Tip-Toeing Back Into the Financial World

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was nearly a year ago that I wrote my post, “Arising From the Ashes of Credit Card Debt.”

Sure, within a couple of years of declaring bankruptcy, I was able to get a furniture loan and a car loan, but credit cards were unattainable. Not that I’m a fan of credit cards, mind you, but sometimes it helps to have one. What if there’s a major expense (like the washer breaks or the dog gets sick [from eating my brand new cell phone, but that’s a whole ‘nother story]) and there’s not enough money in the checking account to cover it?

Before my bankruptcy, I had nearly every credit card that was ever offered (gee, I wonder why I never saw bankruptcy in my future?). Years later, I could understand why companies I stiffed in bankruptcy would now be reluctant to grant me a new account. I did understand, I did.

So I went merrily on my way using only cash and a debit card and hoping nothing major would arise.

Recently, one of my co-workers refinanced with the same bank I use. The loan terms were incredible – low interest, and no closing costs or fees. I scoffed when my co-worker told me “no fees” – certainly, those would be rolled into the mortgage somehow. But I sat in on the loan closing, and guess what – NO CLOSING COSTS AND NO FEES!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter my colleague’s loan closing, I chatted with the loan officer. I had been struggling to pay one mortgage at 7% and a second one at 10% – plus two brand new construction loans at 9% and 10%, respectively – an interest rate under 4% would save me hundreds of dollars every month if I could roll all the balances into one loan.

But I didn’t have high hopes. Lenders definitely didn’t like me over the last few years.

The loan officer, like loan officers everywhere, was very confident and upbeat – yes, she could get that loan through! And quickly! How would I like to close in two weeks?

Yeah, right.

God bless the woman – she not only got my new mortgage through, and got me a few thousand dollars extra to use towards my ongoing construction costs, but she even managed to get me a brand new, “real” credit card through the same bank. This was funny as hell to me, because that same bank had rejected me for that exact same credit card just a month or two earlier.

So, here I am today – another card-carrying American citizen. I don’t know why having a major credit card makes me feel more worthy, but it does. When we had to stay in a motel for a night during the construction, it was so much easier to do so knowing I had some credit available.

For those who are concerned that I might slide back into the credit card jungle I recently crawled out of, let me just say that I am very careful using my new card. While I admit an urge to want to treat myself occasionally, I keep that under control so that I can pay the balance off each month.

Which is what I should have been doing years ago.

I learned my lesson the hard way. Let my readers learn from my mistakes: It takes a long, long time to come back from bankruptcy – best to avoid that in the first place, if you can. Enjoy the credit cards, but don’t go nuts with them.

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I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com or notcordeliasmom@aol.com

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Images by Cordelia’s Mom

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23 Responses to Tip-Toeing Back Into the Financial World

  1. Just Plain Ol' Vic says:

    Good financial lesson we can all learn from.

    Like

  2. Yep, know the feeling, borrowing from one to pay back the minimum repayment plus interest on another. When we had a credit card, it was purely as a cash flow tool, and the balance was repaid in full every month. Now we don’t have one at all and if we can’t afford it, tough. We have an emergency fund though which we contribute to every payday and ensure that a minimum of one year’s expenditure is in it all the time.

    Like

  3. Dan Antion says:

    Congrats on getting everything wrapped up into a single loan with a better rate. I am glad you found a loan officer who takes the time to understand the person and not just the facts.

    Like

  4. Paul says:

    Congratulations CM!! Teddy Rosalie must be very proud.

    Like

  5. I REALLY understand. Really really.

    Like

    • I’m finding that lots of my readers understand. I wish that weren’t so. I’d like to think that everyone else was in a better place than I’ve been. I know your understanding probably comes from medical expenses, and there’s no way to avoid that if you’re not independently wealthy.

      Like

  6. Pingback: Anticipation? Or Surprise? Which Do You Prefer? | Cordelia's Mom, Still

  7. markbialczak says:

    Congratulations on your ReFi, CM. That’s a real blessing for the monthly nut! And the comfort of the card in the pocket is really a big deal. I think you are showing a lot of wisdom in this post. Way to go, my friend.

    Like

  8. lbeth1950 says:

    Credit cards, like a sharp knife, are an excellent tool if treated with respect

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Anonymous says:

    Huzzah, Cordeliasmom. Huzzah. Doing Good.
    Kitties ask Puppy Cody what the deal is with dogs and cell phones, as they do not seem delicious.
    I applaud you and send a last Huzzah. We are down a kitty here, been a bad summer. On the other hand, I am able to stand up these days. Vestibular Systems, Death and Credit Cards are a Drag
    Triss and Raleigh say Hi.

    Like

  10. Pingback: Ain’t Doing It No More | Cordelia's Mom, Still

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