Repairing Your Credit: A Huge Pain

On her blog Girl’s Gone Child, Rebecca Woolf talks about trying to maintain a good credit score so that she and her husband can refinance their mortgage, and how they battled her credit card debt only to get screwed by a forgotten annual fee. Nooooo:

After, consolidating finances with Hal, we (eventually) were able to pay off the high interest cards. From there, I put them in a drawer never to use them again.

Except one of those cards had an annual charge. And that card was filed under an old address and an even older email address and because the card was paid off, I assumed that was that.

Six months of delinquent charges and emails to my old email and letters to my old address and phone calls from a blocked number (which I never USED TO answer) I finally picked up the phone.

Too late.

My credit score had dropped 100 points.

From a $19.99 charge.

On a card issued to me in 2000.

I cried.

A lot.

Photo: Consumerist dot com

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5 Comments / Post A Comment

Titania (#489)

I will say, I do not understand people who do not answer blocked or unfamiliar numbers out of some sense of principle. The annoyance I feel at encountering a robocaller telling me I’ve won a cruise (and that happens a lot) is so FAR, FAR outweighed by the times I have a) found out that there were unauthorized charges on my card b) found out that my roommate was mugged while out (this was before she got home; I was the last number she’d called and the police had arrested the people who attacked her and found her phone) c) found out that my brother was in the hospital (I was his emergency contact) that I will never not pick up. Your friends and family are NOT the people you need to worry about. If they need to reach you, they probably have multiple ways to do it. The really important calls will come from a number you don’t know, and they will not send you a text afterwards to tell you “this is important, please pick up.”

WayDownSouth (#3,431)

Good tips to learn:

1. Cancel credit cards that you won’t use anymore
2. Update your contact details with the bank
3. Answer your phone when it rings

I’m appalled that people will pay 39 percent interest. That’s incredibly expensive.

may june july (#2,862)

@WayDownSouth if you have credit cards at different banks, it could be easy to forget to update your address at one of them, especially if you dont use that card anymore. And the post office forwards mail for like a year and then they don’t anymore. Stuff can fall through the cracks..”appalled” is such a strong word.

Olivia2.0 (#260)

It’s pretty appalling that people who have a mortgage don’t have the good sense to update their mailing address with a) the bank or b) the POST OFFICE which is one form and would 100% take care of this problem. I mean…I’m just very confused by this.

may june july (#2,862)

I worked hard to pay down my debts and bring my credit score up from 550 in 2011 to 740 this year. Since my parents are unemployed right now, I was asked to cosign my sister’s loan for student housing for $4000. I had to do it..and it brought my credit score down 40 points. I didnt think that a credit inquiry would effect it that much, but it did..and I will have to cosign every quarter for this loan. I am kind of in an awkward position.

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