Our credit score suffers from some charge-offs from 3 years ago. We are making payments but they won't be off for some time. I've heard that the credit score will only improve if there is a recent, positive credit history. Have no credit now. Would getting a small amount on a secured card and slowly increasing the limit improve the score or are the charge-offs the kiss of death? We would like to re-finance soon but if we can't bump up the score this year we won't even bother with a card. Thanks.
My understanding is that the newer good payment history is going to start to weigh heavier than old bad payment history. 12 months of good payment history on an account with no further bad information is only going to do you good...regardless if you get the refi or not.