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Credit help needed

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Established Member

Credit help needed

I have 15+ years of credit history. I moved here in USA at the age of 25. I have gone from being excellent credit history to OK credit history during this time frame. I ended up having around 50K in debt, I never had late payments or any bad mark on my credit file but stuck in these vicious cycle of paying interest where my per month interest is more than 500 and principal barely goes down. I have few credit cards who stuck with me and didn't change my APR or credit limit over time while others increased interest rates or decreased my credit limit. I still have credit cards with APR as low as 7.99 APR.

 

Fortunately I have got into situation where I can pay of 1/3rd of the debt, and I am earning decent enough to pay off the rest in around 2-3 years. I am also looking into a debt consolidation loan but after I pay off 1/3rd of the major balance interest rate on the ones left would be less than 10% in APR, so not sure if consolidation is even worth it.

Is there any way I Could call back those who increased my interest rates to drop it down to what it used to be. We are also looking into buying a house and should I look into paying down the debt or saving for 20% down payment for mortgage. Some sort of strategy would be of great help. Thanks in advance.

Message 1 of 19
18 REPLIES 18
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Super Contributor

Re: Credit help needed

You mention that you are 50k in debt.  Can you clarify that this is all credit card debt?  The word "debt" taken by itself could mean loans as well as CC debt.

 

People will be able to help you best if you list all your cards, their balances, and their limits, like this:

 

Card 1.  Balance = ____   Limit = ____

Card 2.  Balance = ____   Limit = ____

Card 3.  Balance = ____   Limit = ____

etc.

 

Do this for all open cards and also closed cards with a balance.  Let us know if a card is closed.

 

Likewise for your loans:

 

Loan 1.  Balance = ____    Original Amount = ____

Loan 2.  Balance = ____    Original Amount = ____

Loan 3.  Balance = ____    Original Amount = ____

etc.

 

I will be interested in hearing whether anyone knows strategies for getting CC interest rates lowered.

 

You may not be in a position to (prudently) make a home purchase in the next few years.  A person should be free of almost all CC debt and have saved a good deal toward a downpayment before looking for a home.  It is possible to buy before then, but it puts you at risk of losing the house later when you run into money trouble (and it is certain that any person will have money trouble of some kind).  The home loss will be bad for you of course but it also hurts other people.  Lenders don't care: they just want to get you to sign and then they sell the loan to someone else.

Message 2 of 19
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Established Member

Re: Credit help needed


@CreditGuyInDixie wrote:

You mention that you are 50k in debt.  Can you clarify that this is all credit card debt?  The word "debt" taken by itself could mean loans as well as CC debt.

 

People will be able to help you best if you list all your cards, their balances, and their limits, like this:

 

Card 1.  Balance = ____   Limit = ____

Card 2.  Balance = ____   Limit = ____

Card 3.  Balance = ____   Limit = ____

etc.

 

Do this for all open cards and also closed cards with a balance.  Let us know if a card is closed.

 

Likewise for your loans:

 

Loan 1.  Balance = ____    Original Amount = ____

Loan 2.  Balance = ____    Original Amount = ____

Loan 3.  Balance = ____    Original Amount = ____

etc.

 

I will be interested in hearing whether anyone knows strategies for getting CC interest rates lowered.

 

You may not be in a position to (prudently) make a home purchase in the next few years.  A person should be free of almost all CC debt and have saved a good deal toward a downpayment before looking for a home.  It is possible to buy before then, but it puts you at risk of losing the house later when you run into money trouble (and it is certain that any person will have money trouble of some kind).  The home loss will be bad for you of course but it also hurts other people.  Lenders don't care: they just want to get you to sign and then they sell the loan to someone else.


I should have been more specific, 50K is in credit card debt. I do have around 18K (loan was for 26K) in car loan, I had 2 installment loan just closed one last month (I had closed 3 more before that all paid and closed), still have one with around 480 per month payment. For cc's I have my card with highest usage at 80% and lowest at 0, I have kept higher utilization for the ones that has APR less than 10%, At an average I am utilizing 40% of my credit limit, I still haven't made payement of 22K(I was thinking of having 6K in savings leaving 16K to pay off CC) that I have available in bank to pay, still trying to figure out the strategy.

