College Student Overwhelme
d By Road To Improving Credit
08-26-2012 10:55 AM
This is my first post here on the myFICO forums! I have officially decided that I want to take control of my credit and decided this would be a good place to stay focused and gain inspiration via others success stories. I turned 18 in March 2008 and the big economic meltdown didn't occurr until October of that year, so credit was still fairly easy to access. Within that first year I opened an array of credit cards - First Financial, Citi, HSBC Orchard, and Juniper - and took out $15k in private student loans from Chase (no cosigner necessary). My Citi card alone started off with a credit limit of $2k and within 6 months had been raised to almost $4k. Despite the fact that college can be expensive, I also went through an episode of depression which resulted in compulsive spending and a failure to recognize or appreciate any potential consequences that may arise. By the time I hit 19, my cards were all maxed out and I was extremely behind on all of them, regularly being called by collecting agencies. About 2 years ago I finished settling all of my original credit cards. I knew at the time that settling them was going to come at a cost, but at the time I just wanted to start fresh and the relief that came with being done with them seemed worth it.
Today, I am 22 years old and my goal is to have an easier time accessing credit by the time I finish college, which will be in about 2 years. At that point I will have my bachelor's degree and ideally I will go directly onto graduate school. I currently have an Equifax score of 535 and right now my goal is 750, though I will be happy with any level of improvement.
Current Credit Situation:
Direct Federal Student Loans - $21,800 + Interest
Chase Private Student Loans - $15,000 + Interest
BB&T Auto Loan - $10,000 @ 16.49%
Credit One - $272 (Credit Line: $300)
Capital One (secured) - $0 (Credit Line: $200)
Total Debt: ~$46,500
Clearly, I have a high amount of debt (mostly student loans) and a bad history of making payments, along with the multiple settled accounts from two years ago. I purchased my car in January (2012) and while I know the interest rate is extremely high, I figured it would help improve my credit overall and it was literally the only option I had in regards to financing a vehicle without a cosigner.
I simply do not know where to even begin! Part of me feels hopeless and that there's no way I'm going to be able to do much of anything to improve my credit until I finish school and have a regular full-time job, but ideally I'd have it improved before then, because eventually I'll need to be able to get an apartmetn and/or have to replace my car.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Starting Score: 535
Current Score: 535
Goal Score: 750
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