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My Big Credit Blunders

Posted By Deb Silverberg On January 9, 2012 @ 12:02 pm In Money Talk | Comments Disabled

[1]This is a guest post by Lynnette Khalfani-Cox [2], host of the AARP Pay Down Your Debt Challenge [3], which is taking place on AARP.org through Jan. 29. Learn how to get started [4] paying down your debt, join the Pay Down Your Debt [5]group, and you could have a chance to win a prize.

Lynnette will have a Twitter chat on @AARPMoney. Tuesday, Jan. 10, 3-4 pm EST. Ask her questions about credit and debt issues and follow via #debtchat.

By Lynnette Khalfani-Cox

Credit and debt go hand in hand. If you manage your debt wisely, chances are you’ll have a great credit rating too. Likewise, if you mismanage or abuse debt, your credit rating will surely suffer as well.

I first realized my credit was shaky back in 2001 when I was $100,000 in credit card debt. Even though I paid all my bills on time, and never missed a single payment, my credit score was low because of all the debt I was carrying.

I knew, of course, that I was carrying around a boatload of debt. But in my mind, I thought my credit rating wasn’t really getting that damaged – mainly because I was diligently and consistently paying all my bills, month after month without fail. But then I checked out my credit reports and began monitoring my credit. It wasn’t until 2004, when I paid off the final $30,000 of my credit card debt that I realized how much my debt was suppressing my credit score.

My score immediately jumped more than 100 points right after I repaid the final credit card debt I owed. Ever since then, I’ve tracked my credit score routinely; some might say fanatically. I know now that just paying your bills on time isn’t enough to get an ultra high credit score, like I now enjoy. There are far more complexities to the world of credit scoring. So many, in fact, that I’ve written a whole book about credit, called Perfect Credit: 7 Steps to a Great Credit Rating [6].

Also, for fun, and some good tips, take a look at my “Will It Hurt My Credit?” [7]quiz. There’s some real eye-opening information on what things can hurt your credit score. If you have a story to share about your own credit blunders, take this week’s debt challenge and tell us all about it [8].

I’ll be sharing my credit and debt insights with you here on AARP as you continue your journey to become debt free. And I can tell you from personal [9]experience that one big benefit of slashing your debt is that you’ll improve your credit rating too. How’s that for a way to jump start your finances in 2012?

NOTE: To be eligible for the weekly and overall prizes in the Pay Down Your Debt Challenge [3], make sure to use the red debt tracker [10]. The first time you use the tracker [4], you will see a prompt about entering the contest. Leave the box checked if you want to enter.

Here’s a personal message from Lynnette about the Pay Down Your Debt Challenge.

Here’s a personal message from Lynnette about the Pay Down Your Debt Challenge.

YouTube Preview Image [11]

Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org

URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2012/01/09/my-big-credit-blunders/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://aarpblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/200-lynette-debt-challenge_imgcache_rev1324412206151.jpg

[2] Lynnette Khalfani-Cox: http://www.aarp.org/money/experts/lynnette_khalfani_cox/

[3] AARP Pay Down Your Debt Challenge: http://www.aarp.org/money/credit-loans-debt/pay-down-your-debt-challenge/

[4] get started: http://www.aarp.org/money/credit-loans-debt/info-07-2011/debt-challenge-get-started.html

[5] Pay Down Your Debt : http://www.aarp.org/online-community/groups/index.action?slGroupKey=fbe73ab6-fff5-4ae0-8003-dcff56a6b16d

[6] Perfect Credit: 7 Steps to a Great Credit Rating: http://askthemoneycoach.com/books-written-lynnette-khalfani-cox-money-coach/

[7] Will It Hurt My Credit?” : http://www.aarp.org/money/credit-loans-debt/info-01-2012/willithurtmycreditquiz.html

[8] tell us all about it: http://aarp.us/yU8PI5

[9] personal : http://www.aarp.org/money/credit-loans-debt/info-07-2011/debt-challenge-intro.html

[10] red debt tracker: http://www.aarp.org/money/credit-loans-debt/info-06-2011/debt-challenge-debt-tracker.html

[11] Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nRHJrpQiEQ

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