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Member
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-29-2007
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Success story

Credit problems run in my family. This site was my first step in breaking the cycle of credit delinquency and broke some of my bad habits. I'm still working on it, but so far so good. My score hit the 700's when I paid off my credit cards in February. Credit card utilization and payment history will make or break you. I had 4 automobile loans paid in full and never missed a payment, but my score still stayed in the tank. Student loans are something I will have to live with for a while, so I just work to maintain a workable payment plan that won't cripple me.

Transunion
Equifax
Experian

Dec-05 Apr-06 Jul-06 Nov-06 Feb-07 Mar-07 May-07 Jul-07
544 619 624 646 657 659 675 682
547 645 668 630 680 706 712 723
539 611 655 677 689 715 653 731
Valued Member
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎04-23-2007
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Re: Success story

WOW!!!  Almost a 200 point increase with Experian!!!   Excellent job!!!!
Member
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-29-2007
0

Re: Success story

Thank You so much!

I started out wanting to raise my credit score a bit for another loan for school, but got really disgusted after being flatly denied (after years of credit repair--in 2001, my score was 485). It then turned into a lifestyle change (read "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Kiyosaki and Lechter), etc. etc. etc...

Dude, it never stops though. It's like a 12 step program. Today the challenge is fighting temptation. My car is dependable and doesn't look like a beater but is 13 years old with a broken a/c (in SoCal). I am a car freak, and would love to get a newer car.

But, my instincts say "stick it out, I know it reaches 100 degrees everyday, but buy your first house/condo/something next year, then maybe add a little extra money on top of when you apply for the mortgage to pay off the balance of the student loans".

It's hard to stay disciplined.
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 6,182
Registered: ‎03-29-2007
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Re: Success story

Awesome!
New Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎07-25-2007
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Re: Success story

I have just learned about this FORUM and so glad that I stumbled upon it. I am a single mother who is trying to eventually (hopefully sooner then later) get into my FIRST home. I am trying to understand how to get myself out of this hole that I have dug and seems like I continue to keep digging. My credit score, last time I checked, was roughly an embarrassing 532. Honestly, probably very deserving, I was not taught about finances nor about FICO scores, crediting rating, etc. Now I am paying for it. Enough complaining . . . now I want to do something about it. I have some questions. Most of my information is OLD, except for a recent hospital lien that was placed on my report in 2007. I received that because it was either pay the hospital bill or pay the balance due on my college account so that I could gradute and at 41 years . . . I opted to get my degree (finally). So, even though the lady agreed to a payment plan the next thing I know she had sold my account and I was being garnished. I need to know should I be paying off these OLD debts . . . how does paying my utilities, car insurance, etc. effect my report. I have recently acquired two secured credit cards . . . how does that affect my credit score? I know that I am asking a lot of question, but as much information as you can provide would be appreciate. My goal is to have a 700 or better score in 12 - 18 months so that I can relocate and hopefully relocate into my first home. Thanks to all that read this and respond.
 
RICDIABLO, your story is inspiring . . . I have students loans as well, pls tell me your secret on how you achieved this in such a short time.
Super Contributor
Posts: 8,198
Registered: ‎03-25-2007
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Re: Success story



ricdiablo wrote:
Dude, it never stops though. It's like a 12 step program.
 


Funny you should say that:
 
 
The MyFICO Forums 12 Step Program
 
 
Smiley Very Happy
The slide from grace is really more like gliding
And I've found the trick is not to stop the sliding
But to find a graceful way of staying slid
Member
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-29-2007
0

Re: Success story

1) "Most of my information is OLD"
Dispute every old item on every report. Even if it is legitimate, sometimes the stuff on your report should no longer adversely effect your score so significantly (e.g.: a 30 day late on a credit card more than 24 months ago).

2) "recent hospital lien that was placed on my report in 2007. "
Um. Hospital billing are usually pretty sympathetic. First work out a budget. How much could you actually pay them per month? If they needed a down payment, what is the maximum you can give without killing yourself or feeding your kids Ramen for 6 months. ONLY AFTER you have those numbers in your head, call the a/r or billing person and in your best "I'm a Customer Service Rep too" voice BRIEFLY explain your situation--what you went in for (usually unexpected health emergency), maybe why you were delinquent, how you were planning to pay them back and even agreed to a payment arrangement, then how this collection is making things tougher for you now. Ask if there is any way to work out payment in lieu of collection and call off the dogs. If they agree to that, make sure to call the collection company to make sure the collection is deleted from your report, if not after 45-60 days, dispute it.

If that doesn't work, call the collection company and ask THEM for a plan that you pay the debt in some way and in exchange, they remove the entry from your credit report. Even offer them post-dated checks IF they delete the entry first.

If that doesn't work, it's time to email/ call/ contact Michael Moore. :-) (and I'm not kidding)

3) "I was being garnished. "
I missed something. WHAT ON EARTH???? How long was it at a collection agency? Did it not go to an agency? It's REALLY hard to garnish somebody's wages, usually only the feds, the franchise tax board, and student loan companies can garnish wages. I need more information to give you advice on that.


