After years of neglect and irresponsible credit management I found myself unable to qualify for a corporate AMEX card when I jump back into the corporate world after having been self-employed for a number of years. Thank God my new employer needed someone with my skills so badly that the corporate office issued a waiver to AMEX that allowed me to get a provisional card with restrictions so that they could hire me anyway. But the whole situation was embarrassing to say the least. AMEX informed me that once my credit improved, they would remove the restrictions placed on my account. That was in July 2006.
After paying off of a high interest auto loan in Nov. 06, I got serious about cleaning up my credit. When I pulled my credit scores and report from all 3 CRAs' I was shocked and overwhelmed at the mess I had created for myself. My scores were: Equifax - 490, Experian - 512, Trans Union - 540 in Feb. 2007. I had tons of collections, charge-offs, repos, Judgement, Chpt. 13 BK, defaulted student loans, and a poor payment history.
In Sept. 2006 dispite my low scores I apply'ed for and received an unsecured Master Card with a ton of high fees, which I've paid ontime religiously. When the Master Card company started reporting my updated info to the CRAs', I started getting call after call from collectors wanting me to pay old accounts. In Feb. of this year I decided to become proactive by calling every creditor listed on my CRs offering to pay my old debts in full. I did not ask for removal of account from my CRs or anything. Several jumped at the chance to accept payment in full, others refused because accounts had already been sold to collectors. As of today I have paid out several thousands of dollars to settle many derogatory accounts and put an end to them reporting default status to the CRAs' every month. I also in Feb. 2007 began a sucessful rehab of my student loans which I just completed last month, Oct. 2007. I must say, I had been told that paying old collections off would actually hurt your credit scores, but I found that not to happen I my case. It actually helped me because I ended the collectors negative monthly reporting to the CRAs'. Many of the collectors removed their entrys from my CR's on their own, without me even asking!??
As of today Nov. 12th 2007, my FICO scores are: Equifax - 615, Experian - 652, Trans Union - 653!!!
Since Feb. I had also applied for and received 4 more credit cards, 1 appliance account, 1 fuel account card, and cell phone without a deposit. I'm done with applying for credit for a while, I have all that I need! I will let my accounts age now, and limits increase.
It took a complete change of approach to handling my obligations. Believe it or not, I feel good when I pay my bills now! I pay them the minute they are due, sometimes even before they are due. I never charge more than I can payoff in a month or two. I never want to go thru another embarrassing situation again involving credit. I still have a long way to go, but time is the only thing that can help me now.
It take years to build good credit, and seconds to blow good credit!
Good luck all!!!
Starting Score: TU 501 7/2006, EQ 475 7/2006, EX 499 7/2006 Current Score: TU 709 12/2011, EQ 677, EX ??? Goal Score: All above 700
Well thanks to all the great info on this board I have improved my scores from TU 627 EX 623 EQ 634 to as of today TU 660 EX 654 EQ 643. All of this in only 1 month. I have had 4 CA's removed and also a judgement removed from EX, can't get TU to delete it though. Thanks to everyone for all of your valuable information. Can't wait to get to the 700 club!!!!
8/2012 TU 693 EQ 698 9/14/2012 TU 718 (Discover's score included in welcome letter) 9/14/2012 EX 717 (Amex Score)
Discover More $4000, Chase Freedom $6000, Amex BCP $6000, Barclays/Juniper $3600, Care Credit/GEMB $5000, Orchard Bank $1850
If you have multiple credit cards issued by the same bank, like Bank of American, Chase Bank...consolidate the credit lines into one and only borrow the money or owe the money from that credit card alone, instead of owe the money on several credit cards.
And the bank(credit card company) only report to credit bureau once per month after the statement closing date, by doing this, I made balance transfer (7 days after statement closing date which the bank might already report the account status to 3 credit bureau) to pay off some credit cards then consolidate 3-4 credit lines together to $57,500.00 and leave the credit cards I don't use the credit lines to be just $1,000.00 and let only one card carry high balance...because credit score system only look how many cards that you owe high balance, it doesn't care how much money you owe, so in this case I can owe more money to the bank but still get high credit score from 3 credit bureau (Exp. Eqx. TU)...believe it or not, I made balance transfer from 2 banks total of $121,400.00 and my credit score still go up from 757 to 777. What a shame!!!
I have total of 27 acct. but some of them I have not use for years with zero balance.
If you have American Express card then you can join the credit report(score) monitoring program $11.99 per month, You can see your own 3 bureau credit score, credit history, profile, public records, 3 in 1 credit report, credit summary...
1. In general, the credit report can be used within 60 days depending on which bank that you deal with.
2. Credit score calculated based on different "Model", different "Factor" so even you get your own credit report from different agencies in the same day, you credit score from the same credit bureau maybe different...
3. Normally you can "Control" your credit score to be higher (up), by doing this...use only few credit cards (2-3), if you ever need to owe the balance, just owe 1 or 2 cards and pay off to zero balance on all other cards, consolidate 3-4 credit lines together to one card (if they are issued by the same bank) and use that higher credit lines card only...
4. Credit card company (Bank) only report your credit status once a month, within 7 days after your statement closing day to the credit bureau (Exp-EqX-TU).
5. For those daily credit monitoring program, your credit score on the 3in1 report only update once a month even you pull your own report everyday, try it for yourself you will see the trick, unless you pay the fee each time to request the "real credit report" from the agency like Mortgage Fax Inc. (Fanny Mae) authorized.
