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Low FICO Score, what to do?

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Low FICO Score, what to do?

I am suffering with a low score.  I've made stupid mistakes, but trying to right them now.  What will increase my score the quickest?  Paying credit cards off?  Settle collections? Waiting it out?

 

I have the following:

First Premier Secured Card $200 Credit Limit / $200 Available-Current

Credit One Unsecured Card $300 Credit Limit / $200 Available-Current

Blaze Unsecured Card $350 Credit Limit / $340 Used-Current

NFCU Secured Card $4,400 Credit Limit / $4350 Used-Current

Amazon Store Card Credit Builder $100 Credit Limit / $100 Available-Current

Fingerhut $200 Credit Limit / $150 Available-Current

MoneyLion $500 / $500 Left to Pay-Current

Retail Installment Sales Contract $811 / $471 Left to Pay-Current

Capital One $750 Credit Limit / $660 Available-Charged off / Still reporting as opened and Current on TransUnion???

Verizon Wireless $1316 - Charged off 09/18/2015

The Bank of Missouri / Total Visa $300 - Charged of 02/1/18

Celtic Bank aka Continental Finance / Surge $500 - Charged off 07/30/18

First Premier Bank Card -  $300 Limit / $301 Used - Charged off 09/25/15

Bank of America Secured $500 Limit / $500 Used - Charged off 07/30/18 (Paid Collections on 4/1/19)

I have a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - Filed on 08/26/2011 - Discharged

I have a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy - Filed on 09/21/2015 - Dismissed

 

I've noticed that Surge and Total were sold to a collection company and showing a $0 balance, but no collections are being reported yet.  Should I settle them before they show?

Message 1 of 21
20 REPLIES 20
Regular Contributor

Re: Low FICO Score, what to do?


@jeboles wrote:

I am suffering with a low score.  I've made stupid mistakes, but trying to right them now.  What will increase my score the quickest?  Paying credit cards off?  Settle collections? Waiting it out?

1. Pay down the cards (look up the Azeo method)

2. Instead of settling the collections right from the beginning first try and PFD. If they refuse to PFD then ask if they are willing to report as PIF with a $0 if you pay it off. If they will not do that then try and settle for as little as possible, I would start by offering 25% and negotiate up from there.

 

There are many on here that are know far more than I do so I am sure they will have suggestions that can help you as well.

 

 

 

 

I have the following:

First Premier Secured Card $200 Credit Limit / $200 Available-Current

Credit One Unsecured Card $300 Credit Limit / $200 Available-Current

Blaze Unsecured Card $350 Credit Limit / $340 Used-Current

NFCU Secured Card $4,400 Credit Limit / $4350 Used-Current

Amazon Store Card Credit Builder $100 Credit Limit / $100 Available-Current

Fingerhut $200 Credit Limit / $150 Available-Current

MoneyLion $500 / $500 Left to Pay-Current

Retail Installment Sales Contract $811 / $471 Left to Pay-Current

Capital One $750 Credit Limit / $660 Available-Charged off / Still reporting as opened and Current on TransUnion???

Verizon Wireless $1316 - Charged off 09/18/2015

The Bank of Missouri / Total Visa $300 - Charged of 02/1/18

Celtic Bank aka Continental Finance / Surge $500 - Charged off 07/30/18

First Premier Bank Card -  $300 Limit / $301 Used - Charged off 09/25/15

Bank of America Secured $500 Limit / $500 Used - Charged off 07/30/18 (Paid Collections on 4/1/19)

I have a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - Filed on 08/26/2011 - Discharged

I have a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy - Filed on 09/21/2015 - Dismissed

 

I've noticed that Surge and Total were sold to a collection company and showing a $0 balance, but no collections are being reported yet.  Should I settle them before they show?


 

03/19/19
Experian: 571 | Equifax: 563 | TransUnion: 563

04/06/19
Experian: 591 | Equifax: 566 | TransUnion: 577
Message 2 of 21
Established Member

Re: Low FICO Score, what to do?

