I need help, advice, guidance, strategy, etc... PLEASE help.

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I need help, advice, guidance, strategy, etc... PLEASE help.

Postby JohnJRambo » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:38 pm

I know this isn't a "credit card" post per se, but I know there are a lot of folks on this site, who could potentially help me and get me in the right direction.

I need help. I am trying to do the right thing and get things, financially, back in order and under control. I seem to be having some success resolving some issues, but I need guidance. I need your help.

I was young. I was dumb. I am paying for it now. I have recently decided that I can overcome my mistakes, and finally picked up the phone and set up some payment arrangements. It wasn't easy (for me), but I did it. I think what had stopped me from doing it sooner was really my pride and my embarrassment rolled into one. I bit the bullet, and the parties were willing to work with me, to my surprise.

So, according to my credit report, I now have one thing holding me back from accomplishing things that I want to do, and that is student loans. I defaulted on three student loans through Sallie Mae, and one through the Dept. of Education. I put the one through the DOE into rehab, and have successfully pulled it out of default, and it will be paid off in full within the next 4-5 months. The Sallie Mae loans I took out were in the amounts of $8,392, $16,000, and $17,500. A total of $41,892. Honestly, don't know exactly when the loans "defaulted" but on my credit report it shows that each were "open" in 08/05, 05/06, and 08/06. I know that my debt from Sallie Mae was sold/charged off/handed off to a collection agency. The balances on my credit report shows I now owe a total of $88,641, and that is also what the collection agency told me I owed. It also shows that the "past due" amounts on the loans are $12,291, $12,273, and $6,161. I'll come back to these loans.

Several months ago I decided I needed to get my life together (from past mistakes, foolishness), and start thinking about the big picture, instead of today and today only. In addition to the student loans, I had a judgement that was filed against me in 2008, from an old credit card when I was about 20, and an account from T-Mobile in collections. The student loans, a judgement, and an account in collections were what was showing negatively on my credit report. I bit the bullet, and it hurt, went to the bank and pulled cash out. I went to the courthouse and paid the judgement off in full. I then turned around and contacted the collection agency that had the T-Mobile account and paid it off. My credit report still shows the judgement that was filed against me in 08/08, and now the T-Mobile account shows it has been paid.

I applied for a mortgage in April 2014, and like I assumed, I was denied. I honestly just wanted to see where i stood, and if I could get any information on what I could do to get myself qualified to purchase a home. To my surprise, the lender that run my info told me that my score was a 654. Then the lender told me that was my score was not what disqualified for me loan, it was that judgement against me that threw up the biggest "red flag" (this was the week before I paid the judgement off in full). As a matter of fact, I was told that they have people with scores lower than that do get approved, but I needed to take care of the judgement ASAP and could reapply with them in 90 days. I was told that a lot of people with absurd amounts of student loans get approved. I knew I wasn't the only person in the world who defaulted on student loans, but didn't know how it would affect me. Like I said, I was told from the bank the biggest thing against me in their eyes was the judgement. So, I went and took care of the judgement the next week, and also paid off the T-Mobile account as I mentioned earlier. So I'm thinking to myself, that's two down, time to tackle the big student loan(s).

Like it was an omen, or something of the like, a couple days after I had paid off the judgement and T-Mobile account, I got a letter from the company that now holds my Sallie Mae student loan debt. So I called them that day, as I really didn't even honestly know who even held the debt. I figured since I was getting old things squared away, just keep rolling with it. I called and they told me they wanted the loan paid in full, I told them unfortunately I had just went grocery shopping and wouldn't be able to stroke the nearly $90k check. I was then informed that I could settle the debt for $25k, and I informed them that I also could not stroke that check at the moment. So, then they say well, "What can you pay?" I told them I'd pay them $100 a month and they said that was fine. I set it up on auto draft and have made the first two payments, and figure at least making and showing an attempt to pay on it should reflect on my credit report in the future. So, in my mind I was fairly pleased by myself for at least "trying" to get things back on track. So, in the matter of a week or so, I had paid off a judgement in full, paid off the only negative collection account showing on my credit report, and at least started making a monthly payment on the student loans.

