Bad credit is something that can make you feel like you’ll never have the life you want. Sometimes it seems like it doesn’t matter…until it does. Until there is an apartment you want but don’t think you will qualify for. Or a house that you could almost have, if your score was just 30 points higher. It doesn’t matter until you can’t have something you long for…and then it matters more than anything else.
The truth is, credit is a racket. The best credit scores go to those who consistently pay on debt in a formula the credit bureaus have created to judge you. If you don’t have any debt, pay for everything in cash, do all the things the finance gurus tell you do to, you won’t have the best credit. That means you don’t get the best rates on a mortgage, or get the house you want, or pay the lowest rates on your insurance.
It also means that if you messed up in college, and some day want to start a business with an investor loan, you could have a tough road ahead of you. This is something I hear about a lot. When I’m with new people and I tell them what I do, people often pull me aside and confess their credit woes. Behind all the stories is always a thread of a dream that doesn’t seem like it will ever come true. A new house with the perfect amount of space. A car that is reliable. A loan for a business.
The good news, the damage on paper is repairable, and it can be accelerated beyond just paying down your debt on time.
The emotional damage….the shame, the embarrassment, the blame. That’s all repairable as well.
Here is what I want everyone who has dings on their credit score to know. Just because you have bad credit doesn’t mean you are a bad person. You made some mistakes, but they aren’t permanent. Nothing is fatal. You can get back on track a lot sooner than you think.
Most importantly though, it’s ok. I absolve you. I give you permission (if you need it) to forgive yourself. The only way out is forward, and if you need our help, we are here.
One of my favorite quotes is from Alice in Wonderland and it goes like this.
Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Let’s get back to dreaming impossible dreams, shall we?