04-30-2015 10:01 PM
The clock has ticked over in the Eastern Standard time zone, and it's now May 1st! You can note that the month's gemstone is the emerald to the right. The significance of the emerald to myFICO means that you've successfully gardened 18 months. While to be in the fitness challenge, doesn't automatically mean you're in the garden club, gardening is a fool proof way to raise your scores over time. Maybe you're feeling the effects of an app spree or negatives are weighing you down?Did you hit any potholes or speedbumps? Weathering through this period can be hard, but manageable when you have a good support team. Achieve some milestones, either small or mighty? Change your goals or add new ones? Anything you think is appropriate to add is what we want to hear about.
As a reminder, participation in these monthly check-ins is optional, but encouraged. The goal is to help keep you on track, so feel free to post your progress updates here. This is a no-judge zone; feel free to say what's keeping you up at night or give yourself kudos for having it all together.
Let us know how you're doing. Wishing all the best of luck!
05-01-2015 01:37 PM
Checking in for May, had some great increases and changes for the month of April two scores graduated to Yellow....still waiting on the other to catch up. Still in the garden will be here a while and still working on getting my UTI lower.
Good luck everyone!!! You can do it!!!
05-01-2015 02:22 PM
I'm a newcomer.
I started coming here because it's time to find a new home for my family and credit score matters. I went through a BK (7) in 10/2013. I'm still reeling. I think some people come out of BK and immediately can get their feet on the ground and are in good shape. For me it took me until January of this year to find a job that I can be happy with long term *and* make a living.
Gardening hasn't been the main priority - it's really been "pay down these debts now so it doesn't happen again!" In my previous life I would have laughed at $15K in revolving debt. Now I can't sleep at night thinking about it. This month I managed to whiddle down my revolving debt from close to $14K showing on my credit report to ~$2600. I also have $40K in car-purchase debt. The $14K to $2600 wasn't all pay downs. I got a new lower-interest card two months ago and with the timing of the balance transfer, it showed all of my cards maxed out.
If things continue to go right this month, I can take that $2600 down under $1K. I have a big expense coming up in July (~$4-7k) that is going on the card, but I'm hoping to keep doing what I've been doing this year and keep knocking it down until it's all gone.
I'm excited to see what my scores look like around 5/7 when my revolving credit utilization drops to just under 20%. My low FICO is 636 right now, my high is 660. If I can get my middle and high scores above 660 for the rental applications... whoo boy. That will feel GOOD.
I'm still trying to get a grasp on gardening. I'm not sure what an ideal amount of accounts / credit / balance looks like. I do know that I want to graduate away from some of the junky cards I have now. It took 3 payments to capitalone to pay off their card and creditone was just as bad. I'm sure it will take time, so I'll be asking advice about what to do moving forward. Priority 1 right now is get out of debt. Priority 2 is find a good home. Priority 3 is maximize my FICO so that I can get back into owning a home within the next 2 years (sooner if magically a down payment appears in front of me).
I see people with a LOT of cards and crazy high credit limits. It makes sense to me if you want to keep utilization below 9%, but the thought of having that much credit scares me like no tomorrow now (after having gone through BK). I'd have to keep those cards in a safe away from my family.
Anyhow, thought I'd introduce myself. Cheers to everyone.
05-02-2015 07:22 AM
05-03-2015 08:12 AM
I am over the moon happy about seeing another increase in my scores. I believe that this rise in score is due to a gradual lowering of my util to near 30%. In May, my goal is 10% util.
In August 2014, I purchased a new car. The dealer promised he could find "better interest rate" for me. He failed. Now, I am being dinged for 6+ hard inquiries. And, apparently the dings will impact my score for the next two years. I am still furious, but I don't know if I have any recourse.
Moving on, I am still in the Challenge and looking forward to an even brighter June update.
Good luck everybody!
05-04-2015 07:36 AM
Good Morning myFico Fam
Just checking in. It's been 2 full months since my last credit card app. Still hanging in there.
05-04-2015 08:30 AM
Hi Everyone - checking in for May. My Equifax FICO score moved up to 798. So close to reaching my goal of 800 yet so far. I'm in the garden until July/August when I'll start the process of refinancing my mortgage. I would do it now but I'm renting out my home to another family. They wanted to buy it after a couple of years but realized that they cannot now. So they will be moving out and I'll be moving back in. It would be so nice after having to rent an apartment for so long. My only concern is that my wife's credit score is much lower than mine - around 710 per CK. My guess it's lower and around the 680 mark. We we refinance, the mortgage company probably will take the her middle FICO score for the interest rate right???? I don't know if I can refinance under my own salary as I would definitely be over 30% DTI based on mortgage alone.
05-04-2015 12:14 PM
Just started in April but so far I have cleared up almost all the random errors in my credit report. I've mailed out letters to have a few finishing touches cleaned up. I've also started my subscription to monitor my credit score and reports from all the bureaus. I'm sitting in the mid 500's (don't have a final clean report score yet) and waiting on BK discharge papers to come in the mail (although Pacer shows the bankruptcy has officially been discharged---YAY!!!). I'm finally able to make the fresh start a reality!
With verification from my attorney that the BK is dc'd, I moved on to the next step in rebuilding (SoulMaster's plan to 700). I was approved for 2 low CL CapitalOne credit cards- both $300 each- but it's a start. I plan to have my FICO monthly subscription on one card, and gas purchases only on the other. I'm starting off small and patient, and that's okay with me. I'm not concerned with my ability to manage credit- that's not how I ended up in BK in the first place. I've not misused CC or loans- I just needed out from under a mortgage leftover from a bad marriage. My plan is to keep my current credit card utilization to 9% reporting then PIF once the statement cuts. I've found that seems to be a safe pattern to start with.
Anywho- that's where I'm at so far! Hope everyone is doing well!!
05-04-2015 12:47 PM
A little bump in Experian and Transunion. Continuing to pay off debt. I closed a card with an annual fee and I'll pay off my Merrick card and probably close it because it has an annual fee as well I got a Discover it invitation to apply in the mail today and it's so tempting but I doubt I will qualify so I'll probably just let it be. See ya next month!
05-04-2015 07:32 PM - edited 05-04-2015 07:34 PM
Skipped April -- was on vacation in the beginning of the month, and gardening the whole month. My scores dipped to EQ 685 TU 683 EX 677 toward the end of March when my old car loan had reported as closed, and started to go back up in the beginning of April after the loan was then updated as paid. Phew.
Then -- on May 1, all my scores shot up above 700! I regained the 25-40ish points (and then some) I had lost after opening/closing cards and loans, and letting everything new age about 3 months. My current scores are below and reflect 8% utlilization (I have been paying all accounts before they report, but I wanted to see what would happen if I started testing out different %s), AAOA is 6.7, and Oldest account is 15.9. This month, I'll be back down to 1% utilitization and see another small jump in scores. My orginal goal for this year was 720 across the board -- EQ isn't there, but I am so excited about where I am! Can't wait to be able to update my goal -- hopefully soon.
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