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When to start gardening?

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When to start gardening?

So I've been rebuilding my credit for around a year now. I wrecked my credit when I was young (30 now) and was fortunate enough that almost all baddies fell off by now. I could have made more progress I guess, but I went from the low 500s to approaching mid 650s so far via the following:

 

1 year ago opened OpenSky secured $200

6 months ago opened $13k auto loan

3 months ago graduated FingerHut $300

1 month ago $500 12 month Installment loan

 

It seemed my scores might be good enough to get some unsecured offers so I went on a mini app spree last night and ended up with the following new additions to my profile:

 

Approved Cap1 Platinum $300

Approved Amazon Store Card Secured $500

 

Declined Disco - Prequal tool wasn't working, took the long shot and lost. Probably becuase they now pull EX, the only report that shows a 60 day delinquent

 

I'm also thinking of applying for a card through the credit union handling my auto loan, they have been very generous. And I also just opened a NavyFirst account and I hear amazing things about their offers to rebuilders, so I am thinking of applying there.

 

2yr Inquiries on each report as follows - EX - 6, EQ - 6, TU - 4.

 

So I'm wondering... Do you guys think I have enough to start the garden? Or should I try to get a couple more cards?

 

Thank you!

Message 1 of 8
7 REPLIES 7
Valued Contributor

Re: When to start gardening?

Hi & welcome to the forums!

You should garden now for at least the next 6 months. A full year would be better but that can be difficult for some (lack of willpower). Let your new accounts age a bit before applying for something else.

In the meantime, you could occupy yourself by working on trying to remove that 60-day late through a Goodwill campaign.

Congrats on your recent spprovals!!
Personal Aphorism:
"Forget What You Feel, Remember What You Deserve"


Starting FICO 8s | 09/06/2017: EX 641 ✦ EQ 634 ✦ TU 647
Current FICO 8s | 10/01/2019: EX 747 ✦ EQ 728 ✦ TU 756
Current FICO 9s | 10/01/2019: EX 765 ✦ EQ 765 ✦ TU 758
Highest FICO-8 Ever | 10/2018: 780 [on dirty report]

2019 Goal Score | 780s


My AAOA: 2.8 years not incl. AU / 2.11 years incl. AU
My AoOA: 6.8 years not incl. AU / 8.8 years incl. AU
Report Status: Clean

Tending my Garden til 2/2020


Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually mean less.
Message 2 of 8
New Member

Re: When to start gardening?

Hi Thornback,

 

Thanks for your response and help!

 

I may have this backwards, but I have been waiting to do the GW campaign since I really screwed the pooch with the loan that went 60 days delinquent. Not only do I have a 60 day delinquent on it, I also have 5 30 day lates. 6 out of my 12 payments on that loan were late. My excuse? I was going through hell after losing my job and didn't know they were reporting so I deprioritized the payments. I was a noob using CreditKarma, which wasn't reporting anything and I was shellshocked when I found out they were reporting to Experian. Doh! The loan was closed only 1 year ago. 

 

So I have been feeling like I would have a much better chance of GW removing 6 lates if I could establish some credit first, and then explain my circumstances 2 years prior that caused the lates, and how I have found stability since and have 2 year squeaky clean credit to prove it.

 

Is there a reason why I shouldn't get at least a Navy Fed or card from the CU I have an auto loan with? Do you think I might not be approved? Wouldn't an extra 1-2 unsecured cards known to grow be good if I'm going to garden for 6 to 12 months?

 

Not trying to be a hard head, just want to understand. 

 

Thanks again!

Message 3 of 8
Valued Contributor

Re: When to start gardening?

The only reason to garden a bit is to give you a more solid payment history prior to applying for new, unsecured credit. It's very possible you'll be approved now - tho potentially for a low starter limit -- which will grow.

It is up to you - there is no right or wrong in this scenario, it was just my advice because seeking credit appears risky - even if it is only for the sake of rebuilding - and can hinder approval chances - but it also may not affect approval at all.

A good argument can be made for acquiring the cards you want to grow with now, and letting them all age at the same time. If you decide to app with Navy now, then definitely garden afterwards and shoot for a full year of no new apps.

As for starting a goodwill campaign now or later - i completely understand your thinking and it makes sense in theory, but I wouldn't wait. A lender will either grant a goodwill or not - the length of time you've been on good behavior generally has no effect on that decision. Besides - it may take you a year of sending letters to get the response you want anyway.

