Gosh this seems to be the “Tag line” for everything these days. Depending on the goal you are working towards the journey may not be pleasant. Take my situation, for instance – I am in the process of purchasing a home. Me, the Homebuyer Educator, The Coach!
You would think that since I eat, sleep, and breath this stuff that it would be a breeze. I mean, I teach others to venture down this pathway to building wealth so I should be good….RIGHT??
Well, not so fast. I began my journey by having my credit pulled. Having your credit pulled is like taking a surprise quiz on the class material that you should have been studying all along but have not EVEN yet cracked open the book. So I give my information to John Nimmo, my NeighborWorks Coach, while praying to the credit gods that the outcome is good. At this point I am sweating like a death row inmate on the Green Mile. I reviewed the report and the news is not good.
As Coach, John handed me the report and I slowly took in the information. At this point I was exposed. My private personal financial behavior out for ALL the world to see. It was in this moment my credit report felt like karma had come full circle and punched me in the face. Coach John laid out my truth and stated, with a smile, this is where the true journey to homeownership begins.
I will admit I was scared and afraid to fail. I asked myself how does one “enjoy the journey” when it seems unattainable. What if I, the Homebuyer Educator, never owns a home or becomes financially sound? Now, as I am having this conversation in my head, Coach John asks, “would you like a drink of water?” I reply, “Yeah make sure you bring me a bucket so I can drown in my embarrassment.” He laughed and stated, “You can do this. I will help. You just have to decide how badly YOU want it.” As we further discussed my action plan -lovingly referred to as the homeownership 10K – Coach John informed me “this is not a race just to get to the end. This is more about YOU pacing yourself and changing your financial behaviors.”
He advised that the direction can and will change along the journey, but that it’s important to understand each milestone met and the actions I took to complete them which makes life easier moving forward.
Of course I rushed and did the exact opposite of what we discussed. After I paid off each debt I pulled my credit report with the expectation that my numbers would increase. They hadn’t.
I figured now that I decided after 10 years of avoiding payment on this debt that the company should immediately report that, YES, she FINALLY paid us and we need to let the The Kings Of Credit know. You know – the 3 Kings of Credit. King Experian, King Equifax, and last but not least, King Transunion. Well, I was wrong.
So after that let down I went back to my Coach John, frustrated. I said, “I did what you told me to do. I followed the action plan as we discussed.” Coach John replied, “But did you hear me when I stated this will take some time? The Credit bureaus will give you your just reward within 30-90 days.” UGRrrr… Don’t the Kings of Credit know that I need my house like yesterday. Don’t they know that I have a landlord that is crazy and I need out of my apartment????
Coach John redirected me back to what was important. It was not only about paying off the old debt, but about establishing good debt, creating a strong budget, and making on-time payments to the Three Kings. These actions would favorably increase my credit score. I went back to the original action plan, read it, and followed it as instructed for the next six months to twelve months. And what do you know? My score started to go up. No longer did I have a low credit score hovering at 500. My score jumped to 660. Did I mention that my financial self esteem went up as well?
By the fall of 2015, I was finally prepared to approach the promised land of Homeownership.
And on February 28, 2016, my husband and I proudly became Homeowners.