Author, Zero Debt
, 2nd Edition (Advantage World Press 2004, 2008) New York Times Best Seller
Also author of Investing Success and The Money Coach’s Guide to Your First Million
Worked for nearly a decade as a Dow Jones Newswires reporter and a Wall Street Journal reporter for CNBC
Guest Commentator on CNN, FOX Business Network, and MSNBC
TV appearances: The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil, Rachel Ray
Married, 3 children
Lynette Khalfani-Cox: The Money Coach
By Heather Salon
The 700 Club
Lynnette Khalfani-Cox is called "The Money Coach" because she teaches people how to get financially fit, how to get out of debt, save more money or reach future goals, such as paying for retirement, a first-home or your kids' college education. With the economy in a recession, Lynnette is making a special commitment in 2009 to aiding those struggling with budgeting, credit and debt problems.
Thousands of people thank her and she gets many e-mails from desperate people, even those on the verge of suicide because of their financial situations. In these economic times people feel overwhelmed and don’t feel they have any control (stock market, housing, taxes, etc.). Lynnette helps by offering hope through practical solutions. She’s helping people through her partnership with the National Foundation for Debt Management (NFDM), as well as a national financial literacy campaign. Throughout the year, she’s conducting a nationwide "Zero Debt Tour." This offers a series of free financial workshops throughout the country at churches, colleges and other venues. These money-management seminars will not only be free to the public, but the first 500 attendees at each event will receive a free copy of her New York Times bestseller, Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom.
She wrote Zero Debt after she dug her way out of $100,000 in credit card debt in just three years without ever missing a single payment. She believes if she can do it, so can anyone else. She was previously married and her husband at the time was going to school for his PhD. This didn’t help with her overspending situation, and she was the only breadwinner in the family. She was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal for CNBC and a Dow Jones Newswires reporter. Lynnette and her ex-husband’s debt came to a head in 2001. She was $100,000 in credit card debt and owed $40,000 in student loans. Lynnette was doing everything the financial experts said as far as investing - she put her money in a 401k, stocks, etc. However, she didn’t do anything about her debt, because she didn’t think she had to - she paid her bills on time and no creditors were after her, so she thought she was fine. Then it happened; her credit card was declined when she used it to buy an expensive dinner. She knew she had to do something about it.
Lynnette realized she was in denial about her debt. She used practical strategies to get out of i.t Lynnette says she didn’t really have a “financial plan.” She remembered the Biblical truths she grew up with; she stopped overextending her money; asked herself, “What am I doing with my money?”; didn’t try to make more money - she watched how she spent her money; cut back on expenses; used “windfall” money to pay down debt; negotiated with creditors; doubled and tripled credit card payments (paid more than the minimum payment,) opted out of additional credit cards; and took away extra temptations (like additional credit card applications). In doing these simple steps (and more she outlines in Zero Debt) she was able to pay off everything in three years.
WHERE TO BEGIN
Many times, people find themselves in debt because they are over spenders and poor money managers, or they fall victim to what Lynnette calls the “5 Dreaded Ds.” They are: divorce, downsizing, death, disability, and disease. She doesn’t have a problem with debt consolidation, but she feels strongly that people need to know how to pick a good consolidation company. If you must get a loan for a car, education, etc. (good debt vs. bad debt), you must manage it very well and come up with a plan to pay it down quickly. With credit card debt, it is good to pay more than the minimum payment. When paying the minimum, you are only paying two to four percent of principle. This keeps you in debt longer, and you might be paying something off in 25 years. Lynette’s book Zero Debt has a practical 31-Day Plan that will start you on your way to get out of debt. She highlights a few steps in the plan: Opt out of additional credit cards; Put debts in writing (exact amounts) – it’s a wake-up call of what you owe. You have to know exactly where your starting point of knocking out debt is; and Know your legal rights – honor obligations, don’t take
advantage of the system – only use federal aid, etc. as a last resort. Understand the legal standpoint of your debt and pay off everything.
ZERO DEBT TOUR
The Zero Debt Tour started on January 2009. The Zero Debt Tour is a financial literacy initiative designed to teach people all across the United States how to better budget, manage credit and debt wisely, and save more money. This is a free national campaign that Lynnette’s company is underwriting themselves. All people have to do is simply show up at a workshop.
“I know from first-hand experience how stressful it is to deal with money worries, but if I could pay off $100,000 in credit card debt in just three years, I know others can get out of debt too.” Lynnette said.
In the first quarter of 2009, The Zero Debt Tour will crisscross the country, making stops in Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta and St. Petersburg, Florida.
Lynnette is a personal finance expert, television and radio personality, and the author of numerous financial books. She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, FOX Business Network, and such national TV programs as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil, The Tyra Banks Show and Good Morning America sharing her success story and teaching millions about proper money management. She has also been featured in top newspapers including the Washington Post, USA Today, and the New York Times, as well as magazines ranging from Essence and Redbook to Black Enterprise and Smart Money.
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