 

My family monthly gross is about 85K while I get around little more than 5K per month as take home in hand now after deducting retirement savings, taxes and medical. My monthly expenses apart from paying CC debt runs around 2.5-3k, overall I feel like I can take this and turn things around, but looking for a strategy on how to proceed and be debt free.

 

Some more info I got 15 CC including 2 store cards, last one opened in December of 2016 to do a balance transfer from higer APR card.

Message 3 of 19
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Super Contributor

Re: Credit help needed

Here's how I would prioritize the 16k that you wish to use to pay down your CC debt.

 

(1)  Pay down all cards to 67%.

(2)  Pay down all cards to 47%.

(3)  Pay down the remainder on the highest interest cards (if there is a significant difference in APR).

 

Then moving forward be certain that you are paying at least $2 more than the minimum payment on every card.

 

You may be able to get a debt consolidation loan at an attractive rate when your individual utilization (each card considered by itself) is much lower.  Getting all cards to under 47% will be a very helpful step forward, partly because it will also lower your total utilization (all credit limits combined).

 

How many cards total do you have?  Of these, how many have a zero or near-zero balance?

Message 4 of 19
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Established Member

Re: Credit help needed


@CreditGuyInDixie wrote:

Here's how I would prioritize the 16k that you wish to use to pay down your CC debt.

 

(1)  Pay down all cards to 67%.

(2)  Pay down all cards to 47%.

(3)  Pay down the remainder on the highest interest cards (if there is a significant difference in APR).

 

Then moving forward be certain that you are paying at least $2 more than the minimum payment on every card.

 

You may be able to get a debt consolidation loan at an attractive rate when your individual utilization (each card considered by itself) is much lower.  Getting all cards to under 47% will be a very helpful step forward, partly because it will also lower your total utilization (all credit limits combined).

 

How many cards total do you have?  Of these, how many have a zero or near-zero balance?


Thanks CreditGuyInDixie appreciate your reply. Here is some additional info on the balances and cards I have

I have total of 15 credit cards. Of which 5 are 0 to near zero or something I can take care of in couple months. Most of the balance is concetrated among 5 cards around 7 to 8 K on each card. Here is some rough breakdown of the 5 cards with most balance, limit and their APR.
Card 1. Balance = 8000 Limit = 15000 APR 16.99
Card 2. Balance = 8500 Limit = 17500 APR 16.74 (2.99% APR on 4000 in BT ending in Mid 2019)
Card 3. Balance = 6500 Limit = 7500 APR 11.24 APR
Card 4. Balance = 6300 Limit = 11000 APR 8.24 APR
Card 5. Balance = 8500 Limit = 19100 APR 7.99 APR

Message 5 of 19
Super Contributor

Re: Credit help needed

It looks to me like the following could be achieved very easily, and still have at least a few thousand of that 16k left over:

      *  All cards at under 47% (card's utilization considered by itself)

      *  All cards with small balances paid to zero

      *  Total utilization at under 28%

 

If you achieved that much you'd see some substantial score improvement.  FICO likes seeing all three of those things.  So just use the money to do that right away.

 

Then look to see what happens to your scores.  (You will need to wait until your three reports show that all the CC balances have updated with the new lower balances -- then pull your FICO 8 scores after that.  The $1 trial offer at Credit Check Total is a nice tool for that.).

 

If you find that your three scores are much better, you'll need to decide whether you want to go with a debt consolidation loan.  If you decide you want to look into that, make sure that prospective lenders are not doing hard inquries when they give you a quote.

 

Whether you go with the loan or not, you will want to use all loan money and any extra cash to payoff the cards with the highest interest rates, since they differ widely.  (Some cards you are paying 17% and on others you are paying 8%.)  This is after you accomplish the goal of gettoing all cards at under 47% (etc.).

