Basically your credit score is based on certain criteria

Basically your credit score is based on certain criteria and that criteria, such as car/mortgage loans or credit cards, is either good or bad. Credit cards, loans, etc. are not weighed equally when determining your credit score. For example, if you have perfect payments for your car loan or have even payed it off, that will help to improve your score. However, if you have very high balance or over limit credit cards that reflects negatively on your score, and it has more weight than a car loan and therefore will cause a larger negative effect on your score. There is no exact formula for calculating it on your own (i dont think). Also when you apply for payday loans online from companies like Elc Loans there is usually no credit check performed.

There are some sure fire ways to build up your credit though.

  1. Do not close any existing credit cards, paid off or not. This is because these cards give you credit history. Having a longer credit history reflects POSITIVELY on your score. Of course, you will want to pay down your balances but you shouldn’t close the account if you’ve paid it off.
  2. Pay your bills on time every month. This is so obvious but it is so key when determining your risk level, which is really what the credit score serves to show anyway. Consistentl, on-time payments reflect POSITIVELY on your score.
  3. If you have NO CREDIT history, and you dont own a home, it would be wise to obtain a credit card and simply use it for gas or something menial like groceries and pay it off each month. This is simply an easy way to establish some sort of credit history.
  4. Owning a home is a huge influence on your credit. Maybe even more so than credit cards, you will want to pay on-time every month. Forclosure or short sales will absolutely kill your credit.

I hope this helps to understand. It’s good to monitor your credit by using those Free Credit sites because they show you what your credit history looks like so far and then you know what you need to fix.

Most rental car companies will NOT accept prepaid cards….been there done that.

It was Advantage Auto Rental. Be cautious with these companies and read the contract. Most of the time they are local car rental companies and you can’t take the car from the state. But they do serve a purpose of renting without a credit card if you are in a bind. I read any and every contract which I might sign and did research on the company. I took the car out of state, too. :) It worked out very well.

I have to agree, my car insurance is 50% more than it should be because of my credit score i’m 34 years old, perfect driving record, no accidents ever, not even a fender bender. Even the insurance guy couldnt figure it out till he saw my credit score. I pay $150 a month car insurance on a Hyundai Accent. That price is almost have my car note! My grandmother who I live with and who has great credit, pays around $150 a YEAR!!! She’s had accidents but then she also has a longer driving record too.

I am not an advocate for running up credit card debt

I am not an advocate for running up credit card debt, as that is just ridiculous. However, I do think that the average person needs a credit score. I intend to pay off all of the debts and sparingly use one single credit card. Until I am able to pay cash for a car, never need to rent a car, or buy a plane ticket (much easier with a credit card); my husband and I are going to work at building up our ability to do just that. Then, we are going to have one card that we will use and pay off the same month. Maybe just charge one meal on it, then pay it off in full when the bill comes. So there is a record of our using and paying off credit card debt. Our scores will be GREAT and we will be able to get a loan at GREAT rates, as opposed to the loan sharkish rates that some people are offered.

If we could live in a totally credit card free way, that would be our ideal.

So, we are going to do in our own lives, except for this single card, which we will allow ourselves. No more store credit cards at all. Just one single VISA or MASTERCARD that can be used and is widely accepted everywhere we might need to use it.

If you have no control at all and will run yourself into overwhelming debt again, you should probably skip credit card usage whatsoever.

Another option, instead of Visa or Master Card, is to get an American Express Card because the balance has to be paid off each month.

That is no longer the truth and I can give you nearly $8k of proof. And their interest is a serious ‘gotcha’

Amen to “Life is pretty darn gray”! :) I think we’re all here because we feel we could do better with our finances–whether that’s because we’re going through bankruptcy, getting stalked by collectors, or like me, just in a mountain of debt.

Everyone needs to do what’s best for them. I like many of the ideas I’ve heard on here but some of them may not work for me. As my other support group says (yeah, I know, I need a lot of support!) “Take what you like and leave the rest”.

