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Rebuilding after cancer

Valued Member

Rebuilding after cancer

Hello everyone! I'm just going to dive right into it. I worked really hard years ago to clean my credit and right when it was happening I was diagnosed with the big C. I wasn't able to work and short term disability ran out after a year. I was so ill that I honestly didn't give a crap about my credit. I had more important things on my mind. Fast forward a couple of years later and here I am! I feel great and I am back to work! I am ready to fix the mess and understand it will take time. I am looking for advice and suggestions on the best strategy on increasing my scores as well as a CLI on my credit cards. I currently have 11 accounts reporting on all 3 CR. 


Amex BCE w/ 1,000 limit, $525 balance. Opened in 2017, No lates. Will pay the balance before statement closes.

Amex Everyday w/ 1,000 limit, $460 balance. Opened in 2017, No lates. Will pay the balance before statement closes.

Mohela/Dept of Ed - $5,791 balance, pays as agreed. No lates.

Mohela/Dept of Ed - $3,776 balance, pays as agreed. No lates.

VS/Comenity - $100 limit. Opened 2/2016. Last activity 5/2018. Paid as agreed, No lates. CLOSED by credit grantor in 7/2021.

OpenSky - $200 limit. Opened 8/2015. Closed by me 2/2022. 4 Lates.

State Dept FCU - $250 Secured. Opened 3/2016. Closed by me 12/2019. 4 Lates.

Toyota Financial - $30,443 loan. Opened 7/2016. Closed 1/2023. Paid account, $0. 13 Lates.

Discover - $4,369 Charge off Balance. Opened 8/2017. Charged off and started a repayment plan with Discover to pay full balance. 

Syncb/Crate&Barrel - $5,355 Charge off balance. Opened 8/2017. Settled w/ERC today for $1500. ERC is collecting on behalf of Sync & does not own the debt. Neither would do a PFD. 


Esusu/Westcorp Mgmt (rent reporting) - Opened 3/2022. Last activity 12/2022 when I moved out. Paid as agreed. No lates. (Should I remove?)

Lastly, I recently opened a NFCU Secured card that has not reported to any CA's yet. $500 limit. $50 balance. 

Inquiries: 1 (NFCU 3/23)

Collections: 0

AAOA: 8yr 3m

FICO 8:  EQ-559  TU-582  EX-571


Any help/guidance on what my next steps should be is appreciated! Thanks a bunch!

Regular Contributor

Re: Rebuilding after cancer

OP, Firstly, congratulations on your recovery and being back to work! Rebuilding your credit after a tough time can seem overwhelming, but it's possible with some effort and patience.

  1. It's great that you plan on paying the balances on your Amex cards before the statement closes that should help with your score once it reports.

  2. Consider  A CLI can help improve your credit utilization ratio, which can positively impact your credit score. You can request a CLI from your credit card issuer but keep in mind that they may look at your profile and decline.

  3. Keep your student loans in good standing: Continue to make on-time payments on your student loans as they are reported to credit bureaus and have a significant impact on your credit score.

  4. Address late payments. It's great that you have no late payments on most of your accounts, but if you can, try to address the late payments on the OpenSky and State Dept FCU accounts with a GW letter explaining your situation.

  5. Work on resolving charge-offs: While it's great that you have started a repayment plan with Discover, it's important to note that charge-offs will remain on your credit report for seven years, even after they are paid in full. The same applies to the Syncb/Crate&Barrel account, even if it's settled.

  6. Keep an eye on your credit reports: Regularly review your credit reports from all three credit bureaus to ensure that there are no errors or inaccuracies that may be negatively impacting your score.

  7. Continue to build positive credit: The recent opening of your NFCU secured card is a good start, but it's important to continue to build positive credit history. You can consider adding more credit accounts, but make sure to use them responsibly and make on-time payments.

I wish you the best of luck, keep fighting never give up. 

Last Signature Update: 03/08/2023

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