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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Single Parents – Get Free Credit Scores

For single parents struggling to manage every day expenses, money is always a challenge whether they're purchasing a car, a home, clothes, or food.

Sadly, jobs don't always provide enough of an income to allow single parents to handle emergency expenses when they arise. And they do arise.

In 1995 my refrigerator went out a couple of months after my transmission AND engine fell apart (different cars – a couple of months apart). Within one year I needed $3,000. My salary was $7,000.

Obviously my job paid less than I needed to survive WITHOUT catastrophes hitting me, and when that refrigerator went, I felt myself sink into depths of poverty so dark I hoped the only way out was up until I felt the bottom drop even more. I fell from one financial crisis into another into another...

With no bank account from which to draw, I had no money to buy a new refrigerator. So I purchased a couple of coolers and some ice, filled them with all of the items from my refrigerator, and then realized, after several days, that, after a month, the cost of ice would equal a monthly payment for a new refrigerator.

I was trapped in a Catch 22 situation; I couldn't afford a new refrigerator, but I also couldn't afford not to have one. So I decided I had to figure out a way to get one.

Would my credit score allow stores to trust me to buy their merchandise on credit? From feeding the kids to providing a roof over their heads, to clothing their growing bodies, and fitting them with new shoes each year, I just couldn't handle the day to day expenses AND all of the disasters that occurred time and time again.

Fortunately my credit was in good standing and I was able to get the refrigerator. As time went on, though, expenses increased and my credit score dropped when I co-signed for a couple of cars for my kids.

The overwhelming cost of raising kids, borrowing first from one credit card to make a payment on another credit card, eventually caught up with me. When I had to claim bankruptcy, my credit score took a nose dive, and it took me years to catch up.

Today I'm surviving. I'm not wealthy, and without help, I would be in bad shape, but I'm not living on the streets either. I no longer use credit cards, but to exist in this world, I have to have credit, so I keep an unused credit card in my purse – just in case.

Knowing my credit score helps me decide if I can afford to get a new car when my 2002 Saturn finally gives out or if I need to get a new refrigerator when this one breaks down.

Interested in knowing your credit score? Finding it is easy. Just click free credit score to get immediate access to your credit scores from all 3 credit bureaus. You will also receive reports and educational information, including tips on how to safeguard your credit and your identity.

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