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New Member
sclovette
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-24-2012

Planning For Recovery

[ Edited ]

 Ok,


So I have been diligently searching around the net and reading article after article of steps and processes on recovering your score in the quickest amount of time possible after a Chapter 7 filing. I'll highlight my main questions with numbers to make them stand out, the rest will be fulfilling details that may help with your idea directions.

Some details about my situation first:

  • Finally opted to file in October 2012. Took me two years of trying to salvage from job losses, business failures and personal relationship disintegration before I finally decided the time/effort required to keep up was like digging a hole in the sand. I would rather spend that time rebuilding a clean slate.   

  • Among discharged items is a small mortgage through BofA (70k), an unsecured loan (20K, a refinance loan on the remaining balance from a sold vehicle), two Capital One CCs (<1k)  and some small collection accounts from a  forgotten about Qwest account and random attorney's fees (<4k).

  • I am currently employed with a stable job (FINALLY!) making a fraction of what I used to, but it's a job at least.


The ultimate motivating factor behind the decision to file was looking back at the fight. As I cycled through minor jobs to try and stay afloat, I found myself paying one account one month and another the next. After two years my credit report looked like a Freddy Krueger crime scene. I was keeping the accounts from defaulting, but I was also destroying my credibility in the process. In my view dragging out detriment over years vs. filing and then focusing on recovering from one hard slap.

Pre-contacting the attorney, I did (and still am doing) research on methods people have employed to rebuild their scores and financial reputation as quickly as possible. Three years ago I was on my second rotating lease for my Audi, packed around an AMEX that routinely got me into concerts that were sold out and generally lived a life of stable financial orientation. I am most concerned with responsibly getting back to that lifestyle.

  1. Now, it is my understanding that there's not much I can do about rebuilding until everything is discharged. Is this correct? It pains me I have to wait potentially months before I can start repairing.


In the meantime, I have shut down all bank accounts in existence before the filing date. I figure rebuilding needs to start fresh, from accounts that don't have their numbers floating around other financial offices. After some research I opened new accounts at USAA (wonderful experience so far btw, the internet reputation is spot on.) and moved any cash I had from the closings into it. Essentially making it the only asset and viable account I currently have. Untied and unbenounced to any previous financial accounts.

The next move should be credit related. A month past DOF and I'm already receiving offers of credit for auto loans. For the most part I throw them away. Not because a new car is out of the question, but because I'm not interested in being forced to buy an overpriced car with an overpriced loan. (In case some don’t know, these offers are from dealerships that mark-up the principle cost on the car well above KBB and then finance them with extremely high interest loans. So essentially you’re getting screwed twice.) Now, I'm well aware of the fact that getting any reasonable rates and offers is going to be a fairy tale for a while, but after reading around I believe if you choose carefully and research obsessively before doing anything, you can form a plan path of greatest potential.

 2.   So with that, what’s the very best move to begin rebuilding fast?

Here's what I've found so far: Secured cards are fine, but far from the best option in terms of rebuilding quickly. What you want is a traditional card even at the sacrifice of higher interests & fees (common sense involved, obviously). Keep this card at a revolving balance below 27% of the available credit amount. Capital One seems to come up often as being the best option here. The idea is to get ahold of one of these as quickly as you can, so you can start building a positive history again.

Having an AMEX before, I want one again. I loved that card. So after calling them and reading around on the net there's really only one path to possibly getting back into that club as quickly as possible and it's not guaranteed (Also assuming you didn’t have a balance with them in the BK. If you did, they hate you and you’ll be playing ball with the last picked kid at recess). They have recently released their prepaid cards and in the beginning they spoke of holding one of these card for a while with good spending habits and you'll receive an invitation to apply for a traditional credit card after a certain unannounced time. Not sure if it's true or if anyone has successfully gotten back in using this method. So if you have or heard of someone, let me know.

