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August 24, 2003. I had an Equifax FAKO score of 541. This is especially significant because I thought Equifax, Experian, and TU were all companies that had authorized access to pull one centralized report. I had no clue they all had their own reports. And I had no clue my FAKO score that I pulled was essentially worthless.


I was fresh out of college. Not only was it a thin file, but I had 2 open accounts, 3 closed, 1 in good standing (my student loan my parents paid), 3 currently past due and 3 negative.


I couldn't get a credit card which meant I lived paycheck to paycheck and on cash only. I was denied a great apartment because of my credit. I couldn't get a car. And I lived in FEAR of the phone. Creditors were constantly calling me. They even called my parents, told them how much I owed and asked them to pay for me (my parents were like "no way, she got herself in this mess she can get out of it"). Sure it's bad to owe people money, and sure it's terrible to live in fear of your phone, but the worst part about bad credit is how it makes you feel about yoruself. I felt stressed, like a loser and it was depressing. I felt like I was unable to take care of myself and that makes for some low self esteem, which can affect other aspects of your life.


I finally started making a few changes in my life and one of them was my finances. I found a co-signor for a car, I paid off one charged off credit card and I agreed to make payments to another one at a cost of $200 a month for almost two years.


Things were getting better (low 600's for my score) but last July when my boyfriend talked to me about buying a home together I knew I was in trouble. He knew my credit was bad, thankfully I wasn't hiding it from him, but I could not accept that my credit may cost us thousands of dollars in interest and I vowed to do something about it. We agreed not to purchase until at least the end of the year which gave me six months to get my credit cleaned up. I returned to Creditboards which I had stopped at a year before but at the time was not motivated enough to clean my credit at the time.


This time I was motivated. This time I meant it. At first I just tried posting questions and expected people to help me and fix my problems for me. Then, after about four days of no real results I got down to business. I read the newbie section and I USED THE SEARCH FUNCTION. Do you know that 99% of the time the question you are about to post has really already been posted. No matter how unusual and different it is, it probably has occurred to someone else here before. (It took me a few months to figure out how badly I was repeating questions, and then I would get so upset when people wouldn't answer me.) What is a great resource here is not so much the ability to post questions at the forums, but the newbie section and the search function. The search function is by FAR the best feature of CreditBoard and IS THE REASON my credit is now clean.


I own my own car and it is now financed in my name only at a GREAT rate. I own my own condo (www.brittaniecrain.com/amber.htm) at prime rate. I have several store cards and a handful of major credit cards as well, including my first Amex which I was just approved for last week. I even applied for a Macy's store card and was automatically upgraded to the Macy's VISA for my great credit. All three major CRA FICO scores are in the 700s. I have ZERO negative accounts. Nothing charged off, not even a paid charged off account. I'm building age and my limits are increasing constantly. I did it all in about six months.


You can, too. BUT IT TAKES WORK. Believe me, it takes work. I made files, I sent letters, I sent more letters, I filed letters away, I sent more letters. I spent HOURS researching, drafting, proofing. . . And it costs money. I spent about $100 on postage to clean my reports. Though, I saved thousands with us able to get prime rate. :rofl:


The best part? I feel good about myself. I'm keeping my credit clean and in check. My utilization is LOW. We're talking 1%. I pay off every month. That makes me feel good. But I feel even better that I fixed my past mistakes ON MY OWN. I did it, me. And my self esteem has never been better than it is right now.


I own a home. I got engaged two weeks ago. Work is great. My finances are wonderful. Life is GREAT!


Thanks CB!


awesome! :angry:

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Unprepared for Bad Credit



Let's face it, most of us who have bad credit probably never expected themselves to have bad credit.Maybe it's some life-changing event like a car accident, getting laid off, or losing one's investment that makes a person's credit sink deep into the hole. I've been there, many people have been there, and you probably have been there too.


When I started college years ago, I got my first credit card and a decent parttime job. I was happy of course because I was then financially independent, but I didn't go on mindless spending binges like other people who got their first credit cards. I knew it's not free money. I only use my credit card on what I what I can actually afford. Because of what I've learned about money management from my parents, I knew how serious it would be if I go beyond my credit line or not paying the balance on time. Yeah, I did ocassionally ran up a hefty bill due my negligence but the debt was never beyond what I could pay in the short run. I was able to live the college life that I've wanted and didn't have to worry about my credit yet.


After my graduation, I worked at several odd jobs for several years before finally getting my dream job that made good use of my degree. I managed to buy a new car and had plans to move to a better place to live. I felt that I could finally have the life that I've wanted. But then everything changed after a serious car accident. Although my car insurance covered some of the damages and costs, I was slapped with hefty hospital bill which amounted to almost a hundred thousand dollars. I had to pay the bill plus interest over the course of several years. When I got laid off, my live started to go in a downward spiral. My new job wasn't enough to make ends meet and I maxed out all of my credit cards. I was in financial hell.


The situation was utterly hopeless and there was seemingly no way out. But then one I found out about bad credit loans. It was no secret, but I don't know why I hadn't discover that earlier. I probably would've been in a much better situation if I had applied for those type of loans earlier. These loans are much easier to apply for than traditional loans. Soon I was able to get my life back on track. Even though I still had a mountain of debt on me, these bad credit loans made it possible for me to see light at the end of the tunnel. I did saw light at the end of the long tunnel. I found a good job and managed to maintain a lifestyle that I had before the crisis. I have to pay the debt right now, but it's much less than before.


Was there a way to have prevented myself from sinking into the credit hole in the first place? If I had expected the unexpected, I would have bought an insurance policy with better coverage, put more of my income into savings, etc. But that's difficult for a lot of people. Besides, there's no way to know what will happen in the future. It's better to prepare for what you don't expect, but it's even better if you have add a safety net.


outbound link deleted.

Edited by MarvBear

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Nice story. Congrats to the OP.


The only thing I would disagree with is the search function. It, well, basically sucks and has been crippled on this board for some odd reason. There have been numerous times I have read something on CB at one time, needed to access it another time, used the "search" function to find it again only to be told there was no results.


Yeah, right.


Anyway, good work!!

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