Ask Paul: I'm 50, can I fix my credit score in time to buy a house?


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Dear Paul,

I fractured my skull in the Royal Australian Navy 30 years ago and have developed epilepsy.

I went into a massive depression and PTSD and turned to drugs and gambling as a pain reliever.

ask paul clitheroe fix my credit score in time to buy a house

Thanks to the staff at National Centre for Veteran's Health, I am very much cured and moving on with life.

I am now due for a substantial amount of compensation, however, due to my previous gambling habit, I have totally ruined my credit score. I just wanted to know if there was anything I could do to repair my score and if so how would I go about it.

I'm 50 years old and have never thought about being a first home buyer, so any general advice you could give would be greatly appreciated. - Sean

Wow, you have really been through a wringer, Sean.

I was getting very nervous for you as I started reading your email, but that quickly changed as you described the role of the staff at the National Centre for Veterans Health.

This service has been mentioned to me, very positively, by other veterans. I can't begin to tell you how delighted I am that with their support and I know a great deal of effort by you, that you have really turned your life around.

Congratulations, that required a great deal of personal commitment

You mention substantial compensation, so I imagine that this means a very significant home deposit.

With this and I presume a services pension, you should have the key to what a lender wants. I am sure the National Centre for Veterans Health can be a reference here, but your recovery, a substantial deposit and income to meet any repayments on a mortgage will make any lender willing to work with you, feel very positive about you

One thought is to ask The Veterans Health people if they have a "recommended" list of lenders used to dealing with veterans, but armed with honesty, a pot of money and reliable income, I am sure lenders will be very happy to talk to you.

My best wishes for your future Sean.

Need to talk?
Gambler's Help: 1800 858 858
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
Lifeline: 13 11 14

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Paul Clitheroe AM is founder and editorial adviser of Money magazine. He is one of Australia's leading financial voices, responsible for bringing financial insight to Australians through personal finance books, the Money TV show, and this publication, which he established in 1999. Paul is the chair of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board and is chairman of InvestSMART Financial Services. He is the chair of Financial Literacy at Macquarie University where he is also a Professor with the School of Business and Economics. Ask Paul your money question. Unfortunately Paul cannot respond to questions posted in the comments section. View our disclaimer.