Talking of money and finances can be a difficult conversation for people to have, sometime more so with their own families and loved ones. The taboo surrounding talks of money and financial knowledge is due to the lack of resources and understanding of personal finances. Rebeca Camargo, an independent certified financial consultant, understands first hand how that lack of understanding can have profound impacts on not only having healthy money habits, but also building long term generational wealth.
Rebeca’s personal lived experience is what led her to her calling of being what she describes as a financial educator. For her, the experience of losing her father at an early age and witnessing her mother struggle with not understanding money management was an eye opening experience. While her parents owned successful businesses in Mexico, Rebeca’s mother lacked the understanding of the financial aspect of the business along with their personal finances. This was the moment that Rebeca realized how big that gap of knowledge and understanding of financial choices was.
Coming to the United States at the age of 19 with many aspirations and dreams, Rebeca became a financial consultant to ensure that her community would never have to face the challenges her mother and family did. Facing a different set of challenges, from obtaining her immigration status, acquiring a license to practice, to understanding the requirement of owning a business in the United States, Rebeca persisted and is now a successful financial consultant. Through her business, Rebeca uses education to help her clients understand the importance of retirement and life insurance. She has found that the majority of families don’t have even $1,000 in emergency savings and lack the knowledge behind the economic devastation this can have on a family.
Moving from Northern California to Arizona in 2019, Rebeca’s dream of opening up an office in Phoenix was being realized as she had found her ideal location. Her dream came to a screeching halt as the COVID-19 pandemic flipped her plans on their head. With shut down orders in place, Rebeca’s business partner backed out of opening an office together. That news coupled with her not being able to meet with clients face-to-face, Rebeca was forced to quickly pivot her strategy and began hosting virtual meetings to keep her business moving, which ended up generating a significant amount of clients.
This however, also put a strain on her business finances which led her to taking out a loan to help pay for operational costs, including her office rent. As she was newly immigrated and had very little credit history, Rebeca was presented with very little loan options and opted for a high interest rate loan. As she realized how impossible it was to even put a dent on her principle, Rebeca confided in a friend that worked at Prestamos CDFI about the challenges she was facing. Her friend quickly put her in contact with their colleagues in the loan department to help Rebeca refinance her loan and put her back on track.
“The SBA loan from Prestamos CDFI was such a huge help and if I would’ve known about their services, I would’ve gone to them immediately. The type of resources they offer is something that is so needed in our communities”, says Rebeca. As a big advocate for financial education, Rebeca is happy to know that there are institutions that exist to help the community, especially business owners. Knowing that there are opportunities like those that Prestamos offered make her feel hopeful of not only what she can achieve but also what those around her can achieve alongside her.
Prestamos exists to help nurture and grow entrepreneurs through their journeys. We are a mission-driven entity that operates under the non-profit Chicanos Por La Causa, which provides communities with resources ranging from health, education, financial services, housing, and advocacy. Prestamos continues its efforts to advance our work to provide high-quality financial products and services for small businesses that lead to impactful economic development projects. We invite you to visit our website, prestamosloans.org to learn more about our efforts and apply for a business loan.