I've been lurking on these boards for a few months reading everyone's experiences and learning a lot. I wanted to give back by telling my post chapter 13 discharge story. Hopefully it will give some people hope. But, remember, since all situations are different YMWV.
My wife and my chapter 13 case was discharged 3 weeks ago on 10/29/2015 after 5 long years on a 100% plan. Prior to discharge my scores were in the range of high 500's to low 600's. I did my best to make sure all my CR's were reporting correctly and the scores all bumped up a few points here and there. A day after discharge my scores were EX: 624, EQ: 624, TU: 579.
The week prior to discharge CapitalOne's pre-qual site was showing no matching offers for me or my wife. A day after it showed we both qualified for Venture and Quicksilver. I applied for Venture and she for QS thinking we'd get very low CL's. I got approved for $15,000 and she got $5,000. I was ecstatic. I thought it would be months before we got anywhere close to that.
Now mind you, our combined income is in the low six figures, so that may explain some of the high initial CL. But still, I was surprised. My wife's credit score was lower than mine and that may explain why she got a third of my CL on her card. So now I figured we'd start rebuilding with these cards of which we're both AU on each other's card. Then in a few months we'd see about a car.
Well, on a whim, less than 2 weeks after discharge I decided to fill out CapitalOne's Autonavigator prequal. And again was totally surprised at getting approved for $40,000 at an interest rate between 3.83% - 10.05%. The rate depends on car chosen and financed amount. Well 2 days ago I drove out of the dealership in a brand new 2016 Honda Pilot at 4.15% interest, less than 3 weeks discharged. I love CapOne. BTW, the Honda dealer pulled an auto enhanced EQ score of 642 and said they couldn't touch CapOne's offer.
So, all you who are in CH13, stick it out. There's light at the end of the tunnel. And give CapOne a try once you're discharged.
Awesome post! Congrats on successfully completing your Ch 13 and being able to obtain your car and cards so quickly after discharge.
Congrats! I have utmost respect for those of you who have endured a Ch13 and made it all the way to discharge. You deserve major kudos!
@Cruznmore: Thanks. It has definitely taught us to be more fiscally responsible. Moreso than I think a CH7 would have.
Yes, it has. I just checked my Equifax report and it's already reporting. I can't believe this!!!! Thanks everyone. You guys are amazing!
@Bignardy: After 4 years it's easy to feel impatient and to just want it all over already. But, there's really not much you can do until after discharge. You aren't allowed to take on much new debt prior to. And if you need to, like for a car, it will require trustee approval and be at a very high interest rate.
What you can do is check your credit reports to make sure that all accounts are reporting correctly. I found multiple that I needed to dispute ahead of the discharge.
Congratulations! Such an unbelievable feeling, isn't it? I waited the seven years for it to fall off my reports except for a few accounts. Since May it has been amazing for me.
I totally agree with you about the lessons learned from Chapter 13! I will never forget them and those lessons have guided me in my rebuilding. It was a long hard road, but worth it!
Good luck as you continue your journey!
I mostly agree that you should not try and obtain any new credit without the trustee's permssion but what I did do was become an authorized user on about three credit cards this year. There is a blog by James Spray that you might want to read. He gives alot of advice on what you can do while you are in a chapter 13. Luckily for me, they were cards that I had the autonomy to make decisions on how much was spent so they reflected positively on me. Being an authorized user can sink you if the person does not use their credit card responsibly though. A few months ago, I got an offer for a secured credit card from BOA and I took them up on the offer. It hasn't really made a major impact on my credit reports but I know it will pay off down the road. So to sum it all up, by year two of my chapter 13, everything (with the exception of my mortgage) was reporting as being IIB with a zero balance. That plus the boost from the authorized user status put me in a good position when my BK13 was finally discharged. I wouldn't recommend you do anythng that could jeopardize your case though.
It is, it is. Thank you!!! The funniest thing was when I finally realized my BK had been discharged, I had a moment of paralysis when I just sat there and couldn't figure out what I needed to do next. I knew I wanted to apply for a card or two but I was terrified that doing something immediately would jeopardize everything.