Lynnette Khalfani-Cox

Publisher info

Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach®, is a personal finance expert, speaker, and author of 15 money-management books, including the New York Times bestseller Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom.

Lynnette has been seen on more than 1,000 TV segments nationwide, including television appearances on Oprah, Dr. Phil, The Dr. Oz Show, The Steve Harvey Show, Good Morning America, The TODAY Show, and many more.

A former financial news journalist, Lynnette now co-owns LLC, a financial education company that she runs with her husband, Earl Cox.

Together, they offer a broad range of financial education consulting and services.

As a subject matter expert on numerous personal finance topics – including credit and debt; savings and budgeting; college financing; mortgages and homeownership; as well as entrepreneurship and wealth building – Lynnette helps organizations of all kind develop and roll out high-quality financial literacy programs and campaigns.

She also creates financial education curriculum and content, and provides strategic counsel to companies, non-profits, government agencies or educational institutions that want to launch financial products, services, apps or other tools.

Before starting in 2003, Lynnette was a Wall Street
Journal reporter for CNBC, where she covered business and personal finance news. Lynnette spent nearly 10 years at Dow Jones & Co. Inc. working as a reporter, bureau chief, deputy managing editor and personal finance editor.

Prior to her work at Dow Jones, Lynnette was a correspondent for The Philadelphia Inquirer, a writer and assistant producer for WTXF (FOX-TV) in Philadelphia, and a writer for the Associated Press in Los Angeles.

Lynnette earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California, Irvine. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern California.

Lynnette is a native of Los Angeles but now lives in the greater Houston area with her husband and business partner, Earl Cox.

Together, they are the proud parents of 3 children – including one recent college graduate, one current college student, and one college-bound teenager.

To learn more about Lynnette, visit her free advice site,, check out her video-based financial courses at Money Coach University, or connect with Lynnette on social media via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Smashwords Interview

What do you do for a living?
I work as a money coach. I teach people how to get financially fit, primarily how to manage credit and debt wisely. I talk about all kinds of topics, from investing and real estate, to saving money and budgeting. But credit and debt are my two favorite areas to talk about because I’ve struggled in those areas. Those are probably the two most burdensome topics for most people.
Paying down $100,000 in credit card debt in three years seems impossible. How did you do it?
It wasn’t like I did one strategy and whoops this got me out of debt. It was the pile-on effect of so many strategies.

First, I had to totally revamp my spending habits and stop all the frivolous spending. I nixed the travel, the eating out and treating friends. At the time my, two older kids, who were 3 and 5, were in a private school that cost $20,000 a year. I took them out of that expensive private school and put them in a less expensive private school that was a third of the cost.

I really had to come to the realization that I was hurting them in the long run by showing them bad financial habits, and driving the family more into debt when they could get a great education without us having all these fiscal burdens. I had paid for the private school tuition with credit card cash advance checks. My ex and I bought two plots of land in Newark, N.J., through a city auction for about $37,000. We used the credit lines even for that.

Of course, I negotiated with my creditors. It’s different environment today, but I’m still a firm believer that you should get on the phone and negotiate. I got all my credit card interest rates knocked down to 6.9 percent and lower.

I did balance transfers as well — that’s a short-term strategy. I also used windfalls. Every single bit of extra cash that came my way — expected or unexpected — went to the debt. Tax refund checks, holiday bonuses, gifts. It’s very common for people to blow windfalls. Now I tell consumers I don’t care if you’re getting government stimulus money, tax refund, whatever — just don’t blow that money. You’ll never regret using a windfall to pay off a debt, but you’ll regret spending it.

I also started doubling and tripling my minimum payments because I figured out that minimum payments were a trap. I’d been making all these payments, but I was still treading water and wasn’t getting anywhere. It wasn’t until I started doubling and tripling those payments that I really started seeing those balances decline.

I also opted out of getting additional credit card offers. I think when you are deep in debt you don’t need that extra temptation.

