05-07-2013 10:53 PM - edited 05-07-2013 11:17 PM
I have been a short-time lurker if you will. I have a story as everyone does too. When I was younger (as I'm 37 now) my parents didn't teach me the values/importance of credit. I got a few cards at 18, charged em' up, and couldn't pay the bills.. You guessed it, I defaulted, and went into collections. This nightmare went on for a DECADE. I couldn't do anything, and lived off cash, or going without. Forward through time, at about 32 I'd say, I started to see that items were falling off my credit report, so I went for Orchard Bank. God aweful annual fee, and such, but hey they reported. I had that for a year, as I didn't want to incur anymore fees than I had too, but they reported to all three credit agencies. About this time, I went for my first unsecured card, a Target store card. 200$ limit, but I thought, and was happy that it was a card! I had this for a year or so, and went to the big time (As I thought) coming from nothing. "Rebuild" was my thought. I was 34 I think, and went for Capitol one ( Two seperate cards) with 750 limits on both. A short bit later I went for a Wally store card, and BJ's Visa. They were good to me, as Wally gave mt CLI most times when I hit the luv button. I had a carried balance on the BJ's card for the longest though.. I aslo went for a credit union card around this time and got my largest CL to date 2500! I was ecstatic, and it carried me through the rest of my schooling. I'm trying to recall the specifics, but it was a few years ago.
Carry forward to Apr 13' and I'm at a point where I have a few balances. I have a score in the 650's I'd best guess. I'm in the living room with my girlfriend, and looking for a way to hget my balances on my BJ's, and credit union card to ZERO percent, and I'm terrified to hit the app. button, as I have come from nothing, and sub-prime cards as I'd call them. I start with a Chase Slate, and approved on 2K. That takes care of one card, but I need one more to get the other balance. I app. for the Discover IT card thinking "Yeah right", but I got 4.5K CL there . I moved my only other balance to that, and not max out that card (Either to think of it).
I'm riding high, as I saw Credit Karma, and created an account. I see that my score is 673, and I'm finally in control. I couldn't be happier, so I look at other cards I'd like, and for the reason's I'd be able to use them/maximize their perks. I'm approved for: CSP, Freedom, BCE, CITI TY Preferred, and a product change/upgrade to my credit union Visa from classic 2500 CL at 12.9% fixed to Platinum 9.9% fixed 5000 CL. When I did my product change, the lady mentioned that I had a score of 758, and I was in shock! I took info. from this site, and looked into Credit Sesame. I created an account there, and saw my score was a 760! I fell to the floor, as I haven't had a score this high, EVER.. My UTIL is at 12% right now, and I PIF every month.
I forgot to add that I was a additional user on a AMEX Clear of my girlfriend, and when I got my BCE, I got that backdate. AMEX is a gift, and the AAOA is remarkable. To all those that are rebuilding, or coming up, it can be done with a little time, and patience.
05-07-2013 11:06 PM - edited 05-07-2013 11:07 PM
Welcome to the forum so happy to have you join us.
What a remarkable and encouraging account of events of your credit success story.
Thanks for sharing as im sure it will inspire someone to have patience and perseverance.
Congrats on your success and keep up the good work
05-08-2013 04:34 AM
Welcome to the forums and as you see it can be done. I used a lot of advice here and at Credit Karma to help me get to where I am.
5 1/2 years ago I had very bad credit. I had defaulted on 5 credit cards and couldn't get a card for the life of me. So I got a secured card from Merrick Bank. (I just closed it last week.) I had the card for 3 years before I even applied for another. Then I got a Finger Hut account, which I never used and only reports to one bureau. Then a Capital One MC account, then 4 months later another, then a few months later a Household Bank MC account. I took a deep breath as none of these had an annual fee and planned what to do next. I got a Marathon Gas card and a Bealls of Florida card and then took another deep breath. I waited until my negatives fell off about a year ago and then I added Walmart, Belks, Marathon Visa, and a Barclays MC. I took another deep breath and then I added Discover, Chase Freedom Visa, Compass Bank Visa, and PayPal MC. My FICO score is about a 710 right now, but I do have a lot of inquiries, about 10-12 at each in the whole quest of this.
Yes, I am breathing deeply now and waiting it out until I have had no inquiries for a year and then I will try for an Amex card. (Unless I get an uncontrollable urge I can't fight off, which almost happened 2 days ago.)
Good Luck and Good Gardening!
05-08-2013 08:28 AM
Thank you for your story. I can relate, as I wanted to rebuild.. I did fewer cards during the rebuild. Had a car loan at 16% initially through Grow Financial. Went to my now current credit union: USFFCU (University South Florida) and they offered me 12.9% as that's where there auto loans maxed out at. I went for it. From there I''ve had a good relationship. From there the classic visa as I mentioned earlier. It's a good way to get into a "real card with real limit" as credit unions can be more forgiving at times. Let your cards grow, and you'll get to the AMEX, and any other that you want soon enough.
05-08-2013 08:34 AM
05-08-2013 08:54 AM
Congratulations on your success! As you can see from my sig, I started out in much of the same situation as you, but hard work and self-education really make a massive difference. I'll never understand why high schools don't teach about credit and personal finance, because huge swaths of the American people don't have those skills, so they can't pass them on to their children. We have large numbers of Americans with terrible credit and lasts for years and years, because we don't receive an education in the use of credit.
Anyway, enough of my soapbox rant. Keep up the good work!
05-08-2013 08:59 AM
Couldn't agree more. I'm working with my neice right now to hopefully get her off on the right foot when she is ready, and going to college in a few years. It's a vicious cycle, and if you don't have knowledge/education it is hard to make a change.