Yikes! You are essentially having to put yourself on a self-imposed Chapter 13 for the next six years to get out of debt. 94% utilization for somebody with a 200K income is not a good sign. I will save you the lecture (I have been there myself, thus the BK7), but unless you turn things around you will be in a real BK 13 soon. Were those personal loans used to pay off revolving balances and then you ran up new revolving balances? Also your interest rates are crazy high -- some at 23%.
Rather than trying to develop new debt relationships with new credit unions and refinance current debt with other lenders, you should probably buy Dave Ramsey's book and follow its principles of paying cash and using the snowball method for paying off debt.
I'm not judging you but you've got big red flashing signs over your head screaming "danger." I would expect your creditors to continue balance chasing you as you pay down these credit cards so your FICO scores will stay relatively low based on utilization.
Seriously, aside from a home mortgage, student loans and a couple of car loans, you shouldn't have any debt with a 200K income.
Good luck digging out here. You can do it!
The CL reductions played a part in my BK7. High utilization, reduced available credit = higher utilization, then it cascades into lower scores and that means no intro rates. Make a payment late and your interest rates cascade. Its managable until you run into that one month where all the customers pay late or you have to pay for surgery or something crazy happens.
Four years is a long time to bite the bullet, so I'd try to think about things in phases. Phase 1 - paying off X debt. A month to breathe, move on to phase 2.
We went through BK7, and before you know it we were in high utilization land again. I have a plan to get rid of the debt, and we're ahead of schedule, but only because I'm a nazi about it right now and I was conservative with my planning.
We have revolving debt, car loans, and some big liabilities that followed us through bk7. I'm working hard to clear the revolving debt and with each card hitting 0 it's like I have new life. The big liabilities come into play for us later this year (we are currently in a relief period). I'm trying desperately to get all the revolving debt to 0 before that hits, because if I don't, I'll be paying that interest for 2-3 years. The car loans I just feel are part of the monthly bills. I would love to clear them out, but at this point it's not even something we can think about.
You aren't the only one with big debt / big utilization. It's a trial to get through it, but it can be done. As you make progress, nurse those FICO scores however you can and plan any consolidation loan applications around the high-score time of month.
Keep plugging away. Keep your eye on the monthly spend. Good luck! Keep us updated so we can keep rooting for you.
It sounds like you understand where you are. I agree about the modified "Dave Ramsey." I was only suggesting using the snowball and trying to live on all cash, but when you still have any utilization reporting you should not be closing any revolving accounts. You should be paying them off, one by one, and then putting that card in the sock drawer aside from a $2 charge every six months to keep it alive.
I will give you some unsolicited advice since you are in what I would call a pre-bankruptcy state. These are things I wish I had known before I had to file.
Try to owe money to the least number of revolving creditors you can in case you have to file. The reason is that each and every credit card that is included in bankruptcy is scored as an additional charge-off by FICO. So some people who have to file a BK, say it was just for one big medical debt, and they didn't owe on credit cards, have a much higher FICO score upon discharge. It is ridiculous to have a bunch of low balance cards included since each $200 write-off is scored as bad as a $50K write-off. So try to owe as few revolving cards as possible.
Second, I would pre-select who I was going to burn, or rather who I wasn't going to burn. I would do this based on what I know now about who is forgiving and will take you back and who won't. I would make sure I didn't owe money to Chase or AMEX. They are the two worst about letting you back in. Citi is not far behind. People do get back in with Barclay's and Discover, and in most cases you can get back in with Cap 1 within a year if not within the first week of discharge. If you are actually at filing time, you can't pick and choose who to stiff, but you are at a place now where you can prepare in case this situation happens. You need to cover your derrier. In your case I wouldn't worry about owing BECU (I'm in Seattle and use them and love them). They are a dime a dozen CU. You don't currently belong to Navy Fed or Penfed or Alliant, but I would not wind up owing them money because they can help you out after a BK and won't ever let you back in if you owed them money and burned them. But any other credit union is just fine -- and there's like 5500 of them around the country. Same with Wells Fargo and US Bank and Citizens Bank. Who cares about them? They don't have great rewards programs (like great mileage cards) and they are just meh. Pay them last.
You need to be aware that FICO gives you a big score drop for each card over 90% utilization, so you should first move to get each and every card under 90%.
FICO gives you a huge ding for having "too many" cards with balances. It's unclear how many this is, but let's say in your case having more than 6 of your 18 cards with balances would be given an additional ding. So after you pay cards down below 90% on each card, start picking off low balance cards that you can just pay off so the ratio of cards with balances to total cards drops. This will raise your FICO scores and increase your odds of being able to get loans from Prosper and others to continue consolidating.
Then I would try to move as much as possible onto these fixed rate installment loans. If all hell breaks loose I wouldn't lose any sleep about burning any of these creditors. They are a dime a dozen and there's nothing special about them.
Also if you find you get balance chased a second time by any of these big banks as you are trying to pay them off, switch to just paying them minimum payments and focus on paying off the other creditors. It is a lose-lose paying off the balance chasers until last. They do it twice, they will keep doing it to you. BTW, BofA and Barclay's are notorious for this so expect it in the future.
Good luck. As the song goes, "I wish...that...I knew what I know now..... when I was younger." (Or less experienced.)
Monthly Update: Had to spend some money on my truck so just treading water but making all my payments on time as usual increasing my credit age and one month closer to expiring inquiries. Paid off two cards in full, Wells Fargo Visa and US Bank Visa. Utilization is at 92.15%. Goal is to bide my time till next year then apply and see if I can qualify for a SOFI personal loan to consolidate the credit card debt after all my existing personal loans are paid off, inquiries expire, and utilization is decreased further.
Keep the community posted on your progress, OP.