13MAY10- Journey to bad credit begins. Underpaid and stressed, living less than paycheck to paycheck. Mother lives with me and provides some assistance financially. On this day, mother leaves to never return. Lose source of income in household. Fall behind on bills and have to use credit cards to survive that I already know I cannot pay back.
07SEP10- I find respectable work making a good wage. At this point, all 3 credit cards are in collection status. I live for a few months enjoying my new income and take over the payments on a newer car my friend no longer wanted.
14FEB11- I find this website and pull my credit. Abysmal. 388 EQ FICO. Just not good all around. I lose hope and decide to "wait 7 years" for this to be fixed.
01SEP11- The vehicle I took over payments on is paid off, so I no longer have the payment. I used my student loans to pay the car off and defer the payment with a lower interest rate AND monthly payment while still earning a higher education.
03APR12- I enjoy not having a car payment and begin buying things I had lost during my financial hardship. With the direction of a co-worker and good friend, I decide to open 2 secured cards, one with Capital One for $200 and one with First Progress for $300. I decide that I am going to pay on these and just use them as cash while paying them off every month to avoid interest. I have not been on this site since 14FEB11 and I pretty much gave up on trying to fix my credit. I was just going to let these cards report something positive and wait it out.
12OCT12- I come back to the website and pull my credit score. 567 EQ and 532 TU. WOW. From 388 to 567 with only 2 secured cards reporting positively and debt aging for about a year and a half. No other action was taken to fix my credit during this time. 179 points. I'll take it!
16OCT12- After learning that the 2 secured cards I had, along with the aging of some baddies netted me 179 points, I decided to get 2 more secured cards and keep the revolving accounts around the "sweet spot" and in good standing. I open a US Bank Secured for $300 and another First Progress for $300. Opening the second First Progress may have been a mistake, as I cannot create a second online account and have to call to hear balances and pay by phone. This irks me. I don't want to close the account, so I may just pretend that one doesn't exist for a while and use it for a drink here and there so if I forgot to pay it, it would be a small amount of interest I got stuck with.
19OCT12- Approximately 6 months after I open my Capital One Secured Card for $200, I receive a letter in the mail stating my credit limit was increased to $300 for no reason. I did not solicit the increase, nor did I expect it. According to the people on this board, this seems to be standard practice, but I'll take $100 in unsecured credit 6 months into paying! Super excited!
15NOV12- I currently have 6 accounts reporting positively, a year ago at this time I had zero reporting positively. 2 First Progress cards for $300 each, a US Bank Secured for $300 and a Capital One for $300. The other 2 accounts are Sallie Mae/Dept. of Ed for around $7,500. There is still the problem of the 10 or so baddies on my account.
This initial post is briefly walking through the "bigger" parts of my credit history and road to repair. I am going to eat some dinner, my next post will itemize my debts, their current status and what my plan of attack is. Thanks for reading.
This second post will list the current status of my goodies and baddies. Future posts will include score increases and decreases as well as things that occur on my road to 700 that are credit relevant.
First Premier Bank: $901 Charge-Off. No Collection Agency on CR.
MidlandMCM: $1,073 Collection. From an old T-Mobile account.
Capital One: $518 Charge-Off. No Collection Agency on CR.
Verizon Wireless: $432 Collection. No Collection Agency on CR.
Portfolio Recovery: $414 Collection. Orchard Bank Charge-Off.
Farmer's Furniture: $140 Collection. No Collection Agency on CR.
Capital One: $0 Charge-Off. Strange, shows $0 but no CA has been on file ever.
HSBC Bank: $0 Charge-Off. Assigned to Portfolio Recovery.
Allied Collection Service: $1,600 Collection. Local College is OC.
Florida Hospital: $49 Collection. Cannot for the life of me get a hold of anyone that knows who owns this debt. Help?
Capital One Secured Card: $300 ($200 starting, $100 unsecured after 6 months of payments)
First Progress Secured Card: $300
First Progress Secured Card 2: $300
U.S. Bank Secured Card: $300
Dept. of Ed/Sallie Mae: $4,123 Installment
Dept. of Ed/Sallie Mae: $3,500 Installment
Plan of attack: Start with the most likely to assign me with a CA and further damage my credit: First Premier. Calling them/sending letter in the morning with an offer to pay 50% of the $901. $450.50 check is already written with no date or signature waiting for their letter.
