This month’s money makeover

Who: Tamika Lamison, 41.

Assets: $10,000 in savings.

Debts: $15,000 long-overdue student loan.

Financial goals: Pay off student loan, rebuild her credit and get a basic understanding of how she should handle her finances.


Recommendations: Although Lamison has done a good job of avoiding credit card debt, a student loan default stands in the way of creating a better financial future. She needs to pay off her loan and then start building an emergency savings account equivalent to at least six months’ salary. She also needs to save for retirement, putting 20% of her income into a Roth IRA. And she must get health insurance.

About the planner: Jennifer Hartman is a certified financial planner with Greenleaf Financial Group in Los Angeles.