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Success Stories and Encouragement

Established Member

Re: Success Stories and Encouragement

I've gotten results from 2 investigations, TU and Experian. The scores are now 722 and 754 respectively. A month ago, they were 666 and 689. It really pays to dispute items! Thank you to everyone on these forums. Hopefully I will be back to report on an increased score from Equifax. Before the disputes, it's a 685, so we shall see Smiley Happy
Message 31 of 280
Valued Member

Re: Success Stories and Encouragement

10/1/07: TU: 489, EQ: 447, EX: 503 10/28/07: TU: 522, EQ: 510, EX: 558 Still bad, but it's moving in the right direction. This is just from lowering utilization... I have some PFD's out as well as some disputes that should help. Also now 2 months of no late payments. I'm not sure why my EQ is so much lower than the other two; it actually has fewer negatives than EX!
Message 32 of 280

Re: Success Stories and Encouragement

...updated later...

Message Edited by gps on 11-28-2007 06:25 PM
Message 33 of 280
Senior Contributor

Re: Success Stories and Encouragement

gps wrote:
- I dated a woman last fall who used my dwindling credit (from the charge offs) and took out some bad credit cards in my name
We're hoping one or more of my scores will pop above 600 before the new year

On the woman whom you dated, I presume you filed a police report over the CCs opened in your name. If not, do it.
What does your util look like?

Message Edited by Noah_Bodie on 11-29-2007 06:37 AM
Message 34 of 280

Re: Success Stories and Encouragement

... updated later ...

Message Edited by gps on 11-28-2007 06:26 PM
Message 35 of 280

Re: Success Stories and Encouragement

Here's the short version of my story.

Filed for BK7 in 2003 after years of irresponsible debt management. The court referee basically lectured me about how stupid I was for filing and made me feel like a complete POS. The court wanted to convert me to a 13. I had a change of heart and decided to suck it up and make a go of it myself. I wasn't interested in being babysat by the court system for several years, and figured I could fare better on my own. I petitioned to get the filing dismissed and they obliged. Thus began the real work.

After the dismissal I knew that I had a small window of time before my creditors were notified and came beating down my door again, so I started formulating a plan of action. I absorbed every piece of information I could find about credit. How it works, how it's assessed, how it's reported, what rights I had as a consumer, what obligations creditors had under the FCRA, etc. I learned all about disputes. It was a really enlightening time. Instead of running from the enemy, I snuck up under it's slumbering belly and observed it's habits.

Next, I analyzed my debt and the severity of each account in order to prioritize. Honestly, I did engage a 3rd party to help with disputes. This was a huge step. As I started seeing success on that front, I began writing to creditors for my smaller accounts, paying them off when I could, settling when I could for less. At that point I was not hip to the concept of PFD, so I blew some opportunities early on to clean up my file. Later, I got pretty good at it and had a lot of success working with creditors directly.

On my larger accounts, I managed to settle for an average of 40%. This was tough, as I had to scrape together the funds before approaching the creditor. I learned early on as well that EVERYTHING needed to be in writing, using explicit and detailed language about what happens on both ends. I began paying bills on time, monitoring my bureaus. I sent, emailed and faxed countless letters. I worked on this for over 3 years on and off.

Jump forward to early 2007 when I started to see everything begin to pay off. In 2003 my scores were mid 400's. Today, I'm a dozen points away from 700 on 2 bureaus. Experian is being a little more stubborn, but not too far behind. I bought a house at prime in July and have 2 Amex cards, and that's mind-blowing to me.

