Re: So ashamed and devastated[ Edited ]
10-17-2012 01:16 PM - edited 10-17-2012 01:24 PM
I know some people are afraid of the truth at times, but there are two sides to every story. There is the creditor side and there is the consumer side. I am not trying to make the OP feel bad, but she made a few mistakes and people should not be telling her that making credit mistakes are a good thing. Her mistakes are what got her into this hole and the only way to get out is not to make those same mistakes in the future. When you look past the matter-of-fact way I tell her things, you will see that I am giving her good advice.
1. Don't leave responsibility for bills in the hands of others (wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, son, daughter, I have seen people from all walks of life ruin their family members credit)
2. Always check your statement before the due and/or late date to make sure it was cleared. If it hasn't cleared, make sure you follow up well before the actual late date hits for any potential problems.
3. If it hasn't cleared, beg borrow and steal to make sure you get your payment in before it reports as negative.
4. Never "trust" that anything is going to go through. You know it goes through when you see it post.
5. Give yourself wiggle room for any problems. If you are paying 3 days before the bill is officially considered "late" then you have no recourse if something goes wrong. Give yourself a week, preferably two before it's considered late. That way if anything goes wrong (boyfriend forgets, hurricane hits your bank, stock market crashes, bank run, economic disaster), you will have a good week or two to clear it all up and find an alternate way to not be late.
6. I highly recommend everybody has at least 2 bank accounts for just these kind of problems. Money in both. When you run into a problem with a bank, you can always turn to the other one as a backup. I personally have more than 2 but I am very paranoid about these things. You never know what can happen when a bank decides to freeze something or delay something. When Chase freezes you, you can simply say, "Okay, I'll go to my credit union to clear this up then worry about Chase later." Eggs in multiple baskets is the way to go.
7. Never charge more than you can afford to pay ON THE SPOT if things go wrong.