 3.   Stick with the one card for a while or systematically apply for multiples over the next couple years?

I have read a couple times about people initially getting the Capital One card referenced above. Then after 6-8 months of good rapport with it, applying for an additional card through a different company with better terms. It made sense to me as after the first 12 months the promotional incentives on some of these cards expire, so replacing it in the right time frame is smart. My understanding is it also builds your history faster as you add-on different financial companies with positive feedback over time to your report. The concept makes logical sense, but I thought I'd see what the opinions on here are.

 4.   Is obtaining an auto loan worth it?

My current vehicle is falling apart. I can probably get another year out of it, but I'm going to need to replace it soon. Now, these offers I'm getting in the mail are **bleep**, but I'm wondering if it would be smart to see about special financing (high interest loan) for a small auto loan (6-10K) within a year after discharge. I'm not interested in trying to buy nice the first go round, I'll just need something that is economical and the small loan can be manageable as well as contribute to my positive history. I figure the diversity in credit isn't a bad thing either. CC's can go so far, but having a vehicle loan obtained post-BK and paid off within 2 years after filing may be a great thing. If this notion is horribly wrong I can buy one cash, my thoughts where I'd be happy to pay a little extra in finance charges if it will help quicken my FICO recovery. No?

All in all, if I have to sit and wait for this thing to discharge I want to spend that time precisely planning a quick and perfect recovery. Obtaining the right CC's at the right time and making the most effective/efficient financial moves.

I'll be joining the 2013 Fitness Challenge as soon as it's posted to help record and report my progress to you all.

So, what are some of your experiences and what do you all recommend? Are my understandings accurate? What would you do (or have you done) in my position?

I'm most interested in those of you who have recently gone through this, as y’all have recent market experience. I plan to eventually write about my experiences and share my learnings with those considering this move a couple years from now.

Thank you for any insight and comments.

-Colter

Frequent Contributor
shols44
Posts: 397
Registered: ‎11-03-2012

Re: Planning For Recovery

[ Edited ]

Colter,  congrats on moving on with your life. BK can be tough, but honestly for me it was a life saver. I like you, suffered huge business losses and dug deeper, used my 50k in credit limits to spot-weld and eventually came to realize BK was the way to go. 

 

Your plan should involve getting positive tradelines reporting ASAP, and ensuring your CR is reporting accurately as quickly as possible, so a monitoring service with 3-daily pullers will be your friend. Also, sign up for creditkarma. Dispute till kingdom come until lines are reporting accurate information. I am currently working on a 24 month plan to re-enter the 700+ club. Bear in mind, I burned AMEX, Citi, Chase and Capone in my BK. Also, do your best to app sparingly, I use whogavemecredit and credit pulls database to verify before I app for anything. INQs will hurt you. 

 

So the plan, month 1,1.  use Capone's soft puller, see if you qualify for any of their unsecured products. If not, get their secured card for what ever limit you like. Cap one forgives and will report to all three. Never ever have over 10% util. I would also consider a small credit builder loan from a CU or an autoloan that you can handle. The rate will likely be abysmal but you can refi if your LTV is reasonable. 

 

2. 3 months after secured, app for a Capone unsecured and CreditOne card. CreditOne is horrible, but they have a soft pull prequalifier. You should now have several positive tradelines. Consider opening a few cards via shopping cart trick. They should help your util and available credit limit (Buckle, express, Jcrew, roamans, vsecrets are known culprits for the trick)

 

3. Around 6-7 months after your first tradeline began reporting, Barclays should enter the mix. Their apple card seems to be very favoravble. 

 

4. At 12 months, Discover. ( This is my plan)

 

I am only a few months in, my score has gone from 400s pre BK to 500s post BK to 650s 6 months out. I will be back at 700 within 24 months if I let my accounts age properly and stick to my plan I think. Also, I will close CreditOne at 11 months for sure. 

 

For the immediate future, I would forget about AMEX, BOA, Chase, and Citi. They are likely to decline with vengeance and gusto. With time, and care of your lines, things should be looking good pretty quickly. 


Starting Score: 501
Current Score: 706 EQ,TU 689,EX 686
Goal Score: 720

Valued Contributor
chasmith
Posts: 1,062
Registered: ‎05-26-2010

Re: Planning For Recovery

Adding my thought to those of shold44...

