On Credit Cards and Reports and the Future

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I zip the bag that holds my unused credit cards and said goodbye to the Chase Freedom card.

As much as I love revolving categories, I love simplicity even more. I don’t want to have an index card folded in Mr. Brickie’s wallet that clarifies what card to use for what purchases. We are down to using the Discover IT card (we are still in the promotional first year where all purchases are a minimum of 2% cash back) and the Costco Anywhere Visa.

As previous inquiries drop off our scores are going up. The goal is to have great credit if we decide to buy a house and even though that decision isn’t going to get seriously considered for another two years, now is the time to start improving the score so it’s already taken care of when we need it.

There are also a couple medical bills on the report but two of them are from a company that does “pay for delete” (legal for medical bills) and the third is a crappy debt scraper company that probably has non-legitimate debt they’re trying to collect on… so I’ll cross that bridge in the next couple weeks after I get some ink for the printer and print out our credit reports.

The two medical bills I’m going to have to pay make me really angry. We are being charged because a hospital billed the wrong insurance. Then it was too late to bill the original insurance and they never contacted us or sent anything from the hospital, they just sent us to collections. Even though everything is correct in the system at the hospital, the collections company has the proof of debt owed from before they fixed it so they have the proof.

So we’re going to pay it because I don’t want it on our credit.

It’s bad enough to have things on your credit report you legit made a mistake with and can honestly say you owe the money. I’ve cleared things like that off in the past and always consider it a lesson learned. These new debts owed from mistakes and debt scrapers? They’re infuriating.

I’ve done a lot of research and all roads lead to, “If it’s under $500 just pay it.” We don’t have that kind of cash for debt payment right now, but we might soon. We’ll see.

Luckily, now that we’re out here in our new digs I only go to a handful of places and they all have amazing customer service. If I call the hospital, they’ll tell me exactly how much I owe them and I can make it right – sometimes they even offer 10% off just because. I have a PPO so I tend to owe the hospital money for the 15% copay we are responsible for if we go to urgent care, the emergency room, or if I go to my lady doctor who has an office in the hospital and bills through the hospital. Even the off-site but same-parking-lot mammogram facility bills through the same department and everyone who works there is absolutely stellar.

We have done a great job keeping on top of our bills as Mr. Brickie’s income has increased. No vacations, no fun stuff, just noses to the grindstone and the occasional day out for fun. So I guess there has been some fun stuff but within reason. It’s a good thing we did or when his income went down to 70% we would have been struggling. As it was we were able to pay the bills and get by and now we’re back up and next week we will go back to the budget the way it used to be.

My poor emergency fund. The $400 for swim team was a cash-only deal so I wrote a check and there went the rest of the emergency fund. This week is the last low paycheck and it’s going toward the gas/electric bill and the subscription savings. Next week I won’t be able to because it’s all spoken for. I’ll tell you about it when it happens. My projections get wrecked and I’d hate to show off how dramatically they change. It can get embarrassing.

Heck, even posting here is embarrassing sometimes! I want to be so much farther along than we are right now. I want to already have clean credit reports and a six month emergency fund. I want Mr. Brickie to already be a Journeyman. I want to hit the financial fast forward button. Of course, since we were on pause for almost five months, maybe being back on track will feel like we’re on fast forward anyway.

One can hope.

If your’re curious about your credit report but don’t know where to start, I learn about credit reports and getting things off my credit report and credit cards from several places online. I use more than one site – always – so I can see different opinions on the same issue.

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