I have had luck with PFD. I’ve had more accounts then listed that were settled that way. I am left with a few that will not do PFD. So should I work on paying balance down first?
Message 3 of 21
Regular Contributor

Re: Low FICO Score, what to do?


@jeboles wrote:
I have had luck with PFD. I’ve had more accounts then listed that were settled that way. I am left with a few that will not do PFD. So should I work on paying balance down first?

If I were in your shoes I would concentrate on the derogatory items before paying down the cards. 

03/19/19
Experian: 571 | Equifax: 563 | TransUnion: 563

04/06/19
Experian: 591 | Equifax: 566 | TransUnion: 577
Message 4 of 21
Established Member

Re: Low FICO Score, what to do?

I assume that by derogatory, you mean the charge offs like Verizon, Total, and Surge?  Or just Verizon as it is showing a balance?

Message 5 of 21
Established Contributor

Re: Low FICO Score, what to do?

Work on the negatives items on your report that are showing a balance because they could be updating monthly and you do not want that.





Starting Score: 494 503 521
Current Score: 503 507 507 2/19
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Message 6 of 21
Established Member

Re: Low FICO Score, what to do?

OK, I will slay Verizon first as it does report FP every month.  Wonder if they will do a PFD?  Find out Monday I guess.

Message 7 of 21
Established Contributor

Re: Low FICO Score, what to do?

I’m not sure about that I sent a letter back in March and still have not received any response so come back and let us know if you do.





Starting Score: 494 503 521
Current Score: 503 507 507 2/19
Goal Score: 680


Take the myFICO Fitness Challenge




Message 8 of 21
Valued Contributor

Re: Low FICO Score, what to do?

OP, how you should handle the collections accounts may depend on whether or not it is within the SOL. If the SOL has passed, they can't sue and get a judgement. Charged off does not mean they will stop collection efforts. It is a term used to get it off the banks books only. The debt can still be sold to a collection agency. The SOL..statute of limitations..is very important, because after that date they can't sue you and receive a judgement. They might can sue, but when your defense is that the debt is outside the SOL, the case will be dismissed. The clock starts ticking on the SOL from the date of first delinquincy. Was the chapter 13 dismissed or discharged, those are very different? It was barely over 4 years after the chapter 7, so was the chapter 13 dismissed due to the chapter 7? Charged off dates mean very little DoFD is more important. I also am not seeing a great deal of debt there that is not current as an agregate total. The Capital One you list as 660 available of 750 limit, and charged off...it can't be both charged off and still have 660 available, and does that mean the charged off balance was 90 dollars? These charged off amounts are very small except for the verizon wireless. I would keep everything that is current, current, and probably start with the smallest amount that is within the SOL, and try to get a PFD. These small amounts make a judgement unlikely, but also make it unlikely the creditor will settle for less than the full amount. There is just not a large amount of total debt there. Your utilization however is ridiculously high, so the first thing you need to do is quit using those credit cards. Your utilization is way over 100%, because the collections and charged off debt still counts as debt, but the available credit limit on those do not count because it is no longer available.

TU fico08=823 08/29/19
EX fico08=813 09/12/19
EQ fico08=826 09/04/19
EX fico09=815 09/04/19
EQ fico bankcard08=852 08/27/19
Message 9 of 21
Valued Contributor

Re: Low FICO Score, what to do?

I agree with sarge. From the looks of it you have open accounts with balances. First thing I would do is get those debts down, ideally to zero, but at least get them down to 27% or less of their limits. That’ll make those lenders less likely to look at what you owe them and owe in chargeoffs, and decide to close you down, which would add additional bad debts to your profile. Do not use these cards. Get them paid down and ultimately paid off. When you’re able to get rid of the bad debts, you’re going to need positive tradelines to help you rebuild, and you have accounts now that are open, up to date, and have some age. You want to keep those.

After those are positioned well, start going after the bad debts as described above. Don’t be concerned with your scores at this point - you shouldn’t need them to be high because you shouldn’t be applying for credit right now. Pay down what you have that’s in good standing and then tackle the derogs, and your scores will take care of themselves.


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Message 10 of 21
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