 

Then continue to hammer away at your CC debt with the focus continuing to be on paying off high interest debt first and the ultimate goal of paying off all CC debt.

Message 6 of 19
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Established Member

Re: Credit help needed


@CreditGuyInDixie wrote:

It looks to me like the following could be achieved very easily, and still have at least a few thousand of that 16k left over:

      *  All cards at under 47% (card's utilization considered by itself)

      *  All cards with small balances paid to zero

      *  Total utilization at under 28%

 

If you achieved that much you'd see some substantial score improvement.  FICO likes seeing all three of those things.  So just use the money to do that right away.

 

Then look to see what happens to your scores.  (You will need to wait until your three reports show that all the CC balances have updated with the new lower balances -- then pull your FICO 8 scores after that.  The $1 trial offer at Credit Check Total is a nice tool for that.).

 

If you find that your three scores are much better, you'll need to decide whether you want to go with a debt consolidation loan.  If you decide you want to look into that, make sure that prospective lenders are not doing hard inquries when they give you a quote.

 

Whether you go with the loan or not, you will want to use all loan money and any extra cash to payoff the cards with the highest interest rates, since they differ widely.  (Some cards you are paying 17% and on others you are paying 8%.)  This is after you accomplish the goal of gettoing all cards at under 47% (etc.).

 

Then continue to hammer away at your CC debt with the focus continuing to be on paying off high interest debt first and the ultimate goal of paying off all CC debt.


I calculated based on what you said and to get below 47% for all cards, I just need 5K, which leaves me with around 11K to pay off higher APR cards from there. It looks like it's managable and I should see some significant improvements.

 

My current Fico 8 are 728/Equifax, 709/Transunion and 709/Experian, hopefully with those payments I could push myself into 740+ range. Appreciate your input on the strategy.

Message 7 of 19
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Established Member

Re: Credit help needed

I do have one more question and this is strictly based on how much of a difference in credit score one scenario makes compared to other for knowledge purpose. Personally I rather save real dollars compared to what I could save in if else scenario. The only thing that I forsee in near future I would want to do that would require having good credit is buying a house, I had been renting up until now and do not mind renting for another year or two if it makes financial sense.

 

Current plan: Pay all the accounts below 47% and Use the rest to pay off high APR credit cards, based on balances I mentioned earlier. Which would bring down overall revolving utilization below 27% but certain accounts would have higher utilization than 27-30%.

 

New Scenario for knowledge purpose: Pay all accounts below 27% keeping some balance in high APR credit cards, which could cost me in interest rate but may put me in better credit score category.

 

 

Message 8 of 19
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Frequent Contributor

Re: Credit help needed


@CreditGuyInDixie wrote:

 

 

Then moving forward be certain that you are paying at least $2 more than the minimum payment on every card.

 


Why just 2 dollars?  What's the significance there?  

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EX 780 TU 806 EQ 810

Message 9 of 19
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Senior Contributor

Re: Credit help needed

There is no significance associated with $2. CGID believes paying more than the minimum reduces risk of a creditor taking adverse action in the form of a credit line decrease (CLD) or balance chasing. If I were to pay slightly more than the minimum, I might go $5. Of course, Fico only looks at balances and utilization for scoring purposes. The amount of payment over minimum is not a consideration.

Fico 9: .......EQ 850 TU 850 EX 850
Fico 8: .......EQ 850 TU 850 EX 850
Fico 4 .....:. EQ 809 TU 823 EX 830 EX Fico 98: 842
Fico 8 BC:. EQ 892 TU 900 EX 900
Fico 8 AU:. EQ 887 TU 897 EX 899
Fico 4 BC:. EQ 826 TU 858, EX Fico 98 BC: 870
Fico 4 AU:. EQ 831 TU 872, EX Fico 98 AU: 861
VS 3.0:...... EQ 835 TU 835 EX 835
CBIS: ........EQ LN Auto 940 EQ LN Home 870 TU Auto 902 TU Home 950
Message 10 of 19
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