Every once in a while, you come across a business model or entrepreneur that stands out. With the rise of social media, it has become extremely difficult to be unique. Despite this challenge, Umesh Agarwal has gone from the shadows into the spotlight by branding his business and services in a way that is relatable, trustworthy, and highly effective.
Umesh has pioneered the way credit is communicated and has opened the floodgates for thousands of normal people to understand how credit can work to their advantage. More importantly, Umesh has helped thousands of people fix their credit, gain access to top credit cards, and better their financial situation. As a partner of Credit 101, Umesh helps entrepreneurs build credit repair businesses by offering a turnkey solution that is scalable and equipped with mentorship offerings along the way.
1) What is your personal background and history with credit?
I am originally from India and have a formal education rooted in engineering. I came to the United States to get a master’s degree in engineering in Texas and have since started and grown a credit business. My business stems from a personal problem.
I was new to the United States and was completely unfamiliar with how credit scores and access to credit operated. This led me down a rabbit hole of reading, learning, and interacting with credit providers. The result of 5 years of hard work is what has allowed me to start teaching other people and helping people fix their credit.
2) How important is social media to your business?
Social media has been a great way of getting new eyeballs to my website and business. Ultimately, it is important to keep in mind that social media can’t fix a business rooted in rotten foundations. It works for me since my business is real and legitimate. It would succeed without social media so social media is a nice bonus to an already successful operation. I am thankful for Instagram where I have amassed over 160,000 followers. This has provided me with incredible access and feedback from a diverse set of people from all over the world.
3) What credit advice would you give your 18-year old self?
First, do not be afraid of credit. It is there for a reason and when positively exploited, it can provide life-changing rewards and opportunities. For example, by simply having a higher credit score, you can get lower interest rates and get approved for terms that normal people might not get. This can result in thousands of dollars saved over the course of a loan and other perks along the way.
Once you form a positive relationship with credit, it is important to then learn the tricks of building your credit score by using credit wisely. This means getting access to credit cards, being responsible and consistent with payments, and growing into larger cards after proving your creditworthiness. This is where the fun part happens.
4) Speaking of fun, how do you use credit to travel the world?
Credit cards provide you with rewards for spending on certain categories of items. Some of these rewards are in credit card points and others in the form of cashback. Points can be redeemed for plane tickets, travel, products, and other goods. The key is to know which cards give the most rewards for what category.
For example, there are credit cards that reward users for 2x points for dining out, meaning you get more bang for your buck. Using a normal debit card is not advised because you miss out on all of these opportunities.
5) What are the more advanced methods of credit hacking?
There are many things that we teach, but essentially the more access to credit you have, the more power you have. Getting approved for new cards with generous sign-up bonuses can be a great way to build points. Using business accounts to get multiple copies of the same card is also a tactic.
Finally, finding ways of spending money that can be instantly refunded (such as gift cards) gives you points without actually having to spend money. In these cases, you might lose 1-2% on transaction fees, but these fees can be dwarfed by rewards like enough points to fly round trips around the world.