New Contributor
Posts: 77
Registered: ‎10-24-2007
Re: Success Stories and Encouragement
Hello Everyone,

My name is Jane + after a year or so of lurking on the forums I finally signed up to contribute. This forum has made such a difference for me. My personal finances were doomed from the start as my parents were never responsible with money + claimed BK numerous times in their lives. Not a good example. Unfortunately I started to follow in their footsteps + did not take money very seriously. As soon as I started college I was enticed by offers of free items + thus applied + was granted every credit card imaginable, AMEX, VISA, MC, DISCOVER, SEARS...I along with my loser boyfriend at the time charged up thousands of dollars worth of debt + when I applied for these cards I had no job + they knew this(guess they figured mom + dad would pay)?! I made minimum payments for a few months but of course there was no way I could pay back these debts. Eventually I just closed down all the cards to minimize any further fees + tried to forget about the whole mess as I kind of felt in my mind that the credit card companies had preyed on me by giving me $2000 limit CC at age 18 with no income to speak of. I was blessed. In 1996 my CC's were CO but I was never taken to court. No judgements filed against me. No collection agencies called. My boyfriend who actually had a job was not so lucky. I was given a second chance. I decided I would never get another credit card and I would always save + invest money, treat it with respect + always live within my means. Due to circumstances beyond my control I had to quit school + get a full time job. The bank who held my student loan had all my updated information but after a few months and getting no notice of repayment I inquired with them + they told me it sometimes takes months before I get anything as the loans are sold. So I waited + nothing. Eventually I forgot about it + of course did not hear anything until my student loan was in default. I was devastated as I felt I had handled my finances well since 1996, while all loser boyfriend could say was "who cares". Needless to say by 2000 I realized that loser boyfriend + i did not see eye to eye on finances or much of anything + eventually I left the relationship. I remained in Honolulu where I grew up most of my life, but by 2002 I was ready to move on. I relocated to Seattle + then San Diego in 2002 where I met DH, who happens to be 5 years younger than I am. When things started getting serious I decided it would be a good time to ask him how he felt about personal finances. I had not looked at a credit report ever in my life and was afraid to know what was on mine. I was not hired by two companies that year due to my poor credit rating + that is when I discovered how important credit ratings were. I was still afraid to request a copy of my reports. I knew that by 2004 all the charge offs would have dropped off but there was still my student loan which I had to consolidate + had never missed a payment on since 2000. I figured DH must have pretty good credit as he paid a car loan every month. But DH's car loan was in his mother's name + he had not credit cards to speak of. So together in 2003 we got his and hers secured Bank of America Visa cards. I decided it was about time he start his credit history + about time I started repairing mine. We decided together that we would never be able to afford a condo or house in San Diego + that since I loved Seattle so much we would move there together in November 2003. Within a year of never missing a payment both our BofA CC accounts were graduated to unsecured! It felt great. In July 2004, DH applied for a Capital One Auto Loan to use on a really sweet deal on a used Volkswagen Jetta. He was approved but the APR was 8%. In July 2005, I finally pulled our credit reports + scores. DH's report was clean as a whistle no late payments, 2 CC's + 1 Auto Installment loan his average score was 725! Not bad for a 2 year old credit history. My report was a bit of a mess, no late payments on my 2 CC's + on my consolidated student installment loan from 2001 there was a 60 day late reporting when I was in deferement. This plus I had 11 other baddies. Thankfully none were charge off's from the 1990's. 5 were from Sallie Mae USAF who Bank of Hawaii had sold my 5 original student loans to that went into default because I had never received a bill! 5 were the same 5 student loans but under Nelnet who handled my defaulted loans before I consolidated them with USDE Direct. These were not scheduled to be removed from the report until 2007 and 2008 respectively. I had one paid collection for $99 from 2002 from Oceanic Cable in Honolulu as they never sent me my final billing after I moved, but I got a collections notice in Sn Diego + paid it. Wish I had known about FICO Forums back then so I could have PFD! Anyway my average score was 625, which I did not think was so bad considering. So on a whim we applied for a mortgage + we offered a 2 year ARM which we took since we knew we would be making a lot more money + our credit scores would be better in 2 years time to refinance. I was surprised that we did not qualify for a 30 year fixed with DH's score but that is when I began becoming a personal finance nerd. I found the FICO Forums in 2006 after DH was diagnosed with Lymphoma + read them as therapy. Sent letter to Direct Loan got the 60 day late removed. Sent GW letters to Nelnet + USAF and had all 10 student loan baddies removed. Am still working on the Collections account, my only baddie, only reporting on EX. So I thank all of you for your help + for being a therapy through the toughest year of my life. DH has been in remission since April. We refinanced the ARM in July to a 30 year fixed with BofA at an incredible rate! + we got married in August. Now if only EX would report our HELOC the same as EQ + TU, I think I might be satisfied (they are reporting it as Secured Credit Line + I think it is why our scores are lower than the other two)?

Thanks again, you guys rock!
xoxox Jane
hey, careful man! there's a beverage here!
My FICO: TU - 725 EX - 736 EQ - 747