For those who’re in my previous position, wanting or needing to buy a house, but not being able to because of bad credit, I have to tell you How a Free Credit Report Helped Me Buy My First House.
I was an unemployed, single mom.You read that right. Unemployed, Single, Mom. That’s three strikes for anyone who fits that description in the world of finance. I bought my first house without a job and terrible credit, and to this day, I still can’t believe it, even though I’ve since sold that home and purchased another one. And I can honestly say it never would have happened, if it weren’t for a free credit report.
At the time, I had 3 very young children. Their dad and I had split months earlier (which left me in the financial toilet) and my oldest was only 10 years old when the owner of the house I was renting let me know that she was going to be moving out of the country, and wouldn’t be able to keep the house, so she was going to sell it.
I felt like I’d been kicked in the stomach. The kids and I had been living on my savings, and I didn’t at that time have a job. I knew that in my financial position it was going to be extremely difficult to find another place.
I was completely screwed. And I was terrified.
My first instinct was to panic. What the hell was I going to do?! I didn’t want to uproot my kids, and worse; go through the humiliation of trying to find somewhere to live that was at least at the caliber of the place that we were now living (it was a nice house) with my horrific credit.
Thinking through my options (and there weren’t many), I called my mom to see if maybe she had any ideas or could think of something that I probably wouldn’t have in my panicked state of mind. I told her about my predicament, and our conversation ended the way it started; with me in total mental and emotional free fall, but now my mom was stressed too.
In speaking with my landlord, she said that she’d love to sell me the house, and she asked me if I was able to borrow the down payment from friends or family to purchase it. I almost laughed at the suggestion because at that time, there was no way this was possible. I needed a $70K down payment, and I totally didn’t have that kind of money, nor did I have the nuts to ask anyone if I could borrow it!
I’d never had a mortgage before, and I couldn’t see how anyone would possibly give me one, because my credit was absolutely horrendous. Even if I was going to rent another place, I had to deal with my credit. I had no options whatsoever.
This house thing had me stressed and preoccupied. I was thankful that at least my landlord had given me some advance notice, so I had time to pray for a miracle, or come up with a game plan. She gave me the news in February, and wasn’t planning on listing the house until September of that year.
Then one day I was having coffee with a friend who was a mortgage broker, and I told her about my dilemma. I figured that if anyone had an idea if there was some kind of ‘loophole’ that I could take advantage of, it would be her.
In our conversation, I completely came clean, in order to get her best advice for my situation. She told me that she wasn’t 100% sure that it could be done, but there did exist a slight possibility that I’d be able to purchase the house, but there were some specific steps that I’d have to take right away to get the ball rolling.
For the first time in months, I was cautiously optimistic, almost excited at the prospect of not ending up on the street with my kids, and having a place that I wouldn’t have to leave until I was damn good and ready, because it would be mine.
I was trying not to get my hopes up because my credit was probably about as bad as it could possibly have been. Making matters worse, I didn’t have a job! I don’t know what miracle my friend thought this was going to take, but I was willing to try just about anything.
First, she said that I had to know exactly what my credit score was, because once I knew exactly what my score was, and what was on my credit report, it would give us a clear picture of the damage, and we could formulate a plan moving forward.
I dreaded this part, because in my past experience, in order to get a physical free credit report, I had to send a letter to the credit bureau with all kinds of ID that I was terrified would get lost in the mail, then I’d have to wait for them to send the report and my ID back to me in the mail, blah blah blah. I was totally not up for doing that again. If there was a way that I could get it done quickly, without having to part with my ID (because when that stuff goes missing it’s a total pain to get back), I would do it in a heartbeat.
I could get my credit score and free credit report,
and I didn’t have to wait days or weeks to get it.
My friend told me that there actually was a way that I could get my credit score and free credit report, and I didn’t have to wait days or weeks to get it. I would have it in minutes! That was awesome because the stress of waiting would have sent me over the edge, so I couldn’t wait to hear her plan.
She suggested that I use a credit reporting company to get a copy of my credit score and the accompanying free credit report. She said that she had clients who had worked with this company before, and had great experiences with them. Their customer service was friendly on the one occasion that she needed to speak with them, and overall, she and her clients were happy with their dealings with them.
So I did it. Truth be told, I was terrified of seeing my
credit details all laid out in front of me, but it had to be done.
We went to the website, created an account, and went through the steps to getting my credit report. It was pretty much as I thought, with one inaccuracy that I got fixed with my friend’s help.
Once I did that, we formulated a plan for cleaning up my credit. Cleanup took 6 months. To make a long story short, my landlord was planning on listing the house in September, and I purchased it in August. I was actually crying when I signed the papers. To this day, I’m still in shock.
It can be done. But if I didn’t make that first move, getting my credit score and free credit report, I never would have known that there was something sitting on it that wasn’t supposed to be there, and that would have totally held me up if I didn’t find out so that it could be remedied.
If any of this sounds like you, don’t hesitate. It terrifies me to think where my kids and I might be if I’d waited for even one day.
Get it started. It’s a super short sign up, and it’s totally free. They don’t even ask for a credit card (or I wouldn’t have done it).
There are two lessons to this story;
- You’re never so bad off that you can’t pick up, dust off, and make life better.
- You can’t fix what you don’t know about.
CLICK HERE to get your free credit report at Credit Sesame. You’ll be really glad you did 🙂