I began adulthood not knowing a thing about credit or what a credit score really was. I grew up in a home where money was managed poorly and they definitely didn’t teach us these needed skills in high school.
I didn’t actually have a need for credit until my boyfriend and I were trying to get our first apartment when I was 21. We didn’t know what our scores were or how it would affect applying for a place, but we ended up not having too much trouble because we decided to use our tax refund and pay 6 months ahead on rent.
We were young parents and trying to get out of my mothers house ASAP. We moved out and moved in to the empty apartment with just my bed, our tv, and an expensive dresser & TV stand that we had bought the year before (and were still paying for).
At the time we had one small income and a huge car payment that took over 1/4 of that income each month (not including the insurance – thanks to my mom and her bad credit 🙃). So between new utility bills and groceries to feed our family of 3, we had no money to furnish our new home and get the basic supplies we needed.
I decided to apply for a Walmart credit card and was approved for an $800 credit line. We used this to buy a futon for our living room, kitchen supplies, and basic things you need around a house.
We would also use it for gas or groceries when money was low.
Each month we were making the minimum monthly payment not knowing that we were just digging into a deep hole of interest $$$.
After a few years of still making the minimum payment, there came a point of no income and the choice of keeping a roof over our heads, or paying credit card bills.
Obviously the roof came first. And that’s how bad credit starts.
In our mid twenties we began to see our friends buying new cars and homes and thinking how??
Obviously they had a better start than we did lol I wish I could go back and tell our younger selves, “everyone’s journey is different. Stop comparing it to your own.”
I would’ve saved myself a lot of grief.
It wasn’t until we had our third child that I decided we have to get serious about this credit stuff.
I started to read and learn everything I could about credit. At first everything I came across was about credit repair companies and paying them a huge fee or a monthly cost. Well, we didn’t have the extra money to pay someone to do this for us. I thought we were screwed once again.
But then I came across people talking about DIY credit repair. GAME ON. That is exactly what I needed to learn. So I spent hours reading everything I could about it.
What did I need to do? Where do I start? What do I need?
It turns out, all you need is a little patience, knowledge, paper, envelopes, and stamps.
After learning everything I could about how credit works and what was affecting my score, I purchased credit repair templates to send to the credit bureaus and started from there.
I began sending letters in May with a credit score in the low 500s, and by November we were approved for a home mortgage.
Now, don’t think that I had a perfect 700-800 score in just 6 months. Nooo lol
Along with learning about credit, I was spending time learning all the home buying tips. I knew we could get approved for a home at as little of a 580 score, but I was shooting for 620 for the down payment assistance.
*Other factors go into buying a home such as DTI and other things, but I’m focusing on credit here*
Still, I was able to raise that credit score up 100 points on my own – using just the internet as a tool. Keep in mind that with a higher credit score, you get better interest rates, chances of approval, and have more options. We were on a tight schedule and trying to buy a home before or as our lease was up so I was working towards the bare minimum needed score.
Trust me when I say if I can do it, you can do it too. Pinterest is a great resource when it comes to looking for tips and where to start.
I plan to go more into detail on another posts and tell you the exact tips and tools I used for rebuilding our credit.
I learned so much and I want to help guide others on their journey. If you’d like to learn more, subscribe to my blog posts and follow me on Instagram so you don’t miss out. (IG: @momminwithcoffee)
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