New Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎05-18-2008
How I started over from a 500
[ Edited ]
I used to have a good score, not sure what it was but I was able to be a first-time car buyer with an 9% back in 99, $500 down. I was a homeowner at that time and shortly after the car purchase, I bought myself a home and kept my condo as well. Fast forward to later on. My condo got foreclosed after I couldn't rent it out (tenant blew his brains out in master bedroom and neighbors were loudmouths about it). I had several lates on my car and my house was going late as well. To top it off a second auto got repo'd. I sold my house probably days before foreclosure. I also had a judgment. Yeah, I trashed my credit.

My starting over point was about a 519 back around March 06 when I checked it and decided to do something about it. Under advice, I opened a credit line at Badcock's, a furniture store. Just about any furniture store that does its own in-house financing will do. I got a $1,600 revolving credit line with 20% down. I bought a dinette for $400 borrowed. I paid just a bit more than the monthly minimums for about 4 months. Then I applied for a credit card with Tribute, $250 line. Carried a 30% balance, paying more than minimums. After a few months of that, I applied for another card through CreditOne and got a $350 line. From then on, I just paid my accounts and carried small balances, often $0 balance at times. I got a couple CLIs from both and now have a $350 line with one and a $550 line with the other. I probably could have got more CLIs but haven't asked much and one of them doesn't accept requests for CLIs.

Fast forward to Dec 07 and I apply for two new cards, a Cap1 and an HSBC. I get a $350 from Cap1 (stingy) and a $750 from HSBC. The rates on these are much better and I'll be using the info learned here to play them off each other for rate reductions and CLIs. So now, I've got no mortgage, no auto loan and 4 CCs with small balances. Well, I'm about 50% utilization because of a bad car transmission. Work has been pretty productive as of late and will probably go to near $0 on my balances. Badcocks is at $0, although I might buy something to keep that account open. The information learned here will ensure that I gain the best APR and CLIs I can as I now have the money to pay every card to $0. My FICOs are 634, 632, and 606. They were probably higher a few months ago before my util went up on the cards. It will be interesting to see what my score looks like in a few months when my balances are down to nil.

I'm ready to take on an installment loan but my auto score is sufficiently trashed to about a 587 because of the repo. I'm hoping to find some other type of installment loan other than a car to build that aspect of my score up.

I would like to hear any advice that would have accelerated this improvement so that anyone taking on this approach gets the fastest results.

It sure is nice to have a >$2000 credit line for when things happen I don't have to scramble. I hate my cards, I hate to use them, but I realize their importance in playing this game.

Message Edited by vegassatellite on 05-19-2008 01:08 AM