The Winner of the October 2014 Call to Action!

The Winner of the October 2014 Call to Action!

Tee-TetrickThis October at LearnVest, we got into the Halloween spirit. In honor of the spookiest month of the year, we tackled common financial fears, like the fear of running out of money, and offered strategies for getting rid of them.

At the beginning of the month, we asked our readers to take their own financial skeletons out of the closet with our October Call to Action question: What financial fear have you conquered in the past—and how did you do it?

We received over 40 fearless submissions—from the woman who overcame anxieties about managing her finances by herself, to the many readers who mustered up the courage to confront their credit card debt. Thank you to everyone who shared!

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And congratulations to our intrepid winner of this month’s contest, who will receive $100 to help her achieve her financial goals: Tee Tetrick, a marketing specialist from Gainesville, Fla.

Below, check out Tee’s story about building credit—and beating her fear of repeating her family's credit history.

“My parents got divorced when I was a young teen, and after the split my father struggled with his finances (my mother had been the primary breadwinner). While trying to hold up appearances for me, he took on unstable jobs in companies that couldn't hold it together. My dad ended up with a mortgage he couldn't afford and somewhere well over $20,000 in credit card debt after just a couple of years. In the end, he foreclosed on the house and moved back in with his mother while I was in college because he just couldn't dig himself out.

RELATED: 5 Successful Strategies I Used to Tackle $40,000 of Debt

“Watching him go through that, especially as a young adult, I sort of just assumed that the credit cards were to blame. If he hadn't had that credit, if it hadn't been so available, he wouldn't have dug himself such a deep hole and he wouldn't have faced such awful circumstances.

"By the time I left college, I was ready to be one of those off-the-grid, plastic-less types who paid for everything in cash. I already had some student loans and that was scary enough. I didn't want to ever end up in the same situation as my father.

“However, a few years out of college, I ended up working for a financial institution, and suddenly facts about building credit, using cards for good and boosting my FICO score started to become clear.

“Finally, I applied for a credit card and was approved. At first, I was so paranoid I would only use it to buy gas once or twice a month. When I got a little more comfortable, I started using it for all gas, and then some groceries, but I am always careful to stay under my limit and to pay my balance a couple times a month to prevent accruing interest.

“As I've gotten more confident and  watched my credit score go up and my credit limit increase, the biggest benefit I've encountered is knowing that there are so many things I'm not afraid of now. For instance, while the thought of a car loan would have mortified me a few years ago, now I feel confident that I can handle that kind of responsibility. It's exciting to feel that, not only am I in control, but I'm confident in my abilities to stay on the right financial path.”

Thanks for sharing, Tee!

RELATED: I Want to Monitor and Improve My Credit Score

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