How do you get a rental when you have terrible credit?

Question: How do you get a rental when you have terrible credit?

Answer: Like many single moms who have experienced a financial bane, I found myself in a situation that dropped my credit more than 200 points. When I left my marriage, I was pregnant and had two toddlers. I had been a stay at home mom for almost five years, so I didn’t have a job or steady income. On top of that, all the home renovation expenses for the house we bought as a foreclosure fixer upper went onto credit cards in my name. I didn’t just leave with nothing, I left more than $40,000 in the hole. Because of all this, there was no way I could jump into my own rental and I was fortunate to be able to live with family during a rebuilding phase.

I’m going to share the steps I took to rebuild my credit and the exact letter I sent to my new landlord that helped me get into a great home for my family.

1. Let the cards go into collections

Oh my God, this is the worst advice ever. Isn’t it? Well, not exactly and I’ll expl…

Where I Am Now

In two short months, almost everything in my life has changed. First of all, I’m now a Marylander. If you told me this 16 years ago, I never would have seen it coming. Slowly, my trajectory aligned South, and I got bit by the bug of possibility on 5/5. I was already planning to move closer to my (former) job, and one day I just thought - what if I looked for work in Maryland? After an amazing sequence of events and synchronicities, I found myself on the doorsteps to our home last week and it is amazing to be here. 
Since I’m posting this on a single mom blog, I’ll start with the elephant in the room. What happened to my kids’ Dad? I mean, it’s not very often that a parent can relocate in a shared custody situation. TBH, I don’t know and couldn’t even venture to guess. All I’ve seen is a stream of actions that led to me having my girls more and more of the time. Not that I didn’t relish the gift of spending time with them, I just realized that raising three girls and having a career is …

To Single Moms on Father's Day

Arguably the hardest day of the year for any single mom is Father's Day. It is a day to celebrate a person who may have broken our heart, let us down, or fallen into a role as mortal enemy. To say it affects us is an understatement. The impacts can radiate from a multitude of directions. The issues aren't merely related to how our exes have treated us or continue to promote conflict and strife within our lives, but in many cases our hearts break for our children who continue to be impacted and come under a magnifying glass every June. 
My kids are lucky. They have some amazing Father figures in their lives and they do have a relationship with their own Father. No one is perfect- far from it- so we've come to accept what they can and can't have as far as interactions go with the men in their lives. They know that they always have a safe place to come home if he misses a visitation, but that doesn't mean that my heart doesn't break for them in the midst of a las…

From Split to Success: Fine Tuning your Life After Divorce

It is no secret that getting divorced, or splitting after a serious relationship can bring up a myriad of emotions. Whether the split was mutual or not, it always includes setbacks that can run the gamut from physical to emotional to financial. Digging out of the hole is a struggle, and the necessities of caring for children throughout the course of recuperating magnify each challenge. But, it definitely IS possible!

Here's the back story about how I discovered an essential trick for taking note of life in the present, addressing goals, and making progress towards achieving them. When I was young (think 9-12 years old) my family had a stereo system that was the size of a large Amazon box. It played music and we generally played CDs because no one connected the rabbit ears so the radio stations were too fuzzy. I would lie underneath the pool table and stare at the CD player for hours while it played because it displayed equalizer bars. I watched in awe as they danced and reflected…

6 Ways to Survive Family Court

Find out how to stay cool and calm as you navigate the intricacies of custody, support, and more.

The mere thought of family court literally makes my shoulders tense and the back of my throat clench. I can feel the emotions welling up and if you asked me to, I could describe in great detail every drawn out second of the entire experience. It can be hard enough to be around an ex, but stepping right into the boiling pot and stirring the conflict can become a challenging brew. However, there are a few ways to make the situation manageable.

1. Breathe
First and foremost, to get through even the hardest situations, just breathe. There are moments when I will just coach myself on each inhale and exhale. It helps to avoid saying something regrettable, to stop from lashing out in anger, and to calm myself after hearing bad news.

2. Sandwich the experience with a trustworthy friend
I'm in a network of Single Moms that supports one another. Before hearings, we often post what's going…

A Mother's Day Love Note

I don't post very often about what it's like to be a single mom on my Facebook wall for a few reasons. The first is because I have an amazing support group that I reach out to for understanding and camaraderie. The second is because being a single mom is the greatest gift of my life. Sure, it was hell to get here, but even the worst days now are better than the best days I ever had as a "we." Every single one of them. I say that because I didn't know "me" back then. I knew some things I enjoyed and I knew how to put on a happy face, but I didn't know how to be alone with me. I couldn't walk into a room alone without questioning if I belonged. I couldn't comfort myself. I couldn't do anything without seeking validation. The thing was, even when I was married I rarely got that validation. Everything was fleeting or tied to a prerequisite. Mother's Day was usually the hardest because it was always a gigantic let down. That all changed a…

The Best #bowwowchallenge Tweets Speak to Singles

Being single doesn't have to be ugly on social media. Thanks to a big misstep by bow wow, twitter is trolling with hilarious memes about the truth behind all those aspirational photos we see every day. Thought you couldn't keep up with the Joneses on the internet just because your man left? Try again with these handy visual tips.

Let's hope Patrice's Bae doesn't have two left feet!
With my man 😘 — Patrice Pannell (@patricepannell5) May 10, 2017

When no one is around to catch a sweet somber on Instagram
Bae caught me sleeping — Viz of Bell County (@mrvizcarrondo) May 10, 2017
One of your exes is the perfect Dad
Spending time with my little one today πŸ‘ΆπŸΎ — D (@Dolo_Deee) May 10, 2017 Getting ready for a wild night
We getting lit tonight πŸ”₯ — γ…€ (@malachiwalkerr) May 10, 2017 How am I the last p…