My family and I arrived in Los Angeles in December of 2017. My mother a registered nurse, my brother an aspiring actor, and me Mr. Indecisive. Prior to our move or “leap of faith” as my mom likes to say, we lived in Las Vegas for most of my brother and I’s lives. After a couple of failed moves to Oklahoma, and Denver and one unprepared move to Burbank in 2015, we found ourselves at a road block. My brother and I had dreams, and my mom couldn’t find work in Vegas (healthcare politics are over my head), so she accepted a travel assignment and now we’re living in a hotel in Burbank… again! The recession hit us pretty hard, and we suffered the typical woes. Lost jobs, evictions, bankruptcy the whole nine. We are only JUST now getting on our feet, but after a few rejected apartment applications we found ourselves in a new pot of troubles, credit. Growing up NO ONE ever told me about credit and how to build it, maintain it, and how NOT to screw it up, so when it came to credit I was always denied. I figured it was just the norm, I felt like I was born with bad credit, after all they don’t teach credit maintenance 101 in high school (they really should though). It also didn’t help that I have my dad’s EXACT name, so when I was three years old the cable bill was in my name, (these are called ghetto shenanigans and yes, it is unacceptable). So, adding up years of Sprint, 24-hour fitness, and false alarm anxiety emergency room debt, and I find myself with a credit score well below 600, and no way to get my family an apartment. It’s a tricky situation because on one hand my mom can’t get approved because of evictions (the recession remember), and I can’t get approved because of a bunch of collection on my report. With a ticking clock, and some savings I decided to clean up my credit. I pulled my credit report, and cringed in sheer suspense at what I was going to see. I was shocked to see how many little things were on my credit, for example I had a doctor’s office for $69 in collections, another account for $12, another for $98. I had so many negative accounts that were under $100, that I was confused on why they even sent these to collections in the first place. I mean come on, you see an account land on your desk for $12? Alice just pay that for me (I know I’m reaching), but I digress, after I pulled my credit report and got a good idea of what’s on my credit, I then signed up for Credit Karma. I love this site, because they update weekly, and they have a cool smartphone app to keep track of your terrible score. I also applied for a secure card (I applied for it three weeks ago and still haven’t received it). I’m only on month one of my credit clean up, but I’m already seeing gains. I’m looking forward to seeing what I can get done in month two!