Money Matters: Navigating Credit, Debt & Financial Freedom
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A Bad Credit Rating Is Not A Death Sentence: It just feels that way in the game of life

“The human wish to credit good things as miraculous and to charge bad things to another account is apparently universal”

  • Christopher Hitchens

We are not joking about something like suicide or the depression that can follow from poor financial decisions and outcomes. It can be a very dark time for those who have cooked their goose with financial controllers around the place. A bad credit rating is not a death sentence: It just feels that way in the game of life. The free enterprise system, where we can buy and sell things like goods and our services, is sometimes like a very serious board game – where the stakes are high and not Monopoly™ money. Losing one’s reputation around money and assets can be a difficult proposition to win back. It is more than the discomfort of not being able to afford the things you want. In a highly materialistic nation like Australia your credit rating and wealth are akin to your mobility within the various stratas of society. Door can close in your face and it takes great resolve to soldier on and get through these hard times.

If you are really worried and/or seriously down about your financial situation call the

National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.

Confidential discussions with financial counsellors are available.

What Is A Credit Rating?

There are 3 credit bureaus operating in Australia and it is these agencies that prepare your credit file for the purview of lenders and businesses willing to offer you credit.

Illion Ph. 1300 734 806

Experian Ph. 1300 783 684

Equifax Ph. 138 332

The credit score contained within your consumer credit file is calculated on the basis of the amount of money you have borrowed and whether you have paid it back on time in terms of meeting your repayment obligations. In addition, the number of credit applications you have made, both successful and unsuccessful, impacts upon your score. Usually, the score is between 0 and 1,200. A higher score is better and can mean you are a better risk to lend to. All your identifying data and everything related to the credit products you have accessed or attempted to will be in your file. It may contain repayment histories, defaults on utility bills, credit cards and loans,  financial hardship information, bankruptcy and debt agreements, and credit report requests.

Request Your Free Copy Of Your Credit File

You can contact each of these credit agencies and request a free copy of your consumer credit file every 3 months (and within 90 days of being refused credit by a lender). Yes, many of you would rather go to the dentist for root canal work than read about your dismal financial record in detailed black and white. Why put yourself through such a disheartening experience? Why bathe in the recognition of your abject financial failure? Like a good life coach or the cornerman in the boxing ring with Rocky will tell you “we must all face up to our failures before we can move on.”

Otherwise, and this is especially true about behaviours with money, we are destined to keep repeating the same mistakes. – Pull Quote

I know in my life, and I suspect many of you would agree, that turning a blind eye to our failings encourages them to flourish like weeds in the garden. The only way to root them out is to sit down with your bad credit rating and pour over these files like a glutton with a glossy cookbook. To get on top of your financial situation and begin the greatest comeback since Ben-Hur you must go through every listing both negative and neutral. Check and recheck your consumer credit file because you may find errors and mistakes.

Your Consumer Credit Report May Contain Errors

These errors and any incorrect information may be the beginning of your slow road back to credit worthiness. Doing your own tax return and studying your credit file can be like getting into a time machine and going back to the scene of numerous financial crimes. You kick yourself and mutter, “ did I really spend that much money on that, him, her, or whatever.” What was I thinking?  If you avoid facing up to your wanton ways with money and the trail of unrequited lenders in your wake you will prolong the damage done to your financial prospects for years. We all grow up eventually, some of us take longer than others, and buying important things like property will confront you down the track. If you have messed things up and haven’t cleaned up your act you will regret it.

Many individuals condemn themselves to lives of wasted opportunity unnecessarily, because it is never too late to change.  – Pull Quote

Stepping out from under the shadow of a bad credit rating can be one of the most empowering things you can do. It won’t happen overnight and it takes sustained commitment and effort – but it is definitely worth it!

Continued In – Money Matters: Navigating Credit, Debt & Financial Freedom by Robert Sudha Hamilton.

Money Matters: Navigating Credit, Debt & Financial Freedom

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Clio

Clio was the ancient Greek muse of history. so we all thought that she would be an appropriate entity to run this site.
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