Personal Credit Story: From a 530 Score to 702

I Loved That Truck, But…

In April of 2019 I was driving a small, older Mazda pickup with a little over 200k milesI loved the 1999 Mazda Pickup I was driving, but I definitely wanted a new vehicle! on the odometer.  Since I had bad credit, I was certain I’d be stuck with that truck for awhile.  Don’t get me wrong: I loved that little truck.  But every day I’d be tempted by the new cars I drove for clients such as West Mitsubishi, for whom I’d take a vehicle out into nature to shoot photos and videos for promotional materials. I was convinced that with a 530 credit score, there was no way I’d be able to get into anything that required payments.  Would I forever be a cash buyer?  That’s what I assumed to be true.

When I finally spoke to Gary Campbell, the owner of West Mitsubishi, about my dilemma, I did so in a joking tone.  Although his dealership specializes in obtaining approvals for the credit challenged amongst us, I thought my personal situation was beyond help.  I also assumed that a bad credit auto loan would come with an interest rate that was higher than I was willing to pay.  After all, if I were to apply for a loan for an unsecured credit card, I knew from experience that I’d be declined.  And credit cards were supposed to be the easiest credit to obtain.

I Bought a Brand New Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Even With a 530 Credit Score

Gary assured me that even for scores like mine, poor credit wouldn’t keep me away from driving a car.  He told me that one bank in particular offers loans to those in the The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport I purchased brand new from West Mitsubishi in Orland, CAsame boat as I was in.  He also assured me that my FICO score would likely be a little higher than the scores shown on my phone apps.  We talked about different types of credit and discussed things I could do to improve my score over time.  He also said something crazy to me:  good credit was just a few years away, if I followed his advice.  In the meantime, he got me approved for a loan on a brand new 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.  I was super excited!  And at only 13% interest, I was paying a lower APR than I’d feared.  

Here we are, barely two years removed from the conversation I just described, and my credit score is indeed in the “good” category these days.  But it took a bit of work:  bad credit scores can be improved by making phone calls, writing letters, and asking nicely.  What do I mean?  Well, I obtained a copy of my credit reports from both the dealership as well as from some of the companies who offer free credit scores to those who request them. I then started asking those who had reported negatives to my account if they would consider removing the information they reported.  I disputed reports that listed loan amounts different than what they should have been.  I searched the terms and conditions of previous loans for loopholes that would allow me to demand that the negative impact of certain credit issuers would no longer be reflected on my credit score.

And I paid every bill on time.  No matter what credit account is in question, making timely payments will always improve one’s score.  As my score increased, I was tempted to apply for unsecured cards again, but I resisted that temptation.  I also avoided any credit card offer that came with annual fees attached to it.  Credit card issuers began flooding my mailbox, and I had to resist the urge to apply.  

Resisting that urge is a lot easier said than done.  As one account opens, another letter is waiting in the mailbox, tempting me with the idea of another line of credit.  But with each inquiry, one’s credit score decreases a little.  The credit monitoring apps I have on my iPhone help me to quickly see how inquiries lower my score, and it takes a long period of time to rebound after each hard inquiry.

Bad Credit Auto Loans Are Easy To Obtain

I have since financed yet another new car, the second brand-new car I’ve purchased in a period of less than two years, and this time my interest rate is down in the single digits.  Every month I watch my scores rise on my smartphone apps.  I turn down nearly every offer of credit these days, as I hope to soon purchase a house.  Thanks to the advice given to me by Gary Campbell at West Mitsubishi, my credit now qualifies to take out a loan to buy a home!  

If West Mitsubishi can do it for me, they can do it for you, too. Don’t be ashamed of a low score. This is an area in which the dealership specializes, and they see such scores all the time. West Mitsubishi also has a 4.9 out of 5 rating on Google, which is higher than any other dealership in the Northern California area. I highly recommend them. If you fill out this form on their website, you’ll quickly know if you’ll be approved. Do it today!

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