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04-06-2015 05:41 PM
I don't really know what gardening is...but if that means tending to your scores and paying down debt as well as lowering the utilization ratio then that is what I have been doing. I've seen lots of movement in my EX and TU scores but not so much in my EQ score. I don't get it. EX went up to 577 and TU up to 581 but EQ has only moved to 519.The goal is to have most of my debt paid off by the end of the year with the exception of my car and student loans. I have capital one as an auto lender so my rate is ridiculous but nothing I can do about that right now. I only have 2 years and about 3 months left on the note. If I can get my scores high enough and my balance low enough I would like to either trade it in or refinance. We shall see but I need a year of paying my debt on time before that can occur. I have been doing really good so I am proud of myself on that front. My goal is by June to have all my CC paid off and to only use what I can easily pay off in 30 days. I think I am doing it the right way this time by not being too aggressive and allowing myself some flexibility in my budget. So far so good. Lets see how it goes this month.
04-06-2015 06:02 PM
Checking in for April. Credit Scores are up by about 19 points with the addition of my Capital One card I received last month!
04-07-2015 06:38 AM
On 1 Apr, I consolidated my outstanding credit cards (approx 3500) into a consolidation loan. Currently the only bills I have are this and a student loan. I am doubling up on my new loan and will have it paid off by the end of the year. After that, I plan to start chopping away at the student loan (approx. 11K).
On a side note, when I was having car problems I decided to apply for a car loan--just in case. My bank offered me a subprime rate of nearly 10%. Capitol One offered me a rate of 3.95 percent. I took my Capitol One offer back to the same credit union and they offered to beat it by 1% as well as giving $500 customer cash. Luckily my old car survived to fight another day, but it feels good to know that if/when I have to bury her, I have options. Six months ago, me asking for any type of loan (even subprime) would have had me being laughed out of the building. It feels good to see tangible proof of my hard work.
04-07-2015 11:39 AM - edited 04-07-2015 11:42 AM
Just checking in for April. I paid my last collection off last month-IQ Data, they just refused to budge. Funny thing now is they have reported on the 5th of every month like clockwork and now when I was checking to make sure it shows paid-NOTHING! Anyway I will wait a little longer. Last month I was also approved via SCT for 3 Comenity cards. They are 3 I will actually use and have used Simply Be, Marisota, and VS. I am now done with that. I dont want a whole lot of store cards because I dont want it to hurt in the long run. Ultimate goal is to purchase house in the next 2 years.
I know I don't have any signature cards opened at the time but I have planned to garden until May of 2017. I see my scores staring to climb and I just dont want to do anything that would affect them in an adverse way. At that time all my old collections that I have paid off will be dropping off anyway ( I paid them because I had initially planned to get a house in a year but that has since changed since I want chance at best intrest rate possible and a credit report free of inquiries seeing as NFCU frowns on inquiries 6-8 months prior to application.) Also, I believe the 2 secured cards, auto loan, shares loan and 3 store cards are more than enough to "build" on. Also, one of those secured cards I will be adding to towards the end of the month to in order to have a 5k limit. Trying to help with utilization and and make myself look good to lenders when I do decide to step out of the garden in 2 years and to help with those purchases that may exceed my daily purch limit with debit card.
I had 2 downers this month: one was denial from NFCU for auto refinance. I should have listened to Creditaddict and waited 6 months but I let the agent talk me into applying while I was opening accounts for my kids. I found out there is too much negative equity in the loan. It's 08 in very good condition but I still owe too much for it to be considered for refinance. It's okay though..I plan to pay it off in the next year and give it to my son after I get my house.
Other downer but not so much was care credit denial. I'm in need of some dental work and tried to go this route. It didnt work out for me though but I'm all good. Its probably for the best seeing as I have about $600 monthly in past medical debt I am trying to keep off my credit. All of the creditors accepted my monthly payment amount (as small as it may be to some) in exchange for not adding to my credit. I was thrilled with that considering this is medical debt from 1st quarter 2014. For 2 of them they received the check literally days into turing over to collector and giving the okay to report. They had to recall the accounts. I plan to try and send more to them if I can to pay off in less than the year I budgeted for and free up those funds for savings. I consider myself lucky considering it seems as though everyone I know is getting slammed with medical collections like crazy...and for small amounts like $18.00,$52, $116! I would just about die to see small amounts like that on my credit report from sheer stupidity.
Any way, as usual, I will continue to check in monthly and continue to browse all the topics. There is a wealth of information on here and I kick myself in the behind practically daily wishing I would have gotten serious and applied some of this knowledge years before instead of just reading, but you know what they say, better late than never!
Oh one more thing, I have decided to update my EQ score to the myfico 04 model score. I pay for that one direct with EQ and I have noticed that that score matches EXACTLY with NFCU and it gives me my true score in regards to home buying. Since that is my ultimate goal thats the score I care most about. Besides, as it continues to rise then I know the the fico 08 will rise as it is a full 27 points higher than the 04 model.
In closing scores as of today April 07, 2015: EQ 04 509/08 536//TU 534//EX 542
04-07-2015 02:59 PM
Last month saw a fair increase in my TU score and a baby increase in my EQ score. This month, my goal remains to pay down my credit card debts. I decided to close a low limit with an annual fee card so we'll see how that impacts my scores!
04-08-2015 04:17 PM
Checking in for April. I was able to finally pay in full my remaining credit card balances. It's so much a relief to be credit card debt free after so many years. I'm waiting patiently for my FICO scores to update but they are soooo slow. I keep getting myFICO alerts saying balances are down but my scores are not moving. I want to be in the myFICO 800 club. I have free Credit Karma and I'm 805 and 808 on there.
04-09-2015 08:13 AM
My goal for March was to payoff the second to last Navient student loan but it didn't happen. It is less than $1000 and I hope to get it paid off this month.
I got some auto credit line increases on my Banana Republic, J Crew and Loft cards. I think it was my annual anniversary with J Crew and Loft and I get increases on the Banana Republic card every 3-6 months. Every little bit helps in reducing my utlization which is what is hurting my scores.
Also I posted in a previous check in that I was approved for a car loan with NMAC earlier this year. NMAC sent me a letter that my rate was reduced from 5.3% to 4.05% before my first payment is due this month. That was a bit of good news!
From when I started this challenge, my Equifax score increased by 3 points, my Experian score increased by 9 points, and my Transunion score decreased by 5 points. However my scores change like the wind for what it is worth.
04-11-2015 02:11 AM
Hello & happy April! My scores were up there in the 750's/760's & I went on an app spree in November. Dropped my scores down. Now rebounding a bit in the 710's. 10 new cards to replace my First Premier's & such plus upgrades on Cap One's with new CL's. So I do need to garden for a while. The fico simulator says 18 to 24 months of gardening will get me pretty darn close to 850! Now if I can behave long enough to succeed.