Friday, September 12, 2008
As I was in Starbucks making my daily run, I realized that I'm not that social. I go in straight faced half awake, order the same thing and leave out like a zombie. I speak and am courteous to the workers, but I don't go out of my way to say "Good morning, how are you?" I'm just too serious! Is this what adulthood is all about, being so serious that you can't even let the inner kid out once and awhile? I'm reminded of Pastor Joel Osteen who has such a kind spirit and is ALWAYS smiling. What happened to me? As I reflect on what made me this way, I think back to my childhood. I used to be so silly and goofy, laughing and having the time of my life. All my yearbooks reflect this from classmates who labeled me as goofy. The word 'goofy' became sort of a stigma, something bad, something I didn't want to be called. So as I got older, I think subconsciously I internalized that and became more and more serious, more uptight and anal. I've walked around years like this. I'll speak to people at work walking down the hallways only if they're about to speak. What about speaking first? I won't go out of my way to create friendships or conversations with people. Today I made up my mind, I'm going to smile more. Smiling is contagious afterall. I'm going to go out to lunch with co-workers, which I never do. I'm going to introduce myself to people I don't know. And if by chance, someone doesn't look like they want to speak I'm going to command their attention and if they still don't speak, I'm not going to take it personal. I'm going to laugh more and be happy and enjoy the simple things in life.
When you are rebuilding your credit, patience is definitely a virtue! I find myself eager to check the mail to see if I have a letter from the credit bureaus or my creditors. I anticipate like a kid on Christmas eve waiting to open presents. I started the task of rebuilding my credit 5 months ago, which seems like eternity. I've been somewhat patient. I've gotten some things negative accounts removed and my credit score has improved. Until I achieve the desired results, I'll just keep typing my response letters and wait.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The answer is NO! I got into a debate with a gentleman (who shall remain nameless) over whether fish is considered meat. In my previous post, I discussed how I had given up meat in my diet. In order to prove him wrong, I did some research. There are several different variations of being a vegetarian. I learned that I am a pesco vegetarian, one who eats veggies and fish, NO chicken, pork or beef. According to the Vegetarian Society this is not considered a valid vegetarian diet and they look at it as a form of semi-vegetarianism. Well, I guess I'm a semi vegetarian. Maybe I'll slowly work my way into veganism in the future. I also learned out the meaning of meat, which I never really thought about in depth. Meat refers to animal tissue used as food, which can include organs (yuck!). The word is also used by the meat packing industry as the flesh of mammalian species. Fish does not fall into this category. So after I educated this person and myself as well, I felt more informed, more knowledgable. It is only right to know what you're practicing. So I'll be well equipped if I ever get into another discussion regarding my Go Veg movement.
Well I finally decided to eliminate meat from my diet! I have not eaten meat for 11 days and counting, I know it doesn't sound like much, but hey..You gotta start somewhere. For the past month, I had been feeling really sluggish and bloated. I just felt like I was dragging pounds of toxins around with me. So I made the conscious decision to stop eating meat. I've never really been a "meat" person. I love my vegetables and pasta. I've done diets where you couldn't consume meat and as soon as I was finished, I went right back eating it. It was more out of habit than the desire to do so. I'm just used to eating meat with my meals. I feel much better, I just have to find the perfect balance of nutrients. I read that meat provides B12 vitamins, so without it I may have to take a daily supplement. Other than that I'm good, the more days pass, the more I forget about ever eating MEAT!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I have been trying unsuccesfully for months to get Experian to remove old negative accounts. These accounts are paid and soon to fall off, however, they continue to ignore my requests. I have written several letters and in the last even threatened to sue. I have sent a complaint to the FTC and to date have not heard anything. The frustration wears on! They are the most difficult credit union to reason with. I won't give up, the credit bureaus want to discourage you with the hopes you'll say forget it. If I have to write a letter every month for the next year, I will. My credit is everything and I will keep on keeping on!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
In the midst of you rebuilding your credit, you will be bombarded with junk mail from creditors. It goes a little something like this...."YOU HAVE BEEN PRE-APPROVED FOR UP TO $10,000" The key word is up to, you have to further read the small print below that states upon credit approval. You're probably wondering where did they get my information from? The creditor usually sends a set of minimum criteria to one of the three credit bureaus in preparation for a mail solicitation campaign. They request a list of consumers whose credit reports meet the qualifications. The bank may send a list of consumers obtained elsewhere (e.g. from a marketing database company) and have the bureau return a subgroup that matches the criteria. "Pre-approved" offers are then sent to everyone on the list. When you view your credit report, you may see inquiries that are designated as "promotional." This means that your file was checked for a "pre-approved" list, although it does not necessarily mean that you qualified to receive an offer. Since this type of inquiry was not initiated by you, it is not seen by other prospective creditors to whom you might apply, and will not reduce your FICO credit score. Well I recently received one of these pre-approvals in the mail. I figured I would apply since I am rebuilding my credit. I went online to apply, you get an answer within 60 seconds and this message that states "You have been approved! Your card will arrive in the mail soon." It didn't give me a credit limit or any other information. I receive the card in the mail the following week and lo and behold the credit limit was $250 with a $199 start up fee, which left my balance at $51! Are they crazy! Do they think I'm that desperate for a card that I will pay $200 for nothing? Needless to say I called the company immediately and kindly told the rep to cancel the card, at the same time cutting the card into a million pieces! Of course, she tried to reason with me with this script of how it's important to re build my credit and that this card would help me do it. She went on to compare paying the fees to paying college tuition. Gimme a break! She also said "Nothing is free, you have to pay." I'm thinking I have another credit card with a $2000 limit that I didn't have to pay any upfront fees! The morale of the story is to beware of these offers. READ everything in fine print and know how to discern these bogus cards from the real deal!!
Friday, August 1, 2008
When I started my credit repair months ago, I was well aware that it would take time and a lot of patience. I felt like I was making progress with my situation. However, Experian is another story. After 5 letters, they have only deleted one account off my credit report. I'm referring to old paid off accounts that the statue of limitations is expiring soon anyways. Experian is being really tough, so I sent one final letter before filing a complaint with the FTC. (I think I mentioned them in a previous blog. ) If the credit bureau isn't cooperating and seemingly ignoring your requests, you can file a complaint with the FTC. Supposedly, the credit bureaus don't want any trouble from the FTC. Hopefully, I will see some positive results from this. Needless to say I am frustrated, but I am definitely keeping up the fight. I know I will reap big rewards in the end.