 

Right now be sure you have current hard copies of your three credit reports.  Your lawyer probably pulled them, but it;s critical to have the real reports from the free annual credit reports site (the real one).  The reason is that as you clean up after discharge you may need to prove things.  For example I discharged a GECRB account, they tried to change others they had previously closed to IIB.  Because I could prove they were closed prior to filing I was able to get them changed back to closed, zero balance, with no negatives.  You also need accurate DOFD information.

 

Other than that there's not much you should do before discharge.

 

If you discharged CapOne you may not be able to get even a secured card from them.  That was my experience, what was frustrating was that that they approved me then denied me after receiving my deposit.  (HSBC did the same thing).  There are other options.

 

You mentioned you opened an account with USAA.  Are you a "full" (insurance qualified member) or a banking customer?  I see back and forth about whether their secured cards are available to less than "full" members.  They offer a secured, true Amex card, as well as a secured Mastercard.  The downside is their secured cards don't "graduate".

 

If you were eligible for USAA full membership, are you eligible for Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) membership?  The rules are a bit different between the two but worth looking into.  I would open checking and savings accounts at NFCU now with direct deposit.  Then wait until discharge, apply for credit from NFCU, and if denied then do a secured "double play" by taking a secured installment loan, then using the proceeds to secure a secured VISA.  I've heard of many people getting unsecured credit right after discharge from NFCU, I didn't even ask, I went with secured products right after discharge.  My secured card graduated after a year with an increase in limit.  16 months after discharge I refinanced a car loan at 5.99%.

 

If you aren't able to join NFCU look into other CU options in your area.  You may qualify for one through you employer.  Many CUs will work with you after discharge.  Other than USAA I won't deal with a bank again if I can help it, CUs are much better IMHO.

 

To maximize your score you need "two or three" national credit cards, and installment loan, and eventually a mortgage if you choose to buy a home.  (Paradox of credit scoring as one mortgage broker put it - "the best way to raise your score is to get a mortgage").  Store cards aren't as good.  Definitely keep total utilization below 30% on revolving debt (below 10% is better).  If you get a secured card each from USAA and NFCU along with a secured installment loan that's your best shot.

 

The car is a risk.  I had to deal with a lease vehicle return, luckily I was able to finance a certified used car with Ford Motor Credit at 11% 9 mos after discharge (many years of positive experience with FMC, no discharge with them), refied seven months after with NFCU.  I just traded that car in and got a new Ford on 66 mos zero percent through FMC.  I would NOT deal with the bankruptcy programs sending you mailers. 

 

 

 

 

BK7 Filed 8/11/2009 Discharged 11/23/2009. Purchased new home 4/11/2012
Starting Score:11/16/2009 EQ 566 11/16/2009 TU 538
Interim Score: 12/27/2012 EQ 683 09/17/2012 EX (lender) 670 1/01/2013 TU 701
Current Score: 11/06/2013 EQ 708 11/06/2013 EX 702 11/16/2013 702 11/06/2013 TU 729
Goal Score: EQ 740 EX 740 TU 740
Take the FICO Fitness Challenge
New Member
sclovette
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-24-2012

Re: Planning For Recovery

[ Edited ]

Thanks so much for the opinions and viewpoints! I think, gathering from both your thoughts, that keeping revolving balances really low across a few cards is better than keeping one or two cards at higher but still low % revolving balances of available credit. Makes sense, keeps diversity on the report while maintaining debt to income ratios.

Being an economics and statistical head, I'm most interested in the numbers and algorithms the system is designed around. If I can gather views and experiences from others maybe I can use Zaller-Deffuant style thinkings to get close to what's going on there and design a plan with extreme accuracy.

I began preparing for this move months ago and started closing the major bank's (AMEX, Citi, Chase) accounts with me to try and reduce the amount of blacklists I end up on. The only one I wasn't able to keep off the BK list was NFCU. That unsecured loan was a refinanced default balance from a closed new Auto loan I had with NFCU. After selling the car they took two years to do the refinance into that unsecured loan and when they did finally get around to it I was already knee deep in crap trying to stay afloat.  

