When people quit drinking, smoking, or other bad habits, they often look to a community for support, commiseration, and aid in kicking their habit. While recovering from alcoholism and bad credit are very different, those with poor credit can learn a lot from AA. Sometimes community is just what’s needed to fix a problem, and in the case of credit, community is an incredible asset to have on your side.
Learn from Others
One of the biggest benefits of participating in a community is learning from the group’s collective knowledge. Whatever financial troubles are in your past or present, someone else has no doubt gone through something similar at some point. In a community, those who have solved financial struggles can share what worked well for them. You can apply this knowledge when fixing your own finances.
In a community, you can learn from others’ mistakes and successes. By seeing where others failed, you know what to look out for and can actively take the steps to avoid the same mistakes. By learning from successes, you know exactly what will work and how you can apply it to your own journey to a better credit score.
No matter how much you read, at some point you will reach a limit to what you can learn about credit scores and credit reports. However, by drawing on the lessons of those who have struggled with their credit in the past, you can apply what you’ve learned when working to improve your credit.
2. Get Support When You Need It
Just because you know what steps need to be taken to improve your credit does not mean those steps are easy. If you have a shopaholic past, turning away from a sale or a bargain purchase can feel impossible. But with the strength of your community, it is much easier to say no.
The power of many outweighs the power of one. By joining with others in a community, you have their support when struggling with your worst financial demons. Plus, if you publically state you are going to do something, you are more likely to follow through. By sharing your goals and plans with a community of supportive individuals, you will also feel a stronger drive to follow through.
Feel Better Knowing Others Struggle with the Same Issues
When you’re having a rough day and are not seeing a rapid payoff from your efforts, you may be tempted to just give up. Being a part of a community makes that negative outcome like bankruptcy less likely to occur.
When you are surrounded by others going through the same thing, you will feel a stronger drive to continue on the right path toward a higher credit score. Millions of people struggle with their credit every day, but joining a community of people focused on the same problems can make you feel better about what you are struggling with. This camaraderie is both powerful and valuable for anyone trying to change habits.
3. Motivation to Keep Working
When repairing your credit, you may see some quick wins in the beginning, but overall it is a long road to a credit score of 600, 700, and beyond. In those long stretches in between, it can be tough to stay motivated and stick with your plan. That’s where the community comes in.
On the days that you have a success, the community comes together to celebrate your victory. The same happens when others achieve a level of success. Every time someone shares a positive story, it acts as a reminder of why you are working to fix your credit.
4. Building Friendships with Kindred Spirits
As a finance writer, there are not all that many people who do exactly what I do. It can feel lonely sitting on a laptop writing words about money. I found solace in several communities of finance writers (one of which led to the opportunity to write here), but the community has led to much more for me.
Almost every community I have been a part of has led to great friendships, some of which have lasted for many years. Everyone in a community focused on improving credit already has so much in common. You have a personal finance goal. You have taken steps to improve and take charge of your money and how your money influences your life. Anyone going through the same process may be a kindred spirit you would not have otherwise have met.
Meeting people in an online community used to be an awkward faux pas, but the times have changed! Just as online dating has become more prevalent in our society, building friendships online has become a more normal experience. Some of my closest friends came from online communities, and you never know who you’ll meet in a community focused on improving your credit.
5. Discover New Resources
While Google and the Credit Solution Program offer nearly any resource you could want to improve your credit, there is always something new you have never seen before. In a community, sharing helpful resources is a big part of helping everyone succeed together.
Whether it is old or new, some resources prove to be incredibly helpful or valuable. If something helped someone else, it may just help you too! And if you find something useful, sharing it with others in your community offers a great level of satisfaction. Not only are you able to solve your credit troubles, you can help others at the same time. Teaching others what you learn as you go helps cement those ideas in your memory and habits so you are more likely to follow through yourself.
6. Share the Good, Bad, and Everything in Between
In a true community, you may connect with people in a very personal way. It is common for people to open up and share their hopes, dreams, fears, and feelings. You should feel encouraged to do the same. Changing any aspect of your life is difficult, and improving your credit is no different. But with a strong, positive community behind you, you are destined to succeed.