I Was Financially No One

Back Story…

I moved to the US 10 years ago, when my now-husband and I decided to take a leap of faith and end the long-distance relationship. It was (as you can imagine), pretty intense and bold to leave everything I ever knew back, quit my full-time job, empty my apartment and got rid of most of my belongings to see if this relationship worked. But one of us had to and my husband’s Spanish can’t even get him food.

We settled…

We settled in New Orleans right away (my husband had lived here for 10 years before Katrina and decided to come back to start our lives here). We got into our rented camelback and settled with his dog and our very few belongings. Everything was an exciting new adventure and along with “finally being together” there was this exploring this amazing city.

Things changed when I started looking for a job…

Turns out that my degree in Architecture wasn’t “good” here so I needed my transcripts translated, which was very expensive if you think of the extra classes I would have to take to get the credits I would be probably missing. The issue was, we didn’t have a whole lot of money to invest on that at that time, besides when you work for companies you don’t necessarily need a license so we felt that could wait.

The Question…

Then, the “where did you go to school?” question became a sort of a roadblock since I did not attend high school nor college in the States. My husband is a Houston native so people’s efforts to connect me to some kind of familiar touchstone were very hard. Who knew going to a known high school could open so many doors?!

The Wait…

It took 9 months of sending resumes and calls and getting into weird interviews (learning fast what pyramid scams were and other dubious offers). I was over the moon to finally be able to contribute to the couple’s economy and getting some sort of financial independence. I did not get a job as an architect or a designer, but I was thankful I was out there making a living.

No card for you missy…

Soon we realized that we needed a second car and the fact that I had NO credit history whatsoever became an issue. I had an extension of my husband’s credit card and never really thought I needed my OWN card to build my credit score. Well, that was a catch 22 because as a contractor with no employer and no salary to “warrant” a payment, getting a credit card was impossible, which made it impossible to build my score.

Peace of Mind.

I was lucky enough that my husband has a great score so by him co-signing I would get some grace when it came to interest rates. It suddenly became an issue of peace of mind, if something was to happen to my husband, and I needed to take care of the kids and myself, with no credit history it would be very hard. How would I apply for a loan or buy a new car by myself?

I am still very lucky.

I was very lucky that we didn’t have any urgent matters to care for so we could wait and let it grow. After having the same account for 5 years I was approved for a credit card with a $1000 limit, which was perfectly fine since I had my husband’s cards if needed. My credit score is slowly growing, and my limit has doubled!!! But I am amongst the lucky ones who have a more established person next to them to help.

I am a wife, a mom, a hard-working designer and a tax-payer but when it comes to my financial identity I was no one.

Pray for my husband’s health.


  1. Well look at the bright side, since you are using his card for everything they are not actually your debts. if sometime you decide to leave, you don´t owe a penny. 🙂

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