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Regular Contributor
Posts: 155
Registered: ‎02-07-2017

Hammer in hand...

[ Edited ]

I've got plenty nails, wood glue & duct tape...time to get busy (re)building.

Following in the footsteps of numerous MyFICOites before me, I am starting a personal thread to track my progress, get feedback (and maybe some encouragement), hold myself accountable and let others learn from my mistakes. It's ridiculously long so if you enjoy this sort of thing, welcome, if not. sorry!

I've been reading around the forums for a little over a month now and one of my favorite things to peruse are people's rebuild stories so I thought I would share my own.

For 20+ years I had good credit - I didn't really pay attention to it but had a few bank cards that slowly grew into limits of $25K+ and a mortgage, all of which were paid consistently on time. Balances kept low. No clue what my FICO scores were but I have every reason to believe they were in the good to excellent range.

Then, like many others, DH decided to divorce (D in this case does not stand for "Dear" think of another 4-letter word).

FInancial chaos and deep depression hit. I felt lost and hopeless so (stupidly!) ignored everything and spent far too much time overwhelmed. My friends and family knew even less about finances than I did and the #$!% just kept getting deeper and deeper.

Eventually, about 8 years ago, my wages were garnished - one after another - and I became very good about living simply and frugally. So much so that even bringing home minimum wage I was able to start traveling again. I had only a $1000 secured visa through my CU that I set up so I could begin a new pattern of on time payments (and buy plane tix!) but otherwise I avoided credit because I knew my history was messed up (and had not clue that I should be doing more to rebuild).

I finally paid off my largest judgement and was excited to finally be able to live like an adult again instead of a broke college student in my 40s when yet another company let me know that it wanted its $35K paid immediately or it too intended to garnish my wages - this time I was in a better place mentally and financially so I contacted a BK attorney and (with a bit of assistance from my sister) ended up filing Chpt 7 in Sept 2015, discharged Jan 2016.

My attorney warned me of tons of car loans that would be immediately offered afterward - I've ignored them all and am content with my rusty but reliable old pickup but I did accept an offer for Cap1 Platinum secured that Feb(they have since CLI and then unsecured at 11mo). Barclay offered me a rewards card in Sept that I accepted and I later opened a LB card in Oct (no SCT - just a fat chick who likes clothes!)

This Jan, I started thinking I'd like to buy a house again so started looking around to learn more about requirements and what I need to do to prepare myself. I tried getting my free annual credit reports. Eq was no problem. The other two required me to send in proof of ID via snail mail. Ex then came about 10 days later. TU took weeks and when they did finally send they sent it to my BK attorney.

For the most part, they are accurate. Just some issues with my name, addresses and job (this may be why I had difficulties with online request since I would never have guessed these validation questions).

Right now I have 1 judgement (the last garnishment), the BK and 30/60/90/120 lates on my student loans that occurred when I took a semester off during the divorce aftermath. My uglies are accurate.

Since joining MyFICO I applied for a Discover card with the full expectation that I would need to set up a secured account but instead was approved for the It card. (WOOHOO!) That started a bit of a mini (or not so mini depending on who's judging). I also joined PenFed who laughed when I requested their card (not really but there was no way there were approving me either. Even the secured card was a no go. She told me that has the same requirements as their regular card now. ??? They cited the length of my accounts and toy limits.) I was able to join NavyFed last week and they did approve me for a Cash Rewards card (YAY!!!) So now I am firmly planted in the garden until next Jan (although PenFed did say they will call me in 3-6 months and if they approve me then I will likely accept).

I did already meet with a mortgage advisor from my CU to see what she had to say and according to her my scores are plenty high and my savings adequate so now I am just waiting on the calendar to be eligible for FHA in Jan 2018.

Perhaps my first building project should be a bench to relax on while I wait here in the garden...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2/4/17        Eq 622 / TU 595 / Ex 628
3/12/17      Eq 634 / TY 614 / Ex 641

Great Lakes SL $50k (60/90/120 Oct-Dec 2011)
Navient SL $14k (60/90/120 Oct-Dec 2011)
(I am on an income based repayment plan and will qualify for public service debt forgiveness in ~7yrs)

Cap1 Plat            $651/$0
Barclay               $500/$24
LB                       $150/$0
Discover              $1200/$0 (new)
Overstock             $750/$250 (new)
Cap1 QS1           $3000/$85 (new)
Amazon Prime    $800/$200 (new - don't even have the card yet)
NavyFed CR        $1000/$0 (new - don't even have the card yet)




In the garden until spring 2018. Final date to be determined by closing on my new house!
Regular Contributor
Posts: 155
Registered: ‎02-07-2017
0

Re: Hammer in hand...

It seems Amazon must do quite a bit of business with the credit bureaus. I opened the card last Saturday, they were already reporting my new balance Monday (2 days later). I don't even have the card yet to pay down. Then I bought something Friday and it reported today. Again, I haven't been able to pay anything yet since I don't even have the card but somehow my EQ score increased 2 points and according to MyFICO it's because my balance went from $200 to $253. ???

