Growing up poor really doesn't afford one a great education on credit. It's also hard to deny yourself stuff when there's credit available.
$170K?! Wanna trade? LOL!
The best way to use your cards to increase your score is not to just pay on time. But to keep your utilization for sure below 10% each month before your statement cuts. This means that you need to pay down your balances before statement cut, which is usually 3 days following last months due date. This way you are not getting charged interest on your accounts. When the statement cuts, then pay off the remaining balance immediately, then that leaves a 0 balance to carry into the new billing cycle with. Utilization plays a huge role on FICO scoring, so it's a must to keep it reporting low. Most CCC's report the statement balance within a few days after your statement cuts. You will find alot on this forum, that the suggestion is, to keep all cards but 1 reporting a 0 balance, and then have that 1 card report <9% utilization for the best score results YMMV.
this is just a tricky tactic to max scoring for the month but is not required to do EVERY MONTH. I see many of us all the time forget that they let a balance post then the score tanks around 10 pts due to increased util and they get all bent out of shape.
First premier did help me too, they were the first rebuilder card that would approve me. I made a point to not go the secured card route and always made sure that anything i was putting on my cards i had money to cover it in the bank. I recently cancelled my First premier card because i feel that i have been past where they are for a while now and i did not see the reason to continue paying $7 a month to keep a card worth $250. They did give me credit when no one else would but they did not grown with me, i have read some horror stories about people and their FP cards and most of them had no clue what they were getting into, they did not take the time to read the fine print, they fill a need but they are only a temporary card becuase poeple out grown them quickly.
I understand because I have 170,000 in student loan debt. I pay every month and that's the price I had to pay to get a decent job. My family was poor and I grew up in the projects bad area most people don't know what credit is about so I know that while I will always pay a student loan monthly this is the price i had to pay to get out of the projects. If you can work a second job to pay down the debt, send GW letters, whatever it takes to turn your circumstances around because we all should be entitled to the American dream of owing a home and car. I wish you the best of luck.
Amen! I grew up poor as well, and didn't learn about credit until well into my adult life...Nevertheless, we you learn better, you do better.
Same here. My life circumstances improved, and when I got my first credit card as a young adult, I went nuts with it! I had no adult role models to teach me about the proper use of credit. That's changed now. As a middle aged adult I've taken the time and effort to educate myself -- thank goodness for the Internet! -- and am determined not to repeat the mistakes that I've made previously.
To the OP, don't feel bad. A lot of us have torched our credit, but we've learned better and have bounced back. You can get there, too. Good luck on your journey of rebuilding.