It's been a year since I discovered these forums, so I thought I'd write out my encouraging tale for others just starting this journey.
I'm still in the middle of rebuilding, but things are SO MUCH better than they were 12 months ago, when I had FICO 8 scores in the mid-500s. Now they are 656 (TU) and 668 (EX and EQ). A year ago, I had a drastic financial disaster but it was limited to one card that I couldn't pay. (With a HUGE balance.) I was able to settle for a lesser amount (no charge off, no collection). But I was also left with a 90-day-late. And, I ought to mention, my income is low (it was about 17K a year ago, now is 25K). I had a lot going against me!
I started off by getting on a low-interest payment plan for some closed credit cards (which are still in good standing). This left me saddled with high util which I can't pay off yet because of low income. In the months after I started my rebuild, I was able to get a secured card (Green Dot) and then Walmart and Overstock store cards. In Feb I was miraculously approved for a Discover It card. I wanted to apply for everything in sight, but thanks to the folks here I learned my lesson sooner rather than later and just checked prequal sites a lot (and was refused a lot). Things started getting better in the middle of the year when I got in with Navy Fed (yay Navy). Now I just wait and garden and plan...
Some takeaways from my first year:
Congratulations and Wise words. Patience, Planning & preparation are the 3 key words. Rushing into applying for anything and everything during Credit rebuiling phase HURTS the most in the long run and only dents the progress. Those words of yours are to live by. I understand, as human beings we tend to get impatient and want to quickly turn around things. but not in this case. We should first learn to play the credit game, get into the game, play the game for a while and only after that should we expect any results. I've been following this myself for over a year and got my scores from low 500s to 675 across board today. I'm one month away from getting my 2nd Negative account fall off (first neg account fell off earlier this month). That leaves me with just one Deliq/Neg account.
My Util is always < 5%. Payment history is getting updated in an excellent manner for more than 15 Months now. I'm giving myself one more year before i sit down and pat my back for everything that i've been through all these years (3+ Years). I've age on my side (33). i'm sure i will bounce back with in no time. I keep telling myself this EVERYDAY.
Thanks again and keep up the good work. Lets not stop here. We Must, must move forward.
Nice job. Congrats. Keep on chuggin.......................
Thanks so much, everyone!
I just found out that my Experian FICO 8 score (which I check every day) has gone into "Good" category! (670!!!!) I'm over the moon! I suspect that Equifax is probably already there and TU might lag a little behind but will get there soon. (I'll check those scores in a few days.)
The hardest thing is to be patient. And also, to realize that what I've got now is pretty amazing! I've got three "good" cards from good banks (Navy Fed and Discover). (Plus the three store cards.) They all offer rewards. I will never have to charge something without getting some sort of reward back. But still, I want more, more, more cards and it's difficult to wait. But wait I must!