Monday, October 15, 2007


While opening a checking and savings account at Michigan First Credit Union earlier this week, they ran a credit report on both my husband and I. Although we hadn't realized they would be doing this, they ran the reports to see if there were any areas where they could be offering us lower rates on our mortgage and auto loans. Had I known in advance they would be running these reports, I may not have opened these accounts.

Most of my adult life, I have felt humiliated at what my credit report looks like. My husband has an equally poor credit report. Although my husband no longer has a bankrupcy showing on his report, he continues to riddle his report with unpaid doctors bills. Although this may not seem like much of a problem, in this tight economy, it stopped him from being able to qualify for a loan on our second house.

I, on the other hand, have one major flaw on my report, and a couple smaller, but still important flaws. I carry two mortgages and an auto loan on my credit report. I also have a credit card that is over its limit ($10,800) , student loans that are on perpetual deferment, and miscellaneous other irritating and unnecessary notations.

The primary flaw on my report is for a mortgage payment that I made through my on line banking account with Comerica Bank. After I made the on line payment of $3,800, the mortgage company stated they had never received it. The bank insisted that they sent it. I had paperwork indicating that the money had been removed from my account.

Whoa, talk about between a rock and a hard place. These two large financial organizations proved to be impossible to penetrate and resolve this issue. Over a year passed without this situation being resolved, it continued to be "researched" by the mortgage company at our insistence, while the bank did very little to help us. The bank personnel would only look into it if we were standing in front of them in person, and then, they just insisted it had been paid.

Finally, the entire situation was resolved, unsatisfactorily for us, by our refinancing the loan, and having to roll the $3,800 into the new mortgage.

The explanation provided by the bank was so complicated that I can't even describe it here, and, I'm not convinced that the bank didn't make a mistake. The mortgage company is happy because they've been paid. We're happy to have been able to refinance at all with reports of 60 and 90 day late notices on my credit.

Our next financial meeting is scheduled for Tuesday evening. One item on our agenda is to review our credit reports. At this meeting we'll address the issues that we are able to by drafting a letter to the credit bureaus explaining the situation, and determining what else we can do to clean up our negative credit.

Finally, I need to take a look at my/our belief system regarding my money. In the past, I have believed that I am not worthy of a good financial life. In fact, the one memory I have regarding money was hearing my parents tell me that I couldn't save a dollar. I'm sure they didn't realize the impact of that statement, but, it was my choosing to carry that statement through my adult life that is the problem.

Old destructive patterns crop up and I create situations where I'm not looking too good on paper (or feeling too good inside). If I believed I was worthy I would have already written the credit bureaus, I would have kept my credit card balances down, paid on time, not exceeded my limits, etc. Instead I chose to be sloppy, lazy, procrastinate and dishonest with myself regarding my finances. I have earned a FICO score of 530, while my husband has earned a 572.

Its time for me to grow up and take responsibility. Am I worthy of a good FICO score? Yes, I believe I'm earning the right to have a decent score. It's not easy, but, for me right now, its necessary. It affects how I see myself - and its time I see myself in a better light.

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