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Post bankruptcy - quickest credit score recovery options. Co-Signer vs Secured Credit Cards

New Member

Post bankruptcy - quickest credit score recovery options. Co-Signer vs Secured Credit Cards

Hello All

I am exploring options for efficiently recovering my credit score after being completing a 60 month chapter 13 bankrupcy. Long story short I have been researching the most effective way to recover my score which was about 780 prior to the CH 13. I have read very useful information on these forums about leveraging a few secured credit cards while paying off 2 of 3 and leaving a 5-9% balance on one. Great information! I wanted to ask how using a co-signer on a normal credit card may help or hurt my score in comparison to secured cards as my spouce did not go bankrupt with me and currently has a 820 score and could co-sign as needed if it was in my advantage to do so.

Thank you all for your great posts and advise on these forums and in advance for any suggestions given here. It is appreciated!
7 REPLIES
Regular Contributor

Re: Post bankruptcy - quickest credit score recovery options. Co-Signer vs Secured Credit Cards

OP, I'd recommend checking out the BK forums. There may be a wealth of information for those who rebuilt post BK.

 

1. Check your score now and review your reports to assess if everything is reporting accurately.

2. I would not recommend secured cards in your case. Everyone may not agree with me, but I'd recommend that your spouse, if willing, add you as an AU on 3 at least high 3 limit credit accounts (with low utilization). Let the accounts report before applying for anything else.

3. Given that you are five years post filing: I'd recommend Discover, AMEX (charge card), Capital One and 1 CU of your choice. Your odds are better if you did not IIB these lenders; however, Discover and Capital One will be most forgiving to IIBs and will grow with you.

4. Keep utilization low, pay in full or pay off quickly, and be patient.

Credit status: PIF + 0% float strategy
Financial independence (FI): maxed retirement accts + increase non-retirement savings + expand secondary income + eliminate SLs
Message 2 of 8
New Member

Re: Post bankruptcy - quickest credit score recovery options. Co-Signer vs Secured Credit Cards

Thank's for the reply!


@Namaste7

1. Check your score now and review your reports to assess if everything is reporting accurately.

 


 So far I just did a single Experian request from https://www.annualcreditreport.com as I did not want to get ahead of myself with too many inqueries before I was sure of the impact and I thought it may be best to stagger the reports as needed.   I would like to see the current FICO score, but I wasn't sure if it was best to add it on there (for $4.99 for 1 month) or utilize one of the other resources to get a score to refrence as well.   Any suggestions there?   Will the report pulls have any impact on me anyway?


@Namaste7

2. I would not recommend secured cards in your case. Everyone may not agree with me, but I'd recommend that your spouse, if willing, add you as an AU on 3 at least high 3 limit credit accounts (with low utilization). Let the accounts report before applying for anything else.

 



Appreciate the suggestion.   Interesting as I had not thought of adding myself as a AU to her cards.   Is it your thought this will have the most positive impact overall?   I would have thought being a AU didn't benefit as much due to having less liability, but I guess that may not be the case?

 


@Namaste7
3. Given that you are five years post filing: I'd recommend Discover, AMEX (charge card), Capital One and 1 CU of your choice. Your odds are better if you did not IIB these lenders; however, Discover and Capital One will be most forgiving to IIBs and will grow with you.

 

Also, I did IIb Discover and Capital one, but just to be clear do you suggest I add myself as a AU on thoes cards if my wife still has aged accounts with them open, or were those lender suggestions for secured or unsecured cards for myself in addition to being added as a AU on the aformentioned scenario?

 


@Namaste7 
4. Keep utilization low, pay in full or pay off quickly, and be patient.

Would you agree the best case scenario would be to keep 2 of the 3 accounts paid off and the 3rd left with a 5-9% balance each statement period?   This is a stratagy I had read in another post on these forums for secured cards that seems to be accepted by multiple people as being most effective, and I am curious if I should use the same method now with secured, unsecured with the co-signer, or as a AU like you mentioned.

 

 

I appreciate any other replies, opinions, and feedback from anyone else with insight to this matter.

 

Thanks again!

 

Message 3 of 8
Regular Contributor

Re: Post bankruptcy - quickest credit score recovery options. Co-Signer vs Secured Credit Cards

OP, read this thread: "Discharged to 700 FICO in 24 months". With this thread and the data-points thread that many have shared over the last 12-18 months, the only reason why you should consider a secured card is if you are trying to restore yourself with a conservative lender that you did dirty or does not like former derogs (e.g., BofA). Otherwise, I think you'll be able to rebuild with having to use secured cards. 

 

Credit status: PIF + 0% float strategy
Financial independence (FI): maxed retirement accts + increase non-retirement savings + expand secondary income + eliminate SLs
Message 4 of 8
Highlighted
New Member

Re: Post bankruptcy - quickest credit score recovery options. Co-Signer vs Secured Credit Cards

 

Thank you for the reply!


@Namaste7 wrote:

OP, read this thread: "Discharged to 700 FICO in 24 months". With this thread and the data-points thread that many have shared over the last 12-18 months

 


I will read this thread thoroughly today.

 


@Namaste7 wrote:

the only reason why you should consider a secured card is if you are trying to restore yourself with a conservative lender that you did dirty or does not like former derogs (e.g., BofA). Otherwise, I think you'll be able to rebuild with having to use secured cards. 

 


I just wanted to make sure I was clear on the second part of what you said here.   Did you mean to write unsecured cards on the second part?  I thought it may of been a typo and wanted to check.

 

I will read that thread today, but the options I currently see are opening new secured credit card accounts vs opening unsecured accounts with my wife (820 score) as a co-signer or, as  

 

Message 5 of 8
Regular Contributor

Re: Post bankruptcy - quickest credit score recovery options. Co-Signer vs Secured Credit Cards


@DIYer wrote:

 

Thank you for the reply!

 


@Namaste7 wrote:

the only reason why you should consider a secured card is if you are trying to restore yourself with a conservative lender that you did dirty or does not like former derogs (e.g., BofA). Otherwise, I think you'll be able to rebuild without having to use secured cards. 

 


I just wanted to make sure I was clear on the second part of what you said here.   

 


Yes, typo... While there may be a valuable reason to get a secured card, I do not think secured cards are required for a successful rebuild. 

Credit status: PIF + 0% float strategy
Financial independence (FI): maxed retirement accts + increase non-retirement savings + expand secondary income + eliminate SLs
Message 6 of 8
New Member

Re: Post bankruptcy - quickest credit score recovery options. Co-Signer vs Secured Credit Cards

Any other thoughts on this?

 

Thinking of trying to sign up for a regular card now.   My Experian is 688, but none of the prequal sites show anything for me.  I think it is because of the bankrupcy, but I am hoping I can signup for a decent card on my own with a 688 experian score.   Maybe a 1.5 cashback with a intro cash bonus offer.

 

Anyone recommened any?   I was thinking of trying Santanders for my first hard pull just because I have a checking account there and I thought that may make them more likly to approve unless you guys think that is a bad idea.

 

Thanks all!

Message 7 of 8
Valued Member

Re: Post bankruptcy - quickest credit score recovery options. Co-Signer vs Secured Credit Cards

 I think you should try Discover’s pre-qualify page.  They are BK friendly.

Message 8 of 8