I have been reading this forum for some time now and LOVE all of the important information that it passes on to people like me. That being said, I have a situation that I would like to put out to the forum for some advice and opinions. First some background info....
So I filed for BK Ch 13 in July 2010. Prior to that I had numerous late payments, a house that I had to "short sale" prior to the BK, and a car that was repo'd by GMAC prior to the BK. Oddly enough, it was the car that pushed me over the edge when I received a letter from GMAC saying that I was still responsible for 17k in deficiency from them auctioning off the vehicle. So I decided to file and everything was put into the Chapter 13 plan. Immediately following the filing, my scores all dropped into the mid 500's as expected. Since then I have been diligently (and almost obsessively) trying to rebuild my credit. Slowly but surely I have built up the various CC's that you can see in my signature. Im actually fairly pleased with where my scores are currently, but I'm not satisfied. There are also some issues with my Experian report that need to be disputed, which is why my score is so low with them; but I digress. The BK was only filed by me personally. My wife was not included and still has absolutely STELLAR credit (Mid-High 800's across the board....). That being said our house and both cars are in her name only. The only things left on my 3 credit profiles are my student loans and the 3 CC's My student loan balance total is 15k and my 3 CC's are all at zero. I never use more than 25% AC and pay the balance off each month. At last check, my DTI was around 8-10% total. That includes my BK payment. So far so good I would think. Now that brings me to the reason I am here today.
In my never ending obsession to improve my score, I feel as though I have somewhat "Plateau'ed". Im looking for ANYTHING that I can do to help it move higher, without incurring anymore debt.
Question 1. Is it safe to assume that I have worn out the "New CC" method? I have a ton of inq.'s on my credit profile's from the ones I have and ones I didn't get approved for.
So the next thing I have looked at doing is buying a car. And by new I mean new to me, not newest model year. Unfortunatley I really do not want the expense of buying a new car; i.e. TT&L. I love the car I have now and am making double payments on it. I owe 9k'ish on it and it will probably book out at 10-11k.
Question 2: Should I look at refinancing it into my name? Until reading on this forum I didn't even know refinancing a car even existed? Any recommended refinancing options? Possible rates?
The next option is to refinance our house. It seems a simple answer given we are currently in a 5/1 ARM at 5.25%, right? Not so fast....lol. We purchased the house in 2009 so have very little to no equity. My wife is a physician and we have a special mortgage through Suntrust called a Physician Loan. It is a 100% loan with no PMI. Now we can refinance with them into a 15 year fixed at roughly 3%, but the problem is, is that I cannot be within a mile of the application. So if I want to be on the loan that essentially leaves us going FHA. The rates are all similar, but the fee's and the PMI that we would be forced to pay is not. Not too mention the $400 appraisal and application fee's we would have to pay to go the FHA route.
Question 3: Would the "ends justify the means" as my dad used to say? Would the bump I receive in my credit justify the added expense that we would have too incur just to get my name on the mortgage?
Question 4: How big of a bump can I expect from any of these options? If one had to prioritize one over the other, how would they rank if any?
So on a side-note, I have scheduled an appointment with my BK attorney to find out the possibility of reworking my plan into a 36 month plan. I am exactly 24 months into the original 60 month plan and am kind of regretting choosing the 60 month option. I looked at it back then as being like "0% financing" and figured, why not pay it off in 5 years when it isn't costing me any money to do so. Regrettably, I have since figured out that the holy grail of BK is that "Discharge Letter", and had I chosen the 36 month plan I would be 2/3rds of the way there by now. So in closing one final question .......
Question 5: Am I rushing this whole thing? Should I just let everything run its' course? Am I expecting too much too fast?
Thank you all SO much in advance for your comments and suggestions and I apologize for rambling on.