American Express regular charge card is an interest free charge card that requires the balance to be paid off each month. Of course, American Express has a variety of credit cards, but i was referring to their charge card.

How about trying this?

Keep pestering your state legislators to change the laws to prevent insurance companies, apartments, cell phone companies, etc. from using your credit score to determine eligibility or premium. They can only look at negative comments for the past xx years.

I have been pushing GA to do this and some of it is making its way into bills being proposed. I haven’t yet seen anything pass, but I keep pushing.

This is about the only way we can break the back of the creditors who love the FICA and want to keep it around. As long as Americans believe they must have a credit score to survive, American Express, CitiGroup, Chase, Capital One, and the likes will win.

I don’t believe that, it’s individual choice to use credit responsibly or to abuse it. Just like it’s individual choice to smoke, or overeat.

No where do the credit card companies force anyone to max out their cards.

Yes, they have some iffy business practices, BUT it’s still OUR choice and OUR responsibility.

Living without a credit score is a great idea

Buy insurance, get a job, etc, etc, etc. Living without a credit score is a great ideal, BUT it doesn’t fit in with reality very well.

It fits very well if you live on a cash basis. One doesn’t have to have good credit or any credit. Yes, it might make some things easier but it isn’t necessary.

Doesnt’ fit in very well because people borrow on everything, even stuff they don’t need most of the time. A credit score is based on borrowing everything and being in debt instead of saving up for things and paying for them.. Weird concept isn’t it?

All I have left is my mortgage and once it’s paid off no more credit for me…. Fits in reality just fine but Im also determined not to get in debt again…

I’ve heard that before, but when you get turned down for high paying jobs, or you insurance goes up 50% or more, lost a rental property that would have been perfect for me long term, it’s not that easy to agree with.

And these are things that have PERSONALLY and RECENTLY happened to me.

And I truly feel that it will get worse before it gets better.

wait until you can’t get a job based upon your credit score – happened to me. Wait until your car insurance goes up close to 50% – happened to me. Most rental companies are running a credit check for renting properties, lost one because my credit score is in the tank.

Reality is changing. I’m not saying go out there and run up a ton of debt, but just saying we don’t need a credit score, I don’t think is very reasonable in where this society is heading.

Personally, I will be SOOOO glad when I’m completely out of debt, but I can guarantee I will have something that keeps me a decent credit score for those and many other reasons above.

Credit is necessary. As you said in a prior post, renting an apt and getting a job are two major areas where they check – and will refuse you – if your credit sucks. Ever need a home phone? Other utilities? Yeah, they check too.

With five years of experience working in consumer credit industries, I know what I need personally. I also feel like I should have been so much smarter but no one’s perfect and I’m working on my mistakes now.

It sounds like some of you have managed to screw up your financial management after you own houses, but I am not in that situation. I also am being responsible by not keeping my cards in my possession, etc. And like I said, I don’t know the numbers and my “sponsor” isn’t handing them over.

Didn’t mean to stir up a storm so I hope we can stop here. But I wanted to respond because I felt a lot of judgement, which isn’t what I expected. I actually expected support here – I “tough love” myself quite enough. If I were not acting in a responsible way, I’d appreciate the feedback. But black/white judgement isn’t appropriate in most situations. Life is pretty darn gray.

I joined to hopefully find a lifeline to normal

I joined to hopefully find a lifeline to normal.


  • Ran up debt.
  • Declared bankruptcy.
  • Ran up debt.
  • Had a family member pay that off (and make me repay only half).
  • Ran up more debt.

Now I’m pissed. I’m smart, educated, successful, and well-liked by friends and colleagues.

But I couldn’t even tell you why I have this debt.

I took out a loan to remove most of my debt from credit cards, but this just sucks. I hate being stressed about money and I’m so over doing this to myself.

