I Wish I’d’ve Listened: Blogtember 5th

Here is prompt 3 from Story of My Life’s Blogtember: Pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered.

I’ve screwed up a lot. And almost every single one of those screw-ups involve advice I ignored. And I know most people don’t learn from other’s mistakes, but you should really try on this one. Take my advice and keep your credit good.

Me? I didn’t do that. I tried, for awhile. I remember my first credit card. I didn’t even want it, but applied after being guilted into it by the cashier at Sears, who begged me, saying she only needed one more application to get her bonus for the day. I gave in, told her the necessary information, charged what I was buying, and then paid it off right then.

I was 21 and they gave me a $10,000 credit line.

For quite a few months I never touched the damn thing. The gold card set in my wallet, nestled in its spot, cozy and warm with no desire to be used.

And then life happened. I broke up with the guy I’d dated for over 6 years. I moved out of the house we had bought together and was left surviving as a full-time college student, with no where to live, making less than $150 a week.

Let me tell you, that little gold card got a damn workout! And not only at stores and online, but at the ATM for its cash advances. And, I hate to say this, even though this was over 10 years ago, within less than a year, it was maxed out.

Luckily, my grandmother helped me get a secured loan at a low interest rate, and I was able to pay off the card, set up affordable monthly payments and had it paid off in less than 5 years.

You’d think I would have learned my lesson, but no, it seems I have a pretty thick skull. Oh, I did good for awhile *again*. I really did. And then my student loans from that private school I just had to attend kicked in. And then I started having babies. And tried to help my mother with a business venture that didn’t turn out well.

Needless to say, it got all screwed up *again*. But I’m trying to work my way out of it. I no longer have credit cards. I try to pay my bills on time.

But it’s hard to rebuild, way harder than it was to screw it up. And it makes so many things difficult: buying a car, getting a cell phone, renting a house.

So believe me, don’t screw it up in the first place. No matter how damn cute that cashmere sweater is, it’s not worth it. I promise.


4 thoughts on “I Wish I’d’ve Listened: Blogtember 5th

    • Hi Alex! And thanks, I’m trying, that’s what counts. I’ve had lots of times taking the ostrich approach and burying my head in the sand, pretending the problem didn’t exist. I bet you can figure out how well that turned out!

  1. Dear Caitlyn,
    I just had to share..When I was in my early 20’s I wanted to establish credit. I was delighted to have recieved my first master card. But this wasn’t good enough it became a game. At one point I had all the department stores, American Express, Discover and so many more cards that I need a second case to carry them in. Well BIG mistake this caught up with me a bit me in the behind but good. At 30 I filed bankruptcy with almost $50,000 in debt. Today it is cash or Nothing. I don’t even have an “Emergency” credit card. I refuse to even posses one and keep it in a bank vault. Interstingly our Bank Manager who knows me keeps encouraging me to apply as I’m eligible. I gracefully declined although it doesn’t stop her from asking everytime I do our banking. The moral of this story is: If you use a credit card be preared to pay the balance in full when you receive you bill.
    Your Friend,

    • Hi Anastasia. I was very similar. Although I maxed out that card (which was a Master Card as well), I got the bank loan before I defaulted on it, and set up auto-withdrawal payments, so my credit actually boosted. I also loved getting cards and at one point had 2 different Visas, JCP, Kaufmann’s, Old Navy, Old Depot, Victoria Secrets, Maurice’s, and probably other’s that I can’t even think of. I will never have another one, I know that! xoxo

      And thanks for reading!

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