First post, be kind.
I have been a screw up with my credit my entire life. I’ve finally grown up & decided I’m tired of riding the poor house merry-go-round.
Background: business failed in 2012, forcing me to BK7 & short sell my house. BK discharged Nov ‘13. In April ‘14 my car died so DW & I co-signed for a $20k used car at 25% IR. I know, I know....
July ‘14 I’m approved for a Cap1 P card with a SL of $1k, which quickly grew to $3.5k. Wasted no time maxing that puppy out. After the interest-free honeymoon was over, the payment doubled and it got harder & harder to keep up. Long story made longer: card was relegated to the “Restricted Zone”. Since Feb’18 I have been current, but I just found out last month that it will probably never get unrestricted. Supposedly they sent me a letter last year offering to reinstate, but I never saw it. I made 2 out of 3 payments on time, but they said I was late on the final 3rd payment.
Meanwhile we had been struggling paycheck to paycheck, always having more month than money, always robbing Peter to pay Paul. It all caught up with me in July when my car was repo’d from the work parking garage 3 days before my b-day. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. After my business had failed I had pretty much given up and was just going through the motions. I unfairly left all the finances to my DW; unfortunately she was quickly overwhelmed as well and we sank fast. Now it was time for me to grow up.
I made an Excel spreadsheet/budget, listing everything we owe and our net intake. Since mid July we have stuck to the budget while paying off debt. First things I paid off were cash advance/title loans to free up cash flow. I’ve paid off 3 loans with a fourth to be paid off by the end of the year at the latest. Like I said previously, I have been paying to my Cap1 account religiously, taking the balance down from $3.9k to $2.7k as of today. I plan to have it paid off or at less than 10% UTL by the end of the year. In July I grew weak and got a Credit One P card with a SL of $600. I just read the horror stories about them and plan to get rid of it before the renewal hits. Two weeks ago I was approved for a Cap1 QS card with a SL of $300, with the promise of CLI if I stay responsible. I have also been able to increase cash flow to almost $1k/paycheck after all the scheduled obligations have been paid. Tomorrow I’m going to try to convince my dad to add me as an AU on his Citi Costco card and two others to help my AAoA & UTL.
MY FICOs as of today are: EX 597, TU 599, EQ 616. My goal by this same time next year is to have them all at 700.
So... what should I do next?
Great job taking ownership and making moves.
Hit the garden for a bit because becoming an AU and seeing score jumps will be temptation to apply for more. Make sure you’re handling the new credit you have access to before going for more. If you can fight the itch for 6 months, make that the goal to start.
Good luck on this journey.
Here is my payment history with my Cap1 P card:
2018: Jan-60; Feb-90; Mar to present- current
2017: Feb-30; Jul-30; Oct-30; Nov-30; Dec-120+
2016: Feb-30; Mar-60; Apr-90; May-90; Jun through Oct-120+
2015: all current
2014: all current
Is there anything that I can do, or am I waiting seven years due to the Feb ‘18 baddie?
UPDATE: My dad agreed to put me on as an authorized user on three of his cards:
Costco Anywhere $15k
Synchrony Sam’s Club $6k
BofA Visa $3k
... all at $0 so it will give me a $29k boost in my UTL, which will drop me to 8.9%!!!
I AM SO EXCITED RIGHT NOW!
Of course, I will not use any of these cards; I told him I don’t even want to see the cards when he gets them. Now to go into the garden... any other ideas/help would be greatly appreciated!
UPDATE: So my dad made me an AU on his Citi Costco card (which they bumped up to $20K when he added me), and his Synchrony Sam's Club (which they bumped to $11K). Plus Credit one just gave me an auto CLI of $200, so my UTL will drop to 8.4%! Excited to see what this does to my scores.
Now to garden & keep paying down MY cards....
Good job so far! It can be tough to take a step back and honestly assess our financial situation but the feelings of progress are so worth it!