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Today I’m discussing a topic that many people find taboo- personal finances and credit score. As a single mother, I am the sole provider for my family as well as the sole caretaker for my young sons (ages four years old and nine months). I know there are many single mothers in my position. Even the ones who receive child support often struggle financially. According to Census Bureau Reports, the average child support payment is $430 a month. Given the high cost of childcare, lack of support, and the pay wage gap, single mothers seem destined to struggle financially.
It doesn’t have to be that way though. One way for single moms to get ahead financially is to have a good credit score. When I was younger, I never gave any thought to my credit score. I never even had a credit card. I saw countless people get into credit card debt (including a few acquaintances who had 6 figure shopping debt!). I figured the best way to stay out of debt was to never get a credit card. Good idea, right? Not really…
No credit history meant I had no credit score. As the sole provider in my family, I’m responsible for everything, including all kinds of unforeseen expenses. If I ever had to take out a loan, I’d run into major problems with my lack of a credit score. A good credit score shows lenders that you can responsibly borrow money and pay it back in a timely manner. My credit score told lenders that I’m a risk.
Several months ago, I decided to get my finances in order and to build credit.
How to Build Credit as a Single Mom
Get Real About Your Finances
Credit repair is life-changing, even more so if you’re the sole financial support for your family. One of the great things about your credit score is that no matter how bad it is, you can take steps to improve it – it’s never set in stone. The first thing you should do is call Lexington Law Firm. They’ll give you a free personalized credit consultation. They’ll provide you with access to your TransUnion report summary as well as a credit report review. Finally, Lexington Law Firm will give you a free score evaluation and make recommendations to improve your score.
Watch Out For Errors on Your Credit Report
Errors on your credit report can affect your score- sometimes by many points. Errors on your credit report can prevent you from taking out a loan for a home or a car. On average, these errors can take four months to correct. Errors can and need to be fixed, but repairing credit errors on your own can be confusing and time-consuming.
The credit repair industry has surged in recent years. It’s hard to know what’s fact and what’s fiction when it comes to credit repair. The team of lawyers at Lexington Law spearheaded the creation of a reputable, legal-based solution for the credit repair industry. Their credit repair legal knowledge can help the everyday consumer fix errors on their report.
Get a Secured Credit Card
Several months ago, I got a secured credit card. A secured credit card requires a cash security deposit (usually a few hundred dollars). Secured credit cards are a great option for people with no or bad credit.
Pay Your Credit Card Bills on Time
If may not seem like a big deal to make a payment a few days after the due date, but late payments can have a big, negative impact on your credit (in some cases the bad mark can stay on your credit report for seven years)!
Each month I make a small purchase on my credit card (less than $50) and then pay it off when the bill is due. I also mark the date the bill is due every month on my calendar, so I won’t forget. In a handful of months, I’ve watched my credit score jump from nothing to the “good” (690-719) range. My goal is to get into the “excellent” range (720-850).
Develop a Budget
I always avoided making a budget every month. Once I got into the habit, though, it became part of my daily routine and a huge help! Making a budget is simple- You have money coming in, so chose where you want it to go. List all of your expenses in a current column, then adjust them in a proposed column. You aim to make sure you have enough cash to go around for all necessary bills, plus at least a little extra for savings and emergencies.
Thanks for sharing my journey to build credit as a single mom. Improving your credit score may take time, but it can be done! My improved credit score (which raises a little more each month!) has given me peace of mind for my family’s future.
Lexington Law is a CROA (Consumer Credit Protection Act) compliant business. They are regulated extensively with auditors and regulators. Just as one would hire a CPA or MD to manage their taxes or health, consumers should demand nothing less from their credit repair company.
If you want to take charge of your finances and your future, call Lexington Law Firm for your free personalized credit consultation!