You know me, right? You know when I usually put up a title it has a different or double meaning. So when you read “bad credit” I’m sure you’re thinking, She can’t really mean ‘bad credit’. It must be some trick word usage like ‘bad’ as in ‘sick’ or ‘awesome’ and ‘credit’ like those things that roll at the end of a movie. That’s it. This Girl saw an awesome movie and she’s gonna tell us all about it.
So, while that’s a fantastic interpretation of how my mind works at times, and maybe in the future I’ll use it as such, this post really is about just that: bad credit.
Here’s the not-so-secret secret. I have struggled with debt and bad credit for the better part of the last twenty-five years. Why am I telling you this? Because I recently discovered something awesome:
For a really long time ~ and by really, I mean really ~ I felt like I was. And it wasn’t until I started to share my story with people outside my family that the fog of shame and self-imposed stigma started to lift.
I felt ugly. I was having screaming matches with the people who love me and who have, for the better part of these years, helped me in some form or another. My self-worth tanked every time the phone identified “Call from Unavailable.” I was jealous when Facebook told me how others ate out and went to movies. Here I was trying to decide between cat food, a gallon of milk, or a little more gas in the car.
Sure, things weren’t always horrific. I had good seasons that included Disneyland passes, trips to the bookstore, and last year’s writing conferences. Every payday I allowed myself a McDonald’s meal and a Starbucks. But those sparkling gems were few and far between.
Most of the time, I was waking up with anxiety. I’m not saying I grew anxious as the day went on. I’m saying, I woke up that way. I would go through bouts of not being able to drink coffee or eat breakfast because my stomach was in tumbles. I unplugged the phone at home just to get some peace and quiet. I was feeling sick, tired, worn out.
I WAS DONE.
There has to be a way out, right? Or was I destined to always feel like this? Do I attract debt? The answer is yes. And no. There were quite a few circumstances out of my control that contributed to my building debt. And there are habits that keep me there.
Unemployment, medical bills from several ~ and by several, I mean twelve ~ car accidents (never my fault, thank you for your concern), and the loss of child support when Dot turned eighteen. All these led steadily to the demise of what I like to call, my free money.
As much as I tightened the belt, I was just in over my head, upside down, sideways, and very, very shaken.
The triggering event was a radio commercial for debt relief. I was amazed at how they knew just what my situation was and how a quick loan would help me immediately.
For about eight seconds I thought of calling. Then I jumped off that horse and put the phone down.
I mean, can you imagine what the interest rate must be on a quick loan with no credit check? [Hint: Way more than I could ever pay back.] And if there’s no credit check, what do they use for collateral? Employment verification, I think. Maybe a vehicle. Well, I certainly wouldn’t want them calling my boss if I was ten minutes late on a payment. Or taking my awesome little putt-putt away. Let’s face it: I’m already late on payments. Shifting debt from one source to another doesn’t alleviate the problem. It just shifts it. That’s why this commercial got my attention.
And then something else got my attention. The realization that I wasn’t the only one who had heard that commercial. I don’t live in a metropolis, and a lot of people don’t listen to the radio. But even so, if just a fraction of the population heard that commercial and thought of calling, how many others must feel there’s no way out from under the debt storm?
You know the old saying. When it rains, it pours. We usually say that when negative things happen. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could pay attention to the storm of sunshine when it comes? What if, instead of hiding under dark umbrellas, they were fun, bright little things sticking out of our drinks in paradise? Or, turned upside down, and we could use them to collect pennies from heaven?
My plan is to share with you in future posts how I am overcoming my debt. I’ll be transparent about what works and doesn’t work for me. No, you don’t get to see my financials. That part is none of your business, but thanks for asking.
I’m also not a debt collector, licensed life coach, credit counselor or financial adviser. So here’s the disclaimer part: Any post relating to getting out of debt or managing money is strictly my personal experience and observances. I share them to let others know
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
I share them to give hope. There’s power in the knowledge that even though it looks like things are getting darker, there’s always some form of light.
Here’s the thing: It does get better. I promise. You can learn different habits, discover hidden treasures, use what you didn’t know were assets.
The Unemployment Cookbook is the blessed result of needing to feed my small family with a small amount of groceries. Little did I know at the time I started creating these changeable recipes that it would start me on the road to self-publishing and turn into a constant seller.
I hope you start to count the sunrises each day, and find lots of pennies on your journey to paying down your debt.
I didn’t mean for this post to be just a teaser, but it’s already pretty long so the next part will have to wait.
I’d love to read comments and questions from you:
- Are you struggling with debt?
- Do you have any advice that can help others?
- What are your thoughts on money?
And if you feel that your debt is going to swallow you whole, if it is consuming the lifeblood from you, please please please talk to someone. It’s okay to be in debt. Nearly everyone is, one way or another. It’s how you treat it, how you take care of it, that matters.
But know this:
Not being able to pay your debts does not make you a failure. It takes a hundred pennies to make a dollar. Start slow. Don’t expect miracles. Your debt didn’t happen overnight. Neither will the solution. Stay the course. And fill that jar.
You’ll get there.
Finally, because I thing the world needs more upside down umbrellas and happy songs, I leave you with some snazzy tap dancing. Enjoy.
Tweet this: Not being able to pay your debts does not make you a failure. #badcredit #credit #debt #countyourpennies @realmojo68
Tweet this: It takes a hundred pennies to make a dollar. #badcredit #credit #debt #countyourpennies @realmojo68
Tweet this: Your debt didn’t happen overnight. Neither will the solution. #badcredit #credit #debt #countyourpennies @realmojo68
And Frankly, My Dear . . . that’s all she wrote!
The problem with companies like that is they prey on the people most vulnerable to just getting themselves deeper in financial trouble.
William Kendalls recently posted..City Daily Photo Theme Day: Shelter
I agree. It’s a vicious cycle that people who want help in getting out of debt can’t get it.
Molly Jo recently posted..Bad Credit.
Great post, looking forward to hearing more.
Wendy recently posted..Beloved Family
Thank you, Wendy. I’m looking forward to sharing more.
Molly Jo recently posted..Bad Credit.
Love this blog! . I struggle with debt as well. I recently became more conscious about my debt. I also realized it isn’t as bad as I thought. School loans are the biggest chunk for me. I have been working slowly to pay them off. The other debt, though not as much, will slowly work its way to a smaller amount. The post was great. I was in the same situation. I felt embarrass and a failure until I started doing some research. Thank you for putting this blog up. Definitely helps with those who think they are alone.
Thank you, Kelley. Yes, my student loans are a huge debt as well. But there are little ones too. I’m eager to share what I’ve learned, and find out what you and others are doing to get out of debt too.
Molly Jo recently posted..Bad Credit.