As long as is increasing, I'll take it! (and try to remind myself of this anomaly when it later mysteriously decreases for some strange reason as well)


In the garden until spring 2018. Final date to be determined by closing on my new house!
Community Leader
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,889
Registered: ‎02-28-2015
0

Re: Hammer in hand...

@MikkiD.

 

Looking forward to following your journey.  Congrats on the rebuilding process.  For FICO scoring purposes, you need to have only 1 account report a balance at less than 10% and the others at zero.  Use them however you need to during the month, just make sure when the statement cuts, that only 1 account is reporting.

Current Scores: 685 EQ, 680 TU, 675 EX
Goal: 700 across the board
Gardening till December 2017
AMEX Platinum NPSL| BCP| AMEX ED| BBVA NBA AMEX| Venture| QS| BoA Cash Rewards
New Contributor
Posts: 72
Registered: ‎09-26-2008
0

Re: Hammer in hand...

Congrats on your rebuild path Mikki. 

Your strength and determination comes through loud and clear from your post

Looking forward to seeing how your journey progresses. It will be an inspiration for someone down the line.

Hmmm.. I wonder by the end of the year what that rusty pickup turns into......  Smiley Happy

Moderator
Posts: 12,980
Registered: ‎10-07-2014

Re: Hammer in hand...


MikkiD wrote:

I've got plenty nails, wood glue & duct tape...time to get busy (re)building.

Following in the footsteps of numerous MyFICOites before me, I am starting a personal thread to track my progress, get feedback (and maybe some encouragement), hold myself accountable and let others learn from my mistakes. It's ridiculously long so if you enjoy this sort of thing, welcome, if not. sorry!

I've been reading around the forums for a little over a month now and one of my favorite things to peruse are people's rebuild stories so I thought I would share my own.

For 20+ years I had good credit - I didn't really pay attention to it but had a few bank cards that slowly grew into limits of $25K+ and a mortgage, all of which were paid consistently on time. Balances kept low. No clue what my FICO scores were but I have every reason to believe they were in the good to excellent range.

Then, like many others, DH decided to divorce (D in this case does not stand for "Dear" think of another 4-letter word).

FInancial chaos and deep depression hit. I felt lost and hopeless so (stupidly!) ignored everything and spent far too much time overwhelmed. My friends and family knew even less about finances than I did and the #$!% just kept getting deeper and deeper.

Eventually, about 8 years ago, my wages were garnished - one after another - and I became very good about living simply and frugally. So much so that even bringing home minimum wage I was able to start traveling again. I had only a $1000 secured visa through my CU that I set up so I could begin a new pattern of on time payments (and buy plane tix!) but otherwise I avoided credit because I knew my history was messed up (and had not clue that I should be doing more to rebuild).

I finally paid off my largest judgement and was excited to finally be able to live like an adult again instead of a broke college student in my 40s when yet another company let me know that it wanted its $35K paid immediately or it too intended to garnish my wages - this time I was in a better place mentally and financially so I contacted a BK attorney and (with a bit of assistance from my sister) ended up filing Chpt 7 in Sept 2015, discharged Jan 2016.

My attorney warned me of tons of car loans that would be immediately offered afterward - I've ignored them all and am content with my rusty but reliable old pickup but I did accept an offer for Cap1 Platinum secured that Feb(they have since CLI and then unsecured at 11mo). Barclay offered me a rewards card in Sept that I accepted and I later opened a LB card in Oct (no SCT - just a fat chick who likes clothes!)

This Jan, I started thinking I'd like to buy a house again so started looking around to learn more about requirements and what I need to do to prepare myself. I tried getting my free annual credit reports. Eq was no problem. The other two required me to send in proof of ID via snail mail. Ex then came about 10 days later. TU took weeks and when they did finally send they sent it to my BK attorney.

For the most part, they are accurate. Just some issues with my name, addresses and job (this may be why I had difficulties with online request since I would never have guessed these validation questions).

Right now I have 1 judgement (the last garnishment), the BK and 30/60/90/120 lates on my student loans that occurred when I took a semester off during the divorce aftermath. My uglies are accurate.

Since joining MyFICO I applied for a Discover card with the full expectation that I would need to set up a secured account but instead was approved for the It card. (WOOHOO!) That started a bit of a mini (or not so mini depending on who's judging). I also joined PenFed who laughed when I requested their card (not really but there was no way there were approving me either. Even the secured card was a no go. She told me that has the same requirements as their regular card now. ??? They cited the length of my accounts and toy limits.) I was able to join NavyFed last week and they did approve me for a Cash Rewards card (YAY!!!) So now I am firmly planted in the garden until next Jan (although PenFed did say they will call me in 3-6 months and if they approve me then I will likely accept).

I did already meet with a mortgage advisor from my CU to see what she had to say and according to her my scores are plenty high and my savings adequate so now I am just waiting on the calendar to be eligible for FHA in Jan 2018.

