A few years ago after watching a Suze Orman presentation where she recommended myFICO.com, I joined and faced my credit score for the first time. I believe it was in the mid 600 range. Not so great. Then I purchased my credit report, it was a little scary. I found out that I had a $39 medical bill I never received that had gone to collection, that was seriously damaging my score. I contacted the agency and paid it over the phone and my score shot up several points. I then got the desire to learn what else I needed to do to improve my score. I have a long credit history, some of my credit cards I have had for 30+ years. But like alot of people I had some late payments from several years ago. I would have to wait for some of those credit dings to drop off.
I created a spreadsheet in excel of all of my debts and a banner that says "NEVER BE LATE WITH A PAYMENT, AND NEVER LET CC DEBT EXCEED 30% OF YOUR AVAILABLE CREDIT", and another that says "8 months pay in savings is the GOAL!" Once I had a plan I just worked the plan. I subscribed to myFICO for several months and it was really encouraging to get the alerts that my FICO was rising. I also will share there were times when it would drop and I couldn't figure out why and that was very frustrating but I stuck to plan.
I purchased a new car in 2015 and my FICO score was over 740 at that time. I showed my FICO score to the finance manager on my iphone and told him I thought with my FICO score I should get a better deal, he then dropped my loan rate from 3.99% to 1.99%, felt good to tell him I deserved better.
I have stopped my subscription from time to time as I no longer felt it was critical and didn't want to pay the monthy fee. I also followed Clark Howard's advice ( thankfully ) and froze my credit years ago so I don't worry about identity theft and having someone ruin what I've worked hard to achieve. I was working in sales and was able to live off of my base pay and put away most of commission money so I had about 10 months of pay in my savings.
My savings proved to be really critical when in January 2017, I was laid off and at the age of 56 jobless. It took me about 6 months to find another job. My new job pays significantly less than I was making previously. But, I made it through the rough patch as I had little debt, a frugal lifestyle and a very healthy savings account.
Recently, I rejoined myFICO just to check-in and see where my score was at and I was thrilled to see 813. This was important too as my new employer runs a credit check as part of their background check. My new manager remarked he didn't have a FICO of 813. He was impressed. I then figured out I was maybe only $2,000 from getting a perfect FICO score if I could pay down the one credit card I use. I am pleased to share that at this moment in time I have a 850 FICO and still have about 10 months salary in my savings account. I'll also be paying off my mortgage Nov 2019, if not before. Feels great.
I encourage anyone to work on their FICO score, it's not really hard to do it just takes focus and understanding what helps and what hurts your score.
Congrats! Yes, good story. It was only missing one thing... paragraphs! You'll need to edit your sig to reflect your achievement.
You have a great credit story to share and have inspired me to start my own little credit spreadsheet! Great job!
Very nice!! Congrats!!
Fantastic!! Thanks for sharing your story - very inspirational. Congratulations!!
Welcome back!!!! 850!!! WoW really nice post
LoL...I've been following Suze too. But conflicted on the savings when you hit saving goal do you keep going ??? Or do you funel that cash to 401k or ira??? That was never clear to me