Saturday, May 27, 2006

How I Became My Own Consumer Credit Counseling Service And Bounced Back From My Bad Credit Nightmare (part 1)

Bad credit, a lousy FICO score, a credit report that haunts you, dogs you. Bankruptcy, a bottomless pit of debts, creditors tenacious as pit bulls – yeah, I learned about bad credit the hard way and I’ve here to tell the ugly tale: How TransUnion, Equifax and Experian kicked my rump and taught me the meaning of the words shame, insomnia and regret.

This is my story and it's part sordid diary, part confessional, part gory catharsis.

Actually, my story fits right in with one of the classic themes of great literature. You know what theme I'm talking about - the heartbreaking journey from the blameless world of innocence to the tainted world of experience. My slow descent from financial solvency to fiscal flatline. Loss! Humiliation! Sleepless nights! Feelings of inadequacy!

I’ve been so intimately acquainted with all that emotional wreckage that I could have, and probably should have, run out and started a support group. Call it SCA - Screwed-Up Credit Anonymous. I know there are thousands, tens of thousands, maybe millions of people who would attend. But SCA doesn't really have a ring to it, so what I will do is talk like I'm behind a support group podium and share what I learned the hard way.

I'm going to start with the juicy, controversial stuff first, like discussing how some desperate people decide to raise their credit rating by starting a new credit file with a new social security number (because inquiring minds want to know whether it's a scam and, if it is, exactly how the devil a scam like that works) and then I'll talk about the more tried-and-true methods for repairing your credit: requesting your credit report, learning what your FICO score means, identifying erroneous entries on your report, how to dispute those erroneous entries - everything you need to do to raise your FICO score, get those damaging entries in your credit history deleted, and clean-up and repair your reeking credit.

You can trust me on all this stuff. Why? Not because I profess to be some kind of guru or expert on all things credit related. But because, baby, I've been there. I bottomed out, survived, and bounced back ... (consumer credit counseling, to be continued)

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