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01-02-2017 04:12 PM
Not new to this forum. Been lurking for years, but lurking on a regular almost daily basis since mid 2015 when I took the plunge of getting my first credit card (a secured Capital One) since I screwed up 15-20 years ago with my first foray with credit cards as a college freshman/drop-out. After a 15 year credit card boycott (I boycotted them and they boycotted me-lol), I applied after a frustrating auto rental experience with a debit card.
Since joining myfico and reading theses boards, Ive raised my score from nothing to low/mid 500s to mid 600s. Which means Im on the board, but certainly havent had record setting success.
Overtime, Ive obtained three low limit bank cards ranging from 500 to 1200, 2 from Capital one. Of the 2 from Capital one, 1 is secured. I kind of regret going the secured route, as it appears to be a dead end card after the initial rebuild. (1 small $300 increase, then no options for growth after that. I had card for almost 18 months). Im not interested in anymore bank cards at this time, as 1) I dont really qualify and 2) Any bank card offered to me is super high interest and super low limit - I have 3 already..no thanks.
My approach mostly has been to open several Comenity and Synchrony store cards as they were the easiest to get approved for with my credit profile at the time, and they would allow me to build a multiple of positive payment histories to counter the negative and non existant. (I've using both shopping card trick and hard apps for these. I was often too impatient to wait for pop-ups. I shop at all of he stores Ive apped for - they are Mall/Dept Store/Big Box stores mostly). Ive been able to build a positive payment history, but in doing so I've accumulated about $7000 in retail store debt after being debt free for quite some time.
I make sure that come hell or high water, I never make a late payment (35% of score?), however I realize now (thanks to my decision to keep a spreadsheet of balances, due dates, etc.) that because Im focusing on just being on time (just making minimum payment) and not the debt itself, that between all of my cards, im now paying at least about $150 in interest payments per month on average!!!!
Anyways, moving forward, my goal this year is to still obtain some coveted store cards while resolving or waiting out baddies and aggressively paying down balances. Buying a home or a car is not on the immediate wish list, but I wish to maintain a qualifying score. (Or, I should say, i dont want a disqualifying score or credit profile in case I begin to lean towards home or new car. Thats a solid 660 -700 across the board on all 3 bureaus).
My oldest cards will hit the 2 year mark late this year in November, (which is what I believe is the standard minimum payment history time that mortgage and some other lenders look for). I will take a more serious approach then, but until then, its #build, #spend, #maintain, #enjoy
The Strategy is
1. App for a few more of those coveted store cards as/if my score improves in 3 months
2. Pay down my total retail debt to less than 29% of my credit limit and try to not allow it to get above that
3. Get limit increases on some of my current cards so that no store card falls below $1500 so i can spend comfortably without maxing, (and carry a balance for a month or two if desired.)
4. Decide if the petty baddies holding down my score are worth fighting or waiting out or negotiating. (Sometimes these things, whether right or wrong, backfire and are best waiting out .)
5. Never ever let my 3 small limit bank cards report a higher than 75% utility rate. (I noticed a huge drop in score when i allowed this to happen, and huge immediate increase when i paid it down)
6. Get approved for a good Medical LOC Card other than Care Credit. (citi, wells fargo & comenity have offerings). Love Care Credit, but limit too low. Want alternative
Again, dont care about bank cards or mortgages right now.
Unless I can get and qualify for a bank card with a super high limit -10k plus, or a bank card with 0% interest and an at least 3k limit, im not interested, and am happy to play in store card land while controlling my balances and the interest that I pay. The store cards that I have have good rewards, and the option of special financing, and again are at places that I would shop at regardless.
So, to sum up, my goal for the end of this year is basically to
1. Finish up my coveted store card acquisitions (about 10-15 more Max)
2. Then get into position to qualify for a high limit bank cards: (10k plus) -really a transactor for utility padding with some redeeming perk
3. Qualify for a 3k plus 0% introductory interest card or two to finance a largeish purchase or vacation
4. Ease up on INQs
2018 for mortgage shopping and new car maybe. No baddies. 700 score.
01-04-2017 06:29 AM
Happy New Year.
I am hoping that this is finally the year that I put everything together and start to take my financial life seriously. Having just turned 30, I have realized that I need to have my financial space secure before I attempt to move on to some of the bigger goals in my life.
For 2017, my financial goals are:
Bring utilization on all cards to zero. Currently I have about $1500 spread across two cards (Merrick and Cap 1 secured).
I also want to pay all of my bills on time for one entire year. This is very important to me, as I feel a sense of freedom and goodness when I am able to pay my bills on time.
I am also going to try and pay off at least 15 percent of my student loan for the year. I am thinking that if I can knock out a few of the loans individually, it will help me to gain confidence in paying off the full amount over time.
Much luck to all of you.
01-04-2017 03:52 PM
I've stumbled across this forum many times as I've looked at advice for credit-related issues in the past, but never actively participated. This is the year, though!
