How I Raised My Credit Score 40 Points In 24hrs. And Saved $658 A Month In Interest
It’s never easy to talk about credit. Not with friends, not with family, not online, and, most of all, not with myself. Yes, I let a monthly payment go by here and there. I’ve maxed out my share of credit cards. I’ve bought cars that I really couldn’t afford. I ate out. A lot. At expensive restaurants. And I always ordered the lobster. I always knew, in the back of my head, that I was teetering on the brink of credit destruction. Yet I couldn’t bring myself to admit that my credit was going downhill. I continued applying for credit cards anyway. I didn’t want to run them up, honestly. It just happened.
One day, reality gave me a swift kick in the rear. I grew weary of renting, so I decided to pursue the proverbial American Dream and purchase a home. I sort of knew that my credit was troubled, but I kidded myself into thinking that it couldn’t be that bad. I went to a mortgage company to finance my dream. When I got there, I filled out an application, and they pulled my credit report. I truly was not prepared for what the loan officer said to me next. “I’m sorry, sir,” he said, “your application has been declined.” I was absolutely stunned and numb. I could not believe my ears. My dreams were decimated in mere seconds. I left the office so dumbfounded that I didn’t even remember the drive home. I got back to the apartment and I torched every Homes For Sale magazine in the fireplace.
From that very moment, I resolved to clean up my act. Not knowing much about credit, I had to swallow the last ounce of pride I had and called up the loan officer I met with. They have general guidelines for approving mortgage loans, he explained. One of the major factors that go into an approval is your credit score. Quite simply, the higher your credit scores, the better your chances of being approved. What’s more, the higher your score, the better the terms of your mortgage; that is, better interest rates, better payments, and lower down payments to name but a few. In my particular case, my score was low. Their minimum requirement is a score of 620. My score was 604.
The only way that I could get an approval for a home loan, he said, was to raise my credit scores. The good news, he said, was that he could refer me to their sister company. They specialized in approving mortgages for people with challenged credit. In fact, they have been known to approve loans for people with scores as low as 500!
With a glimmer of hope, I contacted the company he spoke of, known as a “subprime lender.” Sure enough, they had good news for me. “We received your application from our sister company, and I’m happy to tell you that we are able to approve you for a mortgage!”
Something didn’t feel quite right, though, so I asked about the terms of the mortgage he approved. It turned out that their loan was going to cost me a whopping $7896.00 in additional interest for the first year, which amounted to roughly an extra $666.00 per month! That was about twice what I used to pay on my car. Think about that…because my scores were so low, I had to pay the equivalent of two car payments in order to purchase a house. Heck, I could’ve bought a Mercedes with that kind of money, although I probably wouldn’t have been approved for a car loan anyway. Not only would the extra interest have a disastrous impact on my bank account, it would price me completely out of my dream home – a terrifying thought indeed.