My goal is four years to debt-free (excluding student loans).

hi! I joined the group for the same reason. so i dont feel like i am alone in this mess.
i also ran up debt, paid it all off, ran it up again to an astronomical amount

was going to file bankruptcy, even spoke to a lawyer. but right now tryiing to make deals with my creditors to see what is best. for me if i have to budget and pay something off even if its a settlement amount. i feel like its a lesson for me to not do this again. my goal is also 4 years to debt free!!!

Depending on what the debt is, you may want to look at something I call ‘Emotional Consuming’. You’ve done this in and out of debt repeatedly, so I’m wondering if… like an emotional overeater, you may be trying to ‘feed’ a hunger within. My fella’s sister is in your shoes too.

I know some compulsive shoppers and such never even wear or use what they buy, they just love the sense of empowerment and in some cases, respect when they whip out that credit card. I work in retail, and while *I* do not do this, some places actually tell their employees how to make the customer buy things they do not need. Usually, in the telemarketing side, brow-beating is also used.

Having said this, of course Medical emergencies and debt incurred by medical and home repair on an emergent status is another kettle of fish.

Many compulsive shoppers and so on ARE charismatic and quite nice to be near as people, they hide their hurt well.

IMHO, I think a support group for compulsives or even a bit of counseling would also help you, along with being here. Many of us CAN help you, but if (I say IF) you are shopping to sho and feel good about yourself, this would be served with a counselor.

The loan is to lower the interest rates and make the payment manageable. I’ve also locked those cc’s up with a family member who lives far away and is supportive of my efforts. I don’t know their numbers so no more spending.

I’m choosing not to close them because my credit score is actually pretty good. And with my experience in the credit industry, I know that it will tank if I close them. But they’re gone. Out of reach. Every five months or so, I’m going to buy gas or something small so I have usage to report to keep my rating up. But again, I’m going to have the fam member with me and they keep the card. She’s serving as my “sponsor.”

And to the person who brought up the emotional spending, thank you. It is a compulsion. Just like an eating disorder or gambling disorder. I now check out a personal finance/debt management book out of the library every two weeks to get wiser.

Refinancing Mortgage

Hi everyone,

I have a question about refinancing my mortgage. I have just started getting my program to get out of debt, so my credit rating is very low right now. My mortgage, which I took out two years ago, is a 30-year ARM and had a two-year period to readjustment. It just hit the two-year mark and adjusted up, though due to interest rate cuts, not as much as it could have.

Because of my credit score, I can’t refinance or get a better interest rate. But … I am wondering … if I were to call my mortgage lender and request to change to a 15-year mortgage instead of the 30-year I have now, would they be more likely to refinance at a better interest rate?

Internal Revenue Service

I thought I’d write while I’m on hold for now 40 minutes with the IRS. I’m sure this won’t get through but it will be cathartic for me.

a) Obviously the IRS does not have enough seasonal employees or I wouldn’t have to be on hold this long.

b) Why do they ask you for a bunch of information they already have? I put my SSN in the phone pad when I first called so why are they asking for it again.

c) Why does the recording tell me my call is important? I’m sure they could not care less about my call or anyone else’s. My call and everyone else’s is disturbing their nap.

Well after several months of back and forth with them I finally got them to agree to remove the garnishment while they analyze my correspondence.

I said it once and I’ll say it again. The IRS is nothing but a government-sponsored scam!

I agree. So we should all tell our representatives to push for the Fair Tax as written be Congressman John Linder! It was an independent research conducted by top notch Universities and it will work.

You would not believe the sheer volume of phone calls that the IRS gets on a daily basis. Many of them have no real purpose. Such as “Did you get my check? I mailed it 3 days ago and I got a signed receipt for it. I am just calling to double check.”

So, that is who is taking up the time and making you wait 40 minutes or more to get your call answered. I’ve been dealing with the IRS for over a year now with many, many phone calls. It’s always at least 45 minutes or more on hold. Funny thing is the on hold music is the music from the Nutcracker!

I knew they were classical “standards” but I didn’t realize it was from that ballet. I figured they were using music in the public domain so they didn’t have to pay royalties.