Title: Getting Started On The Right Foot Word Count: 656 Summary: Although our personal financial outlook is one of the most important contributors to our individual and family well-being and happiness, most of us never learned this in school. Our school system doesn't teach you just how important your credit score, personal financial statements and financial goal-setting skills are, yet these things are crucial to your financial "shape" and success. Continually work to improve your credit or establish credit by keeping accounts open and... Keywords: real estate, invest, finance, agent, broker, realty, property, american dream, rental Article Body: Although our personal financial outlook is one of the most important contributors to our individual and family well-being and happiness, most of us never learned this in school. Our school system doesn't teach you just how important your credit score, personal financial statements and financial goal-setting skills are, yet these things are crucial to your financial "shape" and success. Continually work to improve your credit or establish credit by keeping accounts open and by paying your accounts on time. Don't worry if you have poor credit; you can still start investing in real estate right away. However, excellent credit will allow you to partake of some of the most creative and lucrative financing options available to real estate investors, so it is important to start working on your credit score. Second, understand the importance of creating your personal financial statements. Your financial statements will help you create a plan that will lead you to true financial freedom. Undoubtedly, some of you will cringe at the very thought of having to take a hard look at your financial state. Look at it this way: How will you ever be able to determine where you want to go and how you're going to get there if you don't even know where you are starting from? After all, the key to becoming financially free isn't earning millions of dollars; the key is controlling your personal finances. How many former pro athletes and rock stars have made millions of dollars only to find themselves bankrupt and living on skid row? How many multi-millionaires work long, hard hours just to pay the bills and then retire too old and worn out to enjoy the kind of lifestyle they had always dreamed of living? Too many. Unfortunately, they were never taught how to take control of their financial situation. Here is your opportunity to start doing that. The first step towards living the lifestyle that you've always dreamed of is to determine how much passive income you need to become wealthy. Next, assess your debt repayment expenses. There are positive and negative debt repayment expenses, and it is important that you understand the difference. Positive debt is when you use other people’s money to purchase an income-producing asset (leveraging). You will be acquiring a lot of positive debt through real estate investing. (For example, you take out a loan from the bank to purchase a new rental property that produces a positive cash flow. Although it is someone else’s money, like the banks, it still creates a positive revenue stream.) Positive debt expense is a positive cash flow that puts cash into your pocket. Negative debt expense is a negative cash flow that takes money out of your pocket. Do what you can to reduce your negative debt. Analyze your assessed debt expenses and evaluate how you can reduce or eliminate the negative debt repayment expense. Often, when you reduce other budgeted expense categories, you are able to apply the difference between the assessed amount and the budgeted amount to your negative debt. Finally, review all other expense categories and make appropriate adjustments. SUCCESS STORY Emily never believed she could start investing in real estate because of her poor credit. One day, she found out that her friend Debbie was making a lot of money investing in real estate despite her bad credit history. When Emily asked her how she was able to invest in real estate with a poor credit history, Debbie explained that she had learned how to buy properties despite her poor credit. She told Emily that at first she used seller financing and high-interest conventional and unconventional loans to finance her investments. Initially, her investments broke even due to the higher-than-normal interest rates. However, she applied the investing tricks and turned her credit around in 12 months. She then refinanced all of her properties at lower rates, which made her properties begin to cash flow $1,900 per month.