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How much progress in twelve months!

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Frequent Contributor

How much progress in twelve months!

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:

 

  • It's so hard to be patient. I'm the worst at it. Hang around these forums, soak up the info, make plans, write notes, keep yourself occupied (and educated!) as you wait for things to improve. They WILL improve.
  • Stop applying for cards or loans when you are getting refusals. Less is more. Quit while you're ahead! You'll deeply regret it later when things are starting to pick up (and they will pick up sooner than you think!) because you'll either have all these crap cards or a lot of wasted inquiries.
  • myFICO is a wonderful place because it encourages healthy attitudes about credit (pay in full! Lower utilization! etc). You can unlearn bad habits and avoid disasters in the future. For the longest time, I only felt guilt, shame, and dread when I thought about my credit. Now I'm a credit geek and am enjoying this without the guilt! It's totally fun. Soak up the healthy attitudes and habits here and they will follow you for the rest of your life.
  • Even with black marks on your credit, you can still get ahead. Look at all the people here with BKs, charge-offs, late payments, and high utilization. We still get afforded a second chance. We have to be more careful before applying, but all is not lost. I still have high util (it's slowly going down but still very much there) and was approved for Discover, Navy Fed, some good store cards (Walmart, Shell) and have pre-approvals for Citi and AMEX. It just takes time...
  • Things can change suddenly when you least expect it. A few months after my credit rebuild journey, I could only get a preapproval for Discover's secured card. Then my FICO went up a few points and voila! Preapproved for unsecured Discover IT (at a low 600 score with low income and high util!). After months of no preapprovals, suddenly preapprovals. Be patient. That next big "breakthrough" could be around the corner. 
FICO8: Nov 20, 2018:
FICO8: Nov 20, 2019:
FICO8: Dec 1, 2019:
Goal for December 2019: FICO8 640-700 (reached! Fico 670!)
Goal for December 2020: FICO8 685-710
Overstock Store Card, $2,250Walmart Store Card, $500 limitDiscover IT Cash Back, $2000Navy Fed cashRewards, $2000Shell Citi store card, $800Navy More Rewards, $17,000RIP Green Dot Platinum
Overstock $4,250, Walmart $500, Discover IT Cash Back $2400, Navy Fed cashRewards $2000, Shell (Citi) Fuel Rewards, $800, Navy More Rewards, $17,000, (RIP Green Dot Platinum Secured)

Starting Score: 539
Current Score: 670
Goal Score: 760


Take the myFICO Fitness Challenge   |   My credit recovery journal

Message 1 of 10
9 REPLIES 9
Frequent Contributor

Re: How much progress in twelve months!

Congratulations 🎊🎈🍾🎉 on all your progress @tenaya

CARDS: Discover It | QuickSilver One | Open Sky | Kohl’s | BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards | NFCU CashRewards | OverStock
Starting Scores 05/2019: EQ:519, EX:525, TU:574
Message 2 of 10
Senior Contributor

Re: How much progress in twelve months!

Congrats on all of your progress!


EQ: 798 | EX: 774 | TU: 771 | Accounts: 1/6 4/12 8/24
Message 3 of 10
Valued Contributor

Re: How much progress in twelve months!

Congratulations on your success!
Message 4 of 10
Senior Contributor

Re: How much progress in twelve months!

Grats!
Currently rebuilding as of 04/11/2019.

Starting Scores:
EX 518
EQ 518
TU 521

Current FICO scores:
EX 576
EQ 567
TU 575
Message 5 of 10
Established Member

Re: How much progress in twelve months!

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. 

11/10/2018 EX :540 TU : 525 EQ : 535
10/20/19 EX :671 TU: 665 EQ: 671
11/7/19 EX: 676 TU: 673 EQ: 676
Together we can come out of this mess.
Message 6 of 10
Super Contributor

Re: How much progress in twelve months!

Nice job. Congrats. Keep on chuggin.......................





My posts are JMHO. My siggy is not to brag at all. Just sharing my experiences after learning here from rebuild to recovery after BK DC at 540's. And to show fellow members what can be accomplished when you do it right and play the FICO Credit Game. Pay it Forward!
Message 7 of 10
Regular Contributor

Re: How much progress in twelve months!

Very nicely put. Congrats on your milestones and best of luck to you.
Message 8 of 10
Frequent Contributor

Re: How much progress in twelve months!

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! 

FICO8: Nov 20, 2018:
FICO8: Nov 20, 2019:
FICO8: Dec 1, 2019:
Goal for December 2019: FICO8 640-700 (reached! Fico 670!)
Goal for December 2020: FICO8 685-710
Overstock Store Card, $2,250Walmart Store Card, $500 limitDiscover IT Cash Back, $2000Navy Fed cashRewards, $2000Shell Citi store card, $800Navy More Rewards, $17,000RIP Green Dot Platinum
Overstock $4,250, Walmart $500, Discover IT Cash Back $2400, Navy Fed cashRewards $2000, Shell (Citi) Fuel Rewards, $800, Navy More Rewards, $17,000, (RIP Green Dot Platinum Secured)

Starting Score: 539
Current Score: 670
Goal Score: 760


Take the myFICO Fitness Challenge   |   My credit recovery journal

Message 9 of 10
Frequent Contributor

Re: How much progress in twelve months!

@tenaya you are right about waiting being the worst part. I am so happy for you (670). That takes work. You made it.

I check mine everyday too. Right now my EX isn’t moving. Hoping when everything reports this month it will move to good. I am happy to have it where it is. My siggy is correct!

Congratulations 🎊🎈🍾🎉

CARDS: Discover It | QuickSilver One | Open Sky | Kohl’s | BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards | NFCU CashRewards | OverStock
Starting Scores 05/2019: EQ:519, EX:525, TU:574
Message 10 of 10
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