We’re all professionals and adults. We’re aware of our credit scores and understand how they are key to our financial plight or success. We realize that our credit score, if low, can preclude us from getting a mortgage or can cost us dearly over the life our monthly mortgage payments.

Imagine, if you are able (and some of us are very able), that you have a bad credit score of about 550, a number that smells like a brown egg that has been buried under a chicken coop for two weeks. Such a score is more likely to get you a spirited bout of laughter than a loan with a decent interest rate. The lower your score, the higher the interest rate with which you will be penalized and the more money you will fork over monthly for the life of your mortgage.

So we’re here now, we of paltry credit scores. Our heads are hung in sorrow and we bid those around us to not look us in the eye lest they sense our shame. We know how we got our bad scores: We spent more than we made, lived beyond our means, paid our bills late, and kicked a dog once. Now we are paying for it—literally!

A mortgage is simply a home loan (courtesy of Withaya Prasongsin, Getty Images)

What I have learned on my journey to repair my credit

Credit goes south by years of wrong living. We can fix our credit gradually by years of living right. But that takes too long because we need things right now that require a decent score—say, in the realm of 650. Or hey, why stop there? Why not 750 or higher?

Well, I’ve discovered a few little jewels that can help fix a low sucking-ass credit wound. The cheapest way I have found is to piggyback on a person with a good credit score for a time to improve your credit score. By piggybacking I mean your trusting friend or family member can make you an official joint-holder of their credit card. It is a simple process that can happen very quickly. The step they should probably leave out is actually issuing you a copy of their credit card—but that’s none of my business.

This technique is legal, free, and low risk, but it is not fast, and fast is good in the case of credit building. A faster technique is to hire a service that actively repairs credit. I’m not read-in well on how they do that, and frankly I don’t really care how they do it. I just care that they can do it, are effective, and the turnaround is quick. For me, the turnaround was about 45 days. That’s all great, though it did cost me about $450. My score, on the flip side, increased upward of 100 points. That’s a great return on investment (ROI)!

Many credit repair services are available on the market today. (Image courtesy Ildo Frazao, Getty Images).

Here is yet another way, one that I couldn’t have imagined on my own. It’s a legal maneuver, yes, but one that, IDK, just maybe nips at the heels of morality. It’s called buying a trade line, and it was suggested to me by the woman I hired to repair my credit. She disclosed it in a way that made me think she was at the point of a Hail Mary pass in order to raise my score any higher—a last resort to kindly get this unkind man off her back.

Buying a trade line means you are literally buying credit from a person who has very good credit and is putting their credit up for sale. How very 2019 America of us. I should pause now to allow readers to engage in a back-and-forth on morality and ethics. I’m personally caught up just buying something that perhaps I should have earned. I don’t know, maybe just cue the John C. Mellencamp music because ain’t that ‘Murica?

Time’s up!

The advice I got from my hired professional was to go after a trade line purchase that was at least seven years old. That is the one parameter that I needed to meet in order to raise my score and get the finance rate that I wanted, to keep my monthly mortgage payments just below my financial pain threshold. I think it took all of three mouse clicks to find a large listing of trade lines to choose from.

The actual trade line that I selected: at least seven years old and, at the price offered, a pleasant deal. (Courtesy of https://improvemycreditfitness.com)

I would be a damned fool if I were to say I was not apprehensive. Doing most anything for the first time does impart a modicum of anxiety. Even my riding a merry-go-round for the first time invited reservations. I remember debating with my then-wife that the ride warranted slightly more considerations than we were giving it. I simply needed more time to mull over the options and consequences. I never did ride the merry-go-round. All things in their due time, as I always say.

The bead of sweat on the tip of my nose grew as it was fed from the tributaries of my forehead. I stared at the webpage with the purchase I needed and stressed. Soon the bead couldn’t be contained any longer by its condensation nucleus (nose tip) and it slipped downward, testing the limits of its hydrostatic covalent bond.

I rocked my head gently, causing it to wobble. Then it broke free, bursting on the tabletop below. My index finger simultaneously slammed down the return key on my keyboard. The purchase was complete.

I know not what the future yet holds, as it is the Sabbath and the bank and credit manager will not be back on post until tomorrow. I have high hopes for the success of this credit rebuild. I will have spent approximately $850 to bring my score up to a very pleasant 680. My eventual goal is to be at 750 once again, where the grass is greener, the water sweeter, and the larks warble together in high C7.

By almighty God and with honor,

Geo sends