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Are you in debt and looking for a way out? Welcome to the first chapter of the in debt series.
Hopelessly in debt
So here I was swimming in the deep end of debt, fed up with not being able to see the shallow end where positivity resides. I was desperate to rise out of this increasingly pitiful sea of loss hope. I needed and wanted to improve my circumstances; visions of myself springing impressively like a dolphin out of this dreaded period in my life. Knowing that it was possible and the earlier I started the better, but I just didn’t know how. I was truly stuck in debt.
Prior to being in debt, I had taken out a credit card, using it for small items such as purchasing snacks or topping up my oyster card. Every month I religiously paid the money back before the monthly statements were released. This was my plan to build my fresh credit rating. This was an investment towards qualifying in the future for a mortgage. Credit limits were frequently being increased for good behaviour so the plan was paying off.
What went wrong?
Queue a physical illness from a no fault of my own car accident, which caused me to not be able to work for a while. Even worse, to temporally compensate for the lack of income, I took out another card during a crisis time. Unfortunately it took longer than I thought for me to be able to return to work. Therefore my ability to repay my debt became unstable. Soon finding myself with a default and the credit company refusing to reverse their decision, although I never received the mandatory warning letter. I was paying my bills but my credit score took a massive hit. I’d gone from having an above average credit score to the worse. My self-esteem after all my hard work was knocked for six.
Forward to being in a good position financially and looking at how to improve my credit score. Whilst clearing my debt I turned to Google for the answers. I figured that as I couldn’t go down the traditional route and take out another credit card, I’d have to find a way to make the credit cards that I was paying off, work for me.
I made a list of all my incomings and outgoings. Depending on the likelihood of further damage to my credit rating, decided how much each debt company would get alongside the unavoidable outgoings. Whilst making payments, one of the creditors informed me that my payments would be reported. This would reflect positively on my credit score. That’s one half of the new formulated plan, but being a visual person I wanted to SEE it growing for myself.
This is when marvellous Google pointed me in the direction of free credit score and report website, Noddle. Up to this day I’m sure upon discovery I saw a halo around it. I would eagerly use Noddle to check each month that my credit rating was indeed growing, and I was getting closer to that dolphin moment. Aware of other similar websites, but this was free and an account could be set up immediately. Not waiting to receive and return anything in the post, result! Making a note each month of the score to track the improvement. Other features to regularly check include, if I was registered on the electoral roll, and what recent credit checks had been carried out on me.
Noddle also showed me where I compared to the average score for my area, and the national average. I loved this as it gave me a goal to aim towards, celebrating each milestone, as I got closer to achieving the average figures. Using Noddle not only helped me to improve my credit rating, remove the fear of fixing the damage but also helped rebuild the damage to my self-esteem from hitting rock bottom. For that, Noddle gets 5 stars from me.