Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,669
Registered: ‎04-25-2011
Re: i am just starting to rebuild my credit need help with a few questions.

ferel wrote:

hello everyone! i have been reading this forum for a bit over a month now and just signed up. this is a great source of support for people with damaged credit and i am grateful for any help i can get with my credit rebuilding issues. i will break this first post down into a few sections. first what my credit goals are, second what my history and current credit status is, and third questions about what i should do to get myself in the right direction to achieve my goals. thanks again to anyone who may be able to help me out.


1- my credit goals


    i have never had very good credit due to negligence on my part ever since i got my first $500 credit card in college years ago (i am now 37). around 3 years ago i decided to take a look at my credit report through a credit report company online and found about a dozen collections. i had a good amount of extra money at the time so i decided to pay some of them off. about half of them i believe. although i paid many of them off im not sure if i did it the right way.


Paying debt off is never really a 'wrong' thing, although paying off a negative debt does not increase your credit score. If you have paid an account already, you will need to send what is known as GW letters (good will) to ask for the good will removal of the listing. Only removal of a listing will help your credit score. 


    i now have a son (just turned two yesterday) and over the last half year have finally started to grow up. i live in hollywood and its very easy for people to just go on partying endlessly but i think having a kid finally got me to want to act my age and i have become more ambitious and responsible at heart this year. i am working hard to create a future for myself and my son where financial hardship will not be an issue. 

    im not sure if this is my fico score or fako score but i have a score i managed to find through a free credit reporting agency online and it is 556. i was not able to get my report from this site but i will get into that in the second part. i would like to be able to finance a car in 6 months at a prime apr (nothing too expensive maybe a 4-5 year old mustang 10k or so) and would also like to buy a condo in las vegas (there are some ive been looking at that cost around 15k) for maybe 1-2k dowm with a low apr and maybe a 5-10 year mortgage. at this point (in 6 months) i would also like to be qualified to get 2 unsecured credit cards that i will want to keep for a long time and get periodic cli increases with that have good apr rates and rewards. in 2-3 years time i would like to be able to buy a house in the valley for around 3-400k with a good 30 year low apr mortgage. thats about it for the part of my post about my goals i suppose. 


How much research have you put into your plans? With a FAKO score of 556, you really don't know where you stand in FICO terms but you are a WAYS off being able to get prime anything, let alone a used car loan. You first focus needs to be repair.  Getting a prime car loan, a condo, good unescured credit cards take knowledge and work. I am not even sure you can get a mortgage for 10k, as my lender (as well as many) don't go below 50k for primary properties. Reward cards are the best of best, many who have scores over 700 (like myself) don't even have rewards cards. I am not saying its not possible,  but it doesn't appear a very plausible outlook right now; at least not 6 months from now.


2- my current credit status

   like i said i have been able to pull my score through a free trial at a popular online credit report agency. it is 556. i tried to get my score here but it didnt allow me to because i didnt answer the security questions about my history accurately. the strange thing is when i was asked some security questions at that annual credit report site the same sort of questions had come up and i was not able to get my equifax report there either (its either experian or equifax, whichever one this site uses is the one i think i cant get my report on). the strange thing is both sites asked me which company i had a mortgage with and how much the mortgage was for. and i never have had a mortgage in my life. so i wasnt able to get my report on this site and i could only see my other two agency reports on the other site.could someone have used my identity to open a mortgage? and if so why would they use mine since i have such a bad credit history? anyway if someone could let me know the correct way to follow up on this id appreciate it.