Perhaps my first building project should be a bench to relax on while I wait here in the garden...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2/4/17        Eq 622 / TU 595 / Ex 628
3/12/17      Eq 634 / TY 614 / Ex 641

Great Lakes SL $50k (60/90/120 Oct-Dec 2011)
Navient SL $14k (60/90/120 Oct-Dec 2011)
(I am on an income based repayment plan and will qualify for public service debt forgiveness in ~7yrs)

Cap1 Plat            $651/$0
Barclay               $500/$24
LB                       $150/$0
Discover              $1200/$0 (new)
Overstock             $750/$250 (new)
Cap1 QS1           $3000/$85 (new)
Amazon Prime    $800/$200 (new - don't even have the card yet)
NavyFed CR        $1000/$0 (new - don't even have the card yet)



Congrats on your rebuilding efforts and good luck on your home quest.  I noticed your cooment in your signature about the seedling and took the liberty of adding it to yours.  You can of course change it back if you so desire.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 155
Registered: ‎02-07-2017
0

Re: Hammer in hand...


kaykay65 wrote:

@MikkiD.

 

Looking forward to following your journey.  Congrats on the rebuilding process.  For FICO scoring purposes, you need to have only 1 account report a balance at less than 10% and the others at zero.  Use them however you need to during the month, just make sure when the statement cuts, that only 1 account is reporting.


Thanks @kaykay65!  That is where I find that I am still getting confused. 

 

I see that I should have only 1 balance reporting at <10% and the others at 0 but WHEN???  All my cards report at different dates so just because I pay them off before their due dates doesn't mean they are all at currently at those ideal values for reporting. Should I just be picking one that keeps the tiny balance (apparently that should be my Amazon Prime since it is reporting my balance multiple times a month) and then as long as the others always get paid off completely each month then I am good? 



In the garden until spring 2018. Final date to be determined by closing on my new house!
Regular Contributor
Posts: 155
Registered: ‎02-07-2017
0

Re: Hammer in hand...


nupey10 wrote:

Congrats on your rebuild path Mikki. 

Your strength and determination comes through loud and clear from your post

Looking forward to seeing how your journey progresses. It will be an inspiration for someone down the line.

Hmmm.. I wonder by the end of the year what that rusty pickup turns into......  Smiley Happy


Haha  Thanks @nupey10!  

 

For better or for worse, I do have the "advantage" of not having credit good enough for the cars that appeal to me. The newer vehicles do nothing for me so I'm fine with the old truck that gets me through the snow and ice without any stress. Even back when I had the good credit I find that no one likes to give out loans for muscle cars and classic trucks so I'll have to wait until I save up my pennies again. Until then I do have my little old Harley for when I want to drive something fun. (and resisting buying a bigger better bike WILL definately be a struggle!) Smiley LOL 



In the garden until spring 2018. Final date to be determined by closing on my new house!
Regular Contributor
Posts: 155
Registered: ‎02-07-2017
0

Re: Hammer in hand...


Irish80 wrote:




Congrats on your rebuilding efforts and good luck on your home quest.  I noticed your cooment in your signature about the seedling and took the liberty of adding it to yours.  You can of course change it back if you so desire.


Thank you @irish80!  I appreciate it. Heart



In the garden until spring 2018. Final date to be determined by closing on my new house!
Community Leader
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,889
Registered: ‎02-28-2015
0

Re: Hammer in hand...


MikkiD wrote:

kaykay65 wrote:

@MikkiD.

 

Looking forward to following your journey.  Congrats on the rebuilding process.  For FICO scoring purposes, you need to have only 1 account report a balance at less than 10% and the others at zero.  Use them however you need to during the month, just make sure when the statement cuts, that only 1 account is reporting.


Thanks @kaykay65!  That is where I find that I am still getting confused. 

 

I see that I should have only 1 balance reporting at <10% and the others at 0 but WHEN???  All my cards report at different dates so just because I pay them off before their due dates doesn't mean they are all at currently at those ideal values for reporting. Should I just be picking one that keeps the tiny balance (apparently that should be my Amazon Prime since it is reporting my balance multiple times a month) and then as long as the others always get paid off completely each month then I am good? 


Yes.  It makes it easier if you have 1 go to account like Amazon Prime for instance report less than 10 percent on the date that the statement cuts.  Review previous statements to see when the statement period ends.  As for the other accounts, just make sure that they report zero when their statement dates come around.

 

Current Scores: 685 EQ, 680 TU, 675 EX
Goal: 700 across the board
Gardening till December 2017
AMEX Platinum NPSL| BCP| AMEX ED| BBVA NBA AMEX| Venture| QS| BoA Cash Rewards
Community Leader
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,889
Registered: ‎02-28-2015
0

Re: Hammer in hand...

[ Edited ]

 

 

Current Scores: 685 EQ, 680 TU, 675 EX
Goal: 700 across the board
Gardening till December 2017
AMEX Platinum NPSL| BCP| AMEX ED| BBVA NBA AMEX| Venture| QS| BoA Cash Rewards

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