Personal FinanceUncategorizedYou

Don’t worry about your credit (too much)

Photo: a bunch of credit offers strewn all over the floor

I have shitty credit. Okay, according to the credit bureaus, it is Very Poor.

Graphic: Screenshot of my credit scores at CreditKarma.com

My credit is bad from a series of very bad, lovestruck decisions prior to 2010, when I filed bankruptcy. And then some more stupid, lovesick choices that have been really keeping me down.  A lesson I have learned through all of this is: Don’t let your money (or anything) get you so stressed out you can’t think straight and make smart moves.  I made some dumb decisions trying to figure out how to make ends meet and make people happy at the same time.

Now that I’m a little older and wiser, I have made it a goal to get myself out of debt.  One important first step is to get a clear picture of what is going on with your finances.

I have managed to raise my credit score 50 points in the last three months alone.  I use Credit Karma to monitor my credit.  You can look at collections that are outstanding, view your open accounts, and even dispute items right there.  Credit Karma gives you recommendations (which you can follow, or not).  Credit Karma has another great feature I really like, which is reviews of credit products (cards and loans) by other users.  And all of this is completely free!

You can receive a free credit report once every year from each of the credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com.  Make sure you are going to the right website.  Other sites will want your debit card info so they can charge you fees.

If you aren’t eligible for credit right now, make some steps make it better.  One day, before you know it, you’ll get it back.

Last summer, I went to a Maurice’s for the first time.  They offered me a credit card.  After years of being convinced that I would never be able to get a credit card again (I filed bankruptcy in 2010) and telling myself I didn’t need any credit (well, nobody needs it, but it is extremely helpful), I accepted their offer, and they approved me.  Ever since then, I have been getting offers in the mail like crazy.  I definitely learned that stores are eager to get people to sign up for credit cards, so if you are ready to start working on rebuilding your credit responsibly, I’d start with one of those.

The moral of the story is don’t give up hope!  Anything is possible if you do your research and take the proper steps to make it happen.

Stick with me and I'll put you up on all kinds of game

Related topics coming soon:

  • How Collections Actually Work
  • Avoiding Creditors
  • Getting out from underneath payday loans (online and in-person)
  • To bank or not to bank? Getting an account when the banks won’t let you in
  • Bankruptcy: Is it right for you?
  • How I pay my bills in 10 minutes
  • Budgeting 101