Hi, I'm new here as of today and I love reading everyone's experiences, tips and tricks about credit. It's been quite a while since I've used forums as a source of information and a general place to hang out, so bare with me as I try to understand some of the credit lingo.
I figure if I plan on going into the Accounting field as my major, then I better have some information about credit and to help my own personal financial endeavors for my future. My own personal experiences of bad choices with credit and debt, and just being young and dumb has given me great lessons to deal with and know how to avoid that for the future. I'd say if I had never gone through everything I went through, I would never have known many of the things I know now.
I'm 26, I make about 29k a year. I work full time, and I'm going to college full time. I have about 8k for student loan debt(not in repayment although I do put some extra money here and there so I can take advantage of paying my principle without all the accrued interest), a car loan for about 11400(I make payments on time, put extra towards the payments, and have not missed a payment, but the apr is ridiculously high btw at a 12.75%), an Orchard Bank card(unsecured) - $300 CL(now capital one), and a Capital One(unsecured) - $500 CL (both of which I use for little stuff like gas or some clothes, or renting a car when I travel and immediately pay off every month, I try not to carry balances and be charged apr). My credit score is about a 680 (although credit scores are very misleading)
3 years ago when my job was cutting hours and I was making less than I was now, I was behind 2 payments, and my car was repossessed. (wish I knew I could have still received unemployment when you where part time, then I could have kept the car, or even try to sell it..but how else would i have learned my lessons? lol). When it was sold at auction, I was SO lucky enough to get more than what I owed on the car, (I had 8 more payments to go then it would have been mine, but enough of the what ifs lol) and have an actual refund of about 3k. So that was paid off, but at the cost of my credit score for 7 years.
I had 3 credit cards.
1)A BOFA card that was charged off. But that's payed off. Waiting to fall off 7/14.
2) A past capital one card, which I settled with them for an amount. It's paid off. Waiting to fall off 11/14. They were nice enough to give me a second chance with the Platinum card I have now which I take real good care of.
3) Sears card which they closed bc of my past credit reports even though I was making payments to them (before all this credit card legislation and such stopped companies from making determinations like that) on time. I had issues with them still reporting (0 balance, no payments) until 2012. My last payment and activity was 3/09. They closed my account 5/08. Describes as paid and closed. I had to keep disputing it every time I pulled my report because it says that the account was closed at consumers request. Ha, what a joke, they are the ones who closed it! I disputed this info, and it says that every time I pull my report now. It stopped reporting 12/12, but I don't know when this will fall off though. If anyone has any ideas..please let me know.
Anyways, should I just keep my combined $800 credit limit until my past negative credit card issues fall off? And when I am ready to make that move to try another card, what card should I go for? My longest positive credit history will be that orchard bank card ($59 annual fee btw smh) 11/11. I'm a little afraid of getting rid of the card with the longest history, but that card is too much a year. That and since Capital One acquired HSBC, I don't know what other types of options they will give to people who have that card. Can we get CLI? Can we get an option of trying to get a card with a lower annual fee? The platinum Capital One I have is from 6/12. I have read that Capital One has very rarely given CLI so I'm kinda in a corner here lol. I have a bank account with Union Bank, but from my research, it's a prime bank market so I'm assuming I need A-1 credit before I apply for one of their cards. I don't even want to touch that. I was also thinking about possibly opening up another banking relationship/and or switching my union bank account to a local credit union for better rates and service in general. I was hoping after a bulk of my negative credit fell off my credit reports, then I would refinance my car loan later on through the credit union.
And I'm not looking to do this all right now. I realize this stuff takes time, but I don't know what would be my next step. I want to do this with the best possible results for my situation. There's a plethora of information out there and sometimes knowing that much can help you and also hurt you because you would have so much to choose from. So any suggestions or comments would be appreciated