Did you know?
Women could NOT apply for credit cards on their own until 1974!!?!? We could be on our spouse’s card but that was it for the most part. The more I learned about this the more convinced I become it’s no wonder as women why we’re reluctant to discuss our money challenges and questions. Let’s change the way our individual money stories are playing out!!!
Why am I talking about credit cards you ask? Remember this, good credit does not have to mean you’re in debt. It does require you to demonstrate you can manage the open accounts. As a money coach, I’m not opposed to having credit cards but we do need to be responsible with them. They are a tool for us to use in the same way a screwdriver or hammer is.
If you are in need of establishing or re-establishing your credit then a secured credit card is a great way to begin.
First, let’s make sure you recognize the difference between a secured credit card and a prepaid card.
Prepaid card – you pay money, that money is “placed” on the prepaid card. You can use the card until the money runs out and you then need to replenish it. I love using a prepaid card when I’m on vacation. It gives me peace of mind when I’m on the road and not exposing my debit card to so many places. A prepaid card does NOT report to the credit bureaus so it will not have any benefit to your credit score. It is simply a convenience for us.
A secured card acts more like a traditional credit card. You give the bank money and they issue a credit card with a matching credit limit. For example, you give the bank $1000 and they issue you a credit card with a $1000 credit limit. That money or deposit sits in a savings account while you demonstrate you can manage the account. This was one of the first steps to re-established my credit after filing bankruptcy. It is common for the bank to release the deposit after a year or so of ON-TIME payments.
Each month you will receive a statement that you then have to pay. It’s important to remember, your purchase does not come out of your deposit, it is expected that you pay the bill on time each month. This will be reported to the credit bureaus allowing you to build your credit and show you are making good financial decisions.
Rebuilding your credit in this manner will take some time but after about 3 months you will begin to see your score rise and remember that consistency with on-time payments is paramount.
Do you need credit repair or want to learn to read your credit reports? Staying on top of your credit report and making sure what is reported is correct will enable you to catch any errors early.
No judgment here, I have been there with sleepless nights and worry about who is going to call asking for payments. The worse were times when I didn’t even want to walk to the mailbox, cute catalogs waiting or not.
Being clear and confident with your plan will make it easier on those days you feel “not so positive”. Schedule a call and let’s talk.