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AFS Certified Credit Counselor; A Testimony

What I wish I had known before I came to work at American Financial Solutions could fill a library. I had no knowledge of credit scores or credit reports, nor did I know how all of this was affecting my life. I had been trying to purchase a car for several years and couldn’t figure out why no one would finance me. I'm a nice, responsible person who holds down a job and goes to work everyday, so what is the problem?

Several years ago when I got myself in over my head with my credit cards I didn’t know where to turn for help, so I ended up filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. I didn’t know there were other options out there. My first question when I came to work at American Financial Solutions was “Where were you when I needed help?”

When I came to work here boy did I ever get an education. My credit score was in the low 400′s and there were so many negative items on my credit report it filled up about ten pages. I honestly had no idea the effect this was having on my life.

I also have to admit that I was in some financial difficulty when I started to work here. After about six months on the job I enrolled myself in the debt management program with two creditors I had been struggling with for over four years. My first creditor was paid in full after 14 months on the program and I just completed the program in February, 2008.

I now know how important it is to not only pay my bills on time, but to pay them in a manner that allows my creditor to post the payment to my account before the due date. Just because I schedule a payment online on a certain date doesn’t mean it posts to my account on that date. I pay my utilities at a pay station just in case there is a problem with the mail.

On December 31st, 2007 I was very proud to find that I had a credit score of 719 and there is now only one negative on my credit report. The online classes that are offered through American Financial Solutions are about the best education I have ever received and you don’t need to attend classes or try to figure out how you are going to pay for them. They are offered free of charge.

If I had known twenty years ago what I know today my credit score would be in the 800′s and my credit report would be squeaky clean.

When I am talking to my clients they always say they can’t understand why the creditors are ruining their credit. I used to have the same mindset. What I have learned and try to educate my clients about is that our credit reports are a snapshot of what we do to ourselves, not something that is being done to us.

Published Jun 19, 2008.