I Come from a lower income background. My parents split when I was six. My father chose to become a man similar to a sperm donor. In fact, that's his name. No child support, no emotional support, nothing whatsoever. My mother raised me along with my older sister and younger brother by usually working two jobs at a time. I felt like we were rich for some reason though. I never knew that we were considered poor for a few years. I felt rich because of the love in our home. My mother's credit was in the tank from day one after the divorce. She never really brought it up until bankruptcy was filed. That's when she gave it her all. Unfortunately, I had no idea that credit meant something so serious.
Fast track a decade I got my first car. It was a cash car of course because my paychecks are what were saved up to purchase it. No family members assisted in the purchase. No fairy godmother swooped down and bought me a BMW. I saved up and I got my own car, so that at age sixteen I could feel independent. Independence is key for most sixteen year olds, but for me it allowed me to pick up more shifts at my minimum wage fast food job so that the electricity could stay on for the whole month. Spoiler alert it stayed on. Gas was cheaper than it is at this moment, so I just needed maybe thirty dollars a month for that necessary commodity.
I Was eighteen when I got my first loan. Rent was due and Mom couldn't pay it entirely because layoffs at her company were due and her job was was on the immediate chopping block. She had another job lined up, but no cash flow for a couple of weeks. That loan defaulted. My first ever credit score was not a zero but a 395. It took me six years to raise my score from a 395 to a 410. I know I know I'm the worst. I decided that enough is enough. I was going to make a goal to reach my credit score into the 500s in a year. I saved as much as I could every month. I was, and still am, a full time college student. I decided to use a credit card that had a limit of $200 to start paying off my next semester's tuition. Tuition was $4360.00, so I got to work. I paid $200. I waited three days for the balance to appear, and then I paid it off. I then paid $200 with the credit card again, and waited three days for it to appear and paid it off. This occurred over and over and over again until that balance was gone. I qualified for financial aid that year. All the financial aid I received went for the next semester plus anything else I saved up. This along with random bills throughout the school year, allowed my credit score to reach 610, a number well over my goal, so that I can eventually get in good standing again.