From 2001 to early 2004, I paid off about $70,000 worth of the debt. My ex-husband and I separated in 2004, then we sold that land in Newark. We took $30,000 from that sale and put that toward the credit card debt and then the debt was gone.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Lynnette Khalfani-Cox online

Where to buy in print


Zero Debt for College Grads: From Student Loans to Financial Freedom 2nd Edition
Price: $3.50 USD. Words: 42,810. Language: English. Published: March 4, 2020 . Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Personal finance
Now in a completely updated 2nd edition. In Zero Debt for College Grads, noted personal finance expert Lynnette Khalfani-Cox , The Money Coach provides a reassuring roadmap for stress-free living that will allow you to pay down your debts and save for your future, while cutting costs and fattening your bank account.
Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom, 3rd Edition
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 55,390. Language: English. Published: March 4, 2020 . Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Personal finance / money management
Zero Debt teaches you the exact strategies the author used to pay off $100,000 worth of credit card bills in just three years – without ever missing a single payment. If she can do it, so can you! If you want to dig yourself out of debt once and for all, you need an action plan. This book is your step-by-step, 30-day plan to jumpstart your finances. It’s simple. It’s easy to understand. And it wo
The Millionaire Kids Club: Home Sweet Home
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 110. Language: English. Published: August 21, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Concepts / Money
Three members of The Millionaire Kids Club - Isaiah, Sandy and Dennis- have agreed to explain why so many homes in the community have “For Sale” signs. But their buddy, Stephanie, doesn’t want to talk about the subject. After all, her family may have to sell their home too.
The Millionaire Kids Club: Putting the "Do" in Donate
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 110. Language: English. Published: August 21, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Concepts / Money
On Sunday, Dennis was one of 50 people at church who received $100 from his pastor. But there's a catch: Dennis has to use the money to help someone less fortunate.
The Millionaire Kids Club: Garage Sale Riches
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 110. Language: English. Published: August 21, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Concepts / Money
When Isaiah’s mom asks him to clean out the family garage, she promises her son that he can keep all the money he makes from a garage sale. Sorting through all those boxes, however, proves to be a very big job.
College Secrets for Teens: Money-Saving Ideas for the Pre-College Years
Price: $5.95 USD. Words: 57,970. Language: English. Published: October 25, 2016 . Categories: Nonfiction » Education & Study Guides » College Guides, Nonfiction » Education & Study Guides » College prep checklists
We all know that college is expensive. But what about the years before you — or your children — arrive at the college of your dreams? Long before you or your offspring ever set foot on a college or university campus, you’ll face many thousands of dollars in pre-college expenses. College Secrets for Teens shows you how to eliminate or minimize all these costs.
College Secrets: How to Save Money, Cut College Costs and Graduate Debt Free
Price: $5.95 USD. Words: 78,710. Language: English. Published: October 9, 2014 . Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Personal finance, Nonfiction » Education & Study Guides » College Guides
Tuition and fees are just the tip of the iceberg! To properly manage college costs, you need to understand the real price tag of a higher education, including hidden fees that surprise students after they enroll in a college or university. College Secrets and its companion book, College Secrets for Teens, reveal the true costs of earning a college degree – and then provides hundreds of money-sav
The Millionaire Kids Club: Penny Power
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 110. Language: English. Published: April 26, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment, Fiction » Children’s books » Concepts / Money
Mrs. Berry's math assignment is one of the toughest ever. She thinks pennies have incredible powers! Powers like curing diseases, building schools, and delivering food and medicine. Mrs. Berry wants the class to explain how this can be. Isaiah, Sandy, Dennis and Stephanie decide that as members of the Millionaire Kids Club, there's no money problem they can't solve.
Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom 2nd edition
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 55,700. Language: English. Published: February 24, 2011 . Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Personal finance, Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Consumerism
Please note that there is a new 3rd edition of Zero Debt!
Perfect Credit: 7 Steps To A Great Credit Rating
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 61,520. Language: English. Published: November 13, 2010 . Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Personal finance
Please note that there is a new, 2nd edition of Perfect Credit.