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Hobby Turns Geek into Consumer Advocate

Written by: Kristy Welsh

Scottsdale, AZ - Kristy Welsh, author of the new book, "Good Credit is Sexy", was forced to give up her 6 figure salary as a rocket scientist/software engineer to become a loan officer when she was laid off in 1993. "Being out of work trashed my credit. Working as a loan officer taught me how to fix it," says Welsh. "I had no idea it would become my life."

Welsh resumed her career as a software engineer after two years in the mortgage business, intrigued by the emerging advances in the Internet. As a hobby, she started, a financial and credit advice website. "When I started my web site in 1996, there just wasn't any information out there about credit, so I wrote about what I learned in the mortgage business," says Welsh. "And one of the things I learned was that people don't understand how their credit has such an impact on their lives."

Since starting the site, Welsh says she has received thousands of letters - most of which she has answered - asking her advice on credit. The large volume of email forced her to add more and more material on the subject to her website. "I just couldn't keep up with all the mail so I had to keep posting new information," Welsh said, "I kept getting the same questions over and over again".

Furthering her role as consumer advocate, Welsh has recently spearheaded a movement against debt consolidation companies, exposing them on her website as scam artists masquerading under a cloak of non-profit status. "I've been spearheaded myself - in the back," laughs Welsh, "One debt consolidation company in particular has threatened me with lawsuits." Her crusade has gotten notice. Taking up the gauntlet, BusinessWeek has also just run an article quoting Welsh on the debt consolidation industry.

The large volume of information has finally led her to write a book based on the information on her website, "Just to get the word out to more people, though I have a feeling it is just going to increase my email counts," she says wryly.