TheGrio's financial forum: Good credit leads to financial independence

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When you fire up the barbeque grills, toss out those beach towels or gaze at fireworks this Fourth of July weekend, consider the many things that would make Independence Day feel truly “independent.”

For many African-Americans, the weight of financial debt and fiscal insecurity is like a yoke around our necks, dragging down our hopes, dreams and neighborhoods.

TheGrio celebrates your financial independence by offering some tips and ideas on how you can get ahead of financial burdens and enjoy your lives and families with new financial freedoms.

Teri Williams is President and COO of OneUnited Bank, America’s largest black-owned bank. She sat down with our Shartia Brantley of CNBC to share the story of her road to success and to drive home the idea that financial security is in itself freedom. In Part 4 of that conversation, Williams tells us how to repair credit.

In Part Five, with good credit comes opportunities to buy real estate. Teri Williams urges black consumers to consider buying homes in their neighborhoods as a way to create wealth. In New York for instance, communities such as Fort Greene and Bushwick in Brooklyn and even Harlem itself have appreciated in value exponentially in the past decade.   Ms. Williams cites Overtown in Miami, South Central in Los Angeles and even Roxbury in Boston as neighborhoods that merit consideration.

All Summer long theGrio will be posting advice and financial tips. Let us know what you would like to know about your finances and ways of building wealth in the comment section below.