From bust to boom and now busted, you’ve likely heard that rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson III, of Get Rich or Die Tryin’ fame, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection Monday, July 13, after a jury ordered him to pay $5 million in an invasion of privacy case for intentionally leaking a sex tape. According to the bankruptcy filing, his assets are valued at $10 to $50 million, with his liabilities also in that same range.
How did he fall so fast? Until just this past May, Forbes named Jackson as one of the wealthiest hip-hop stars, with a successful music career as well as a plethora of savvy outside business ventures. Forbes gauged his net worth at $155 million, mostly due to his estimated $100-million payout for his stake in Vitaminwater — Coke bought the company for $4.1 billion in 2007.
Now, though Forbes reports, Jackson may soon be worth less than his nickname.
According to the filing, his liabilities were primarily consumer debts “incurred by an individual primarily for a personal, family, or household purposes.”
So, what can you do to keep your finances from going off the rails? Here’s some advice from Experian’s director of public education, Rod Griffin:
- This may sound simple, but to help you regain control of your debt, get your credit reports from the three credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion, Equifax. They are each free once a year and many people don’t take advantage of them. They will show you what you need to work on; alert you to unfamiliar accounts, unknown addresses changes or other signs of identity theft; and will give you a comprehensive list of your debts and payment balances.
- Make a budget. People hate that word, so call it a spending plan, if you’d rather. But you have to know how much of your money is coming in and how much is going out before you can get your finances on the right track. People think they know where their money is going, but they don’t, so they feel inundated with debt and don’t feel they have an excess of funds, but then they find out that they are spending a lot of money on lattes, for example. You might even consider keeping a spending diary for several months.
- If you are trying to understand how to improve your credit worthiness, consider a service like Experian’s Credit Educator, where you can get as much as 30 to 45 minutes with a trained representative for about $40. The Credit Educator can walk you through your report, explain factors contributing to your score, and give examples of actions to improve your score.
- If you have challenges with making a payment, talk to the lender. They are quite willing to work with you through your rough spot.
- Talk to a non-profit credit counselor for help with managing your finances before you have trouble, or go to them when you first become aware that you might have issues. Credit counselors can help you understand your finances and help you create a workable budget, as well as identify what you need to work on first. They can also help you work with your lenders to negotiate terms or reduce interest rates.
We hope these tips help you get the most out of your home. If you need help determining the value of your property, use our easy Home Value Estimator here at FreeValues.com.