Her credit was an obstacle to buying a house. Here's how she fixed it.

Karleh Wilson didn't know she had a credit problem until she wanted to buy a house.

Karleh and her fiancée, Kareem, have been living in a rented 3-bedroom home with their daughter, Kaari, in Philadelphia. But when they realized how much money they were forking over in rent that wasn't going towards any long-term investment, they decided to start the process of purchasing their first home.

Karleh researched what she'd need to make that happen, and found out she'd need a credit score of at least 650. However, when she looked at her free credit report, she found out her credit score was a dismal 315. So, in order to get a mortgage, she'd have to find a way to at least double her score, and hopefully get it even higher to land a competitive interest rate.


Karleh Wilson. All photos via Upworthy.

Karleh is a smart and responsible person. She went to an Ivy League school. So how did she end up in such a terrible credit situation?

It came down to an oversight that she made while she was in college.

She had gotten a card at a department store not realizing it was a credit card.

"I remember being in college and getting my first credit card," says Karleh. "I also remember being confused about the difference between a credit card and a store card. At that point, I was still getting used to using a bank account, much less navigating the complicated world of consumer credit."

Since Karleh didn't realize the retail card was actually a credit card, she had been missing payments for quite some time, which ultimately had a negative effect on her credit score.

Like many college kids, she didn't have the financial education to fully understand how credit worked. Karleh's dad feels that he bears some responsibility for that fact. "That's not stuff you talk about in the family," says Karleh's dad. "You don't want to put that stress on your child."

Karleh's dad.

Thankfully, Karleh was able to turn her credit score around with some diligent research and new habits.

She was embarrassed by her low score, and she and Kareem want to raise Kaari in a financially secure household.

Her dad was a big cheerleader throughout the process. He told Karleh she could turn her credit around, and said it with such confidence that she believed him.

Karleh started paying all of her bills on time. She got a credit card that was built for people with poor credit, used it for all of her purchases, and payed it off in full every two weeks. "That really drove my credit through the roof," she says.

"At this point, I've gotten my credit in a really good situation," Karleh says, "and now I'm approved for a mortgage."

At 24 years old, Karleh has gotten her credit under control and will soon be closing on her first home. In addition, she'll be providing a financially savvy example for her daughter, and her dad couldn't be more proud.

To learn more about Karleh's financial journey, check out this video:

She didn't know she had a credit problem until she wanted to buy a house.
Posted by Upworthy on Monday, November 26, 2018
Personal Finance
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Capital One

Andy Grammer, the pop singer and songwriter behind feel-good tunes like "Keep Your Head Up," "Back Home," and "Don't Give Up on Me," has a new album out—and it is seriously fabulous. Titled simply "Naive," Grammer says it's "all about how seeing the good in todays world can feel like a rebellious act."

"I wrote this album for the light bringers," Grammer shared on Facebook. "The people who choose to see the good even in the overwhelming chaos of the bad. The smilers who fight brick by brick to build an authentic smile everyday, even when it seems like an impossible thing to do. For those who have been marginalized as 'sweet' or 'cute' or 'less powerful' for being overly positive. To me optimism is a war to be fought, possibly the most important one. If I am speaking to you and you are relating to it then know I made this album for you. You are my tribe. I love you and I hope it serves you. Don't let the world turn down your shine, we all so badly need it."

Reading that, it's easy to think maybe he really is naive, but Grammer's positivity isn't due to nothing difficult ever happening in his life. His mom, Kathy, died of breast cancer when Grammer was 25. He and his mother were very close, and her life and death had a huge impact on him.

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via Stratford Festival / Twitter

Service dogs are invaluable to their owners because they are able to help in so many different ways.

They're trained to retrieve dropped Items, open and close doors, help their owners remove their clothes, transport medications, navigate busy areas such as airports, provide visual assistance, and even give psychological help.

The service dog trainers at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs in Canada want those who require service dogs to live the fullest life possible, so they're training dogs on how to attend a theatrical performance.

The adorable photos of the dogs made their way to social media where they quickly went viral.

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"It's important to prepare the dogs for any activity the handler may like to attend," Laura Mackenzie, owner and head trainer at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs, told CBC.

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via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter

"About a dozen dogs came to our relaxed performance, and they were all extremely well-behaved," says Stratford Festival spokesperson Ann Swerdfager. "I was in the lobby when they came in, then they took their seats, then got out of their seats at intermission and went back — all of the things we learn as humans when we start going to the theater."

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The dogs' great performance at the trial run means that people who require service animals can have the freedom to enjoy special experiences like going to the theater.

"It's wonderful that going to the theater is considered one of the things that you want to train a service dog for, rather than thinking that theater is out of reach for people who require a service animal, because it isn't," Swerdfager said.

The Stratford Festival runs through Nov. 10 and features productions of "The Merry Wives of Windsor," "The Neverending Story," "Othello," "Billy Elliot," "Little Shop of Horrors," "The Crucible" and more.

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