Credit Advice

Have a question? Have advice to share? The combined knowledge and experience of everyone in the Credit Karma community can help you. Enter your question or help others below to get started!

Question

Posted in Saving Money
Profile Image

Question By
Frigg

0 Contributions
0 People Helped
Trying to claw my way out but I can't get a hand up
I recently left an abusive marriage and ended up having to pay child support as well as multiple other things to my ex who was collecting welfare fraudulently on our two sons while they were in my physical custody. I've done all I could to prove he was fraudulently collecting, and still had to pay back what he received. My credit score went from almost 650 to below 500 in less than four months. I've had extreme difficulty finding a job that will work around my children's schedules which I've made as flexible as possible. My Government aid has finally been approved, but it's barely helping me keep my head above the water. How do I save when I barely have anything to spare? I've had to let go of tons of expenses to scrape by, and have no idea what to do. I have nothing left to give up other than my POS car that barely runs. Please any advice is immensely appreciated

Your Credit Scores Should Be Free. And Now They Are.

View your scores and reports anytime.

SIGN UP NOW
All Responses

Results 1-2 of 2Results per page: 5 | 10 | 25Page 1 of 1   Previous | Next
Top Contributor
19 Contributions
6 People Helped
Most Helpful Response

Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

My spologies, that had spaces between paragraphs when I pasted it in. I did not intend it to be a wall of text. 

Top Contributor
19 Contributions
6 People Helped

Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

First, I must commend you on wanting to take care of your kids and for getting out of the abusive marriage. That takes courage that some will never know. I just got out of an emotionally damaging marriage myself and took my daughter with me and I am a guy. I too came out of it with bad debt and a low score but I confess, I have a good job.

I think the first thing you need to do is to stabilize your financial situation. Stop any outgoing funds that are not absolutely needed to survive and gain as much income as you can (maybe by taking the best job you can find for now). Let your income/expenses settle, figure out where you stand with your monthly expenses and then prioritize your needs. What is the most pressing thing you need? Another car? Child care so you can take a better job? Things like that. What is most important and what will make the biggest difference the quickest. Make a list of the most pressing to the least and from the most effective to the least and make it happen. I know you know of sacrifice so I will not dare broach that subject. You know what needs to be done, I think it’s probably just all a little overwhelming at the moment. Develop a plan and stick to it.

I love my kids but they understand that daddy might not make it to the band concert at school because he needs to do what needs to be done to pay the bills. Don’t sugar coat it for them, they will thank you in the long run and they will hopefully learn from your successes and failures. And never put a negative spin on why you have to do what needs to be done to take care of business. Also, don’t worry with your score until you have the better income to make the difference that needs to be made. Then, print your reports and start on the bad debts and pay them off one at a time unless they are close to falling off due to age. Also, check your reports for duplicates (a bad debt reported by more than one company/collection agency) and dispute them accordingly. Once you have that done, wait a month or two to make sure it all falls off and if not, dispute it. Keep doing this until they are all gone. You will be surprised at what you can get done in a short amount of time. I have a good job but my income matches my outgoing expenses because I am supporting a 2 income household on a single income. I don’t get to do anything for me. No date nights, no time at the gun range, no new toys, or anything for me. And this year is the first year in 3 years that I have done Christmas for my kids and I only did for them. Right now, it’s all about the credit score. And you know what? Seeing that number go up is very rewarding. Getting credit cards with limits in the thousands of dollars, cash back, and no annual fees rather than $300 limits and $179 in fees before I ever get the cards, well, that is a really good feeling.

It will take time and that, above all, is the most frustrating when working on your credit. I only started in October 2015 with a 593 score and I am at 660 now. It was higher but I applied for a lot of cards and took some hard inquiries and a hit to credit age but it is what was needed for my end goal. Now, I wait.

Things I did to work on mine: Some of these might not work for you, especially on disputing the older debts. It might be possible to inadvertently reset the debt clock on something that is about to age off by disputing it. I got lucky and it got removed.

If it’s good on your credit, don’t mess with it. Even if it’s a closed credit account or paid off car, keep all the “good” you can. If its good and open, don’t close it.

Dispute everything that is bad, even if it’s legit. Why? Because if they have gone out of business or stopped reporting, you might get lucky.

If you manage to get a bad debt current but are still plagued with past late payments, write your creditor and explain to them what happened and ask for a goodwill adjustment to remove all or some of the late payments. What do you have to lose?

Others may chime in and advise you otherwise, this is just what has worked for me. Good luck, and God bless you and your family. 

Results 1-2 of 2Results per page: 5 | 10 | 25Page 1 of 1   Previous | Next

Your Credit Scores Should Be Free. And Now They Are.

View your scores and reports anytime.

SIGN UP NOW

Reply to this Question

Write your response:
Enter Your Comments

The Credit Advice pages of the Site may contain messages submitted by users over whom Credit Karma has no control. Credit Karma cannot guarantee the accuracy, integrity or quality of any such messages. Some users may post messages that are misleading, untrue or offensive. You must bear all risk associated with your use of the Credit Advice pages and should not rely on messages in making (or refraining from making) any specific financial or other decisions.