So, I may be wrong, but I doubt seriously NFCU will want to get back in business with me at all. The USAA accounts are consumer banking accounts and I don't qualify for their casualty insurance division, limiting me in the products I can have with them. The checking and savings I have with them has been great so far and their customer service is fantastic, but I think I'll eventually be moving to a bank I can keep everything with (auto loans, cc's, etc..). Chase maybe?

When I first filed, about two weeks after actually, my score shot up from a 502 to 634. I signed up for score watch on here and it's now down in the 435 range. :-/

I'm hoping once everything is discharged I can go through the hassle of getting everything sorted out properly. I'm meticulous about things like that anyway, so it was always the plan.

I noticed you guys recommended different service for credit management. I had TrueCredit (TU) monitoring service for 3 years or so and I liked it, but it's TU. I've never had a bank pull TU scores for credit checks. Almost always experian or equifax. So, I want a service that works closely with them to make the process easier.

What do you recommend to use? MyFico, Truecredit, Credit Karma? I know they all offer the same style service, but which one is easiest and most effective at repairing & monitoring miss-reports?

Thanks again for the comments.

-Colter

 

**EDIT**

 

So after doing some google research it would seem that the scoring products out there are a HUGE jumbled mess. Between a FAKO, FICO, FICO 8 and what some companies pass on simply calling a "Credit Score", it's nearly impossible to decipher what the real number is. In fact, most service providers provide scores to consumers that are usually 30-100 points higher than the actual score. So good luck walking into a finance department with sincere confidence.

However, the MyFico product is supposed to be the most accurate one to what a finance company will pull. Providing actual FICO scores to the consumer. From what I read, they're alone in that right, as every other provider gives you either FAKO or self generated "Credit Scores" that are meant to be within a "range" of your actual FICO score. BS if you ask me. Experian doesn't even offer the consumer the actual score they provide to financial companies, for some reason this bugs me to no end. It's my score and I don't see how they have the right to conceal my own personal information from me. I see someone suing them at some point in the near future. For that score to dictate so much in our lives financially, it seems like a right to know.  

Anyway, just passing on my findings...

Established Contributor
aussiesareforever
Posts: 740
Registered: ‎10-04-2010

Re: Planning For Recovery

I was going to add a little bit about my personal experience with Chapter 7 and the recovery process

 

I got a Capital One unsecured card about 2-3 months after my BK was discharged. I had included 2 Capital One cards in the discharge btw. Your milage may vary but it is definitely worth trying Capital One. You may be prequalified for one of their products but even if you are not, I will try applying for an unsecured card first.

 

Unless you have plans to buy a house in the near future, slow and steady wins the race. My recommendations will be to hold on to your first card for at least six months to a year. Don't get an auto loan unless you absolutely need a new car cause your interest rate will be significantly better in a year (and you'll have more options- including Capital One auto, who offered me a pretty decent rate (5%) about two years post BK). The most important thing will be to pay your bills on time, every single time. Never, ever, ever be late.

 

MY recommendations for a second card will be Barclay, Discover, your local credit union, and something GE backed, like Walmart. All those cards have the potential of growing with you. Capital One more than likely will not although they are currently in a funk right now and are handing out CLI like candy. The longer of a period you wait between the first card and the second, the chances of an approval goes up significantly. Which is why I would deifnitely wait as long as reasonably possible to get a second card. I waited a little over two years, which is longer than what most people on here will tell you but it worked pretty well for me. I haven't been denied for a single thing I applied for post BK, except for an Amex but that is a different story altogether.

 

Amex is not BK friendly. From what I gathered from your post, you did not include them in the BK so they may be a little bit more favorable but I think your odds are pretty slim. There are reports of individuals on here who have gotten an Amex before the BK fell of their credit reports. Generally the approval happened about 7-8 years post discharge for most of those individuals. Amex has a program (Optima I believe, maybe Oasis) where they will issue a card as long as you pay back your obligations to them. I'm not sure how that would work for you since you actually don't owe them any money.

