Manuel P1: Success through adaptation

Credit building is especially hard after being out of the country, find out how Manuel adapted to succeed

FullSizeRender (2) (1)

Manuel believes that his success in life has been due to his ability to adapt quickly. From his early childhood in Mexico to his life in the Mission District of San Francisco, Manuel has found his own path in several different countries and across several different career paths. Even when Manuel had an unexpected credit emergency, he didn’t let it stop him from being focused on his goals. Through all of the unexpected change, Manuel has found a way to thrive.

“My life has been a big trajectory,” he says.

Born and raised in Mexico, Manuel moved to the U.S. 20 years ago and joined the army. During his tour of duty, he met the woman who would later become his wife. After he completed his service, he moved to Spain with his wife, seeking a more stable life. He built up a considerable career as a real estate agent in one of the most expensive areas of Spain. With an income entirely dependent on commissions from housing sales, Manuel learned how to work around obstacles that his clients had in order to make sales happen.

In the real estate business, “if you don’t sell, you don’t eat.”

However, when the housing crisis hit, and banks approved fewer and fewer mortgages, Manuel found it harder and harder to make sales. After a few months, he changed course once again to come back to the United states to seek better opportunities.  He quickly searched for a job, thinking that jumping into the U.S. real estate business custom essay writers would be “easy,” but he discovered that it was harder than he anticipated.

Manuel made a quick pivot, and chose to leave behind the crumbling real estate market taking a job in the restaurant industry. Before he knew it, he had held nearly every job in the business from waiter to manager, paying careful attention to all the tricks of the trade. He worked behind the scenes for years, building up a wealth of experience so that he could one day open up his own restaurant. But just having the know-how to run a restaurant wasn’t enough.

4880157508_f911af1ed5_oUpon returning to the U.S. Manuel realized that not everything was how he had left it.

Having lived in Spain for so many years, Manuel was shocked to discover that his credit score had been damaged during his time abroad. Without good credit history Manuel knew that it would be a hard road. With years of background and experience, the decision to start his own restaurant business seemed natural. But he knew he needed loans for restaurant equipment and a retail location so he could start Little Heaven Deli – a restaurant serving everything from crepes to sandwiches to ice cream. Manuel was undaunted, and knew that he was the only one who could fix this mess.

After working with an organization that helped him build a business plan, he came to MAF to work on his credit. Because of the identify theft, he had a very low credit score. He decided to enroll in a Lending Circle to help him build his credit back up and with each loan payment, he has watched his credit score rise.

He now jokes about receiving credit card applications nearly every day in the mail. He looks forward to the day that his credit and savings are strong enough to buy his first house.

For now, with a strong credit score, Manuel can focus on growing his restaurant, which has proved to be an entirely different journey on its own.


Victoria Mayernick

is the Marketing Fellow at MAF. She has a passion for social entrepreneurship, loves exploring SF by walking everywhere, and hunting for new music on Spotify.