.

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