I got online today after an awesome vacation in the Caribbean with my wife to find my February statement from TransUnion in my inbox. In February I finally met my longterm credit score goal of 775. Wow… it was sort of a shock. Don’t get me wrong, it feels great, but when you finally hit a goal you’ve been working towards for literally years, it’s almost unbelievable.

It got me thinking about the past few years and all the ups and downs I’ve been through on my personal journey. In particular, I started thinking about how having bad credit affected my self-esteem. Bad credit is something that’s always looming in the background of your life. Maybe you don’t think about it all the time, but when you do, it feels terrible. For me, it was like this mark on my reputation that said “This person cannot be trusted”, even though I knew this wasn’t the truth.

So I suppose in that sense, it does affect your self-esteem. Nobody wants to feel like they can’t be trusted, or they are a deadbeat who doesn’t pay their bills –especially when the whole picture isn’t clear on a credit report. After all, your credit report doesn’t tell the story behind the negative marks. If they did, I’m not sure lenders would care, but if lenders actually knew you I’m sure it would be a different story.

Back when my credit score was in the low 500’s, I applied for my first secured credit card designed to help people rebuild credit. It was an Open Sky Secured Credit Card and I was approved. This was the card I used to really kickstart my credit improvement journey. Within months, my score was up 50 points.

The thing is, because this card is designed specially for people with bad credit, they pretty much approve anyone (as far as I know). Nonetheless, this approval, for me, felt great. After being declined again and again, this little approval gave me the confidence I needed to continue my credit improvement journey. Funny thing…

I would love to hear your stories and comments. Can you relate?