Budgeting & Saving

How My Credit Paved the Way for the Car I Drive Today

Financial blogger Kem Washington shares how a long-term strategy helped her lock in her dream car.

As a busy college student light on cash, I had to settle for cars whose best days were already behind them. Because of my limited funds, my cars just got me from point A to point B — and sometimes it was touch and go at that. After graduating from college I made a personal vow that I'd work to get the car of my dreams. And I did.

I'll probably never forget how proud I felt the day I went to the dealership and purchased my dream car. While that day felt like it was long overdue, if I hadn't taken the necessary steps to establish my credit, that day would never have come, no matter how much I wished for it or did research on trim packages and additional options.

Throughout college, my credit had seen its ups and downs. After being irresponsible with my credit, I realized that a change was needed. As my college graduation date drew near, I made a firm commitment to get my credit in order and leave my bad habits behind for good.

Making My Plan

Realizing that a change wouldn't take place overnight, I had to face some hard realities about my credit. I knew that it would take patience and time for my credit to turn around — no magic wand could take care of the changes I wanted to make. I committed to becoming proactive about my credit so my credit score could help me make the purchase I wanted to work towards.

First, I outlined a credit solution for myself. The first step was to review my credit report in its entirety. I studied my credit file for inaccuracies, unauthorized accounts and any credit mistakes that should be removed. Next, I contacted creditors with whom I needed to discuss payment arrangements to bring accounts to good standing. While this process wasn't easy or pleasant, it was the essential groundwork that would allow me to make-over my credit standing.

A Change Will Come

Finally, I knew that if I wanted to see a change in my credit, I had to commit to better behaviors for the long term. I took the time to understand the components that my credit score was made of. Armed with knowledge concerning my credit score, I made a commitment to make timely payments and keep my amount of debt low. Of course, my change did not happen overnight; however, it did get me where I wanted to be — driving the car of my dreams.

By staying committed to my goal and setting a realistic plan, I was finally able to make that trip to the dealership and drive away in the car I'd worked so hard for.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Experian.