From Below-average Credit To Ideal home

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  • Author Bella James
  • Published April 24, 2012
  • Word count 608

From Poor Credit To Dream Home

The first time we had our finances assessed with a professional, he had nothing to recommend. We had suffered by having a sudden loss of employment and had debt that we couldn't bring down. Our final net worth was well in the negatives. With three school age kids, we did what we could to make sure our needs were all met and then paid every penny we were able, to manage those never ending bills. The very thought of owning a home of our own was laughable at best.

When my partner found a new job I was at least three payments behind on our bills and many had been forwarded to collection services. After nearly a year of struggling, we finally had a steady paycheck. We also had an arsenal of ways to live cheap. Sure, we splurged on a few things once money was coming in. I could actually buy disposable diapers occasionally, and I could even allow myself to purchase brand name cereal in the event it was on sale! We kept the momentum of just living inexpensively until we finally caught up our finances.

It took about a year of shuffling every penny onto bills before the collections were paid. Another couple of months to catch up to the arrears on our vehicle payments. Suddenly, we didn’t have a constantly ringing phone or disconnection letters in the mail. We were both earning good incomes and I also will admit we went a little overboard with spending. Instead of building our savings, we bought stuff. A lot of stuff. All the things we had looked at or thought about over the last few years had been able to make it's way into our shopping carts. Deprivation has some nasty effects!

We still wanted a home of our own but were afraid to try. The hard work of saving our down payment and getting a mortgage, when it could be lost so easily, much like every thing else we'd given up before. One little piece of paper can take away your livelihood and neither of us wanted to risk losing a house. We had two vehicle payments to pay, which were ridiculously high on account of our bad credit past and being no where near paid off added to the compounding interest that happened once we couldn’t pay on time. Somehow, we identified that all the extra money we'd been paying out to creditors could possibly be doing more for us. We started over paying our vehicle loans. Anything we sent in that was over our regular payment amount was applied to the principal. We were sure to check for penalties before we started working on this debt. Sometimes early repayment can in fact hurt.

Now, a couple of years later, we have savings. We have vehicles that are paid for in full. We have the methods to pay for a mortgage, even on only 1 income. We are not afraid of losing everything and also have excitedly started our look for our dream home. We’ve contacted an Edmonton REALTOR and are enjoying the process so far, she is lifting the remaining stress out of our home buying adventure. And knowing our situation, she actually is finding some very practical homes that really seem to fit our lifestyle.

I never dreamed I could be a homeowner, it looked like the cards were not going to be in our favor. But a stable and determined effort will always pay off, and we will never develop the kind of debt there was before. Lesson learned, now to the dream home!

Based on personal experience, the author explains how she successfully moved from a disastrous credit rating to working with an Edmonton Realtor to buy her first home. Learn more about buying a home at

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