Note: I cannot subscribe to the MyFICO monitoring package yet because it says I don't have a score on TransUnion. I would be happy to subscribe and get just the reports and the other two scores, but, it will not let me (cancels the order) because of the TransUnion thing. Which is confusing, because TransUnion itself showed me a score on their site ... anyway, I will keep trying. For now, all score data comes from other sites, including Credit Karma (Equifax and TransUnion), Self Lender (Experian), and sometimes directly from credit agencies, which I will use in place of the other scores when available. All scores I list should be taken with a grain of salt until I resolve my TU issue and am able to subscribe to the MyFICO package.
Also, if any of this looks familiar, I posted a similar question under another username that used a "burner" email address. I decided to switch to my real email address for long-term sync with the MyFICO reports, which required me to make a new username.
That said, where I was two months ago:
Equifax: score estimate 625
- Discover card that was actually closed in 2012 showing as active/positive, credit limit $2000, balance $0
- Shell card that was actually closed in 2012 showing as active/positive, credit limit $500, balance $0
- Exxon card that was actually closed in 2012 showing as closed/positive, credit limit $1000, balance $0
- Collection from 2018 (cell phone bill, about $325)
- Utility company showing unpaid $92 charge-off from 2016
TransUnion: score estimate 510
- Cell phone collection from 2018, $325
- Cable bill collection from 2018, $355
Equifax: score estimate 510
- Cell phone collection from 2018, $325
- Cable bill collection from 2018, $355
- Paid the utility charge-off
- Disputed all negative items with all credit agencies
- Cell phone collection removed from all three accounts!
- Cable collection removed from Experian but still on TransUnion
- Charge-off is still on Equifax, but showing paid in full now
- Signed up for Citi secured card, $200 deposit/$200 limit (received, active, showing on all three reports). I put my Hulu bill on it and set it to autopay twice a month.
- Signed up for Capital One secured card, $199 deposit/$300 limit (not received, not appearing on reports yet, should arrive next week). I am planning to put my Netflix bill on it with autopay.
- Signed up for Primor Green Dot secured card, $300 deposit/$300 limit (not received, not appearing on reports yet, should arrive next week). I am planning to put my HBO Now bill on it with autopay, though I am a little leery of this one based on negative comments I've seen about payments not posting very quickly.
- Signed up for $500 Self Help loan, where they loan you $500, which they put in a CD, and you repay the loan with 12 monthly payments of $48, and at the end, you get the $500 from the CD (made first payment early, but not appearing on reports yet)
- Signed up for MyJewelerClub, my account is "pending" with a $5000 limit, paid $100 initiation fee and bought $100 worth of crap, paid $150, balance $50 (just did this last night, not appearing on reports yet)
- My brother added me to his Barclay Bank credit card, which has a $25,000 limit and a balance that fluctuates between $0 and $5000 (it is his main card he uses for rewards, so I'm a little worried about utilization %, but still expect it will help. Has not appeared on reports yet)
I also have a bunch of hard pulls - about 10 on Equifax and about 6-8 on the other two.
Just started a new job (annual gross income $108,000). Before that, I worked for a different company for two and a half years (annual gross income $100,000).
Latest estimated scores (same caveats about where I am seeing the scores apply)
- Equifax: 633
- TransUnion: 595
- Experian: 602
Am I on basically the right path? If not, what should I do differently?
I am hoping to get into the "fair" range in the next couple of months and "good" by late this year or early next year. Is that realistic?
I will sign up for the MyFICO package when I am able, and track my numbers better from that point.
I am wondering now if the Primor card serves a purpose. Perhaps I should close that one? The reason I am mentioning that one is that I've seen a lot of reviews in which people say that their payment takes 10 days to post, or in some cases, never arrives. That spooks me about potential late payments despite autopay. It may also just be sour grapes from people who made mistakes, it can be hard to tell reading anonymous reviews.
