Phases: The Next Step
Draco and I have been really focused lately about getting our lives back on track. We took the years following Mini-Me coming to live with us (I was a Weekend-Warrior until she was 13 – not by choice) to raise a family. At the same time she was leaving home to start her own life, my mother’s health began to fail and we dedicated the next 2 years of life to trying to help my parents. For the last several months, we’ve been staying with our wonderful friend, E, and her daughter, Mini-Diva.
We really hadn’t planned on changing anything until some recent developments.
About a month ago, we applied for a loan for the first time in years, in an effort to rebuild our credit. As a young couple, we messed our credit all up, not realizing how important it really was to being able to live a normal life. In the last 7 or 8 years, we really haven’t touched our credit at all. It was bad, we were broke, so there wasn’t much we could do anyway.
We went to the loan company prepared to offer collateral because of our now non-existent credit, but without much hope of actually getting approved. We couldn’t even get a bank account until recently because our credit was so horrible.
We did get approved, which came as a shock to us both, but not for very much. We also got some advice while we were there based on why we only got approved for such a low amount.
Now, the car is acting up. We have no clue what’s wrong with it, so we don’t know what to do to fix it. Dad recently purchased a “new” car from a local dealership’s used lot, and it got us to thinking about those “Buy Here, Pay Here” places since we’re attempting to rebuild credit anyway.
We checked out a few, but since I have a licence, but only work at home and Draco works but has to get his licence back, they won’t sell us a car.
On a whim, we went to the dealership my Dad recently used. We looked at 2004 Ford Taurus. Not a new car, but newer than the Saturn, which is a 1996. We didn’t think we could actually get anything, but after talking to the salesman, we got approved for that car. Albeit with a down payment we can’t quite afford right now, but still, we got approved.
The salesman decided to impart some advice as well, just as the loan company had, and it was a repeat of what the loan company said.
Our loan was so low and our down payment was so high because of our situation.
We have lived with someone for years. Although we were at my parents for 2 solid years, it obviously doesn’t count because nothing was in our name. Here at E’s, it’s the same way. They all want us to have our own place (doesn’t really matter if we rent or buy as long as it’s under our name), utilities of some sort in our names (even if it’s just a cable bill or home phone bill). Residential stability (find a place and don’t move), work stability (Draco has worked with this company for about 5 years now total, but has left the company a few times when work was slow and has only gone back this time a few months ago).
We were surprised to find out that while I have no credit score at all, Draco has a mid-line credit rating (we have no clue how since we haven’t used his credit in years until we got this loan recently). He has what is considered “slow credit”. In spite of my lack of a score and his mid-line score, we could have gotten more on the loan and a lower down payment on the car if we had met the stability terms.
So, basically, in order for us to ever be able to rebuild our credit and have anything, we are going to have to get our own place again.
We haven’t started actively looking for anything as of yet, but we have explained the situation to E and she understands. We’re keeping our eyes and ears open for anything that becomes available in the immediate area and we’re about to start trying to save up for deposits. It’s going to be a process, and it means I’ll be spending some time alone with Draco working out of town, but it’s a step we need to take to get our lives back on track.
Wish us luck!