Established Member
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎08-01-2007
Re: Success Stories and Encouragement
After years of neglect and irresponsible credit management I found myself unable to qualify for a corporate AMEX card when I jump back into the corporate world after having been self-employed for a number of years. Thank God my new employer needed someone with my skills so badly that the corporate office issued a waiver to AMEX that allowed me to get a provisional card with restrictions so that they could hire me anyway.  But the whole situation was embarrassing to say the least.  AMEX informed me that once my credit improved, they would remove the restrictions placed on my account.  That was in July 2006.
After paying off of a high interest auto loan in Nov. 06, I got serious about cleaning up my credit.  When I pulled my credit scores and report from all 3 CRAs' I was shocked and overwhelmed at the mess I had created for myself.  My scores were: Equifax - 490, Experian - 512, Trans Union - 540 in Feb. 2007.  I had tons of collections, charge-offs, repos, Judgement, Chpt. 13 BK, defaulted student loans, and a poor payment history. 
In Sept. 2006 dispite my low scores I apply'ed for and received an unsecured Master Card with a ton of high fees, which I've paid ontime religiously.  When the Master Card company started reporting my updated info to the CRAs', I started getting call after call from collectors wanting me to pay old accounts.  In Feb. of this year I decided to become proactive by calling every creditor listed on my CRs offering to pay my old debts in full.  I did not ask for removal of account from my CRs or anything.  Several jumped at the chance to accept payment in full, others refused because accounts had already been sold to collectors.  As of today I have paid out several thousands of dollars to settle many derogatory accounts and put an end to them reporting default status to the CRAs' every month.  I also in Feb. 2007 began a sucessful rehab of my student loans which I just completed last month, Oct. 2007.  I must say, I had been told that paying old collections off would actually hurt your credit scores, but I found that not to happen I my case.  It actually helped me because I ended the collectors negative monthly reporting to the CRAs'.  Many of the collectors removed their entrys from my CR's on their own, without me even asking!??
As of today Nov. 12th 2007, my FICO scores are: Equifax - 615, Experian - 652, Trans Union - 653!!! 
Since Feb. I had also applied for and received 4 more credit cards, 1 appliance account, 1 fuel account card, and cell phone without a deposit.  I'm done with applying for credit for a while, I have all that I need!  I will let my accounts age now, and limits increase. 
It took a complete change of approach to handling my obligations.  Believe it or not, I feel good when I pay my bills now!  I pay them the minute they are due, sometimes even before they are due.  I never charge more than I can payoff in a month or two.  I never want to go thru another embarrassing situation again involving credit.  I still have a long way to go, but time is the only thing that can help me now.
It take years to build good credit, and seconds to blow good credit!
Good luck all!!!
Starting Score: TU 501 7/2006, EQ 475 7/2006, EX 499 7/2006
Current Score: TU 709 12/2011, EQ 677, EX ???
Goal Score: All above 700