Regular Contributor
Posts: 105
Registered: ‎04-15-2008
Re: Expanded "FICO High Achievers" (scores of 760 and above) characteristics list
I am not fully in the 760+ club yet, just EX is above at 765.  It wasn't always like that and about 12 years ago the only credit card I could get was a little $300 CL.  I was married to a man that didn't want to work for anyone else even though we were barely getting by on what he made doing "side jobs" and me working nights for hardly more than minimum wage.  We were young and stupid and probably a good thing that we had no credit then.
I worked my way up to file clerk when our 3 children were of school age.  Then my company got an IBM mainframe and I learned the system.  After about 3 years at that job I went to another company to fully become a systems operator earning almost $30k a year.  Wow!  That was a pretty good salary back then.  I stayed there for 3 years until the company was bought out.  I then accepted a job offer from my former manager there at his new company making $36k.  I've been with the same company for 15 years now and I make close to $100k a year. 
We weren't able to buy a house until I had been at my current job for a couple of years and also because my husband finally went to work for a stable employer.  Once when I was going on a business trip I wanted to use "our" credit card instead of my company card.  I found out that I wasn't even authorized to use the card!  Funny... I made much more than he did and I wasn't authorized to use OUR card?  So, I applied for my own card and got the $300 CL because I really had no credit other than the mortgage we had.
We divorced in 2000 and since then I have worked on building my credit.  I look back over my report and I see the progression of cards from CL of $1000, $1500, etc. that I closed along the way for better cards.  If I knew then what I know now I wouldn't have closed those older cards when I got better ones but, tried to get CLI instead.
I bought my first house 6 months after the divorce (I had $28k from my half of the house we bought together).  I did every bit of work myself from new flooring, tile, trim, paint, faucets and fixtures and sold that house after 3 years for a clear profit of $102k.  I then bought my current house with $70k down (20%).  I have gotten steady CL increases and I now have $75k in CC limits with a util of 4%, one auto loan with $5k left to pay, and a mortgage.
I have NEVER been late on anything but I do have one bad mark on my record.  I co-signed for my daughter's car, she defaulted, I paid it in full.  It now shows up on the 3 reports as:
Experian:  "Paid, was a charge-off" with one 60-day late, Score 765.
TU: "Payment after charge off/collection with 0 lates, Score 742
Equifax: "Bad debt/collection" with 1 30-day late and 2 60-day late, Score 728.  This account shows Inactive, not closed like the other 2, Balance 0, Description is Paid charge off.  I believe it might be the Current Status of "bad debt/collection" that is hurting this score so much plus the 3 lates.
I have drafted a GW letter to Ford that I will send asking that they remove it.  I have a Ford, my other daughter works for Ford, and I have paid mine 15 days early every month for 5 years (that's because the payment is due the 30th and I pay all my bills on the 15th).  Even if Ford will not remove this from my report it will be 7 years in December so will come off in the next year, dependingon whether it stays 7 or 7.5 years.
It's taken a long time and diligence.  Even if I don't have much to spare at bill time for some reason and only make a minimum payment it MUST NOT BE LATE.  I hope to hit 800 in the next year too when Ford is gone.
1/10/09 EQ=806, TU=772, EX=788