How My Bank Killed My Credit Score


You aren’t going to believe the story I’m about to tell you.  Remember how I was becoming debt free?  Remember how I was thinking of buying a house?  Remember how I was working on improving my credit score from years of bad credit?  Well all that went out the window yesterday.

I logged into my online banking to verify my accounts and noticed that there was $14 owing on a credit card that had presumably been paid off (Notice I used presumed and not assume).  Since I paid off the balance back in April I haven’t logged into the account since and therefore had no idea I was three months behind on the payment.

Should banks look out for your credit score?

I think the answer is yes.  If you have a good credit score you can borrow more money and the more money we borrow the more profit the bank makes.  So yes I think banks should always have our credit scores best interest at heart.  But that’s just me.

As I’m writing this my mind is scattering all over the place and my head is filling up with anger.  So if at any point this story doesn’t make sense let’s just blame it on the rage.  Ok let me reiterate the fact that the $14 is the total balance due, not the minimum payment.

Over the last three months my bank (I should say former bank) has been reporting negativity to the credit bureau for $14.  How is that fair?

Is it my fault?

Of course I don’t think so.  Why didn’t I get a call after the first month telling me that my account was in arrears.  When I asked the customer service agent they mentioned that collections calls are a courtesy, not standard procedure.  Courtesy.  Are they serious?  If the bank wants their money and they’re not getting paid doesn’t it seem like common sense to make a quick phone call.  But again maybe that’s just me.

I paid off this balance back in April when I received my tax refund.  When I called the customer service number to inquire on the total balance owing they gave me an amount and I paid it in full.  However it turns out that the amount quoted did not take in account accumulated interest from the last statement date.  And there you have it – how I accumulated $14 in interest fees, got three months behind on my credit card payments and ended up ruining my credit score that I spent three years building.

No it’s not my fault.

The other two companies who I was paying off gave me the exact balance due as of the day I called – including interest.  For some reason this bank didn’t.  They are also not willing to make a correction or contact the credit bureau on my behalf.  Why? Well as the agent told me on the phone “But ma’am you were late so we had to report it.”  Worst. Service. Ever.

Needless to say I will not be applying for a mortgage with this company.  This particular instance just reminds me of why they are my former – not my current – bank.




3 Reasons You’re Broke


Have you ever taken $20 out of the ATM in the morning and at the end of the day had zero cash left in your wallet?  Maybe you constantly find yourself asking where did my money go?  Have you ever just got paid and three days later logged in to your online banking to find next to no money in your account?  I know I have, or at least I used to.

When I was having money troubles I just couldn’t understand why I was broke all time.  I would get paid and couldn’t afford to pay both my rent and my cable bill.  It was weird because I was working full time at a bank making good money, but it just wasn’t enough.  Or at least I thought it wasn’t.

You live beyond your means

This was the major reason why I ended up in tens of thousands of dollars of debt.  I bought things I thought I should have – like a brand new car and I did things because other’s were doing them – like eating at the newest, trendiest restaurants – and I did them all on credit because I couldn’t actually afford to do any of it.  Bad habits.

It took me a long time to realize that expensive meals, extravagant vacations and lots of clothes don’t make me happy. I learned to stop spending on things that don’t matter and start saving for the things that do like retirement.

Paying all your bills at once

I was always taught never to have late bills so when I got my credit card, hydro and cable bills in the mail each month I would immediately pay them in full.  Big mistake.

Since monthly bills usually all come at the same time – at the end of the month this left me with a ton of expenses to pay and very little money to do it with.  I would use my entire pay check to pay bills and then leave myself nothing to live.  So of course I ended up using my credit cards to live until my next paycheck.  Terrible cycle.

Now I split the total of my monthly bills in half and pay each portion over two paychecks.  My bills are still paid on time but I’m not shelling out large chunks of cash each month.  It’s perfect.

Spending on wants not needs

This is one of the worst things you can do for your money.  Spending on things you want but don’t need is O.K. sometimes.  It’s O.K. when you have a little extra money to spend, it’s O.K. if all your other bills are paid and it’s O.K. if you give yourself a spending limit like $40.

Spending on wants is not O.K. if you’re going to use your credit card to do so, if the item won’t actually make you happy and if you’re only doing it just to spend money.

I’m glad that I no longer make these money mistakes because my finances are better for it.


Originally published on Blonde & Balanced

Photo from I’d Pin That


Starbucks is NEVER a Waste of Money


If you’ve ever read a story about spending wisely or setting a budget then you’ve probably been advised to cut out your daily trips to the coffee shop.  Right?  To be honest it’s true.  If you want to start saving money you can cut out Starbucks coffee and stop eating out in restaurants.  You could also become a nun and take a vow of poverty or become a monk and take a vow of silence – but what fun would that be?

As a financial planner I should probably tell you to stop spending money on anything that doesn’t keep you clean or warm, but I’m not going to do that.  Why?  Because I don’t believe in it.  Don’t get me wrong I completely agree that people should plan and save for their future, but I don’t believe they should do it at the sacrifice of their current life.  I mean seriously why would you hate your life now to potentially enjoy your life later?  It just doesn’t make sense.

Enjoy everything in moderation

This is why I don’t think Starbucks is a waste of money.  If you want to pay $5 for an iced latte then go do it, but keep in mind you’re giving up something else in order to pay for coffee.  That’s the key to setting and sticking to a budget.  If you only have $5 and you want to spend it on Starbucks then more power to you.  Just be conscious of what that coffee really costs.

Coffee is an excuse to socialize

I don’t drink alcohol or smoke so if I don’t meet my friends for coffee I probably won’t see them very often.  Compared to after work drinks or a night out at a club I think a $5 coffee and a $3 piece of banana bread is a good deal to spend an hour or so with friends.

It’s a reason to get out of the house

I work online with my side hustle and I can work from home with my 9 to 5 job.  If I didn’t convince myself to buy a treat every now and then I would never leave my house.  I would become one of those crazy ladies whose eyes can’t adjust to daylight because I would be stuck in my home office 24 hours a day.  I definitely don’t want to become one of those ladies.

The price doesn’t matter

I truly believe in paying for something you want.  However I also believe in getting the absolute best deal on everything.  Why pay $400 a night for a hotel room when you can pay $100 for the exact same accommodation through a discount website.

The same thing is true for Starbucks.  As long as you aren’t ordering a $5 coffee, taking a sip and throwing an almost full cup in the garbage then expensive beverages aren’t a waste.  If you enjoy it then it’s money well spent.  That being said I will pay for expensive coffee if there’s something in it for me – other than enjoying a delicious beverage. I am a Starbucks loyalty member which means I get free beverages, exclusive deals and discounts on products.



Photo from I’d Pin That

Originally published on Dinks Finance