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):
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.
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...
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.
Kudos to you for developing a plan and tackling this head on! You can do it.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
Six-ish month update:
I've made quite a bit of progress, though it's frustrating to work this hard and not see much results from two of the CRAs. AmEx 1 was fully paid off in September; Citi in collections fully paid off in October/November, and PRA's tradeline was deleted shortly thereafter from all three.
Still making progress on AmEx 2, BofA, CapOne and Discover. I'm fine paying Discover for the seemingly eternity, because it's not currently derogatory and having more funds to divert to the other three is more important at the moment.
I've also gotten two cards, one secured and one unsecured. Secured is through SDFCU, CL of $500; unsecured is through Mission Lane, CL of $750. Annual fee hurt, but I'm fine paying $60 one time to help pull my numbers up a bit. Mission Lane isn't yet on my report, though, so I'm interested to see what happens when the hard pull, new account and higher CL pop up.
I honestly forgot to apply for the Optima after paying off Amex 1, so I called and they'll send me the app after 2 is paid off. Going to let the automatic payments go for a while and send some excess money to my emergency fund since my monthly expenses have grown after moving/loans kicked in.
Here are my current scores:
EX: 566 (+14 since August)
EQ: 583 (+33 since August)
TU: 623 (+48 since August)
Experian is taking its sweet time scoring me higher. In fact, it's gone down since October. The 6 in front of TU is giving me some anxiety -- when are they going to send me back down?
EX is definitely discouraging, but EQ and TU give me some encouragement to keep going.
Nice job so far. The scores will keep going up as the CO util % goes down. Plus it hasnt been 2yrs yet since the CO's. They will hold you down as they age until they fall off. Keep at it and in time it will be a past memory.