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Just a quick success story for any newbies feeling overwhelmed.

I started dealing with my credit/debt issues in February of ’06 after years of putting my head in the sand. I didn’t grow up with much and never developed the necessary skills for handling money responsibly. After generating debts (soon after college) and not facing up to my responsibilities, I just avoided anything credit related. I would get hives if a transaction required my credit report or a store offered me a new card. It call came to a head when I got married 2 years ago and it came time to file joint taxes. I had to come clean to my wife (who is uber responsible and money savvy), and while I expected the worst, she was a truly great about it. She was angry and hurt obviously, but she also understood how badly I wanted to fix the problem. At that point in time I was dealing with the following:

No bank account (due to a chexsystems record)

No credit cards (hadn’t bothered applying in years)

Cashing my paychecks at a check cashing/pay day loans place (paying $120 a month just for the privilege)

Credit scores in the 500s and very low 600s

Through this site, I have completely turned it around in 18 months. I have never felt better about my financial position. I am not dreading the mail’s arrival or phone calls from unknown numbers. I feel like I finally have choices again and I know that when something does come up, I will be able to handle it appropriately. So my status is now:

2 checking and savings accounts

Credit Cards (my original subprimes Cap 1/Orchard plus Bofa Amex and Visa with approximately $30,000 in available credit) PIF every month

Credit Scores all solidly in the 700s

If you’re just starting out, be strong. Even if it looks insurmountable, you just have to break it down in the small steps. You will start feeling good as soon as you address even small issues, because it means you’re taking control. I have a huge soft spot for this board. This community is saving lives.

Good luck and keep the faith!

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How wonderful that you've taken control of your financial life, and achieved success! I truly believe we can achieve anything we set our minds to, as long as we are willing to put forth the time and effort! Congrats to you and your wife, and the best of luck to you both!xangelx

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Thanks. These posts make my day. When I read things like these, I think to myself, "If there is a hell, maybe I won't be heading there." ;)

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What a truly inspirational testimony. It appears that you have taken control rather than allowing debt control you. Congratulations.

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Thanks. These posts make my day. When I read things like these, I think to myself, "If there is a hell, maybe I won't be heading there." ;)

Do you think it would be a good idea to start a success stories forum?

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EXCELLENT!!!!

Welcome to the world again, you do not have to put your head in the sand, you can hold it up high...

But with credit comes responsibility.....and looking back I think we are all responsible for the debt we hold ourselves and as a Nation...

Now I am happy for your success...and for taking control back of your finances...

Don't you feel sexy!!!!! 8-)

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Thanks everyone for the really kind words! I think a success story section would be great. I know I found the stories really inspirational in my darker moments.

You're absolutely right about being responsible for our own debts (personally and as a nation). Clearly some people get into trouble through no fault of their own (medical bills, unemployment, serious emergencies, etc.), but most people have a big hand in their own financial destiny. I am certainly responsible for where I was, but also where I am now.

One of my biggest pieces of advice is to teach your children, from a young age, how money works. When you give them an allowance, make them put some away for savings, take some out for "taxes" (which you'll refund at the end of the year), and give them discretionary income. If your parents were a bit of a mess financially (as mine were), and you've continued the tradition (and you're obviously working to fix it since you're here), do the next generation a favor and pass on your knowledge.

Cheers!

Chris

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Congrats, Chris! Thank you for sharing your story. As a newb to all of this, it's encouraging to know people have success. And to know you're not the only one who's avoided anything credit related.

I was just telling a friend today that colleges need to educate students about handling debt responsibly. And better yet, they need to STOP allowing CCC's to come on campus and sign students up for cards by luring them with free stuff. That's what started it for me- some cheesey $10 gift card and a t-shirt.

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:BigDance::BigDance:

::allhail::

Congrats man. Reading stories like this always remind me I'm not the only one. :)

I also second a "Success Story" forum. Excellent idea.

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One of my biggest pieces of advice is to teach your children, from a young age, how money works. When you give them an allowance, make them put some away for savings, take some out for "taxes" (which you'll refund at the end of the year), and give them discretionary income. If your parents were a bit of a mess financially (as mine were), and you've continued the tradition (and you're obviously working to fix it since you're here), do the next generation a favor and pass on your knowledge.

Cheers!

Chris

That is excellent advice and the idea of "taxes" and savings is one I will put to work immediately!!! I've been thinking that I need to figure out a way to teach my son what I wasn't taught.

God Bless my mom, but she was a single mother with 3 daughters and she didn't have a lot of help. I remember Saturday mornings being dedicated to driving around town to the different pay day loans places to pay and then renew pay day loans. I just remember thinking "That is just how you have to live if you don't make a lot of money. You use credit to cover the difference between your expenses/income, You worry about how to pay it later, or You pay it back with more credit" I was totally blown away when one of my friends said that she had been contributing to a Roth IRA since she was 18, and that she puts a large portion of her check in savings. She's 27 now, just bought a home, no haggling about credit scores or rates, and withdrew 23K from her savings to put down like it was nothing. I want my son to be that responsible. Love the idea of giving him an allowance minus "taxes" and saving!

Thanks and Congratulations!

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