Arnita Johnson-Hall told her inspiring story to CNBC, and her achievements are nothing if not remarkable.
The story begins in 2007, when she was a single mother living in Dallas, TX, and working a dead-end job making a measly $12/hour.
Because she was making such a pittance, this future millionaire qualified for all sorts of public assistance programs — including Section 8 housing. And without it, there would be no way she’d have survived.
“My entire income went towards rent, gas, daycare, and, regrettably, payday loans in order to survive until my next paycheck,” she explained to the outlet.
When Johnson-Hall was offered a $60,000/year job, it looked like there was a light at the end of the tunnel. But then, when the company ran her credit, she was denied for having a score below 400 (It’s worth noting that while some states — including Texas — permit employers to run credit checks on their potential employees, other states, like New York, forbid it under their human rights laws). Johnson-Hall explained that while she started out with good credit, she didn’t understand financial literacy when she was younger — so she maxed out 25 credit cards.
That’s what inspired her to completely turn her life around.
“This wake-up call led me to study the credit system and launch AMB Credit Consultants, a side hustle that would later become a financial education enterprise. Last year, it brought in $1.4 million in gross revenue,” she said to the outlet.
Johnson-Hall went on to explain that another aspect of her success was making her tragedy a part of her testimony.
“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I took on more than $80,000 in credit card debt to pay for holistic treatment. But by 2021, I had paid off over $60,000 of that debt, as well as loans for my family’s two cars,” she explained. “I used that story to show clients that I understood how to navigate financial planning and the credit system, even under the most stressful circumstances.”
Congratulations are in order to this newly-minted millionaire! We love to see it!
Becoming a millionaire isn't statistically easy
Arnita Johnson-Hall has a very inspiring story. But, what makes it even more inspiring is how she did it against all odds.
The Urban Institute reports that slightly more than half of the American population (about 51 percent), overall, will experience poverty at some point in their lives. However, “the likelihood of becoming poor is higher for Blacks, [LatinX], those in households headed by women, and those with lower levels of education.” What’s more, according to American Progress, 22.3 percent of all Black women currently live in poverty in the United States.
And the longer someone has been poor, the less likely they are to escape the cycle of poverty.
That Arnita Johnson-Hall was able to escape all this by any measure — let alone become a millionaire — is impressive in and of itself.