My name is Jane + after a year or so of lurking on the forums I finally signed up to contribute. This forum has made such a difference for me. My personal finances were doomed from the start as my parents were never responsible with money + claimed BK numerous times in their lives. Not a good example. Unfortunately I started to follow in their footsteps + did not take money very seriously. As soon as I started college I was enticed by offers of free items + thus applied + was granted every credit card imaginable, AMEX, VISA, MC, DISCOVER, SEARS...I along with my loser boyfriend at the time charged up thousands of dollars worth of debt + when I applied for these cards I had no job + they knew this(guess they figured mom + dad would pay)?! I made minimum payments for a few months but of course there was no way I could pay back these debts. Eventually I just closed down all the cards to minimize any further fees + tried to forget about the whole mess as I kind of felt in my mind that the credit card companies had preyed on me by giving me $2000 limit CC at age 18 with no income to speak of. I was blessed. In 1996 my CC's were CO but I was never taken to court. No judgements filed against me. No collection agencies called. My boyfriend who actually had a job was not so lucky. I was given a second chance. I decided I would never get another credit card and I would always save + invest money, treat it with respect + always live within my means. Due to circumstances beyond my control I had to quit school + get a full time job. The bank who held my student loan had all my updated information but after a few months and getting no notice of repayment I inquired with them + they told me it sometimes takes months before I get anything as the loans are sold. So I waited + nothing. Eventually I forgot about it + of course did not hear anything until my student loan was in default. I was devastated as I felt I had handled my finances well since 1996, while all loser boyfriend could say was "who cares". Needless to say by 2000 I realized that loser boyfriend + i did not see eye to eye on finances or much of anything + eventually I left the relationship. I remained in Honolulu where I grew up most of my life, but by 2002 I was ready to move on. I relocated to Seattle + then San Diego in 2002 where I met DH, who happens to be 5 years younger than I am. When things started getting serious I decided it would be a good time to ask him how he felt about personal finances. I had not looked at a credit report ever in my life and was afraid to know what was on mine. I was not hired by two companies that year due to my poor credit rating + that is when I discovered how important credit ratings were. I was still afraid to request a copy of my reports. I knew that by 2004 all the charge offs would have dropped off but there was still my student loan which I had to consolidate + had never missed a payment on since 2000. I figured DH must have pretty good credit as he paid a car loan every month. But DH's car loan was in his mother's name + he had not credit cards to speak of. So together in 2003 we got his and hers secured Bank of America Visa cards. I decided it was about time he start his credit history + about time I started repairing mine. We decided together that we would never be able to afford a condo or house in San Diego + that since I loved Seattle so much we would move there together in November 2003. Within a year of never missing a payment both our BofA CC accounts were graduated to unsecured! It felt great. In July 2004, DH applied for a Capital One Auto Loan to use on a really sweet deal on a used Volkswagen Jetta. He was approved but the APR was 8%. In July 2005, I finally pulled our credit reports + scores. DH's report was clean as a whistle no late payments, 2 CC's + 1 Auto Installment loan his average score was 725! Not bad for a 2 year old credit history. My report was a bit of a mess, no late payments on my 2 CC's + on my consolidated student installment loan from 2001 there was a 60 day late reporting when I was in deferement. This plus I had 11 other baddies. Thankfully none were charge off's from the 1990's. 5 were from Sallie Mae USAF who Bank of Hawaii had sold my 5 original student loans to that went into default because I had never received a bill! 5 were the same 5 student loans but under Nelnet who handled my defaulted loans before I consolidated them with USDE Direct. These were not scheduled to be removed from the report until 2007 and 2008 respectively. I had one paid collection for $99 from 2002 from Oceanic Cable in Honolulu as they never sent me my final billing after I moved, but I got a collections notice in Sn Diego + paid it. Wish I had known about FICO Forums back then so I could have PFD! Anyway my average score was 625, which I did not think was so bad considering. So on a whim we applied for a mortgage + we offered a 2 year ARM which we took since we knew we would be making a lot more money + our credit scores would be better in 2 years time to refinance. I was surprised that we did not qualify for a 30 year fixed with DH's score but that is when I began becoming a personal finance nerd. I found the FICO Forums in 2006 after DH was diagnosed with Lymphoma + read them as therapy. Sent letter to Direct Loan got the 60 day late removed. Sent GW letters to Nelnet + USAF and had all 10 student loan baddies removed. Am still working on the Collections account, my only baddie, only reporting on EX. So I thank all of you for your help + for being a therapy through the toughest year of my life. DH has been in remission since April. We refinanced the ARM in July to a 30 year fixed with BofA at an incredible rate! + we got married in August. Now if only EX would report our HELOC the same as EQ + TU, I think I might be satisfied (they are reporting it as Secured Credit Line + I think it is why our scores are lower than the other two)?
Thanks again, you guys rock! xoxox Jane
hey, careful man! there's a beverage here! My FICO: TU - 725 EX - 736 EQ - 747
I cannot believe how shady debt collection is. Duplicating/selling collections and reporting and changing DOLA and DOFD's is rampant!
I've successfully pulled up all 3 my scores over 200 points over the last year and a half. 100 of those points were done with the help of a credit repair agency, and the other 100 were done by me fully once I started researching and gleaning information from these forums! I fired that credit repair agency once I learned from these forums. Why pay them when I can do it for myself and use that money on bills and getting control of my credit!?
Just dropped in to thank the boards here for soooo much valuable information on managing credit. I've been tracking my finances with Quicken over the last 1.5 months and it feels so amazing to know exactly what's going on with every account. I had 19 derogatory marks on my credit report and my score about a year ago was 515. I have been working diligently to make my payments on time and pay down my debts... you know, it would have been nice if someone taught me about all this before I had to learn the hard way! Anyways, I just checked my Experian and it's 660! The credit card offers have been pouring in lately, but I've been discerning, and finally found one I want to go for. It's a Signature Visa that donates money to charity for every purchase you make. And I'm smart enough now to know how to take advantage of that without paying any interest. FICO forums rocks and so does my credit!