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laFenix will Rise - Rebuilding my way to the top again

New Contributor

laFenix will Rise - Rebuilding my way to the top again

Hey all.  Like so many, I'm so very grateful to have found this board.  I've spent hours reading, researching, and planning, since finding this forum.  I have turned to it so many times and found knowledge, camaraderie, courage, and hope.  As others have done, I thought I would take the plunge and start posting some of my journey, in hopes that it helps keep me accountable until I achieve my goals.

 

Background:

At my core, I'm a type A, meticulous, perfectionist sort of person who likes to feel a sense of control and order to function at my maximum.  Before I turned 18, I started researching credit and strategizing my plan.  Details irrelevant, by the time I was 20 I was my own boss and had several high-credit cards, including two AmEx no spending limit charge cards with revolving rights, all of which I managed well.  Fast forward and tragedy struck my life (an unavoidable, yet unexpected, traumatic event resulting in the death of someone immensely close to me).  At the time, I had tens of thousands in balances, which I habitually paid off, however, due to this event, my life spun out of control.  Years later, I still have several months of gaps in my memory surrounding this time.  Life continued forward as best as possible, while I began to rebuild my world and credit.  What was once stellar credit had plummeted to the 300s/400s during this 'blackout' phase in my memory, since I tended to nothing, it seems.  I was self-made prior to this event, so my income also took a hit, as my mental state was having problems recovering, and the result was a slew of missed payments, charge-offs, judgments, etc.  This meant that my path to passive rebuilding took years to creep into the 500s.  Fortunately, during this laissez-faire time in my life, I did meet my husband and now have a great group of kids.  Unfortunately, I almost died on 3 different occassions throughout these past years, which kept resetting my progress.  

 

In short: I started great, tragedies transpired, my life took a complete 180, going from 6 figure bank accounts(sometimes 7), all the way to government assistance programs to help survive. For years I have lived with fear, shame, and regret as a result of my 'fall/failures'. I'm ready now to regain control of my life. Despite numerous, genuine obstacles, the biggest factor holding me back all these years was my own mentality.

 

I am no longer accepting of how we have lived for so many years, now.  I want to move forward and up, and I'm posting here to keep this journey real.

 

Our Journey Click to read our storyOur Cards: Me:   Him:   Our Future Cards: USAA Limitless | AmEx BP | BJs Perks Elite | Chase Freedom | Sam's MC | Costco
05/17 - Me: 595EX 570EQ 602TU  Him: 740EX ???EQ ???TU  4/17 - Me:  558EX 546EQ 602TU 671TU surprisedHim: No CR/Score!
Short Term Goals: Me: All 640+, Refi Auto Loan | Him: All 650+, Mortgage-Approved | US: New house before April 2018
Long Term Goals: Me: All 850, 2 low util HELOCs, 2 new cars | Him: All 800+, new truck & mtrcl, dental work | US: 1 low util HELOC

Message 1 of 34
33 REPLIES 33
New Contributor

Re: laFenix will Rise - Rebuilding my way to the top again

Our Current Credit Stats & Overall Goals: 

HIM: My husband is a recent immigrant who now, finally, makes good money, but it is inconsistent, still. He could go 6 weeks with very little pay, and then he could have a streak of months averaging $30-50k. This is new for us, as we were well below federal poverty levels up until about six months ago.  This isn't a fluke run for us, either.  We were constrained by my inability to work these past years and his lack of a SS#.  About two weeks ago I tried to pull his EQ credit/score directly, and learned that he has none.  For filing prior years' returns, we had to get him an ITIN (9 digit # used to file taxes, but not a social).  With this he was able to open a bank account w/WF and BOA, as well as get a BOA Cash Rewards credit card, which he maxes and pays near monthly, but typically not before the statement hits.  At present, the limit is $3k, yet he has just under $6k on it.  He also has a JCP charge card, which he's used, that now holds a zero balance.  He does not have his SS # associated with these cards.  The only account he has associated with his SS# is a $1500 Sears limit resulting from a recent HP he risked, hoping to get a Citi card from them to establish credit.  

 

Overall, I want to get my husband's credit established ASAP, then immediately begin to build it, ideally so that it is mortgage-approval ready in less than a year.  A quick google search shows that 580 is the cutoff for an FHA loan, although my goal for him would be 640+.  I believe that his score will start out in the mid 600s, anyway, once it's established, so I'm hoping that taking ideal care of it will yield positive results within a few months.  Do you think this is realistic?  If so, what do you think is the most direct path to going from NO credit report to maximum credit score possible in about 6-9 months (and what do you think that # may be)?

 

Based on what I've learned these past two weeks, my goal is to pay his BOA card down to 9% before his statement hits.  Then I plan on adding his SS# to this account and asking for a CLI and an interest decrease systematically until the interest rate is as low as it can go and until the CLI is approved, then request one every six months until we're in the gardening stage.  I know he'll keep using/maxing this card out each month, since he likes the rewards, but I will stress to him the importance of not allowing it to go over 9% before the statement closes.  Frankly, utilization is new for me.  The whispered ideal was always 30-35% back when I had good credit, but since I was in the habit of PIFing, it was never an issue for me.  Now, I'm hazy on the topic, really.  I'll post separately about that after I submit this post.  

