It is a subject that few people discuss, but more and more therapists are talking about it - the key link between our emotions and our money. We may think that money is all about our rational selves, but in fact, our emotions are often very much invested in our pocket books.
If we want to repair our credit, we have to deal with the emotional as well as the numerical side of money. There are a few tips that financial experts now believe can help you harness your emotions in a way that can actually help you improve your credit score:
Tip #94: Give Yourself a Break
There is no point in beating yourself up over your credit score - whatever it is. Instead, promise yourself that you will do better in the future and then work to repair your credit rather than working on berating yourself. Taking action to improve your credit rating will improve your outlook as well as your credit.
Tip #95: Don’t make excuses
If you have been the object of identity theft or have genuinely been mistreated by a company, then, by all means, include an explanatory note in your credit report. However, most lenders do not want to hear a lot of excuses.
Whatever your problems have been in the past, you will seem like a much more reliable lender if you focus on what you are doing to get out of problems.
You will feel better and get better responses from lenders if your focus on current action rather than past mistakes. Instead of wallowing in pity and explaining in great detail the personal and financial problems that led to a bad credit rating, give yourself and lenders the condensed version and then move on to a detailed review of what you are doing to repair your credit.
Tip #96: Give Yourself a Treat - without affecting your credit rating
Reestablishing good credit is hard work and daunting as well. Once in a while, as you reach a milestone, you need to reward yourself. You should do this through some means that do not involve debt or money. If you repay your credit card bill, there is no sense in running up that bill again on a shopping trip.
Instead, you should list some inexpensive and fun treats you could give yourself. Keep this list wherever you keep your financial file. As you reach a big milestone, take out your list and immediately reward yourself with one of the items on the list. This will not only keep you motivated, but it will inexpensively keep you from feeling too deprived while you work on your credit score.
Tip #97: Work on your emotional response to debt and money
Most of us carry a lot of emotional baggage with us when it comes to money. We see money as a marker of success, or we see money as a way of making ourselves feel better, and these attitudes lead us to much of our financial and credit problems. If we rely on money to make us feel successful, then we are apt to overspend. If we fear money - or the lack of it - we are unlikely to save it or make investments with it.
We need to be aware of the ways we respond to money and the ways that those responses shape the ways we deal with money. Some financial experts recommend that clients keep money journals, in which they record their money hopes, their money fears, and their responses to spending and money. A money journal can help you by showing you how to feel about spending and about money. If you can isolate the emotions that influence how you spend money and how you make your money decisions, you will be well on your way towards fixing your financial problems.
Tip #98: Don’t mix debt with emotion and stay aware of your emotions
It pays to separate your feelings of worth and your emotions from your finances, especially when you are trying to repair your credit. Feeling self-pity, shame, fear, or sadness as you try to repair your credit score won’t help you. Staying calm and professional as you deal with credit bureaus and financial professionals will help you. If you need to, keep telling yourself that your credit score is just an important number. Keep it separate from yourself and your emotional state as far as possible.
Bad credit can be emotionally trying, and boosting your credit can be daunting and difficult as well. It is important that you keep track of your emotions during the process. If you find yourself dwelling on your credit too much or if you find yourself severely depressed, seek help at once. A credit problem is a fixable solution - do not let it become an emotional disaster for you.
Tip #99: Get help if you need it
Do not be afraid to ask for help - financial or emotional - if you need it. There are a number of wonderful organizations that can help you if a problem is causing your credit problems. If you have credit problems due to compulsive overspending, for example, Overspenders Anonymous can be a great help.
If you suffer from a gambling problem, there are a number of charitable organizations that can help you overcome the addiction. If you have accumulated debt as a result of these sorts of specific problems, you will not really be able to fix your credit rating unless you deal with the problems behind the bad credit. Many good groups and therapists out there can help you.
Find a recommendation for a good one from your family doctor or a trusted friend or family member. You will be glad that you did.
Parting Credit Tips
Before you head off to enjoy your new and improved credit score or to work on boosting your credit score, consider two more tips that may well come in handy as your try to repair your credit score:
Tip #100: Learn to deal with collection agencies
If you have bad credit, you will have to deal with collection agencies sooner or later, and these companies often present the most persistent and unpleasant problem for those with bad credit. Collection agencies are basically companies that work on behalf of companies to try to recoup money that is owed.
