Karen Ducheneaux Improves Credit Score
Karen Ducheneaux came to Four Bands, because despite being financially responsible and paying her bills on time, her credit score was lower than expected.
“It was frustrating because I thought I was doing all the right things, but I didn’t have an understanding of what impacted my credit score,” says Karen.
Karen began working with one of Four Bands’ financial coaches and learning a lot about how to improve her credit score. Through the process she discovered an old medical bill that was bringing her score down. She also learned how credit inquiries and too many credit cards could contribute to a lower a credit score.
One of Karen’s biggest learnings was about store cards. “Stores are always trying to get you to open a credit card when you buy something,” she says.
It has become common place for major retailers to encourage their customers to open a credit card by offering a discount on their purchase. Thinking that it sounds like a great deal, a lot of people accept this offer. But, what many people don’t know is that they are authorizing the retailer to make an inquiry on their credit. And, too many inquiries can have a negative impact on their credit score.
Once she had a good understanding of her credit score and how it was determined, Karen and her financial coach devised a plan to increase her score. Through that plan she used a Credit Builder Loan from Four Bands to pay off and consolidate her debt.
“Paying back that loan really increased my score, because now I have a history of regularly paying on my debt,” says Karen.
By continuing to make on-time payments to her lenders and saying no to in-store credit card offers, Karen was able to increase her credit score by 80 points within a year. Karen appreciates how Four Bands works to demystify the subject of money and credit.
“I think it’s one of the things we have a disadvantage of on the Reservation. My mom didn’t ever talk about it. It’s a huge mystery that we don’t know how to navigate,” says Karen.
Karen feels her new and improved credit score more accurately represents who she is as a person, and it has boosted her confidence. She recently invested in a nice vehicle that provides reliable transportation for her whole family.
“I always had little rez-runners, and I would buy a car every few years. But now I have the confidence to finance a vehicle. And, I am confident that I can finance a home or help my relatives,” says Karen.
Karen hopes that by talking about money and credit, it inspires others to tackle their credit issues. She says, “I think people are really embarrassed. It is a taboo to talk about money, and we don’t want others to know about our mistakes. But, I would encourage people to put it out on the line. Four Bands is so confidential, and I know the level of professionalism there.”