Hi, I'm new to the forum and very grateful for stumbling upon it today. I'm really hoping someone could give me some feedback on personal loan options post bk. My husband and I have found ourselves facing infertility and are desperately trying to figure out a way to finance the costs. Unfortunately, time is not on our side, so we can't simply wait and save up. We've been extremely careful with our credit since our bk and have been fortunate to rebuild our scores and have recently purchased a home. However, we've hit quite a road block on how to handle financing for this situation.
First a little background, we were discharged from a ch7 bk almost 4 years ago. Our first joint credit card was a First Premier, Visa with a $425 limit, second card was an Orchard Bank, HSBC with a $300 limit in my husband's name only, and our 3rd card was Capital One, MC with a $1,700 limit in my name only, but just today I added my husband as an authorized user. So, we each have two cards in our name. We have one vehicle in my husband's name that we financed just before the bk and protected, so that loan has never reported on any of his reports, it's like it doesn't even exist. We just purchased a home two months ago that is in both of our names. We have kept a revolving balance on the Capital One a couple of times, but aside from that, I pay off all three cards to a zero balance each month. Aside from 20k in combined student loans, we have no other debt. Prior to purchasing our home, we worked with a credit repair company who helped us clean up our reports. My mid score is 634 and my husband's is 665. They went down a bit after the mtg hit, but I've been told that they should soon rebound and that the mtg will actually help our score quite a bit. I'm hoping this is true.
We are at our wits end trying to figure out a financing solution to the costs, which are anywhere from 10-15k. However, any smaller amounts we could qualify for would be just as helpful. And to be honest, it doesn't even have to be the smartest solution, just knowing there's options would be hopeful at this point. As of today, we have $7,500 in savings, and we will remain a one vehicle household for as long as necessary to keep our debt to income as low as possible and to help us continue to save all that we can in a short period of time. Against our better judgement, we both recently applied with Springstone Financial and were both denied not because of the bk, but because of lack of unsecured credit. My husband has also recently applied for the Discover It card and was denied solely due to the bk. We're at a standstill now and terrified to apply for anything else as we don't want to rack up any more inquiries. But, we have to figure something out. We've been considering moving our savings to a credit union and trying to get a personal loan through them, but we're not sure if we would qualify. Also, as a side note, because we financed our car just before the bk, we have an astronomical rate and a ridiculously high car pymt that we were hoping to refinance at some point. Our thoughts were to possibly refi the car with the same personal loan for fertility, killing two birds. Again, not sure if this is do-able at all, or do-able for those with a bk. Also considered just applying for numerous credit cards and see what we end up with.
Apologies for such a lengthy post and I hope nothing I've mentioned is too personal or against the guidelines. It feels odd putting your financial story out there for all to see. I would greatly appreciate any thoughts or feedback about our situation. We're open to any and all suggestions. Thanks ever so much.
I'm in the same boat credit wise, BK just over 3years ago, but I realized that in order to get ahead I had to get back on the credit "horse" and play the game..
I think you haven't been aggressive enough in securing sources of credit from credit cards to help show that you're a good risk. It's a common mistake to think you can just not use credit and that will show how disciplined you are.
I'd immediately try the Apple or NFL card (through Barclay) and one or two of the GE cards(Walmart, Sams, Amazon etc.) and maybe Target. If you can move some everyday expenses to credit that would help your savings and if you churn enough accounts by charging and paying responsibly your credit should improve along with your limits.
Elsewhere on this forum is a description on how to contact the Cap One executive office about an increase. And should your Health Care provider use Care Credit perhaps you should try that too.
Going forward it's important to get credit and use it. Just like exercise. Stretch and relax your credit muscle.
Thanks so much, jumpinjoe and starry! I actually thought we had opened too many cards at this point, so I’ll have to start researching the best ones to apply for and take the plunge. We get offers from Barclay all the time in the mail. In fact, I saved a pre screened offer in my husband’s name for the Barclay Rewards MC, no AF. Should I have him go ahead and apply using that ID code or should we look into the specific Apple or NFL card? I thought I read somewhere here that the no AF cards are harder to get with smaller limits? I’ll also call Cap One and ask about a credit increase. Anything would be helpful at this point.
My biggest fear in applying for more cards or credit is that we’ll be denied and start racking up too many inq’s. But what you’re saying is to try and research the cards that will most likely accept us and just take our chances? What is a good number of cards to have for each of us? Should we each apply for the same cards separately? Should I pay them off to zero each month or leave a 9% revolving balance?
Starry, I didn’t know Care Credit had an actual credit card, but I’ll definitely have to look into that. We’d gladly bite the bullet on the high rate. Although, Springstone Financial already declined us for not having enough unsecured credit. They’re another medical loan company, so if we were declined by them, isn’t there a good chance we’d be declined by all the others or do you think we have a shot? Our combined household income is $85k.
Sorry for so many questions. I thought we were pretty knowledgable when it came to rebuilding our credit, but turns out we know nothing! I will definitely be reading as much as I can here. So thankful to have found such a great resource. Thanks again!
I would try Care Credit before anything else. They are GE so reasonably easy to get approval for, plus the limits tend to be higher and in the range that would be useful for you. Of course it requires that your provider accept Care Credit (it's its own thing and type of card, not like a Visa or MasterCard that CareCredit issues). Anyone know if that magic GE underwriting number services CareCredit or not?
Barclay requires decent amount of rebuilding post-BK before they'll approve -- you may end up with a tiny limit like $500, but eventually they do grow and they are receptive to calling and talking to underwriters to try and explain for more. Just don't expect a $10,000 approval. I think my first Barclay post-BK was $1900 after being declined 3 months prior to that. Long term this would be a good card for you, but probably wouldn't be that useful to your immediate concerns.
If you had the proper military affiliation, I think NFCU would be perfect. They could likely accommodate a decent limit and even have promo rates right now. They are far more generous in limits than most anyone else you're going to find with a fresh BK.
Bostonte, thanks for all the great info. Unfortunately, our provider doesn't accept Care Credit. I even did a live chat with them last night just to make sure I wasn't missing any loopholes or ways I could still apply using our current dr. We haven't ruled out the possibility of switching dr's to someone more financing friendly, but we're hoping it doesn't come to that. You have me thinking about the NFCU route. I have many former Navy and Army family members, closest would be half brother who's former Army and served 3 tours in the middle east, but not sure if I'm comfortable asking them about membership. From what I read on their website, they have to be current members and I'd need their membership number. I couldn't just sign up on my own without having to involve them, is that correct? We're willing to do anything at this point, so I might just have to swallow my pride and ask. Wouldn't be easy.
I think we're going to go ahead and apply for the Barclay card. Can anyone tell me if the rewards card pre screening offer we received in the mail is the one we have the best chance with? Or should we try for a different one? We aren't in the market for any Apple products right now or any other specific product, just a general cc. Thanks again.
I would agree with trying CareCredit, as well as some credit unions, they will be most lenient with the BK on your file.
As far as NFCU goes...if your half-brother is eligible, but not a member, you can still join. You have to it by phone though, so if he fits the criteria on the website and is eligible, then I would join. They are very BK friendly, but at this point (4 years) any credit union should be friendly to you as far as loans/credit.
I would definitely recommend a credit union. They are the best.
I filed BK around the same time as you (Jan 2008) and my current cards are in my sig. Barclay's is great, just inq sensitive so apply for them last. Do you have pets? Many veterinary hospitals will take Care Credit. SO will dentists. The only drawback to care credit is that they don't automatically increase your limits and any credit line increase is a hard pull.
Shop your local credit unions. They rock!