I have been racking my brains to try to come up with a PF related post, for the past few days. As I’ve stated previously, I haven’t really been concentrating on debt/budgets etc etc. That’s not to say I haven’t been paying off debt, I’m just not obsessing over it as much as I used to, which I’m not sure is a good thing or a bad thing in its own right.
I finally got an idea, after FINALLY finding a service which can provide me with my credit report for FREE! And I will be receiving it in 10 working days, so stay tuned to see if it really is as bad as I think it’s going to be.
The fact that I had to shell out around $50-$60 to access what I’m assuming would be a dismal portrayal of my credit history, was not something I really wanted to do. It felt like I’d be paying someone to tell me I was butt-ugly. But since I’ve found that I can find someone to tell me that I’m butt-ugly for free, I’m more than willing to put up with that abuse, and find a way of improving myself.
And while yes, I’ve been diligent in my debt repayments for the past 9 months. I doubt that would reflect any positives on my credit score considering I was pretty much a dead beat for the previous 20 years. I think of the past nine months as popping one particular pus-filled pimple on the ugly mug that is my financial history. Sure, that particular portion of my face is free of blemishes, but it doesn’t detract from the fact that my face looks like something that was eaten by sewer rat, said sewer rat was then eaten by a mangy dog, and then said mangy dog pooped it out. Hmmm credit rating reflected by looks, ala Dorian Grey. A post about that to come methinks.
Now why do I think my credit rating looks like the above? Well here’s a break down of the 5 things (apparently) that affect your credit score, and I from my recollection, I’ve done or I am doing nearly all of these things.
1. Applying for lots of Credit.
While I haven’t really done too many recently (the past two years?), I did go through a period when I was applying for credit cards left, right and centre and was rejected more times than a short, fat, balding, smelly, buck-toothed, knobbly kneed, needy, clingy, desperate man, with the social graces and skills of a deranged baboon, asking for dates with women he see’s on the street by showing them his penis. That and I applied for some debt consolidation loans at the beginning of the year (before I discovered the PF blogosphere, and realised that this is usually a bad idea), and was also rejected.
2. Late Payments
Again, guilty. Before the last year, my payment schedule was sporadic to say the least. I would forget about one debt when allocating monthly payments, this would lead to doubling up the payment required for the next month, which would mean that another debt would have to be missed, and so on and so on. Also there was a time when I was out of work, that I had collection agencies on my ass like the proverbial rash. I haven’t been in such dire straits for nigh on 4 years now, but I think that time period would still affect my credit score.
3. Cancel you Cards
Again guilty. But maybe not so bad. The only card I’ve cancelled is the one with the lowest limit (at $2500), so taking into account that I would have $25,000 available to me through my cards (if they were all at $0 balance), taking off 10% shouldn’t detract all that much from my score. I hope.
4. Maxing out your Credit Limit.
Guilty, guilty a thousand times guilty. It’s only been the past 2 or so years, that I’ve managed to get my most of my credit cards under the 90% usage mark. They are all currently sitting at around 75% – 80%. That’s still a HUGE number. And I can feel my credit score shrinking, as if I just jumped into a freezing pool of water. Shrinkage is real ladies.
5. Non-Existent Credit History
The only thing I am not guilty of, I’ve had credit history since I was about 18? My very first mobile phone contract (which by the way got me into a LOT of trouble) I think I got around that time, and I’ve had a credit history since. Not a good credit history, but a credit history nonetheless.
So there you go.
But at least I’m not burying my head in the sand.
I can acknowledge that my credit score looks like the deformed off-spring of hillbillies that have been practicing incestuous inter-breeding whilst at the same time living in a Chernobyl-like region, inundated with nuclear fall-out.
And I aim to kill it.
Then make it pretty… with suits! 😛