I have been reading the forums now for the last few months as I began my credit rebuilding journey and have hit a point where I feel some specified advice will be benifical. Thank you to everyone’s posts and topics I have read in the past that really encouraged me to get this ball rolling!
When I first started I had never had a credit card, installment loan or any payment history whatsoever. I had 4 derogatory marks on my credit and my FICO score would not even register while Trans Union and Equifax were in the sub 500’s.
Since then I have taken these steps..
- Paid off (no PFD was offered) 3 of 4 derogatory marks. - Opened secured Discover Card (July 2017) w/ $300 CL - Opened Credit One Bank CC (October 2017) w/ $550 limit - Opened Opportunity Financial Installment Loan (December 2017) for $4,000
Since then I have made 100% of all payments on time (18 total).
Have a utilization rate of 2%
My FICO (via Discover App) is now at 612.
I plan to pay off my last derogatory mark this month (bringing my total to zero).
My current inquiries are high at (9) with Equifax and 6 of these are leasing offices as I have moved a total of 4 times in the last two years (work relocation). The other 3 are from Discover, Credit One, Opportunity Financial.
Here are my points I would like to inquire on..
1 - I would like to pay off my installment loan in full as the interest rates are extremely unfavorable and I have the funds available to do so. (Balance is $3,600 as majority of payments made *$700 per month have gone towards interest). My issue is that I would like to have an installment loan open as I know this is a big boost to credit rebuilding as I have never had one before. Does anyone have experience with OPP? Is it possible to pay down a majority of the balance and keep loan open at a lower monthly payment to keep it active?
2 - I would like to establish credit with American Express specifically in the future. At what target should I set before attempting to get credit Opened with them and what’s a good starting CC for those like myself with extremely limited credit history (length of time) but perfect payment history and no derogatory marks?
3 - Anything to know before settling my final derogatory mark (Verizon Wireless, Claimed 2014).
It looks like those derogs are really dragging your score down. I would search this forum for good will letters. Starting a GW letter writting campaign might help you get a couple of those bad marks removed.
I would also pay off your unpaid derog. Ask them to delete also. But as you know, they aren't required to delete. Even if the derogs stay, they lessen their impact over time.