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1 year from Chp 7

Frequent Contributor

1 year from Chp 7

We were discharged from Chap 7 in Feb 2012. We didn't have a mortgage or car loan, but a handful of CC and a lot of medical bills. We got a secured $1000 loan and secured $500 CC in April 2013 from our local bank. We also have my husband's SL, which we are paying.


When we applied for the loan and CC the bank said my CS was 499. We tried to buy a used car the first week of May and were denied, but in the denial letter they had my CS at 599. So I checked it with Equifax and they had my score at 620. I'm not sure why the big differences in scores?


We have made one payment on the secured loan so far, but haven't used the CC yet. I have done a bit of reading on the boards and I see that we should keep our CC balance @ 10-20% of the CL. What else should we be doing to build credit? Our goal is to qualify for a mortgage.


Thank you!

Message 1 of 9
Established Contributor

Re: 1 year from Chp 7

First thing, get your 3 full credit reports from, or the individual CRAs if you've already pulled your free annuals. Don't get 3rd party or 3 in 1 reports, (they are fine for monitoring) you need the full reports to start with. You need to check your reports to make sure everything is reporting correctly after a BK. Your scores seem very low for being a year out.

The score you got from Equifax is not a Fico score, it's a 'Plus' score for educational purposes and not one lenders use. MyFico sells Fico scores, but they may still be different than the versions a lender uses (there are dozens of versions.) Many of us use score tracking or report services to monitor or watch trends in changes, but the only scores that matter are the ones a lender pulls.

Read as much as you can here, get your reports, then come back and ask more questions. Lots of good advice here to help you clean up your reports and get your scores up.

Oh, and welcome to the forum!
Message 2 of 9
Frequent Contributor

Re: 1 year from Chp 7

Thanks. I did get a copy of our reports last month and everything appears correct. So it is most likely that the lender 499 is the "correct" score and the 599 and 620 are not a accurate scores? I wondered why the 499 a year later. Could it be because we didn't do anything in that time to rebuild credit?

Message 3 of 9
Established Contributor

Re: 1 year from Chp 7

Are all of your accounts showing included or discharged in BK and 0 balances? No open collections? Any public records besides the BK?

Trying to figure out why your scores are so low.

It's possible the 499 lender used an 'enhanced' Fico version. You need to look at the denial letter to know. Auto lenders often use auto-enhanced Fico versions. If your 599 and 620 don't say Fico, they are not accurate. Accurate is a bit of a misnomer, as I said before, you can have many Fico scores, depending on what version or CRA a lender uses.

You might want to read up a bit, especially the credit scoring threads.

Adding a few postive tradelines soon after BK does help improve your score sooner, partly because length of time a good account has been reporting is part of your score. You'll see this noted as AAOA (or something similar) here, which is average age of open accounts.
Message 4 of 9
Frequent Contributor

Re: 1 year from Chp 7

Thank you again. Everything is showing a 0 balance/included in the BK. The new loan is showing and it showed the first payment as on time/pays as agrees. The CC didn't show yet, but we haven't used it. His SL shows as current but we did have a late after the BK and I am better that's why the lower scrore. I am making sure that gets paid on time from now on.

Message 5 of 9
Regular Contributor

Re: 1 year from Chp 7

Aside from clearing up any leftover discrepencies on your CR, try looking into getting into Credit Union.  I'm just a little over a year out of my BK and I joined Navy Federal.  They are very BK friendly as you can see by my credit lines from them.  I was able to get a 30k auto loan @ 1.99% for 72 months from NFCU.

Message 6 of 9
Frequent Contributor

Re: 1 year from Chp 7

Thanks. I will look into a CU.

Message 7 of 9
New Contributor

Re: 1 year from Chp 7

Hi new poster to this threadSmiley Happy  

We are one year passed discharge this month, chapter 7, filed Jan. 1st (not a typo) 2012.  I also stupidly let my student loan slip in default which coupled with my wife's medical bills was the leading factor in filing.  I knew I couldn't and didn't want to discharge those, I just wanted enough breathing room to get them rehabbed.  Luckily and by the grace of God it worked for us.  I was able to rehab the loans started up again right after BK discharge.  


Our attorney bless her heart put a bug in my ear that we "could", or "may" I think be able to finance a mortgage 2 years after discharge and I grabbed that hope and held tight as in my feeble weak mind this bankruptcy was the end of the world.....


Which is why I am posting this tonight.  One year later my scores are higher than they have been in a long long time at the 680 range, I feel good about myself and what we have accomplished and proud of who I am again.  Not because I can use credit, but because I have credit to my name, and I hope this can encourage at least one other person who is in it.  


I made it my mission, and it is still on going, to research and find every bit of strategy I could use to build the score and that's what we have done.  Paid most things back we could without being asked or even raising a stink, then cleaned up the reports as best we could for things that were not accurate and established new lines of credit we are hyper vigilant with.


So if you are in it deep and dark please take hold of the fact that you can rise above and beyond.  Yes we make "mistakes" or bad choices and there is no safety net in life, but if you really strive for it, dig deep and pay the bill instead of getting a haircut or going out to eat or whatever, you can rise aboveSmiley Happy

Starting Score: EQ608 TU531 EX568
Current Score: EQ694 TU697 EX710
Goal Score: 760 ALL

Take the FICO Fitness Challenge
Message 8 of 9
Frequent Contributor

Re: 1 year from Chp 7

Thank you! Your post gives me encouragement! God bless!

Message 9 of 9