It has nothing to do with if you had a mortgage or not, the point of the security questions is to successfully query you to make sure you are who you say you are. I highly doubt there is fraid in this situation. You will need to call the CRAs then and redo the security questions. If you didn't have any loan, did you respond None of the Above to all of them?


   anyway on to what i was able to see from the other two credit bureaus. theres only 3 items on each. as i recall from 3 years ago when i payed off more than half of the badddies on my report of over a dozen baddies there were a few that were reaching the 7 year mark so i assume some just dropped off. so i have 3 items on my report they are all from time warner cable and i belive are all the same unpaid bill from late spring 2011 when i shut off the cable with an unpaid balance remaining. so if this is true i think maybe the debt just got passed from one agency to another and maybe i can get 2 of them dropped off? then deal with the 1 actual one that remains? any help here would be appreciated. heres how the debt looks (all 3 are from time warner cable)

- CBA collection bureau. date opened 1/1/2012 balance $276

-Enhanced Recovery Co. date opened 5/1/2012 $395

-Enhanced Recovery Co. date opened 5/1/2012 $367

i called enhanced recovery and gave them my name including middle initial and my city i live in and they said they could find a file on me? i could only get the first 4 numbers of the acount on all 3 reported baddies as the 8 digit account numbers appear as 1234xxxx. thats all i found on my reports so far.


Debt can get passed around, and all can report, but only one can report a current balance. I would send what is known as a DV letter to all of the collection accounts, to see if the validate the debt and provide you with information, then you can really decide how to pursue each account.


3-what do i do now to get on track?

   I have just put down a 99 dollar deposit on a $200 secured card with capitol one at the beginning of dec. called them yesterday and they said it was sent out yesterday so i should get it within a week. i read credit repair for dummies and read that opening a secured loan with my bank might be a good idea. ie: give them $500 and they give me a 1 year loan for $500 plus a small apr? should i get one more secured credit card? and should i increase my cl with my cards so i have a good credit limit history 6 months from now. how high should i raise them to? 500? 1000? at what point should i be eligible for a target merchandise card? what steps should i take to get rid of the 3 baddies that seem like theyre all the same 1 item from time warner? how should i go about getting my report from this site when theres false information about a mortgage in my initial security questions? is getting a car loan in 6 months (and maybe a $15 mortgage for a condo in LV) a good idea? why could Enhanced recovery find my collections files? any help would be appreciated thanks!


Credit Repair for Dummies isn't a bad book, I got it when I first started but be wary if some of its advice. This is what I would do:


I would send a DV letter on all the collection accounts. Find out who validates and who doesn't. I would send it Certified Mail Return Reciept, just so you have those dates of when you sent the letters formalized. 


Once they respond, some might remove because the cannot validate, or they may be different debt related to the same account. Either way, when they respond, if you are satisfied with their repsonse, you can offer  a PFD letter (pay for delete) and see if they will remove for payment.


If they don't not agree after a couple of times, I would personally just pay the debt off and try a good will letter.


Your biggest challenge to your overall credit health is establishing credit. You did a good thing by getting a secured card, let it age, periodically build up the limits. Once you remove the baddies, I would go for a store card, maybe something like Walmart (GECRB) because they offer generous limits, the opportunity to graduate to a Discover card down the line, and a free FICO score every month.


After about 6 months,  maybe sooner if you get those baddies removed, I would apply for a starter unsecured card.


Keep the utilization near 0 on all the cards, all the time. Util is a huge FICO factor.


You can probably think car in 6 months, but you won't be able to think property for at least another 18 months.




Starting FICO Score: 10/10: TU 498 | EQ: 502 Current FICO Score(lender pull): 09/14: TU: 784 | EQ: 752 | EX: 784
Collections Removed: Hunter Warfield, CBE Group, Merchants Credit Guide, EOS-CCA, Enhanced Recovery, Portfolio Recovery, UCB, American Collection Company, Medical Business Bureau, Jefferson Capital, Credit Portfolio Associates, FCO, LVNV, Convergent, Armor Systems
Other Negative Entries Removed:Plains Commerce CO, HSBC CO, 2008 Judgment Santander Reposession

Positive Accounts:10/10: 0 | 07/12: 6 | Mortgage Closed 5/12, Macy's AMEX $13900, Citi/Home Depot $8500, Capital One Cash Rewards $3500, BOA $7500 Total Utilization: 3%. AAoA: 2yr, 9mth. INQS: 1 TU, 1 EQ, 3 EX