 

I'm almost five years post BK (5 years in January) and I'm thankful for the opportunities it has provided me. I'm a LOT more credit savvy than I was before filing and I have been able to take charge of my financial future. I know that I am in a position to get most any loan I want- unless I apply to BK unfriendly creditors. Recovery is fun and totally gratifying. I am thankful for the information I got on this site. Read as much as possible but don't get the app fever. Good luck on your recovery!!!

BK in 2008, after making very stupid financial decisions.

Barclay's Apple Financing Card ($6400) --- Capital One Quicksilver ($10,000)---GEMB CareCredit ($5700) --- AUFCU ($10000)--- Walmart ($5000)

FICO Scores: TU 735 EQ 709 EX 740 (Feb 2013, all pulled by lender)

Established Contributor
aussiesareforever
Posts: 740
Registered: ‎10-04-2010

Re: Planning For Recovery

I also forgot to say that you shouldn't waste your time with the AMEX prepaid card. I tried that route too, as did many other people on the forum. Not helpful at all.

BK in 2008, after making very stupid financial decisions.

Barclay's Apple Financing Card ($6400) --- Capital One Quicksilver ($10,000)---GEMB CareCredit ($5700) --- AUFCU ($10000)--- Walmart ($5000)

FICO Scores: TU 735 EQ 709 EX 740 (Feb 2013, all pulled by lender)

Established Member
hrguy
Posts: 50
Registered: ‎11-06-2012

Re: Planning For Recovery

[ Edited ]

Just giving my two cents as I am a recent dischargee myself (July 2012). 

 

I see you are with USAA - but know that they are not BK friendly.  Do your research on BK friendly creditors and banks to start off with first.  My first rule out of d/c was, I was not banking with anyone who had a policy of not lending to BKers for a set amount of time.  USAA tends to not be BK friendly as a lender for 3-5 years post discharge, not to mention most get them confused with a credit union, when they are indeed just a bank - a military bank.

 

Credit Unions are going to be your best friend post-bk.  Forget about Amex for the next few years until that BK falls off - and sometimes not even then.  They used to have the Oasis program that gave you a chance back in with them by repaying your old debt, but I heard that was abolished very recently.

 

Join a good credit union - their sole purpose is not to make money off of you - but to create a better contributing member of the organization by ensuring you get your credit back into good shape.  Be upfront, and they will tell you their policies, as all credit unions are not good.  I did the same as you - when I started consulting attorneys I closed current accounts and moved to a new credit union - not sure what I was going to do, and when I filed I didnt have any products with them so they were not in my BK, but after the fact I found out that their "internal policy" was not to lend to anyone who filed bankruptcy for at least three years - even if you miraculously got your scores up to 800 in that three year time frame - it would still result in a denial, which was understandable.  What made me even more adamant about closing the account, which I did btw - was that even for a secured card that would be locked and backed by my deposit to help me rebuild would also fall under this guideline - I would not be allowed even a secured card.

 

Your result may vary with Cap One post BK - I havent tried since September and I was d/c just in July, but people say that they give you a second chance if you BK them.  I tried, and I will tell you that my credit did not get pulled, the denial came back before they even got to that step and the denial was always the same (three times) "Previous delinquency with Capital One" which I respect, for the fact that they did not pull my three bureaus only to deny me as Cap One does for some reason - they like to pull all three bureaus to make decisions.  Regardless, I see it as a blessing, because most times people that do get approved get into the credit steps program, that goes no higher than 750 for the credit line.  As your BK ages, having that small line will cause new creditors to follow suit with smaller lines - then you will get pissed off, and want to close that line to prevent this cycle, which will only hurt you because you would be closing your oldest line. 