If you owe your credit card company a payment that has not been made in some time, your credit card company will eventually ask a collection agency to speak with you. In many cases, collection agencies try to get money for their clients through phone calls. Some collection agencies are quite reasonable and will try to work with you. However, some will use threatening or harassing techniques - including verbal threats and daily phone calls - to try to get you to pay. To prevent the stress that collection agencies can cause, learn to deal with collection agencies.
You should always get the full name of whomever you speak with at a collection agency. You should try, to be honest about your ability to repay and try to work out a payment schedule or payment options. If at any point you feel threatened or harassed, say so. Hang up the phone if the collection agent persists and contacts the company who is trying to recoup money from you directly.
Note that the collection agency the company uses has been using is using abusive or upsetting language and ask to resolve the issue with someone at the company directly. Get the name of the collection agency and report them - and the agent you spoke with - to the Better Business Bureau. Refuse further calls from the collection agency and continue your communication with the creditor directly, noting each time the collection company contacts you with harassing or abusive calls.
Unfortunately, some collection agencies feel that intimidation yields the best results and since most collection agencies work through telephoning, they feel that they can say whatever they like (including making personal and false accusations) in order to try to recoup money for their clients. There is no paper trail and few people harassed by the agencies take these companies to court.
Some debtors feel so ashamed of their bad credit rating that they almost feel that they deserve the abuse. Both views are completely wrong. A bad credit rating does not make you deserving of abuse. Report collection agencies that offer harassment as a technique and make it clear to lenders that you will not work with a company that uses abuse as a technique of recouping the money.
Some collection agencies will try to use your credit score against you, telling you that they can ruin your credit score at a glance or file a claim on your credit score. Don’t fall for this. Your credit score is instantly affected when you fail to make a payment or are reported to a collection agency, but there is nothing that the collection agency employee can do to make your credit score worse beyond those two things.
You will still be eligible for credit in many cases. Do not let false claims about your credit score intimidate you into accepting the abuse of a collection agency.
Tip #101: Keep at it
Credit repair is not something that you simply do once in a while when your credit rating slips below 620. Credit repair and credit check-ups need to be part of your overall long-term financial plan. You need to follow a regular maintenance schedule of checking your credit reports regularly (you can get one free credit report from each of the major credit bureaus every four months, which lets you check your credit for free three times a year).
Regular check-ups will ensure that you have not been the victim of identity theft and will help you make sure that your credit has not begun to slip. Catching errors and problems early can be an excellent long-term way to ensure that you never need intensive credit repair again.
Your credit should be part of your financial goals because your credit can help you meet your goals. Good credit can help make loans affordable, and so can help make education, homes, and cars possible.
Your credit score will not stay steady - it may drop due to oversight or if you suddenly open some new loan accounts. However, overall you should continue to follow the strategies in this ebook in order to develop good habits that will keep your financial life stable and will help keep your credit score overall in good repair.
If you follow all - or even some - of these tips, you will notice an improvement in your credit rating with time. The main thing is to keep showing lenders that you are a good credit risk and keeping your credit report safe from identity thieves and hackers. If you already suffer from bad credit, developing your own method of credit repair using the tips in this ebook can help you reestablish the credit risk rating that can get you the best interest rates possible.
In general, you will want to follow at least four steps to better credit scores:
1) Check your credit report and credit scores. Assess your current situation and make sure to correct any errors on your report by writing to the credit bureaus and to the creditors involved. Immediately report any charges you don’t recognize - these may indicate an error but they might also indicate that you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft.
2) Pay down your debts and pay your bills on time. Close down the shorter-term loans if you need to.
3) Do all you can to make good financial habits automatic in order to keep your credit rating good.
4) Address particular issues - such as too much debt or a student lifestyle - that you think may be contributing to your low credit rating.
Developing your own plan for credit repair is the most cost-effective and often the most effective way of dealing with bad credit. It also gives you the tools, knowledge, and self-confidence to take control of your finances and ensure that you get the best credit score you can.
By being persistent and following the tips in this ebook, you can turn your credit situation around. With your new, good credit score, you can become qualified for that great new job, that apartment, or the fabulous interest rate on that loan you need. With a great credit rating, your financial life will be much easier.
You have all the tools and resources in this ebook to start repairing your credit right now. You can use the tools presented here to follow your financial dreams and achieve the success you deserve. So start reestablishing your credit so that you can live the life you want right now!