We’re back and talking about our friend Darnell. Remember him and his score and how he’s digging out? Here’s a little more…
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Darnell is a friend of the site an has shared info with us from time to time – about his financial struggles, his underemployment, and his desire to get things back on track. He has often asked us where he stands in the credit world, and if it’s time to make a move of some sort. Right now, his question is pretty simple: “I have a 605 credit score, so what kind of credit cards am I eligible for?”
I’d rather turn that question on its ear: why do you need the money, Darnell? And is a credit card really the way to go?
Darnell is a smart man – at least his notes to us and our dealings with him tell us he’s a smart man – so this question struck me as a little odd. Was there something he’s working on – like consolidating debt? Is he planning on a major expense? Or is there something else afoot?
We’re not on the Dave Ramsey end of the spectrum – you know, the one that hates debt in all its forms. We don’t especially like debt, but we also know that it’s, at times, a necessary evil.
So we asked him…what’s the deal?
I need to be able to handle an emergency, were one to come up.
Before we answer that…here’s another word, as they say, “from our sponsor:”Prosper Personal Loan [THAT’S AN AFFILIATE LINK.]
Okay, that’s a completely different issue. Don’t ya think?
605 Credit Score and Credit Cards…
That’s the wrong question, in our opinion. (Actually, that’s not even really a question.) Anyway, we have a few ideas for Darnell…
1. You need an emergency fund
The experts recommend three-to-six months’ income set aside for that rainy day – or, actually, emergency. This probably means a little pain here and there: eschewing the night on the town or the dinner out, and loading up the piggy bank or spare change jar. And it also means cutting back on excessive expenses.
2. You need to chip away at any debt you DO have
Yup, Darnell has a credit card – just one, it turns out, from Capital One, but that’s how he has access to his credit score. This should be a big priority, too. Whittle it down, more than the minimum payment, and wash that card right out of your hair.
3. Again, those expenses
Starbucks? Do you really need it? And any other things that you can honestly do without.
4. Side hustle
More money is out there to be had. See our post on the side hustle.
We’re pulling for you, Darnell
Sometimes, the random question you ask isn’t the question you should be asking – and that’s where Darnell went wrong here. That’s okay, though…take a good hard look in the mirror and search for the real answers. You’ll get there.