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How I started over from a 500

New Member

How I started over from a 500

I used to have a good score, not sure what it was but I was able to be a first-time car buyer with an 9% back in 99, $500 down. I was a homeowner at that time and shortly after the car purchase, I bought myself a home and kept my condo as well. Fast forward to later on. My condo got foreclosed after I couldn't rent it out (tenant blew his brains out in master bedroom and neighbors were loudmouths about it). I had several lates on my car and my house was going late as well. To top it off a second auto got repo'd. I sold my house probably days before foreclosure. I also had a judgment. Yeah, I trashed my credit.

My starting over point was about a 519 back around March 06 when I checked it and decided to do something about it. Under advice, I opened a credit line at Badcock's, a furniture store. Just about any furniture store that does its own in-house financing will do. I got a $1,600 revolving credit line with 20% down. I bought a dinette for $400 borrowed. I paid just a bit more than the monthly minimums for about 4 months. Then I applied for a credit card with Tribute, $250 line. Carried a 30% balance, paying more than minimums. After a few months of that, I applied for another card through CreditOne and got a $350 line. From then on, I just paid my accounts and carried small balances, often $0 balance at times. I got a couple CLIs from both and now have a $350 line with one and a $550 line with the other. I probably could have got more CLIs but haven't asked much and one of them doesn't accept requests for CLIs.

Fast forward to Dec 07 and I apply for two new cards, a Cap1 and an HSBC. I get a $350 from Cap1 (stingy) and a $750 from HSBC. The rates on these are much better and I'll be using the info learned here to play them off each other for rate reductions and CLIs. So now, I've got no mortgage, no auto loan and 4 CCs with small balances. Well, I'm about 50% utilization because of a bad car transmission. Work has been pretty productive as of late and will probably go to near $0 on my balances. Badcocks is at $0, although I might buy something to keep that account open. The information learned here will ensure that I gain the best APR and CLIs I can as I now have the money to pay every card to $0. My FICOs are 634, 632, and 606. They were probably higher a few months ago before my util went up on the cards. It will be interesting to see what my score looks like in a few months when my balances are down to nil.

I'm ready to take on an installment loan but my auto score is sufficiently trashed to about a 587 because of the repo. I'm hoping to find some other type of installment loan other than a car to build that aspect of my score up.

I would like to hear any advice that would have accelerated this improvement so that anyone taking on this approach gets the fastest results.

It sure is nice to have a >$2000 credit line for when things happen I don't have to scramble. I hate my cards, I hate to use them, but I realize their importance in playing this game.

Message Edited by vegassatellite on 05-19-2008 01:08 AM
Message 1 of 5
Established Contributor

Re: How I started over from a 500

Congratulations on your journey in the 600's, your making great progress.  I see that you have an HSBC cc.  We also have one and have received several offers from them for an auto loan.  You may check with them to see if you can get approval for an installment loan from them.  Just a thought.   Good luck!
Message 2 of 5
Valued Contributor

Re: How I started over from a 500

I always advise people to check with national and local Credit Unions because they are more app to help you! You have to start somewhere, but i can understand if you already have history with HSBC why you would consider them first! Good Luck!

I'm not a kid anymore, I've done a lot of growing up! Smiley Happy
Starting Scores Sept '15- EQ-555, TU-542-EX-536
Current Scores as of June '16 - EQ-592, TU-635. EX-629
Gardening since June2016
Message 3 of 5
Moderator Emeritus

Re: How I started over from a 500

vegassatellite wrote:
My condo got foreclosed after I couldn't rent it out (tenant blew his brains out in master bedroom and neighbors were loudmouths about it).
Under advice, I opened a credit line at Badcock's, a furniture store.
Congrats on all you have acheived!  Hard work and patience really do pay off.
Sorry to hear about what happened in your condo.  How stupid can people be to let that stop them from buying?  And worse are the neighbors.  My house is 108 years old and I'm sure a number of people have died in my bedroom.  That's just a part of life.  At least there are no ghosts.  Smiley Surprised
Great job with getting the installment loan, but could they come up with a worse name?!
Keep up the good work.  It's only up from here! Smiley Happy
Bartender, bring another round of FICOtinis please!

9.4.2011: TU 805. EQ 815.
Message 4 of 5
New Member

Re: How I started over from a 500

I think I'm going to play the CC companies off of each other first to get their rates down since I'm going to get those balances down and wait for my score to improve once the balances are reported. Then I'll go for the installment loan, that way it doesn't cost me too much since I'll probably hold this loan for a bit to get some history on it.

I finally have long term plans for handling my credit. I see myself gaining control over my situation and now I don't have to take what they offer me. I've got some room to move around. I'm hoping to get my credit above 720 before the real estate market comes back, if it comes back.
Message 5 of 5