I dropped out of college and joined the military, and through ignorance and not having the ability to make calls and the such, my student loans hammered my credit my first year in the military while I was in training.
After that, I thought I had deferred all of my student loans until I was to get out of the military. Little did I know, that wasn't possible.
I got my first "credit card" (credit for military exchange) after training and it has been late only twice on payments.
A bounced check here, a forgotten bill there, my credit fell further and further behind.
On my first deployment, my car was repo'd while the paper work to sell it flew back and forth between countries. Other than the repo, my car payment history was golden.
My student loans bounced a few times to different collection agencies, and I had no notice due to my constant change of address.
On my first deployment, I also did a credit check, and saw a score in the low 300's. I didn't do much to change this at the time, lazy and ignorant of the reprocussions.
I am now on my third deployment, newly married, about to hit 25, and I did a credit check again about a year and a half after my previous. My score was in the low 500 range, almost exactly a 200 point raise. I've had 2 vehicles which show green status, and since the second credit check, I have paid off all the small collections and brought my student loans into a current status.
My wife and I have a joint secured credit card that I have been keeping current at paid off. *trying to put a few bucks on it and keep it at about 5%*
I applied for a credit card, and not recieving an instant decline, I'm hoping *fingers crossed* that approval papers and the card itself were mailed to my address in the states.
I have about 8 months left until I am stateside, and I will need to purchase a vehicle when I return.
Does anyone have any additional advice on some tricks I can do to up my score? I've set a goal of 600+ by my return. Is this even possible? I know it will take time to get up into the "good" range, seeing as how I basically spent the last 4 years ruining my credit, but I think I'm finally on the way up.
SGT- I say keep on the proactive approach and thank you for your service.
Who do you bank with? If possible open an account with one of the Credit Unions? Navy Federal or your equivalent. Best of luck and keep us updated.
To others: Unless you have been in the military you would not know about the UCMJ Uniform Code of Military Justice-
SGT - here could have gone to jail, reduced in rank, fined for bouncing a check or not keeping up on financial obligations. Imagine going into the "office" and your boss tells you- "You bounced a check, I find you guilty of Article 134 and XXX.Your punishment is: reduction in pay, fine of $800, 30 days restriction and this might make it impossible for you stay with our company after your contract is up.
Don't tell me this doesn't happen- it happened to me many moons ago.
been there with timothy. Except I was in Portugal, told the wife we need a divorce. Sent her home, and she went absolutely NUTS with a CC, and stroking as many chacks as she could before the bank shut down the account. This was many years ago, and I didn't find out about the checks til my CO called me to his office with a nasty letter from the bank and 2500 in bad checks, 9000 CC debt, so on and so on. Thanks to fast talking, and family, restitution was made VERY VERY quickly and did not adversly affect my career. But Close. THanks from me also SGT for you service.