Tag Archives: errors

Make time to check your credit report

Up to 2 months ago I had never checked my credit report, there was no need to.  Well, actually, I feared it.   With all my financial issues I knew the report would be bad.   When I finally checked it, it was FAIR, which was an absolute result.  So, I signed up for alerts which has turned out to be a real blessing.

I got an alert saying that my credit score had dropped by 12 points, confused I logged on.  In the alerts was a ‘late payment’ to one of my creditors.  I knew who it would be immediately.

Long standing readers of this blog may remember that I have 3 of my bigger loans on a debt management repayment plan, this was done to maintain payments with the interest freed.  It has been in place for 10 months now and helped enormously, but only one of those creditors has ever caused issues.  Bank A as we will call them phone me every 2 months to say the payment is late, I then dispute it, they re-check and low and behold I am up to date.  What happens then is, with Bank A they have to transfer the money internally from the debt management account to my loan account.  This delay is then sometimes marked as non payment till they manually correct it.

What I didn’t know was they then INCORRECTLY marked me down as late payment, not missed payment, late payment.  Even though the late payment is caused internally.   I phoned Bank A and they didn’t know why the credit people had been informed by themselves either.   I was then transferred to the department that deals with the ‘debtor accounts’.

The net result is that it is an error but I have to write in and lodge a formal complaint with evidence to get the credit score corrected.  When I checked my history, Bank A have lodged FOUR (YES FOUR) incorrect late payment scores.  Thanks so very much!

So, this will be resolved but it does highlight something I was guilty of.  I buried my head in the sand a lot, not just with avoiding the mail and checking my bank balance but things like this.  Not that is has held me back as I haven’t applied for any credit.

It also shows that sometimes people do make mistakes, and they can be costly.  I am hoping this is corrected quickly, I can’t be bothered with another long drawn out appeal for something that isn’t my fault!

Mistakes, or bad decisions we will call them!

So, as the blog progresses we will move through the stages of the debt increase and the marriage failure.  But, there is still a time in any story where you hold your hands up and say “Yep, I made some blunders, and some were real belters”  This, my friends, is that time, and it is being done early!

Do you know what statement I hate?  apart from my bank statement obviously…this one – “with hindsight you wouldn’t have made those decisions”.  Well obviously…

So, I would like to state decisions I think were poorly made, that have ultimately contributed to this ongoing nightmare.

1. Taking on my own accounts

now, I will take the blame for this BUT not 100%.  The error here was the speed I did not employ an accountant (although that also backfired a little, we will discuss this later in a different post).  When I went self employed it was not by choice, it was the first decent role that came up in IT in 2004.  It happened to be contracting, and it went very well as I was placed there by an umbrella company.   I got a few new contracts and was earning excellent money, and then agencies and employers didn’t want to use Umbrella Companies any more.  So, instead of getting an accountant I thought I could do it myself, despite having no qualifications at all and failing GCSE maths, twice, with a D.  By the time I realised I hadn’t left enough in the account for different bills, I was already in trouble. 

2. Buying Cat C and Cat D cars

so, my luck with cars is appalling.  I am on car number 28 now, they either die or get written off.   I needed a new car one year but couldn’t afford one, then I found out about cat c and cat d cars!  Well….my eyes opened.  I could get newer cars with ‘minimal damage’.  My plan, to buy one of these for very little and pay for the repair, giving me a saucy new car for 50% under the price.  There are two flaws, 1) it costs more than you think to repair* and 2) you can’t sell it on afterwards.  It would have been cheaper to get a finance agreement, the interest would have been higher but in the long run it would have cost less.

* see number 3 for further info

3. Trusting the family mechanic

My wife had an affair with the family mechanic, quite when it started is still up for debate.  However, there came a point where my car would break down every month, or when I picked it up it had to go straight back in. After a while, my wife was taking the money straight to him and picking up/dropping off the cars.  You can see the picture can’t you?  I should have worked that one out a while ago.  Why the mistake here, well I suspect some of the repairs were not necessary or created for me to return (or her to return) and the bigger one, and a brilliant piece of advice I got but ignored “a shoulder to cry on becomes a c0ck to ride on”.  It appears that is the case.  Number 2 and 3 link to debt and divorce.

4. Marriage

It was a gamble, based on prior history.  But, I did love her so I can’t say it was a total mistake, more of a gamble I lost.  The mistake here was the wedding cost 28K.  Yes, that was not a typo, it was 28K.   I could cover a lot of it, but this is when I started using my overdraft.  I am still in it 5 years later.

5. Working shifts

On paper,brilliant.   week off every 3 weeks, nights, days etc.  The summary, more time at home with my family.  The drawback, you miss half the month and you get half the pay.  I can directly link some of my first major missed HMRC payments to taking a contract shift role.

So there you go, probably made other poor decisions.  But these 5 are my main ones.