Several years ago, my wife was diagnosed with a brain tumor that was thankfully operable and everything is OK. During that time, though, she was out of work for several months and we got slammed with a ton of medical bills and ran up a lot of credit card debt. Last year we did well enough to get our scores up to the level we could buy a new home, but due to pregnancy complications we've kind of found ourselves back in a credit mess.
SO, I decided it's finally time to do something about it. My plan this year is to work with everyone we owe to come up with more affordable ways to make payments, and to get things off our records with GW letters and the like in an attempt to clean it up. My ultimate goal is to get back up over a score of 680 for now. We'll see where it goes from there! Looking forward to the accountability this group provides!
01-05-2017 02:45 AM
Happy New Year everyone!!! This is my first check-in of the new year.
Stay positive & focused so we can meet our goals!!
01-05-2017 10:27 AM - edited 01-05-2017 10:41 AM
So starting this school years (September 2016 onwards), for the first time in my life, I have my own paying job (with the university) and I'll be paying all of my own expenses (no more money from Mommy!), so I wanted to negotiate some higher credit limits with my credit cards so that I could actually pay for my groceries! I had four credit cards, with limits of $500, $750, $1500, and $3000, along with two store cards.
That's when I discovered what a FICO score was. My scores were in the 660s.
So I went about repairing that. First thing I did was remove myself as an authorized user on a family member's card. That card had a limit of about $12,000, and a credit utilization near 100%. So I removed that account and my score skyrocketed. My utilization went from nearly 100% down to about 75%.
Then, I still had several thousand dollars of debt on my credit cards - almost $6,000 of debt, with about 75% utilization. (The store cards had barely any balances, but the credit cards were nearly maxed.) So with my new job (working for the university where I am a student), I paid all of that off. By mid-November, I had paid off all my credit cards, and by the beginning of December, all that new information was reporting to the bureaus. So my utilization rate went from about 75% to about 1%.
I also went on some credit card application sprees. I wanted to see what kinds of credit limits and interest rates I could get. I figured, I'm at a point in my life where experimentation won't hurt me too much, because I'm not trying to get a car or a house anytime soon. So I applied for half a dozen credit cards. The results were mixed. Some of the new cards gave me only $1,000 at 20% APR, and some of the cards even rejected me. But I also got a Barclaycard Ring at $5000 and 8% APR.
(Now that I have the Barclaycard, I am officially ending the application spree!)
I also managed to renegotiate some of my preexisting credit cards. Discover upgraded me from Miles to It Miles and increased my credit line from $1500 to $4500. Citi upgraded me from a plain-jane $500 to a Double Cash $1700, and Capital One upgraded me from a plain-jane to a Quicksilver (but Capital One is still stuck at $750).
So now my FICO is about 760. As all these hard inquiries drop off over the next 6 months to 2 years, my score should rise even more. And since my average account age is only 3 years, and my oldest account is 8 years, my score should rise as my accounts age.
So I'm putting down 800 as my goal.
01-21-2017 02:19 PM
Count me in this year! I've been interested for the past few years and always was a silent member since back to 2010. But this year, I am interested to being more active on forums and looking forward to being accountable with others. My goals are to strengthen my scores to have overall a healthy credit file, to purchase a home in less than 2 years and to move my credit cards to prime cards.
I am also having an issue posting the siggy. Can someone please help with that?
01-21-2017 05:37 PM
This year I hope to achieve:
This is my first time myFICO Fitness Challenge and I am so excited to see the my accomplishments in December 2017. Reaching my goals will bring me a lot of peace, I've been very stressed over my financial situation and that affected my health, so I want to be free and healthy!
Starting Score: EX 579 EQ 533 TU 535 on 1/1/2017
Current Score: EX 579 EQ 533 TU 535
FICO 8 569
Goal Score: 700
01-21-2017 05:51 PM - edited 01-21-2017 05:52 PM
2016 saw me closing six credit cards with a reduction of $50K in credit. Also, a rearrangement of my mortgage dropped my FICO 08 Score from 848 (300 to 850) to 800. After taking all the hits my scores are back up to 838 in 2017. No credit needs forecast at this time. Did pay off all my credit card debt in 2016 which hurt my scores. Let one account report a few dollars in 2017. Likely will garden all year unless some really outstanding card that fits my needs is offered.
01-24-2017 04:40 AM - edited 01-24-2017 04:52 AM
I want to join the challenge and start repairing my horrible credit.
I have 13 accounts with late payments
I have 6 accounts in collections
I owe somewhere in the neighborhood of $60,000 in student loans that I have yet to pay on as I have no job.
My goals for 2017 are to pay down all my credit cards to less than 10% of utilization. I got several of them using the shopping cart trick over the holidays and they have already bumped my scores more than 40 points. I would like to cultivate my credit to get a higher limit credit card ($5000+)
I know next to nothing when it comes to repairing credit and even less on how to deal with crediors. My second goal is to learn how to fix the mess I dug myself into.
My goal is to raise all 3 credit scores to 650 (ideally 680) by the end of the year.
My final goal is to start paying my student loans that are my mountian blocking the sun.
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