 

 

HER: I have some income derived from a few remaining rental properties that I managed not to unload during all these crazy years, however, we're completely dependent on my husband's income and efforts.  Meanwhile, my scores are all in the mid to high 500s, still.  There is much to be fixed on my reports, though, so I'm diligently working on those corrections and hope come this time next month I'll have all my scores in the 600s, finally.

 

Our Journey Click to read our storyOur Cards: Me:   Him:   Our Future Cards: USAA Limitless | AmEx BP | BJs Perks Elite | Chase Freedom | Sam's MC | Costco
05/17 - Me: 595EX 570EQ 602TU  Him: 740EX ???EQ ???TU  4/17 - Me:  558EX 546EQ 602TU 671TU surprisedHim: No CR/Score!
Short Term Goals: Me: All 640+, Refi Auto Loan | Him: All 650+, Mortgage-Approved | US: New house before April 2018
Long Term Goals: Me: All 850, 2 low util HELOCs, 2 new cars | Him: All 800+, new truck & mtrcl, dental work | US: 1 low util HELOC

Message 2 of 34
New Contributor

Re: laFenix will Rise - Rebuilding my way to the top again

My Immediate Plan:

April 13, I spoke to a local CU who claims they are willing to work with me on a $100k HELOC.   Our house is PIF, so it would be in first position, but it's still the tool needed for the infusion of money I'm hoping we can get to finally get things moving in the right direction.  They said the process is going to take about three weeks total because it will need to close at an attorney's office, rather than at a branch, like a 2nd position HELOC.  Had I been able to close at a branch, they said it would have taken about two weeks.  At the moment, we're waiting for the results of the title search, which has had me holding my breath ever since it was ordered April 18th after an underwriter approved my credit report and documents.  Prior to this opportunity, I contemplated a hardmoney lender who I know from my working days who was also willing to lend me 100k, however, at much steeper rates (10 points, 18%, plus 2% annual renewal)!  Yes, I know how bad those terms are, but I was willing to take the chance, knowing that I could grow that faster, if I set my mind to it.  It would have been stressful, but doable.  Thankfully, I made one more attempt with this CU, and when they told me they accepted scores of 550 and better, I took the chance.  Their 'bad' rate is for 8%.  I can live with that, knowing that I'm going to kick my score up, finally, and then I can redo the terms.  So, in the meantime, I'm working on my report and scores while I'm waiting to hear back about the title search, which should ideally come back next week (fingers crossed!).  If I can see significant improvement in my report/scores, I'll have them do another HP and request a higher line and lower rate before it closes.  

 

Please send me all the good thoughts you can that this goes through!  Lord knows I'm ready to live decently again.  That's all for now.  Thanks, all!  

 

PS: This started out as one post, but it hurt my eyes to see it so long, so I chunked it.  Hope y'all don't mind.

Our Journey Click to read our storyOur Cards: Me:   Him:   Our Future Cards: USAA Limitless | AmEx BP | BJs Perks Elite | Chase Freedom | Sam's MC | Costco
05/17 - Me: 595EX 570EQ 602TU  Him: 740EX ???EQ ???TU  4/17 - Me:  558EX 546EQ 602TU 671TU surprisedHim: No CR/Score!
Short Term Goals: Me: All 640+, Refi Auto Loan | Him: All 650+, Mortgage-Approved | US: New house before April 2018
Long Term Goals: Me: All 850, 2 low util HELOCs, 2 new cars | Him: All 800+, new truck & mtrcl, dental work | US: 1 low util HELOC

Message 3 of 34
Valued Contributor

Re: laFenix will Rise - Rebuilding my way to the top again

Good luck on your credit journey...For best results you need 1 installment loan and 3 revolving credit cards. The credit cards should all be paid to zero prior to the date the statement cuts except 1 card with a small balance reporting <9% of total credit limit and <29% limit reporting on that card. Keep in mind that utilization carries no history, so is most important before applying for new credit.

TU fico08=822 08/24/20
EX fico08=816 08/24/20
EQ fico08=831 10/06/20
EX fico09=825 10/03/20
EQ fico bankcard08=852 07/28/20
TU Fico Bankcard 08=854 09/23/20
EQ NG1 fico=786 07/18/20
EQ Resilience index score=59 08/24/20
Unknown score from EX=784 used by Cap1 07/10/20
Message 4 of 34
New Contributor

Re: laFenix will Rise - Rebuilding my way to the top again

If I could post a signature, right now it would be something like this:

 

The Journey

Me: April '17 - FICO8: DC = 602TU | EQ Comp = 570EQ, 575EX, 671TU (this ignited my hope to rebuild!) | VS3: credit.com = 619EX, CK = 577TU, 546EQ

Him: No Credit Report/Score

 

Short Term Goals: Me: All 640+, 100k HELOC Him: All 640+, Mortgage-Approved | US: New house before April 2018

Long Term Goals: Me: All 850, 2 low util HELOCs, 2 new cars PIF Him: All 800+, new truck and motorcycle, dental work | US: 1 low util HELOC

