Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Two Mrs. Bells

It is often hard in this modern age to untangle confusion. I didn't give it a second thought when my ex-husband died that it would still be effecting my life two years later. We had been divorced for longer than we had been married and he had married his first wife again.

I fortunately only met the sainted Elinor once. By Marc's death bed. She expressed regret that she had won the pitched battle between us. Such is life. It is hard to see ahead to the consequences of our actions. And my error was in keeping my name. I had garnered a reasonable reputation as an artist and writer working with the hyphenated Binford-Bell I still use. Add Jacqui to that mix and Google informs me there is actually only one of me in the world. Marc and I also worked really hard to separate our finances and credit ratings upon our divorce. But then he remarried the sainted Elinor of two chapter 7 bankruptcies.

It was at a time I was not worrying about credit. Head injury. I was more concerned with getting well and surviving but then little minor things occurred that hinted there was a mix up between Mrs. Bell 1 and 3 and me. I was into debit cards and cash purchases and did not worry about it until the van died. When I applied for credit to purchase a used car I was told I had zero credit. Not bad credit but zero credit. As if I had died. Marc had but not me. While trying to explain that Elinor's horrid credit got into the mix. And the not-so-sainted stepson from hell.

Identity theft might have been a blessing. I ended up finding a car I could pay cash for while arguing that 17 years of on time mortgage payments ought to stand for something. I dashed off letters to all three credit bureaus as to who I was and specifically not Ira, Marc or Elinor. Everyone told me I should get a credit card to re-establish my credit but you need credit to do that. And the more you apply for credit the worse your credit rating gets. So you wait them out. Until you get one of those entry level cards with the annual fee, high rates and low balance offers and you charge gas and pay it off each month. Then you wait some more. Six to nine months until someone else thinks you have earned a second chance. Or the first card raises your limit. Credit is not based on paying it all off but how much people will let you not pay off.

The good news is my credit looks really good now. A credit union just offered to lend me $6000.00 on my signature. I still do not want to put that to a test, but we are getting into used car territory. I really like saving up the money to get what I want. But there are things like the roof blowing off or the car blowing up that do not always fit into that scheme. Hopefully I have established who I am well enough to not have this issue again. Google does still say that I am unique.


  1. Even without the credit rating you are unique. Jacqui this is a really interesting read. Having to prove that you are not one of the mentioned people must be hell. My father never had a credit card in his life working on the theory that if you cannot afford it, you don't buy it but then again he was in a position to cover unexpected events!


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