 

I did my research and decided it was best for me not to risk all the inquiries to be denied or given small unsecured lines that will hurt my future - I went the Secured route.  I did this with Navy Federal and Apple Federal Credit Unions, and with both of these lines, they will graduate to unsecured in 1 year after opening with satisfactory payment history for at least the initial deposit (I did 1000 each) if not more and they do not report as Secured Cards incase I decide to apply elsewhere which I did ( I will get to that in a little bit).  Even if they do report as secured, it has the same positive effect on your Fico - and when they graduate the cards, you keep the same account numbers and history so it does not hurt your average age of accounts (a fico factor). I did this as follows, and this is called the 1-2 punch and is quite effective if you go this route to start;

 

I asked for a share secured loan with both Navy and Apple for 1000 each - they put 1000 on hold in my savings, and issued me a check for 1000 (so that is 2000 out of my pocket for now - ok fine).  I took the 1000 that both of them gave me to open a Secured Visa for 1000, so now I have 4 positive tradelines of $4000 reporting with only tying up $2000 dollars.  As I pay the secured loan monthly, it gets released back to my savings - so I pay 75 a month, of which 73 gets back to me right on the spot (2 dollars interest paid at most monthly) - so for $2 a month, I pay them the priveledge to increase my credit score until it is paid off....I took 12 month terms for the loans, so essentially at the end of the 12 months, I paid two loans satisfactorily, got my $2000 back in increments, and by time this all is done, my two secured cards are graduating - so then I get another $2000 back - this time next year, I will have 4 positive tradelines reported post BK, and I simply tied up my own money which btw grows interest and will be paid to you on completion.

 

Seeing this positive history already - I applied for a Barclay Rewards Visa, and they approved me - all they saw was my new positive credit post BK, they couldnt tell that it was Secured, and the analyst even said to me " I see your BK history and you are on the right track, do well with this new card we are going to give you - and you will get automatic increases"....the secured route paid off for me.  And what did Barclay do?  Since I was so fresh out, and demonstrated good history, they started me with the same $1000 credit line they saw on my reports just to test me....if I had got that Cap One for $300 or 500 unsecured, thats probably what they would have given me.  Not to mention, depending on who you get these new unsecured cards with - they are known in the credit industry to other creditors, so sometimes just the name of certain creditors will cause denials in future credit on your reports (i.e First Premier, CreditOne, Applied Bank...etc).  Secured Credit Union cards not so much, because credit unions are not classified as subprime lenders or consumer finance companies. 

 

One or two credit cards?  Two to three revolving lines (credit cards) maximize fico points, just one will help, but best is two to three.  I did two for now, albeit they are secured, the two secured led to my one unsecured so now I have three.

 

Yes, it is best to wait until discharge for any clean-up credit repair - all other attempts will be in vain as if you apply for credit now before d/c nobody will touch you.

 

Utilization @ 27% is good, but below 10% gives you maximum Fico points.  If you get three cards, keep the reported balance below 10% on just ONE card, not 10% combined across all three.  You get max points when two of the three report a 0 balance - sometimes this isnt realistic to maintain - but you want it this way before you apply for any new cards or loans.  It is said 5% is the best in fico scoring, but after 10% it slow decreases your points, and after 30% it tanks it - so stay under 10%, most experts here will concur that this is correct and I see it in my own fico scoring that I monitor.  When I creep above 10%  I start seeing a fast decline.  With that said, 0% is even worse.  You get no brownie points for having all credit cards reporting at 0.  YOu have to show that you responsibly use credit, so I usually let a 5-10 dollar balance report to show utilization in my fico scoring.

 

Is an auto loan worth it?  Yes and no.  Installment loans (personal loans, auto loans, student loans) do little for Fico scoring on the credit side of things like getting new cards and loans, but it does help with future car purchases - lenders pull auto enhanced ficos that factor in past and present auto loan history - so with a good paid/paying auto loan - you may see a Fico of lets just say 670 - but when you go to a dealer he may pull 730, the difference could mean 730 qualified you for top tier leasing or 0% financing, but 670 would give you 5-7%, which would you rather pay?  These are obtainable with BK history.  Car loans will be the easiest to get approved for after discharge, your interest rate will not be pretty - that is where your credit union will come into play.  Cars are in essense secured loans like secured credit cards...you may find a creditor who will NOT give you a credit card but that same creditor WILL give you an auto loan because the car secures it.  Credit unions are your friends here too.  Cap One may give you 21% out of discharge, a credit union will give you 10% with the same score.....3 months post BK - I was freaking out as my car loan that I was paying on thru bankruptcy was falling apart that I did not reaffirm.  I searched high and low...Roadloans approved me @ 24%....I decided I would walk before I took that.  Took a chance with my credit union, Apple who previously said no to a unsecured credit card, and they said "sure you can, 10.74% for any auto any amount" which btw 10.74 is high for the normal person, but EXTREMELY good for a person 3 months post discharge, I was happy!  This was based on a 600 TU Fico score, the same one here offered on Myfico.  I was reasonable and said, ok with that high of a rate, let me be practical after driving Infinitis, high-end Honda Accords and go to Toyota and just get a used Corolla for 10-15k, I'll buy new in a few years.  The salesman was so nice, he kept persisting to "just let me see what I can do for you, let me pull and submit to Toyota", we had already had a deal set-up for a used 2010 corolla at 12k that would have been 340 a month with the 10.74% from the credit union with 2000 down.  I finally gave in, and let him see - I already had my approval if they said no - what was one more inquiry?