You look to be on a good path. I would say just wait for the dust to settle and see where you are once the new accounts start to report. You may take a dip when that happens since its going to lower your youngest account age and your average. Once everything gets to reporting you will have a better idea. Attacking the baddies would be an excellent use of time while you are waiting. Don't just dispute them unless something is wrong but try to work out pay for deletes if possible. If not get them paid, starting with the newest first.
If you search around for the names of the companies you will find what others have been able to do.
Its now time to garden. Let everything age for at least a year while working towards any PFD's possible.
If you keep the Primor, I would only use it once every three months just to keep it open for a year.
By the way, my main goal is to be able to either get added to a title, or get my own decent mortgage, for a piece of family property that I am likely to inherit before long. The property does have a mortgage on it currently, but is worth more than the mortgage payoff. I can't predict when I will need to do this, but I would like to be prepared in 12-18 months.
My secondary goal (actually more of a method toward the first goal, but somewhat a goal in and unto itself) is to get a new (or new-ish, think Carmax) car. My original motivation for that was to build credit, but thinking about it, it also has other benefits, so that is something on my radar for the next few months unless it's significantly counterproductive for my main goal.
Incidentally for anyone interested in a clear-credit build test case ... my Experian record has nothing at all on it except my one-month-old Citi card. The other stuff should show up there soon, but right now, it's basically a blank slate. TransUnion is the same except for the one collection that I am hoping to get removed. Equifax has some other random stuff on it that keeps it from being a true blank slate.
Update: the collection has been removed from TU. So I now have no derogatory marks on any report, other than the 2016 paid charge-off on Equifax, which I am disputing (investigation in progress).
None of my new accounts have appeared yet, aside from the one Citi card that had already appeared before I started this thread.
I still cannot sign up for MyFICO reports/monitoring. I just tried again today. The issue, apparently, is that I don't have any accounts on TransUnion at least six months old. I also don't have accounts on Experian that are six months old, not sure why it specifically mentions TU. I wish MyFICO substituted some sort of provisional score until it can calculate FICO scores. Meantime, I signed up on TransUnion, which gives me VantageScore 3.0 scores for all three bureaus:
I also monitor CreditKarma, which uses the same formula and shows the same scores as TransUnion, except that it does not show Experian at all.
Note for anyone interested in a "clean-slate credit build". I now have two credit reports (TU and EX) with nothing at all on them, except a one-month-old Citi secured card, and some hard inquiries. I have two more secured cards, one AU card, one revolving loan and one store account (or however MyJewelerClub counts) waiting to appear. So, I should have some pretty good data in the coming months, if you can live with the hard pulls also being on the report.
Ran some prequalifications today and was denied for all non-secured cards, still.
I somewhat accidentally did a real application for Discover non-secured, and was denied. The reason they listed was "insufficient credit history." Fair enough.
I was, however, preapproved for the Discover secured card, which I've been rejected for already twice ...... hmm ......
I spent all day thinking whether I was brave enough to actually apply for Discover secured, going back and forth on whether it's worth doing, since I already have three cards. Well - I don't HAVE three yet, but I have one, and the other two should come in the mail in the next few days. Not really any point in having four instead of three, is there? But, one of my cards is a Primor, which I've read some very negative comments about regarding customer service and how quickly payments post.
I decided to take a chance, and ... I was approved! I am doing $500 on it. As soon as I receive the Primor ($300), I am planning to call and close it. The three I will keep are Citi, Capital One, Discover.
I sounds like your making some good moves, cleaning up your reports, establishing new accounts. What I would do now is use those accounts and pay them in full or very nearly full each month. I wouldn't apply for anything at all for at least 6-12 months. Just let things sit. Looks like you already have 10 inquiries in a pretty short period of time, to meet your goals of a mortgage or car you don't want to have a bunch of recent inquires. I would strongly suggest joining one of the many great credit unions out there because they can really help provide access to credit at good rates. If your a vet or have a vet in your family Navy Fed is your friend. If not the backdoor to Penfed works well and there are many other great ones. Be patient and your work will pay off.
You can do the Experian for all 3 for just a $1 for 7 days just cancel before 7 days is over.