 

Our Cards: Me: Disc  | Him: BoA CR, JCP

Our Future Cards: Me: USAA Limitless, AmEx Blue Preferred, BJs Perks Elite, Another DiscIt or a Chase Freedom, Sams, Costco  | Him: USAA Limitless

Our Journey Click to read our storyOur Cards: Me:   Him:   Our Future Cards: USAA Limitless | AmEx BP | BJs Perks Elite | Chase Freedom | Sam's MC | Costco
05/17 - Me: 595EX 570EQ 602TU  Him: 740EX ???EQ ???TU  4/17 - Me:  558EX 546EQ 602TU 671TU surprisedHim: No CR/Score!
Short Term Goals: Me: All 640+, Refi Auto Loan | Him: All 650+, Mortgage-Approved | US: New house before April 2018
Long Term Goals: Me: All 850, 2 low util HELOCs, 2 new cars | Him: All 800+, new truck & mtrcl, dental work | US: 1 low util HELOC

Message 5 of 34
New Contributor

Re: laFenix will Rise - Rebuilding my way to the top again

@Sarge12 - Thank you so very much for taking the time to share your advice!  No doubt you know what you're talking about!! I currently have 1 installment account and 2 revolving accounts, according to my 3pull EQ report from 2 weeks ago.  I'm currently working on getting a 100k HELOC.  Do you think that will count towards installment or mortgage?  I've read that it could go either way, but that it will typically go towards mortgage if over 50k.  I figure, either way, I'll take it.  I don't plan on maxing it immediately, but I do intend on using it towards the purchase of another property when the time is right.  Until then, I just plan on using about 30-40%, then paying down, and repeating. Once maxed, though, it shouldn't stay that way for too long, perhaps 6 months, tops.  That's the hope, anyway.  For now, I'm still keeping my fingers crossed until three days after disbursements lol. There was a time where cashing a check that size became expected.  At this point in my life, though, to even get it as a loan seems nearly a miracle, so I'm anxious and excited, and hoping that it comes through!

Our Journey Click to read our storyOur Cards: Me:   Him:   Our Future Cards: USAA Limitless | AmEx BP | BJs Perks Elite | Chase Freedom | Sam's MC | Costco
05/17 - Me: 595EX 570EQ 602TU  Him: 740EX ???EQ ???TU  4/17 - Me:  558EX 546EQ 602TU 671TU surprisedHim: No CR/Score!
Short Term Goals: Me: All 640+, Refi Auto Loan | Him: All 650+, Mortgage-Approved | US: New house before April 2018
Long Term Goals: Me: All 850, 2 low util HELOCs, 2 new cars | Him: All 800+, new truck & mtrcl, dental work | US: 1 low util HELOC

Message 6 of 34
Frequent Contributor

Re: laFenix will Rise - Rebuilding my way to the top again

Sounds like you've been through a lot and have pulled yourself up quite a bit.  Be proud of that and keep your chin up. With some hard work and time you'll be back on top of things again.

Message 7 of 34
New Contributor

Re: laFenix will Rise - Rebuilding my way to the top again

@Thank you for pointing that out.  It's true, and I think that I was stuck in survival mode for so long, almost punishing myself, really, that I forgot to take the time out to be proud for at least getting to this place.  I have a long road with a lot of hard work ahead of me, but I know now that I deserve better, too.  I'll keep my chin up ... I know better is out there, and there's no way I'll seize the opportunities if I keep it down. Smiley Happy

Our Journey Click to read our storyOur Cards: Me:   Him:   Our Future Cards: USAA Limitless | AmEx BP | BJs Perks Elite | Chase Freedom | Sam's MC | Costco
05/17 - Me: 595EX 570EQ 602TU  Him: 740EX ???EQ ???TU  4/17 - Me:  558EX 546EQ 602TU 671TU surprisedHim: No CR/Score!
Short Term Goals: Me: All 640+, Refi Auto Loan | Him: All 650+, Mortgage-Approved | US: New house before April 2018
Long Term Goals: Me: All 850, 2 low util HELOCs, 2 new cars | Him: All 800+, new truck & mtrcl, dental work | US: 1 low util HELOC

Message 8 of 34
Valued Contributor

Re: laFenix will Rise - Rebuilding my way to the top again

Mortgage is an instalment loan
Message 9 of 34
Valued Contributor

Re: laFenix will Rise - Rebuilding my way to the top again


@rmduhon wrote:
Mortgage is an instalment loan

True a mortgage is....but a HELOC might be considered revolving debt that is secured with your home equity, so I think may be figured in revolving credit utilization. Does anyone here know for sure how a HELOC is treated by Fico?

TU fico08=822 08/24/20
EX fico08=816 08/24/20
EQ fico08=831 10/06/20
EX fico09=825 10/03/20
EQ fico bankcard08=852 07/28/20
TU Fico Bankcard 08=854 09/23/20
EQ NG1 fico=786 07/18/20
EQ Resilience index score=59 08/24/20
Unknown score from EX=784 used by Cap1 07/10/20
Message 10 of 34
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