First Person: How My Credit Was Destroyed in a Day

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I've always heard that money is one of the leading causes of divorce in our country. I'm lucky enough to have a marriage strong enough to get through the money problems that we have had. We hit a few snags along the way but nothing that we couldn't handle. We had a lot of bills due to surgery costs for our son who was born with a cleft lip and palate and for our daughter who had to be born via emergency c-section but we had a system worked out and it seemed to work for quite a while. My husband had me quit my job to stay home with the kids and we did great on just the one income. That is, until July 21, 2012.

My husband had just bought a 2003 Yamaha V-Star the Tuesday prior. We decided we wanted to take it out for a ride with a couple of friends so we dropped our kids off at my in-laws house. We had gone clear to a neighboring town and were on our way home on some back roads. Going 55 mph my husband hit some gravel and we went down. All we were wearing at the time were boots, jeans, a t-shirt, and our helmets. My husband rolled with it as we slid and was up and running around as soon as he came to a stop, I on the other hand tried to fight it the whole way. My knee had also gotten pinned under the sliding motorcycle for several feet. When I finally came to a stop I couldn't move, all I could do was scream. When the ambulance got there they had to strap me down and life flight me to the next state over. My knee had been completely destroyed and required emergency surgery. My husband had been taken in an ambulance to our local hospital and we didn't see each other for about two days. My husband was out of work for 17 days which definitely took a toll on our bank account.

According to our bank manager we were covered with insurance on our existing loans so we didn't have to worry about paying while he was out of work. Several weeks later he told us that we had to fill out paperwork in order to be covered, so we did, and we thought we were okay. A month later we received a phone call saying that we weren't going to be covered by our insurance because my husband was three days short of the required time to be missed and we now owed money for two months worth of loan payments and late fees. It was very frustrating but nothing we couldn't work out into a budget. Unfortunately, our bank didn't think we were going to pay anything because they took the money out of our account automatically without notifying us. We then spent the money on groceries, thinking it was still in there only to find that we were over $300 overdrawn and they also were deducting overdraft fee's of $29 seven different times.

I don't know which day you would want to say was the beginning of the end of our credit but I like to think it was the day we made the decision to buy the motorcycle. Because of that one decision we now have been sent to collections for three different medical bills we are unable to pay at the moment, sent to collections for a bill of over $24,000.00 for my life flight, and have been overdrawn on our bank account roughly about three times since because we are trying to cover our bills and the medical attention we needed. The frustrating part in all of this is that we were just talking about having a bigger family. Without the credit to get a bigger house or get a bigger car we can't do that. Credit scores have an effect on a lot more than finances, they effect you emotionally and personally.

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