Whenever I buy something with a credit card now I am reminded how it felt to go to a restaurant with family or friends and not be able to spring for the entire bill because I didn't have any credit. I remember not being able to rent a car, or take my family for a spontaneous weekend outing. I remember the piles of collection notices in my mailbox every day, and not being able to answer my own phone without checking the caller ID. It was a horrible feeling, and it still resides in my gut. I guess it's healthy. I don't ever want to forget.
Message 36 of 280
Senior Contributor

Re: Success Stories and Encouragement

gps wrote:
Ex-GF? Filed a complaint with police, but no progress there. It seems she had bills sent to my apartment to get them, and changed addresses to imaginary addresses afterward. She lives "under the table" and isn't locatable. Serves me right for getting involved in the first place, but at least the damage was minimal
My debt is absurdly low, ($3,800 in CC debt, 18,500 remaining on auto loan.) Util is about 80% - working on that over the next 3 months. I was never a major CC kind of guy, so don't have much debt, OR history...

For the ex-GF, might be worthwhile to take a whack at tracking her down and turning her in, but then I'm vindictive that way. I've recently used Intelius, one of the data mining/quasi CRAs (though not truly a CRA under FCRA, near as I can tell). I signed up for Intelius "Club Membership" which gives me a 10% discount on all purchases for a year. Used it a couple of times. Interesting and generally useful results--although you have to weed out a lot of chaff to get at the wheat.
Another is reknowned PI Joe Culligan. $325 and they will find someone in 14 days or your money back. For extra you can get a death file check and a criminal records check. Thought I was gonna have to use them recently.
The 80% util on CC debt is definitely hurting you. Get that down under 30%, or a mortgage lender likely ain't even gonna talk with you. Once you get it under 50%, I suspect you can start applying my CC Tactics. See my sig.
I'd also try a couple of CC apps. Check out the friendly CCC link in my sig.

Message Edited by Noah_Bodie on 11-29-2007 06:33 AM
Message 37 of 280
Established Contributor

Re: Success Stories and Encouragement

Boy, pretty similar history...did not go the BK route at all....felt I honestly owed the money, went to a debt management agency.  Would open bills, pay them....but never, never add all of them up and see how much I really owed.   SCARY !!!  Now, 9 months left, have not received a phone call in 3 years, its so nice to think the phone ringing is a friend (or even a telemarketer, better than a bill collector !).  Feeling of peace.  Now buying a home, will not ever, ever get into that mess again.  Was not even going to get a credit card again, until I started reading these forums and realized how important they are to your credit.  House will be furnished on as can pay basis !!!

Starting Score: EQ 679, TU 697
Current Score: EQ 680, TU 672
Goal Score: EQ 720, TU 720

Take the FICO Fitness Challenge

Message 38 of 280

Re: Success Stories and Encouragement

First off I cannot say how thankful I am that I found this site. Just about two weeks ago I purchased my monthly 3-in-1 reports from to reveal a judgment on my Experian report. I had this same judgment appear on my CR in the past 18 months three separate times. The first time I wrote to Experian they removed it within 30 days. The second time they stated it was a valid debt verified with the courts and then it disappeared off my report for 10 months. Last month it reappeared and then I had it. I disputed the report via mail and online without any results until I came to this forum for help. I posted a thread and I received a reply within 24 hours from a user named Timothy who is clearly a great asset to this forum. I followed his advice and utilized the generic format letter he provided for me. I faxed over the letter as well as send it priority overnight to have that judgment removed from my report within three business days. Had it not been for Tim and his knowledge of the FCRA and rules of reinsertion, I would be at 672 with Experian instead of 822 where I have been in the past. Again, thank you for all of your help and hope most of you find this helpful. Mario   TU 802         EQ 814 EX 822
Message 39 of 280
Regular Contributor

Re: Success Stories and Encouragement

I just wanted to post some words of encouragement.  I started working on my and my DH's credit on Sept 28,07.  I have worked really hard and at many, many times, I thought about just giving up.    My results have not been as signifcant as my DH but I didn't have as much to work on.  My husbands HIGHEST score starting out was 432. Well today, Nov 9,07 Just over 1 month later I am happy to report that his highest score is now 609 and his lowest score is 552!  This forum has proven to be invaluable in this whole process.  Thank you to everyone that has answered my questions.  Now, I think it is time for me to start focusing on my credit a little bit more.
Message 40 of 280