So I figured, now that I'd done that, I'll go try again to get pre approved to buy a house (mid May, 2014). So, in I went and explained my situation, and was told well lets run your credit and see what we can do. I was told my three scores were (I believe these are right, but I'm trying to remember from memory) 654, 629, and 597 (I don't remember what the names of the reports were, but I know they weren't the typical Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). I don't remember which was what score but those were the three scores. I was told they'd have to go by the 629, and needed it to be a 640 before continuing. After quickly scanning my credit report, I was told more than likely just paying my three credit cards to around 20% of their limits would probably be enough to boost that score over the 640 mark. Then the student loans were noticed on the credit report. It then quickly turned to, I see where you just started paying these back as it had updated to a "1" instead of a "9" showing on my credit report. I was then informed that regardless of my score, I could hang up getting a loan for a home until I had 24 consecutive "1's" for my student loans. I was told that it is possible if your loans are set up on auto draft, which mine are, that sometimes the underwriters will pre approve someone for a house with twelve consecutive "1's". I was told though that even if I were not paying the loans and they had slipped by the initial credit report, right before the closing of the house they re-check credit and it would have definitely caught old student loans, and then right before closing, they'd shut down the process. So, at least I didn't get that far and get crushed by that blow.

Speaking of credit scores, and I already know that these are not the gospel, but I have accounts on credit karma (TransUnion) and credit sesame (Experian). I am currently showing a 673 on Credit Sesame, and a 636 on Credit Karma. I'm not exactly sure what a "Vantage Score" is but mine on Credit Karma is a 723. I am adamant now, that I am little older and wiser, that all my bills are 100% on time. I have actually been that way for at least a few years, problem I suppose is I just recently started trying to "fix" what I'd screwed up years ago. I work hard, and make pretty decent money, and I want to have something to show for it. I know I cannot possibly be the only person that is dealing with something like this at the moment.

Here are some questions that I have, and any advice, guidance, information would be most beneficial. I appreciate you taking time to read my situation. It is much appreciated, thanks in advance.

1. Would going to/hiring a credit advisor/ credit repair agency help me in any way?

2. Should I send all the bureaus a copy of the receipt showing that the judgement was indeed paid in full? If so, will this help my score by the bureaus knowing it has been paid?

3. Would it do me any good to contact the collection agency that holds the debt and tell them I'm wanting to buy a house? I doubt they care, but...

4. Do I need to take out any other loans that I know I can repay on time or early to show different types of payments on my credit report? i.e. auto loan, personal loan, etc? All I have now, are credit cards.

* Also a quick note, on my credit report it shows the the three Sallie Mae loans separately, and when I receive the letter from the collection agency that they are about to auto draft my account for payment, they have the sum all lumped together. Does this matter? Could it be adjusted to show one lump sum on my credit report with one row of "9's" instead of three individual loans with rows of "9's"?

5. Are there any lenders that specialize in situations like mine? If so, who?

6. Should I re-apply (in 90 days) with the bank that I initially tried with in April 2014, who seemed more worried about the judgement than the student loans?

Thanks again.

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Postby Robrus1 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:47 am

1. I'm not sure. Personally, I'd pay on these student loans and your existing credit cards for about 12 months before attempting another mortgage approval.

2. You can, so that they can update their records. It will help your score in 7 years when it falls off.

3. No

4. I wouldn't, unless it is necessary.
* I don't think this matters, if it does, they just consolidated it, which is fine.
5. I'm not sure, really you just need time to let this stuff fall off your reports.

6. I would probably wait longer myself, but it never hurts to check your score when you get ready. Is the bank you're trying to get a mortgage through also where you bank?
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Postby thom02099 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:42 am

You've mentioned a lot of numbers in your post, but some important information that would assist in responses would be:

** What's your employment situation and what is your income? Is it likely to increase either short term or long term?

** Any other financial obligations, ie, auto loans, personal loans, child support, etc?
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