This post is sponsored by Nationwide Debt Reduction Services. All opinions are my own.
Once upon a time not long ago, everyone had a negative opinion about millennial’s ability to properly “adult”. However, I’ve recently noticed the tide slowly shift, if only statistically. Baby boomers might still be convinced millennials are entitled, lazy, impatient, and unstable, and that may not be all false. But if anyone thinks millennials are not pondering their financial futures they could not be more wrong.
According to Forbes,
With more student loan debt than ever before, more than half carrying credit card balances month-to-month, and comparatively lower wages than previous generations, trends like delaying marriage or home-buying seem to make sense. But recent reports show that the average Millennial credit score rose by 4 points since 2016 – more than any other generation did in the same time span – and at the same time, lowered their total debt by 8%.
That’s nothing to shrug at. How are millennials doing this? Well as noted, we seem to be less likely than our parents to seek out large money-draining “investments” such as mortgages and even start families later in life. Millennials have decided the easiest way for us to build wealth might be by simply keeping it in our pockets.
For more finance tips for millennials, click here
I am no stranger to credit card debt. It all started in college. Walking into the student union center and seeing all those tables full of t-shirts I wanted to own (I never claimed to be bright). The only way to get one was to fill out an innocent little application for a credit card and bam all the oversized cheap t-shirts I could shove under my bed could be mine.
Even more startling, was the credit card that subsequently showed up a few weeks later. Tired and weary from excessive amounts of Raman noodles, Discover card in hand…I had arrived. It didn’t take long to be thrust from the bowels of purchasing excellence 28 short days later when the bill that I couldn’t even begin to pay, rolled in. The next ten years were spent pretending none of it happened. Also, sprinkle paying back my student loans on top of that!
Upon graduation, I found myself swimming in student loan debt and also a few thousand dollars in credit card debt and for what? Yep, a few lousy t-shirts. No one told me about being financially responsible when I was that young. I entered adulthood with a 460 credit score (Ouch!)
Now over 10 years and 300 points later, I face my debts head on.
How I transformed my credit
- Stopped hiding from those overdue notices and faced my creditors. Did you know you can usually get creditors to agree to a nice convenient payment plan if you have the patience to call back DAILY, deal with rude collection employees, field an endless amount of robocalls, and generally just keep holding your breath? If you aren’t the confrontational type you should contact a debt service to do all the hard work for you! It wasn’t until a few years ago that I found out that there are resources available to help with debt reduction. These companies will reach out to creditors and negotiate affordable payment terms for you!
- Resorted to Cash Only. It is shocking how easy it is to live off of what you have when you think that’s all you have. For years, paying with credit or acquiring something I didn’t have the immediate funds for was not an option. Once it was, it became tempting, but I had to resist! One thing I did was stash income for wants in a separate account. Finally, I felt in control. I knew when spending from that account, I didn’t have to worry about misappropriating funds.
- Dispute EVERYTHING. Maintaining your credit is a constant struggle. I don’t know about you guys but I still have no shortage of folks attempting to get money from me. Most times it’s totally erroneous. But there is only one way to know. DISPUTE IT! I love credit Karma because it allows you to dispute things on your credit report right from their app.
Are you or a high school senior or the parent of a high school senior? Are you interested in getting $1000 for college? Let Nationwide Debt Reduction Services tell you how!
The crazy thing about debt is that no matter which way you slice it, it must be paid! But you can get help to make sure the road to repayment is manageable for you. The slow but humbling process of rebuilding your credit helps you fully understand how important it is to guard your credit with your life. And if only according to statistics, millennials are really starting to internalize that!