Second item will be the Capital One with a balance and no CA. Both of these will help bring my utilization down as well.
Third item will be a PFD/GW Blitz to all remaining debts. The Allied Collection Service has politely informed me that they will never delete the listing under any circumstances, even though I owe $1,700 and offered to PIF. I paid $100 on it so the total is now $1,600. The $100 granted me "no collection activity" until February. This is easily the nicest CA I have ever dealt with, if that makes any sense at all. They have been extremely friendly and understand where I am coming from. Little do they know I am going to GW them into the ground.
I have cancelled my 38% deposit into my 401(k) effective 01NOV12, so my next check will be nearly $500 more than usual and I will use that to attack these debts. Two of my main CA's (Midland/Portfolio) have a history of being tough cookies to crack, and I don't intend on wasting any energy with them. I have an interest to pay off the 2 debts that are currently playing into my utility and keeping me at over 100%. The other debts are killing me regardless of whether I send them any money. So, I'll take my chances on PFD's and then hope my debt gets sold to a CA that's willing to do business later on. I will pay any debt to $0 if I ever receive a summons to court.
I am paying the $1,700 to Allied Collection Service because of 2 reasons: 1: They will not PFD at all. 2: If I don't pay this specific debt off, I cannot go back to school as the college is still the OC and Allied is just working for them. The OC will not deal with me, already tried. They will also sue me for sure, they have a history of it and I know people directly that have been sued. I just want it to go away and hope GW pays off. Since I am not currently and do not expect that in the next 6 years I will be searching for my first house, I will not pay any CA's that aren't willing to assist me in some way. The only reason to pay them is a manual review. Other than that, I see no positive coming from it and will be on the backburner in my quest to 700.
I am calling First Premier in the morning to ask if they would like $450.50 to update my account to $0 to bring my util down to 50%. If they do not accept over the phone, I am sure something will come from the letter I send them as it will be in the right hands then. If you have any advice on any of my accounts or wish to provide any information, I am a sponge.
|11/13/2012||551||Score Power report: Your score is unchanged.|
|11/5/2012||551||Score Watch® alert: Your score has gone up.|
|11/3/2012||548||Score Watch® alert: Your score has gone up.|
|10/25/2012||546||Score Watch® alert: Your score is unchanged.|
|10/23/2012||546||Score Watch® alert: Your score has dropped.|
|10/13/2012||564||Score Watch® alert: Your score has dropped.|
|10/12/2012||567||Score Power report: Your score is 567.|
Called First Premier today. They would not speak to me and actually have my account with Accounts Receivable Management. Sent them an offer via their website and I received an e-mail asking me to call them. Kinda iffy on the approach as they are not currently reporting and the whole point of this is to NOT have any more accounts reporting negatively. May have to bite and pay in full to keep them away. We'll see how the conversation goes when I call them tomorrow.
Well Im definitely on the same road with only difference is I filed Chpt 7 BK in May and was discharged in Aug..Good job on keeping the good ones good. Best of luck looking forward to watching the journey too.!!!
Thank you very much! The encouragement is sure to keep me going! I will update daily regardless of any changes but I hope there is a lot of positive information to post about! Good luck to you as well!
Judging by what I'm seeing here, it's about a 170 point increase. I would say keep headed down the same road you're on. Great work so far. Now, kick it into overdrive! Good luck!
First PFD failure, and probably the last time I will reference the account. Farmer's Furniture replied to my request for PFD in full and declined, saying they never change the credit reporting system under any circumstances. This one is a 2017'er. DoFD in 2010. Also my OLDEST account from 2007, and could actually have opposite effects if it were removed. I sent my electronic reply stating that they would only see funds in 2 scenario's, agree to PFD or sue me for $140 in my state. A bus ticket costs more to get here form Georgia. Will try again in the future as it ages. I am slowly realizing that I was unlucky with the CA's I have been assigned. Almost all of them have a history of no PFD/GW. On to the next.
I will be removing Portfolio Recovery Associates ("PRA") from my list. Will update with any score increase when I receive notification that it's been deleted.