A few months ago, my oven broke. The stovetop still worked, so I had at least something to work with (imagine a life of microwave-only food! eek!), but it was still somewhat of a bummer and definitely an inconvenience.

New Credit in a New EraI considered buying a replacement off of craigslist, but even though the appliance itself would be cheaper I'd have to pay a contractor to move it, install it and dispose of the existing piece of junk. All told it came out to be about the same as buying a brand new oven anyway. At the time, a purchase like that just wasn't in the cards financially so it was looking like skillet dinners for a while. On the bright side, I've perfected the art of making a superior grilled cheese (I like to put a little stone ground mustard in there)!

In the meantime, I've been watching the ads and thinking about what I wanted in terms of a replacement. I wanted to make a smart decision about this, using everything I've learned during my time in CareOne's Debt Management Plan (DMP).

For starters, I promised myself I would not just buy the cheapest model solely because it was cheapest. I wanted something that would address some of the problems I had with my old stove (hard to clean burners, etc). I wanted something that would add a little bit of value to my home - without going overboard. In summary, something modestly modern.

I knew through looking at the ads that there were financing options available, namely two years no interest, same as cash. At first I rejected this idea outright. Credit is evil! I would never get approved anyway! It damaged my life! Never again! CASH ONLY! But then I really thought about it.

As I approach my "graduation" this summer from the DMP, I need to get a handle on this. Credit is NOT evil in and of itself. Credit is sometimes necessary; the trick is knowing the rules and having the discipline to use it sensibly. Fearing credit will not help my life, and that's exactly how I've been living.

So I decided to see if I could qualify for financing. It was a very emotional thing, actually, I was feeling panicked and anxious about it. Mainly, I was worried that they would run me through the system and say, "I'm sorry, you were denied." I did not want to feel that shame.

I briefly explained to the clerk that I am in a debt management plan, and that I was nervous that would affect my creditworthiness. He replied that it actually has probably brought up my score, and that he didn't think it would be an issue. Minutes later, he came back and said I was approved, with a credit line well in excess of my purchase. I joked, "Oh great, then hold on a minute. What else can I buy?!?!" Just kidding, people. Hahaha.

It was a good feeling. Not good because all of a sudden I had this purchasing power, but good because I felt as though I reclaimed some of my personal power. This is my first credit line in over four years.

A new creditor approved me. I have a clean slate here. And I know what to do and I have the discipline to do it.

I've already paid the total bill down by 20%, I should only need six months at the maximum to comfortably pay for my oven in full, well before the two year "interest free" window expires. Needless to say, I will NOT be making any "everyday" purchases with this card for which I would be paying the standard 20+% interest rate.

As much as I want credit to have no parts of my life, the reality is that at some point (soon) I'll need to finance a car - it is just part of living in the world. I need to develop the confidence and comfort level to be able to handle it.

How have you dealt with the anxieties of procuring necessary credit?

Did you find yourself wading in again, like me, with a whole new philosophy about it? I would love to hear your experiences!

Related links:

Would you like to pen a store card and save 10%?

The Credit Card Dilemma

My no regrets purchase

Stacey Pavlick, My Journey Out of Debt Customer BloggerStacey Pavlick

Stacey is a participant in the CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP); soon to complete her second year on the plan. She is a contributing writer for the My Journey out of Debt blog. Stacey works as an operations manager for a title insurance company and moonlights as a music reviewer for www.spectrumculture.com. She combines her passion for writing with her passion for getting out of debt! Read along as Stacey shares her struggles and success along the way. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services. Read some of Stacey's previous posts in the blog Single and Settling In.

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