‘She Needs Money, She’s Broke:’ Issa Rae On Hard Times Before Fame

by Xara Aziz

Issa Rae is opening up about hard times she faced in college when she fell into a credit card debt and was completely “broke.”

The Insecure star who just signed an eight-figure TV deal with WarnerMedia recalled a time when she attended Stanford University and had no clue about how to manage her credit.

“I think building your credit is important, and that is something that I needed to learn,” she told CNBC. “I was targeted by credit card companies when I was in college because I was their ideal target. It was like ‘okay, gullible girl over here. She needs money, she’s broke.’”

On the show Make It, she explained that she “lacked understanding” about the importance of paying debt in full and on time and only spend what you can afford to pay back – with interest.

“I got really, really wrapped up in credit card debt early on and it felt like it weighed on me. It was crippling,” she said.

Her “ah-ha” moment came when her aunt died and left an inheritance for her and her cousins. “It was meant to invest in our futures and it broke my heart, but I used that to get myself out of credit card debt.”

She says the inheritance also “lit a fire” within her to begin re-evaluating how to approach financial management and credit.

“That really lit a fire in me to never, never go through that again,” she said. “It was an opportunity to start over.”

She continued: “I’m intentional about being like ‘I’m only going to use this credit card to pay my light bill, and I’ll put that on auto pay,’ and being able to manage those finances because it’s money that I know I have,” she says. “Don’t spend money that you don’t have.”

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