Good morning! First time on this forum... lots of great info here!
I'm more or less a newly humbled credit rookie after years of juvenile credit misuse leading to my first (and last!) Ch7 bankruptcy. I was unemployed or working commission-based sales for a good while after graduating from college, and times got rough... anxiety led to spending I couldn't afford, and the rest is history. The Ch7 process went smoothly and was fairly painless considering my credit was already trashed, and I didn't own much anymore to begin with. I obviously kept my salvage title fully owned car and nothing happened with my apartment rental. Roughly $14,000 in debt was included in the discharge.
I'm working again now, and managed to open a US Bank Secured Visa with a $300 balance. For the first time since graduating, I am paying all my student loans in full and on-time each month. My questions are as follows:
1) Are there any particular strategies I should employ with the CC in terms of timing of payment in order to maximize my FICO score increase from here on out? Last month was my first payment cycle and I paid the balance off in advance of the statement closing. According to CreditKarma, the reported balance to TU last month was $0 as of March 29th. I have a feeling that my wariness of credit expenditures after my reckless past might get in the way of building my credit appropriately. A $0 reported balance may report a payment on-time to the credit reporting agencies, but it certainly isn't going to help me with US Bank in terms of getting an unsecured card or CLI in the future. Any advice is appreciated.
2) My student loan payments are apparently not reporting to TransUnion either, according to CreditKarma. I think they're reporting to the other two, however. I assume they'll be reported to FICO, however? How would I go about checking this, aside from pulling a score?
3) I am apparently still listed as an authorized user on two of my grandfather's credit cards, which I haven't had a card for or used in years. He is working to pay down the balances currently, as an effort to reduce his debt before moving into a continuing care facility, so I am benefiting from his payments... right? Should I leave these be or have him remove me? Will the max limits reflected on his cards count towards my limits?
My apologies if this is a bit jumbled. Obviously credit/FICO is very confusing or there wouldn't be so many people here asking questions! Thank you in advance for your help. I'm just glad to have learned my lesson and been able to move on to a normal life. I see that a lot of people here weren't so lucky.
I was able to get a US Bank Secured Visa for $300 (all I really needed) 7 months after my Chapter 7 was discharged. It's a pretty decent card if you plan on just paying most of it every month. I keep a very small balance (~$40) just to show that I'm using it, and I've figured out to keep that balance there for the last day of the month and my billing date, when they report to the credit bureaus.
I filed a 13 so I can't give you advice regarding rebuilding after a 7, but you might wanna read this thread...