This post is a part of my 10-day #Countdownto30 series. The series recaps important milestones from every year of my 20s. You can view all posts in this series at http://shellysaysso.com/tag/countdownto30/
At 22 I really felt like I was getting my grown woman on. I was doing well in grad school, got my first promotion at work, moved in with my boyfriend of 3 years, and did a real grown-up couples cruise vacation. I just knew I was it, chile.
The moving in thing was interesting. We didn’t think about it beforehand. It was just that we stayed at one place or another every night, and at some point it seemed silly to pay two rents when we were always one place or another. It was more practical than romantic, honestly. So once his lease was up, I cleared out a closet for him. And that was REALLY hard. But once he was moved in, it felt pretty good.
In all of the sharing and cohabitating, I became the person in charge of the finances. I understood credit and I was pretty handy with an Excel sheet. Actually, I obsessed over Excel spreadsheets. I had no debt other than student loans, had already started investing my little entry-level coins and I had good enough credit that AMEX gave me like a $20,000 credit line. That’s actually ridiculous considering my salary at the time, but those were the good old days before the bubble burst.
As a budding little money guru, I was pretty dismayed when my boo-thang went to get a car loan and got hit with a high interest rate. I was shocked that interest rates that high were even legal. So, I pulled his credit report and it basically said WOMP. Being the awesometastic partner that I was, I made it my duty to figure out how to get his credit score up to par. I spent hours upon hours on credit forums, blogs, and any other places I could find to get advice. I studied the industry inside-out and tried to figure out the secret algorithms. I won’t go into detail on the steps I took because that’s a book in and of itself, but in less than a year his score was up more than 100 points.
When we started to tell people about the progress, my phone started to ring. Everyone wanted to know what I did and how I did it. I started helping people when I could (after all, I was working full time and in grad school). It wasn’t for a few years that I figured out that I could/should actually charge for my services. But this is where I actually started to use my financial knowledge to help others. I spent just as much time studying credit as I did my coursework that year. Too bad you can’t get a degree for that.