fix bad credit scoreOkay, so I admit that I don’t have the best credit. Years of immature decisions, shopping trips at Macy’s in college and other wasteful endeavors, have led me to the point of needing credit repair. So when I received an offer in my email box to improve my credit rating, I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately, I should have hit delete! Consumers beware: Continental Finance does not have your best interest at heart.

Let’s start with the fees. When I first opened this account my limit was 300 bucks..not a ton, but a huge help for a student and a mommy (such as myself). Once all of the fees were processed, i was left with a limit of 53 dollars (there is an account set up fee for $99, a participation fee for $89 and an account maintenance fee for $49). So that we always remember how much they care, our friends at Continental Finance also charge an annual fee of $120 that is billed to your statement on a monthly basis. Oh and don’t forget your 30 dollar over limit fee!

Besides outrageous fees, Continental Finance has the worst customer service I have ever come across. The operators are rude, loud and obnoxious. Too many times my phone calls have been met with loud crunching sounds, blaring television sets and even babies crying. The company also feels the need to call you 5 to 6 times daily to remind you that you went over your limit, even if the bill is not due for two weeks and even if they reminded you the day before. Problems with your card? Suspect fraud? Ha! Try to find an operator to discuss credit card issues and see if you speak to a live person within 45 minutes. Oh the virtues of this company…will they ever cease to amaze?!

One card that I do like, nonetheless, is Capitol One’s Master Card. Even if your credit is not perfect, the company treats you with respect and dignity. Unlike Continental Finance, you do not have to pay a huge monthly minimum fee (Continental makes you pay at least 50 bucks a month, even if your bill is only $60). The customer service is just like any other credit card company’s service–prompt and polite. It also probably doesn’t hurt that Capitol One is a major company (so they probably won’t put you through as much nonsense as Continental Finance).

Obviously, the lesson of this story is to try and keep your credit score as high as possible. However, if your credit needs help, please learn from me and do not utilize Continental Finance. Try other companies (such as Capitol One) where you are treated like any other person who is in possession of a credit card. Just because you made some mistakes in the past, does not mean you have to put up with ill treatment in the present and in the future.