My Journey of Rebuilding My Credit: The Beginning
I noticed recently that my credit was really affecting my life and that I needed to do something about it. I can’t get an apartment with my credit and I can’t even make an account with a credit union. I signed up with Credit Karma a while ago but I never really used it until recently. I have always hated seeing my low credit score and feeling overwhelmed because I thought there was nothing I could do about it. I thought I had to wait years for things to fall off of my report and that I was stuck with this low credit score. But instead of feeling ashamed of my low score, I felt empowered to do something about it.
I have slow and bad credit at the same time. I got a bunch of credit cards when I was younger and didn’t use them properly and it negatively affected my credit score. At the time, I thought nothing of it but now that I’m trying to live on my own and independently, I realize how important my score is. My low credit score is preventing me from living the life that I truly desire and I knew that it was time to truly do something about my credit.
I downloaded the Credit Karma app on my phone and decided to take control of my life and not let my low credit take control of me. I like Credit Karma because they show the Equifax and TransUnion score, the site and app are easy to navigate, there is a community forum to answer every question and also shows recommendations and things you can do to improve your credit.
I looked at my recommendations and it suggested that I get a secured credit card to help me rebuild my credit. With a secured credit card, you usually have to pay a deposit and they give the credit limit based on that deposit. Before actually getting this credit card, I wanted to learn more about how a credit card could help me. I learned that I can use this credit card to pay a small bill and since the money for the bill is already budgeted instead of going to that bill it goes to your credit card bill. I learned that it is best to only spend 20% to 30% of your credit limit. Also, I learned to always pay a little more than what is owed and never carry a balance month-to-month. Once learning all I could, I signed up for a Capital One Secured Card and paid a $99 deposit for a $200 credit limit. And once I begin using this card, I will provide updates.
The next step for me was looking at my debts and seeing which ones I could resolve and settle. I saw things on my credit report that didn’t make sense and I filed disputes on those two things on my report and got them removed. I also saw a debt that I paid but I think I paid right as my account was sold to a collection agency. I am in the process of faxing over information like the receipt that says payment received and a letter explaining the situation and proving that I actually paid the debt. I will update on that part next time. I looked at the other two debts and called the agencies and provided a settlement.
Within a week of paying off debts, and one account already removed from my credit report, my credit score has went up 8 points. It might not be a big deal for most but this was the best thing ever! I truly felt empowered and glad that I started this journey of rebuilding my credit.
I have some tips to offer you all if you are in the process of rebuilding your credit:
– Take small steps and do what you can with what you have.
– Start with your smallest account and work your way up.
– Stay patient! It didn’t happen overnight so you can’t expect for everything to be changed overnight.
– Make sure that when you are talking to collectors and before paying money that an agreement is made that with a payment the account will be removed. Do everything you can to get things in writing or even download an app to record the conversation.
– You don’t always have to pay someone to fix your credit. Find something like Credit Karma. It will update you when things are removed or added to your credit score. It gives recommendations to help boost your credit. You can file a dispute right on their website. It shows all your debts in one place and gives you the most up to date information on who has your debt and how to contact them. And, also has a community forum where you can reach out to others and search through a list of questions that may help you on your journey.
Follow me on my journey as I rebuild my credit. I will take you through my very ups and downs and provide updates as they come.