 

Toyota Financial pulled my auto enhanced Fico from Transunion - and as I said, my normal Transunion fico on here was just 600.  My auto-enhanced came back at 650, a 50 point difference.  That put me into Tier 3, which RIGHT NOW until January 2013 qualifies for Tier 1 rates - you can lease or get 0% financing on brand new Toyotas for 60 months or finance certified used at 1.9%.  BTW...I have no history with Toyota, in-fact when my fico was 730 before BK they had denied me.  I had no lates or derogatory credit history.  They approved me to lease a BRAND NEW 2013 Toyota Corolla S fully loaded, gave me $1500 customer cash and my lease payment is 236.00 a month, no cash out of my own pocket for 36 months.  Not even in half an hour's time this was all done, it took them even longer to find me the color I wanted than it took for them to get the approval.  I have never been really fond of their designs, I've always like Nissan and Honda - but guess what, they earned my business from now on by giving me a chance so soon after discharge.  And best thing about them - even if my credit never improves or I mess up again down the road, if I pay them on-time every month, they will finance me for life at top tier rate - they own Lexus, so when my lease is up - I can go to Lexus and get whatever I want and can afford - no questions asked even if my fico is 400 and nobody else will finance me.  They even called and offered me the Toyota Rewards Visa card to earn points towards my next purchase when the lease is up - oh and that 236.00 payment?  That was originally 255.00 when we signed the deal, Toyota called two weeks later and had made an oversight, and placed me one tier higher which brought the payment down to 236.00...can you imagine?  With a three month old bankruptcy, and all of my bankrupcty accounts reporting...:smileysurprised:

 

All of this, because I started with two secured cards, less than three months old at the time, I signed for my new lease on 10/31/2012 - just three months over my discharge date.  So it is all possible, if I had not joined my two credit unions that would even ALLOW me to get secured credit, this may not have happened. 

 

Moral of the story, reasearch BK friendly credit unions and creditors - and stay away from just any unsecured card as your future credit will depend on it - as you can see, going the secured route got me back in with prime financial institutions not even 4 months post discharge.

 

Sorry to be so detailed, but I'm happy to pass on the info that was passed on to me just not that long ago from members here and other forums.  You're on the right track as I was, reading and asking questions while pending discharge - that way you can come out of the discharge gate running.

Filed BK 7: 2/28/2012 | Discharged: 7/24/2012
POST BK APPROVALS:
NFCU nRewards Secured Visa: $1000 7/12| Apple FCU Secured Visa: $1000 9/12
Toyota Finance Lease: 0% | 0.0008 MF 10/12
Barclay Apple Finance Visa: $2200 1/13
NFCU cashRewards Visa: $2500 3/13

Regular Contributor
StartingLifeOver
Posts: 136
Registered: ‎02-06-2009

Re: Planning For Recovery


shols44 wrote:

Colter,  congrats on moving on with your life. BK can be tough, but honestly for me it was a life saver. I like you, suffered huge business losses and dug deeper, used my 50k in credit limits to spot-weld and eventually came to realize BK was the way to go. 

