Through a lot of hard work learning about credit, little ways to work on it, and a lot of pain (to my checking account) I have a bit of a success story.
A few years back, in 2005, I first took a look at my credit score, and I knew it wasn't a good thing when it read 312. I was a young soldier, on my first trip overseas, and still felt somewhat invincible about credit, even with a low score, it just didn't sink in.
Two years later, it's early 2007, and I'm on my third trip overseas, newly married, and finally thinking about the future in the long term. Checking my credit report again, my score is right about on the 500 mark. It's a huge improvement over what it was, but still not really enough to make a difference, and I have even more negatives on my report as I did before. A car repossession due to mishandled paperwork on my first trip overseas, several accounts in collections (old cell phone bill I forgot about, a bounced check for $12, etc) and don't get me started on the student loans! So I decide it's time to make a stand, buckle down, and fix everything.
Reading a lot on these forums and other websites, I felt kind of disheartened that just paying everything off wouldn't just magically fix my score. Realizing that it would take time, I rolled up my sleeves, and got to work. I made sure all of my student loan payments were set up to be paid every month, a huge first step. I then systematically went through the list on my report and got in touch with every collector, and did the hardest part, paid them all off. Today, I made the last payment to the collectors, and now everything is paid off, except for student loans which are set up monthly, and 1 credit card, which I am dutifully chipping away at every month.
I was definately feeling pretty good about being out of collector's debt, and even more when I saw that my score had gone up to just over 600! That's about 100 points in a matter of 4 months. July saw a jump of about 80 points when a LOT of my negatives dissappeared.
My initial goal of reaching 600 by the end of the year came 5 months early, and I'm tempted to set my goals at 650 by January!
Thanks a lot to everyone who shows support on here, and for those who have dished out some priceless advice.
Can I ask how you did this? I have several accounts charged off or in collections. Several!! and, some of the collection agencies sold to other collection agencies. My scores are 555/526/526. Did you write letters and try to get things removed or did you just pay them off? Any advice or suggestions and can you tell me exactly what you did?
Thanks for your story. It definately gives me some hope. I am looking to buy a home in the next year or two and when I initially spoke with a finance company I was told no bank would give me a mortgage with my score of 530. thanks again.