Atlanta business mogul James Hunt, known within sports and entertainment circles as “The Celebrity Credit Guru,” has established a powerful reputation for his unrivaled ability to repair the credit and financial issues of the biggest stars on the court, the field and on stage. Several years ago, he set his sights on banishing the long-documented history of NBA and NFL athletes squandering money and falling into debt, and since then, has positioned himself as the advisor players depend on to ensure they do not “drop the ball.”
Make no mistake about it, this swashbuckling multi-millionaire is far more than a glorified credit expert. He is the person who helps athletes and public figures to strategically manage their millions, purchase their mansions and exotic cars, avoid the pitfalls of debt; and he is even the person they call on when in pursuit of the ever-elusive Black Card. Lastly, Hunt is the one they trust to guard their financial secrets, affording them an inkling of privacy in a life open to public consumption.
His Instagram account is full of credit information and financial advice, as well as flashy lifestyle content, celebrity photos and testimonies that he shares with his nearly 1 million followers.
Among his clients are NBA stars like James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Trey Young, Allen Iverson, Malik Beasley, Fred VanVleet, Michael Beasley and Quinn Cook. On the NFL side, he has worked with Michael Vick, Bruce Irvin, Jason Allen, Laquan Williams, John Abraham, Bobby Hart and many more.
“With a lot of our athletes, the issue they have is that they are not prepared for the highs and lows that come with playing in the NBA or NFL,” Hunt said. “They fall into believing that when they get these big contracts, the money will always be there, so they go out and buy these mansions and all of these cars – not realizing that if they get injured, traded, or if they get cut, their future can change in an instant. Too often they try to maintain the image that the public has of them.”
According to statistics from a Sports Illustrated study several years ago, up to 78% of NFL athletes fall into financial trouble within two years of retirement. While the numbers are a little better for NBA players the numbers remain very sobering – 60% falling into debt after being retired for five years.
Hunt emphasized that all athletes are not equal. While the financial status of a LeBron James, Kevin Durant or Steph Curry may be solidified due to their global appeal and success both on and off the court with business and endorsements – most athletes, despite their success in relation to the general public, are not on that level.
“There is a big difference between a $100 million contract and a $3 million contract. Athletes have to be given the best financial advice and counsel for where they are, not where they see themselves and where they assume they are going to be because of what their agent told them,” Hunt said. “I consider myself like a weatherman. I have to be able to predict the rain.”
He continued: “Even though today is sunny and warm, I have to still whisper to them and let them know that rain is in the forecast. I have to warn them that there has to be something set aside…that maybe you should pay up on that mortgage, or make advance payments on your car note to give yourself a cushion.”
In the field of sports, many times young star athletes from disadvantaged backgrounds are thrust into the spotlight and given huge contracts. Unfortunately, Hunt said, many have never been taught about financial responsibility and know virtually nothing about credit. He wants to change that. Additionally, he wants to show athletes how to truly capitalize on their financial status and leverage their credit in ways they never knew were possible.
“I get pulled to the table when athletes are trying to make big purchases or when major business dealings are in the works,” said Hunt. “Sometimes they run into walls with regards to their credit and it is my responsibility to resolve the issues and remove the barriers. There is a lot of weight on their shoulders, where if I don’t handle it, they may not get that new business deal, they don’t close on the home.
Hunt sees everything, from what the athletes actually own, to what they are renting or leasing, and how much debt they have. He states that what the public sees is generally not the case, but athletes and celebs understandably want to keep their issues secret. As the credit whisperer, Hunt is privy to those secrets and trusted to first conceal them, and then eliminate them to protect his clients’ image.
“My advice to the players is do not live beyond your means. Your lifestyle cannot be contingent upon whether you get the next deal or not,” he said. “No matter how talented they are and how much money people assume they have, some athletes are not able to obtain the things that they want. Even regular people who make far less money, but have set themselves up financially, can get the things people with more money can’t get. That is the power of credit.”
For more information on James Hunt, visit celebritycreditguru.com or follow him on Instagram at @whoisjameshunt.
The “Credit Whisperer” Trusted By NBA and NFL Stars to Protect Their Financial Secrets