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aspiringbeekeeper's journey to decent credit

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aspiringbeekeeper's journey to decent credit

Like too many people, I made mistakes with my money when I was young and dumb and having medical trouble. Now that I'm slightly less young and dumb, it's time for me to take a stab at repaying my credit. I've already established plans with some of my creditors to repay over time, but it's now a race between this and my student loans coming due.


Starting FICO 8 scores (8/3/19):

EX: 552

EQ: 550

TU: 575


Debts on CRs:

Amex c/o dofd Sept 2018

Amex c/o dofd April 2018

BofA c/o dofd Aug 2018

Cap One c/o dofd Oct 2018

Discover, closed, on time

Portfolio Recovery (Citi)




I've made plans with PRA, both Amex cards, and Discover. PRA is due to be SIF in November. Amex 1 sill be PIF by May '20, but I plan on making additional payments -- it's my lowest balance. Amex 2 PIF by March '21, but same deal. Discover PIF longer out, and again same thing. I need to make payment plans with Cap1 and Bank of America, but they're relatively low balances and I'm hoping they'll SIF.


Through Amex 1, which I'm hoping to pay down by October, I'm eligible for the Optima card (I've confirmed with the rep that I can do that with the other one still being collected). Other than paying down these accounts, I'm hoping the Optima plus my Self Lender will help bring my score up. 


As I noted at the beginning, it's a race before my student loans come due. My PRA payment is higher than my loan payments, so I can use that extra money to snowball onto other revolving debts. Hopefully the Amex + PRA payments will bring the other debts down long before they're supposed to be.


Anyways, I just wanted to make this to hold myself accountable to someone other than myself and the creditors, and also to show other people in my situation what I'm doing and how it's gone for me.

Message 1 of 8
Established Contributor

Re: aspiringbeekeeper's journey to decent credit

You should be able to put your student loans in forbearance if you still need some extra time to pay the debt off.Look into that...

Starting Score: Nov 3, 2018: EX 597 TU 599 EQ 616
Current Score: September 1, 2019: EX 651 TU 684 EQ 677
Goal Score: Dec 31, 2019: EX 700 TU 700 EQ 700

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Message 2 of 8
Established Contributor

Re: aspiringbeekeeper's journey to decent credit

Are the student loans federal?
Depending on your income and family size, it might actually be affordable to pay them instead of a deferment/ forbearance. There are income-driven repayment plans with payments as low as $0.

Message 3 of 8
New Member

Re: aspiringbeekeeper's journey to decent credit

Yeah, I'm going to try and at least pay off the interest or sign up for an income-based repayment program -- I purposely staggered my Citi repayment so it would be SIF by time the student loans came due. They're all federal, thankfully.


I got a call today from a CA for Bank of America. I haven't gotten any sort of paperwork in the mail from them, so I asked them to send it out -- they had the wrong address on file. I also asked for online account access. The woman was asking if it was because I was offering to make a payment, which is an interesting tactic, if on purpose, to have me accept the debt before giving me a chance to verify it. So it'll be around a month until I make plans to pay it off.


I'm going to call Cap One today and see if I can get online access to set up a payment plan.


EDIT: Set up a plan with Capital One to pay my balance down over 24 months. I'm again hoping to snowball payments into these accounts, so I'm aiming for mid-2020ish PIF.

Message 4 of 8
Established Contributor

Re: aspiringbeekeeper's journey to decent credit

Kudos to you for developing a plan and tackling this head on!  You can do it.


A regretful expert. I have repaired before, I will repair again. My current goal is 670 FICO08 across the board by November 2019.
Message 5 of 8

Re: aspiringbeekeeper's journey to decent credit

With regards to the Optima card you will have to pay back all debts in full before you are eligable for the Optima card. I have had the Optima for 8 months now and had two Amex cards that were charged off back in 2013 that had to be paid in full prior to receiving the application. The reps you are speaking with are essentially debt collectors that are contracted by Amex and operate under the Amex name. Treat them as such and request any promises in writing.

Message 6 of 8
New Member

Re: aspiringbeekeeper's journey to decent credit

Today I PIF the Amex 1, which was due to be paid in May. So hopefully having that on my report will boost my score up a bit -- and perhaps get me the Optima card. (I'm not too worried if they say I have to pay the other one off as well, as that's what I'm snowballing Amex 1 payments into.)


Score update:


EX: 570

EQ: 570

TU: 575


Some decent gains over a month with Experian and Equifax, and TransUnion is stagnant but higher than the other two. I'll update if/when I see any improvements from the PIF.

Message 7 of 8
New Member

Re: aspiringbeekeeper's journey to decent credit

Apparently my TU increased to 586, making it my first foray into the fair category since I defaulted. My EQ dropped back to 553.


These both were without the Amex showing a $0 balance or PRA ever updating my balance with them.

Message 8 of 8
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