Overcoming Foreclosure, Bankruptcy, Repossessions, Tax Liens and the Like.
As a finance director for a major Automotive Dealer in Texas, I have seen the entire breadth of credit reports.
Ranging from Flawless 850 FICOS, to dizzying 333’s that include, Repossessions, Foreclosures, Bankruptcies, Tax Liens, Child support, slow credit and the like. I have witnessed the entire gambit.
“Bad things happen to good people” is a phrase we say in this business all the time.
The big question is, “WHAT DO I DO NOW?”
Well please let me tell you, the road to recovery is not an easy journey. It took years to get into this mess, and it will likely take at least a few to get out of it. However, we all understand the Value of having good credit. Having credit after all was what allowed us the opportunity to; Buy that house, the car, the jewelry, to make additions to our homes, get lower rates on car insurance, to send our children to college.
Credit is IMPORTANT
Lets start reclaiming with a few simple steps I have learned over the years.
First off, you need to evaluate your current financial status.
By this I mean, You need to know,
1) How much money do I make?
2) How much money do I bring home after all deductions and taxes?
3) What are all of my expenses? (i.e. Housing, Automotive, Food, Gas, Utilities, Credit cards, Phones, etc.)
4) How much money do I have in my pocket after all my bills are paid, before I spend money on myself?
Once armed with the basics of your financial life you need to acquire a current credit report. These can be found free of charge on many websites across the Internet. It is very important to know how to read your credit report and understand its contents. This is where we begin to start of our financial recovery process.
While looking over your credit report it is important to take notes. You should know.
1) Who are all my debtors listed?
2) Are there any accounts I do not understand or inaccuracies on my credit report?
3) What accounts if any are past due?
4) What are my current balances on all my accounts?
5) What are the numbers to all my debtors?
6) What are my interest rates that I am being charged on each account?
Once all this information is gathered you can begin to start making plans. You need to know how much money you have left over after all your bills are paid. Then decide how much of that money you can afford to use to pay off PAST DUE debt.
I want to point out here that many people do not realize that you can negotiate your past due debt, sometimes for pennies on the dollar. What this means to you is that if you owe a company $1000 and it has been past due for lets say two or three years. You may be able to negotiate with them for a lower amount sometimes just 10% of the amount due. That means that you only have to pay $100 dollars to clear out that debt.
Now that you have found out how much you owe, and to whom, you can begin to make educated financial decisions.
In doing this myself, this is how I prioritized my money
1) Paying off CHARGED-OFF accounts (Negotiating and paying off)
2) Paying all my credit cards to about 10% of their credit limit. ( If card has limit of $1000 I wanted to owe no more than $100)
3) Paying off all of the high interest credit cards
4) Paying down Auto debt
5) Pay extra toward home loan
6) MAKE ALL YOUR PAYMENTS ON ALL YOUR BILLS 100% ON TIME, EVERY TIME, WITHOUT FAIL.
7) Have a little FUN (Responsibly of course)
The value of great credit is far beyond the dollar amount you could qualify for. Having great credit also tends to lend to people having better attitudes and being less stressed. This in turn, could make you feel much better about yourself and your financial and physical health.
I have provided you with a few tips that I have used over the years, along with some tips I share with my customers on a daily basis to help them achieve their goals in the shortest time possible.
This is not a quick solution, again, it took you years to get in the situation, but hopefully with some great planning, and hard work and a bit of luck, you can begin to unwind the damage and rebuild your life.