#FinancialFridays: Credit – it can help build your dreams and it can come down like a hammer. Learn more here.

Credit is like a hammer; it can help build our dreams or it can leave us in ruins – it’s all in how we use it.

What a wonderful feeling to have that envelope at the door shouting “Congratulations, you’ve been approved for a $10,000.00 loan!”. We all love to feel worthy and accepted, and there is no better way to get those feelings (especially when we are cash stricken) than with an offer of money. Lenders will appear generous and obliging, when really, they can be greedy and coercive. We must be careful not to get caught up in the “Instant Gratification” mindset. We need to be mindful of what high interest rates can do to our cash flow and our credit rating. Sometimes waiting is the best financial plan.

Credit is absolutely necessary in our world so we need to understand how it works. As soon as we open our very first bank account, we have established a credit rating. This is a report that monitors if we pay our bills on time, where we have asked for credit, who has worked with us and how much we are worth. It also details personal information such as address, employment and birth date. No one should be able to look at your credit rating unless you have given them permission.

It is a powerful tool. So much so, that it also identifies us as to whether banks, retailers, online business etc. will want to work with us. The credit world is very judgmental and very unforgiving. If we missed making one payment 6 years ago, it may still be haunting us and stopping our chances of moving forward today.

If you want to take a look at what lenders are saying about you, here are some ways to go about it:


If you need help improving your financial situation or need helpful budgeting advice, our Financial Literacy Program can help. Contact Caroline, our Program Coordinator at 519-378-4773 or email her at advice@unitedwaybg.com