4) "how does paying my utilities, car insurance, etc. effect my report."
paying utilities does absolutely NOTHING to your credit report unless it goes to a collection agency, but by then you would have already maxed out your credit cards buying candles, bottled water, and firewood. So the pecking order is mortgage first, credit cards next (even if it's just the minimum), then installment debt (car loan, student loans, etc.), and lastly do utilities. So what if it turns pink every now and then. You are on a mission. Insurance is a necessary evil. Pay it when it's due. Does NOTHING to your credit report unless you have a past due balance that goes to a collection agency. However, as your credit score goes up, your insurance rates (if you are "financing" your policy instead of paying outright) go down.


5) "I have recently acquired two secured credit cards . . . how does that affect my credit score?"
The gods have given you a second chance, treat it as such. Don't be late, don't miss a payment, treat it like probation. This too will pass, and you'll start getting REAL credit card offers as soon as you hit 600.


6) "My goal is to have a 700 or better score in 12 - 18 months"
You can do it. It won't be easy. The more accounts you pay off, the higher your score. Pay off 90% of your credit card debt within some comfortable timeframe. I can tell you how I did that later if you want, this reply is long enough already though. Get rid of any collections on your report if you can as I explained above. Try to over pay a little bit (even like $10 - $20) some of your installment debt (student loans), some lenders--especially Sallie Mae, have given a clean slate to formerly delinquent borrowers without the borrower even knowing. For others student loan lenders, call, negotiate, ask for rehabilitation in lieu of timely payments for the past year or so. Rehabilitation is usually offered only to SERIOUSLY delinquent borrowers as an incentive to get them to pay, but it wipes out all negative information on the loan AFTER the borrower successfully makes payments for I think 2 years.

7) "so that I can relocate and hopefully relocate into my first home. Thanks to all that read this and respond."
Um. Keep the enthusiasm...but wait. Wait for your score to hit 725+. THE LAST THING YOU NEED is a high-interest mortgage. Also as you review your finances, learn to appreciate the freedom and extra change you keep in your pocket while renting. And it goes without saying, when you shop for a house while desperately wanting one, you become bait. 'nuff said.
 
8) "RICDIABLO, your story is inspiring . . . I have students loans as well, pls tell me your secret on how you achieved this in such a short time."
Thank you so much. No secrets. I'm just learning as I go along. I started at 18 and went from no credit history straight to bad credit with Freshman year charge off. This is the first time in my life that I feel like I'm in charge of my finances.
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 2,050
Registered: ‎04-17-2007
0

Re: Success story

[ Edited ]


ricdiablo wrote:
3) "I was being garnished. "
I missed something. WHAT ON EARTH???? How long was it at a collection agency? Did it not go to an agency? It's REALLY hard to garnish somebody's wages, usually only the feds, the franchise tax board, and student loan companies can garnish wages. I need more information to give you advice on that.


Unfortunately, it's very easy to garnish someone's wages.  All you have to do is sue them for money damages, win (usually by default because they don't show up), and then you have a judgment which  entitles you to garnish their wages or bank accounts.  It's a remedy that's not limited to the feds.  Credit card companies and even doctors and hospitals can do it.
 
 
ETA:  The laws on garnishment vary by state.  And congrats ricdiablo on all your success!!


Message Edited by masdeocho on 08-01-2007 12:23 PM
-----------------
Bartender, bring another round of FICOtinis please!

9.4.2011: TU 805. EQ 815.
New Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-03-2007
0

Re: Success story

I also come from a family with less than desirable credit and I'm hoping someone can give me a little guidance. About a year ago I took a "do-it-yourself" approach to improving my credit--getting a quarterly report, paying down/consolidating debt, etc. But I have a few negative factors on my report that I thought would only improve over time until I stumbled across this site tonight. I have 2 credit card accounts from college that appear like this: worst status comment CITIBKSDNA ----Derogatory----Derogatory; Occurred in 8/2001 CITIBKSDNA ----Charged-off---Derogatory; Occurred in 2/2006 I naively thought that closing the accounts would make them disappear. The charge-off was done in 2001, but in 11/05 I found out that I had a $28.28 balance on that account that I had no idea about. I immediately paid it off but it looks like a much more recent delinquency than it really is. How should I go about getting them removed from my report?
Member
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-29-2007
0

Re: Success story

So in 4 years after the charge-off they never sent a bill, a follow-up, a follow-follow-up, or anything? Hmmm, the actual date of the charge-off is in dispute here. Do you happen to have a copy of the original charge-off letter/ billing statement/ notification from '01? Do you still have a copy of what they sent you in '05 informing you that you had a $28 balance?

If you do that should help your case. I would say first call Citibank and get transferred around until you get the delinquency/ collection/ default/ charge-offs dept. I do not recommend telling this entire story to an ordinary CSR because if you get an outsourced call center, they are trained to get you off the phone and will shut you down . Explain to the proper rep that your card was charged off in August of 2001....$28 leftover found out about in '05....and now your credit report shows that the charge-off occurred in February 2006--where on earth did that date come from...

He or she should be able to tell you, right there on the phone, whether they can correct your credit reports. If he or she says there's nothing that can be done, that person is actually probably "outsource", ask for a supervisor and go up the ladder until you actually talk to someone who works for Citicorp and do the entire explanation over again. After you get Citi to agree to correct the report, submit a dispute report to the credit agency(s). If this entire process was rather easy, you might even have the gall to ask the Citicorp rep for a confirmation letter. A copy of which you could enclose as proof in your dispute letter.

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