Hi I’m back.
If you’re with me so far you’ll know I consider myself a largely responsible person who happened to find himself financially stuck midway through life’s journey.
I basically had a simple choice, continue to be credit poor paying minimum monthly payments for the REST OF MY LIFE, or do something proactive to get out of the situation once and for all.
I chose the latter, but it took a series of events for me to finally get the right information.
In the last installment I described that the catalyst came when I got this new job here and Consumer’s Advocate and decided to trade in my lemon of a truck for a new car.
Up until quite recently my credit score hovered in the low 700s. At the dealership, to mine and my wife’s surprise, we were turned down for the loan. Why? Unbeknownst to me in the last year my credit had inexplicably took a nosedive to under 600.
After a little investigation I had a working hypothesis that this was mainly due to high balances on my credit cards. (They were all close to maxed with not much available credit.) I had a feeling this was the thing dragging down my score but I still wasn't 100% sure.
After my first few days on the job, I realized many people made use of low interest personal loans to consolidate all their credit card debt into one lower monthly payment.
Which led to this dilemma to which you may be able to relate:
1-In order to improve my credit I’d have to get a personal loan to pay off my cards.
2-I can’t get a personal loan with a good APR with bad credit.
So I did a little more snooping around and found our top ten list for credit repair.
After going through all the info and offers, I learned that high balances were only the most obvious factors that could be dragging my score down. Other things could be at play as well. One of our advertising partners called Lexington Law offered a free credit report consultation so I decided to give them a call.
I talked with a friendly guy named Nathan. Nathan pulled up my Transunion credit report and immediately began going through it with a fine tooth comb, searching for all the factors weighing down my score both obvious and hidden.
He was extremely helpful, and above all non-judgmental. I immediately felt at ease discussing the intimate details of my particular financial disaster.
I don’t know if I can explain this exactly but it felt like I was talking to my doctor. I was able to freely discuss potentially embarrassing things easily as he was a dispassionate professional who did this kind of thing everyday.
And that’s what Nathan was, a credit doctor. The high credit usage was just the surface symptom; he was able to use his expertise to find out a bunch of stuff I would have never known.
Although amounts owed comprised about 30% of my bad credit score, Nathan told me my payment history accounted for even more. He discovered 3 or 4 marks on my report that I simply would never have known.
Firstly I had no idea the overdraft protection on one of my checking accounts was essentially a credit line that required monthly payments just like any other credit card. I was just making payments when I could and consequently there were a stream of late payment notices.
Secondly Nathan found two accounts in collection from YEARS AGO. They were doctor copays that I had NO IDEA I owed. Comparatively, they were tiny amounts, but they still were influencing my score.
And that was the most important thing Nathan explained to me. Lexington Law couldn’t do much itself about my high balances. But they could communicate with these agencies and get these marks off my score, thereby raising it just enough that I could qualify for that personal loan I need more than anything!
So that’s where I am, I just got off the phone with Nathan and I’m feeling a little hopeful for the first time in a long while. If you are ready to call a credit doctor, I got in touch with Nathan by calling (888) 585-5590.