 

Your plan should involve getting positive tradelines reporting ASAP, and ensuring your CR is reporting accurately as quickly as possible, so a monitoring service with 3-daily pullers will be your friend. Also, sign up for creditkarma. Dispute till kingdom come until lines are reporting accurate information. I am currently working on a 24 month plan to re-enter the 700+ club. Bear in mind, I burned AMEX, Citi, Chase and Capone in my BK. Also, do your best to app sparingly, I use whogavemecredit and credit pulls database to verify before I app for anything. INQs will hurt you. 

 

So the plan, month 1,1.  use Capone's soft puller, see if you qualify for any of their unsecured products. If not, get their secured card for what ever limit you like. Cap one forgives and will report to all three. Never ever have over 10% util. I would also consider a small credit builder loan from a CU or an autoloan that you can handle. The rate will likely be abysmal but you can refi if your LTV is reasonable. 

 

2. 3 months after secured, app for a Capone unsecured and CreditOne card. CreditOne is horrible, but they have a soft pull prequalifier. You should now have several positive tradelines. Consider opening a few cards via shopping cart trick. They should help your util and available credit limit (Buckle, express, Jcrew, roamans, vsecrets are known culprits for the trick)

 

3. Around 6-7 months after your first tradeline began reporting, Barclays should enter the mix. Their apple card seems to be very favoravble. 

 

4. At 12 months, Discover. ( This is my plan)

 

I am only a few months in, my score has gone from 400s pre BK to 500s post BK to 650s 6 months out. I will be back at 700 within 24 months if I let my accounts age properly and stick to my plan I think. Also, I will close CreditOne at 11 months for sure. 

 

For the immediate future, I would forget about AMEX, BOA, Chase, and Citi. They are likely to decline with vengeance and gusto. With time, and care of your lines, things should be looking good pretty quickly. 


Sounds exactly like SoulMaster's plan.. :smileysurprised: OP, you can find his detailed step by step here:

http://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/Bankruptcy/HOW-TO-From-BK7-discharge-to-700-in-24-months-or-less/td-...

NFCU Cash Rewards: $14,000/FNBO Platinum: $4,600/Best Buy Cap 1: $2,500/Care Credit $7,600/TJ Maxx $600

Starting Score: 426 Ch. 13 BK Filed Sep 2009; Discharged Jan 2013 :smileyhappy:
Current Score: TU 715 EQ FICO 693 EX 660 all via lender pull 5/9/13
Goal Score: 720

Regular Contributor
Unique620
Posts: 233
Registered: ‎10-03-2009

Re: Planning For Recovery

Hi hrguy,

 

Apple federal do a hard pull or soft pull. And if hard, which credit bureau do they use?  Very interested in securedcard. Thanks for your post! Found it very helpful.

Filed BK 04/2011|BK Discharged 08/2011|Hard Pull I 12/05/2012 |


Starting Score: EQ 523 03/2012
Current Score: EQ 649 I TU 655 (02/2013) EX 672(01/2013)
Goal Score: 700 on all CR's 04/2013
New Member
sclovette
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-24-2012

Re: Planning For Recovery

I always had the notion that Credit Unions where a better option for financing. I like USAA so far for everyday banking and they're super revolved around customer service. Not to mention I have an investment account with them generating a little over 10% APY on my savings, soooo hard to leave that.

 

I have been considering going down to Bellco Credit Union (I'm in Colorado) and opening just a small savings account with them to gain membership, only to have access to their financing department... Finance everything there while I'm recovering. If it takes a solid 6 months for the BK to discharge then I'm looking at an April 2013 DC date. So I have a bit of time before things become workable.

 

Apple CU seems to be a decent place to be as well. I'm not tied to Bellco, they just have a branch here and I hate to be tied to a bank that doesnt have a branch or the technological infastructure (apps?) to make up for the lack in location. Whats your experience with them on that front.

 

How did you find out about the qualification teirs available at Toyota? I'm wondering if there's a way to call and find out those deals, instead of just throwing it to chance. You got extremely lucky on that front, not meaning it can't be recreated, but would probably need to be researched before hand. What do you think?

 

All this information is great. Thanks so much.


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