Since the loan was apparently closed in good standing but with a few hiccups along the way... tell them your hardship story and what you've accomplish thus far to get back on track and see what happens. If they reject your request.. then wait a while and try again. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by starting now.

Personal Aphorism:
"Forget What You Feel, Remember What You Deserve"


Starting FICO 8s | 09/06/2017: EX 641 ✦ EQ 634 ✦ TU 647
Current FICO 8s | 10/01/2019: EX 747 ✦ EQ 728 ✦ TU 756
Current FICO 9s | 10/01/2019: EX 765 ✦ EQ 765 ✦ TU 758
Highest FICO-8 Ever | 10/2018: 780 [on dirty report]

2019 Goal Score | 780s


My AAOA: 2.8 years not incl. AU / 2.11 years incl. AU
My AoOA: 6.8 years not incl. AU / 8.8 years incl. AU
Report Status: Clean

Tending my Garden til 2/2020


Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually mean less.
Message 4 of 8
Contributor

Re: When to start gardening?

Who are your late payments with? Some are more forgiving than others. It doesn’t hurt to try now and then try later if it doesn’t work. Congrats on increasing your scores!
FICO Scores
5/20/2019: EQ - 568 TU - 591 EX: 589
Message 5 of 8
Moderator

Re: When to start gardening?

You only need 3 revolvers in an initial rebuild once you have those you can garden for awhile (min 6 month). Also if that 500 installment loan is a secured loan you dont need it with the open auto loan, one installment type loan is sufficient. Welcome to the board Smiley Happy

"If there's a lack of money in your life, understand that feeling worried, envious, jealous, disappointed, discouraged, doubtful or fearful about money can never bring more money to you, because those feelings come from a lack of gratitude for the money you have."

"Reactions are powerful creators because they contain every element needed to manifest—they're a combination of thought, belief, and feeling in action. Positive reactions create more positive things, and negative reactions create more negative things. If you can respond to negative situations calmly and lightly, instead of with emotional turbulence, what happens next in your life will be so much better."

- Rhonda Byrne

Message 6 of 8
Established Contributor

Re: When to start gardening?

First, congratulations on your scores approaching 650.

 

I'm in a similar situation in many ways. Question: do secured cards build credit as well/fast as unsecured cards with the same limit? I know they show as secured, so a human evaluating your credit may look at it differently. Just wondering if it's mathematically the same in calculating credit scores. Thanks!



FICO 8 scores are deceptively high. My profile is very young with a lot of recently opened accounts and large number of inquiries. No derogs. Over 5/24 until summer 2021.

Authorized user / Corporate

Closed but still on reports: ExxonMobil, $950, 10/08-02/11 (Equifax only) | Citi secured, $200, 045/19-09/19 | Capital One secured, $300, 04/19-08/19 | My Jewelers Club, $5,000, 05/19-08/19 | Green Dot Primor, $300, 05/19-08/19 | Unsecured personal loan from Coastal, $1,000, 05/19-08/19.

Goal cards: Ducks Unlimited, Chase Sapphire Reserve (or Preferred, haven't decided). Increased CLs across the board.
Long-term goal: Legitimate 770s on EX/EQ/TU, able to qualify for most normal credit products. Prime-rate mortgage.
Message 7 of 8
Valued Contributor

Re: When to start gardening?

Scorewise, there is no difference between secured & insecured;  both will build your credit in an equally meaningful manner. 

 


@KJinNC wrote:

First, congratulations on your scores approaching 650.

 

I'm in a similar situation in many ways. Question: do secured cards build credit as well/fast as unsecured cards with the same limit? I know they show as secured, so a human evaluating your credit may look at it differently. Just wondering if it's mathematically the same in calculating credit scores. Thanks!


 

Personal Aphorism:
"Forget What You Feel, Remember What You Deserve"


Starting FICO 8s | 09/06/2017: EX 641 ✦ EQ 634 ✦ TU 647
Current FICO 8s | 10/01/2019: EX 747 ✦ EQ 728 ✦ TU 756
Current FICO 9s | 10/01/2019: EX 765 ✦ EQ 765 ✦ TU 758
Highest FICO-8 Ever | 10/2018: 780 [on dirty report]

2019 Goal Score | 780s


My AAOA: 2.8 years not incl. AU / 2.11 years incl. AU
My AoOA: 6.8 years not incl. AU / 8.8 years incl. AU
Report Status: Clean

Tending my Garden til 2/2020


Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually mean less.
Message 8 of 8
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