Growing up if you asked me what credit was I would have told you it’s a credit card where you can spend endless amounts of money and buy whatever you wanted. Boy oh boy was I naïve. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I really learned the importance of credit when trying to buy my first car.
Several years ago, my fiancé and I were in a bad car accident, where I was the passenger and the accident wasn’t our fault. I ended up going to the emergency room and suffered from just a few minor things, thankfully. Well fast forward about a couple of years, I started getting calls from debt collectors regarding my emergency room bills that were unpaid. Well turns out the insurance claim we had made with the other guy’s insurance company who caused the accident was never filed due to the staff member being terminated. SIGH.
Once these delinquencies hit my credit, my score just plummeted, and unfortunately, there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I was about to graduate college and needed a new car desperately, as mine was on its last leg, but when trying to finance, my credit score just wasn’t high enough to do so.
This really put things into perspective for me. I had to turn my score around so that I could set myself up for success in the future. I started by getting my first credit card…SCARY! I read so many articles on the right one and how to build my credit with it. So many people get themselves into credit card debt, simply because they don’t know the proper way to handle them, and I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t end up that way. So, after doing my research I began to use it and watched it constantly for my payment due dates and amount due.
In the end, I made 100% of my payments on-time and never used more than 30% of my available credit. Getting this credit card was a huge learning process for myself, but after being responsible with it, I saw my credit score start to improve! After just a few months of doing this, I had my credit score up enough to be able to finance my first car!
Credit and credit cards don’t have to be a scary thing. But they are important! Your credit can affect you in a lot of ways many people don’t think about until they get to that step, such as buying a house or a car.
Working here at The Breast Cancer Charities of America, we see a lot of breast cancer patients come to us because they have exhausted all of their savings paying for their treatments. And we even see a few who have maxed out all of their credit cards to do so. I completely feel for these women, because that feeling has to be a scary one. But even while going through breast cancer and trying to pay for treatments and doctors’ appointments, there is a light at the end of the money tunnel.
You don’t have to ruin your credit or exhaust your savings during this process. So many hospitals today understand that for many, medical treatment is not cheap and are even willing to work with you and place you on a payment plan that fits your financial ability to help you avoid from ruining your future. There are also many organizations like ourselves that can help with financial assistance. The options really are endless, so make sure to do your research and even talk to a financial consultant to better help you. It is so important to set yourself up for success in the future no matter what stage of life you are at!