Trying to rebuild credit: Need the credit experts here to help!

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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nitrov
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Trying to rebuild credit: Need the credit experts here to help!

Postby nitrov » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:27 am

Hi,

I've found some really useful and amazing information on this forum and decided to finally seek your guidance.

I'm in my mid-20s and made some major credit mistakes when I was 18 after an ex-boyfriend did some unauthorized balance transfers on my cards I couldn't afford to pay them off after losing my job (yea, I know...learned from that mistake). I had excellent credit back then with an Amex Gold card, probably half a dozen other cards with a total of about $30k in credit limits. I was stupid and knew nothing about credit and got sucked in by one of those "debt consolidation" companies, and blindly followed their guidance to allow all my cards to charge off and settle the debts for less than I owed. I also had a voluntary repo (auto) around that same time.

Fast-forward to now, I have the following cards:
---CO Quicksilver: $750 limit (<3 years old)
---CO Platinum (converted from HSBC): $300 limit (<2 years old)
---Amex Optima: $500 limit (6 years old)
---First Premier Bank: $750 limit (<1 year old)
---Secured Credit Union CC: $1500 limit, <2 years old, they don't upgrade to unsecured apparently
---CareCredit: $3500 limit (<2 years old)

I just submitted a credit line increase for the Quicksilver card and am waiting to hear back on the decision. I saw someone mentioned speaking with their Executive Office? How does that work? Any pointers?

I'm desperately trying to increase my score to buy my first home. My DTI is very low, utilization is always very low, great income, no late pays in 5+ years. My scores are currently between the low 600s (Experian, lowest) to 660 (TransUnion, highest). I've spent or wasted thousands of dollars in "credit repair" people or companies and have seen minimal, if any, progress over the past years and am really tired of paying for mistakes from 5-7+ years ago! Any help would be amazing and greatly appreciated!


nitrov
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Postby nitrov » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:12 pm

Somebody help me out here, please!

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otter
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Postby otter » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:09 pm

welcome to the forum!

If your goal is to buy a house, you might be able to convince lenders that the bad history is far behind you. They usually look at everything about your credit, not just your score. The problem is that most of your cards seem to be from issuers which are stingy with credit line increases. I can see you've tried to increase your credit by picking up a few cards every year or so, but the cards you've got aren't really cards you want to grow with... Capitol One is notorious for being stingy with CLI's. If a six year old AMEX card only has a $500 limit, they probably aren't going to give you much of an increase-if any. As for First Premier,.. I don't know why you even got that card when you could have probably qualified for others. I would apply for a few cards which accept fair credit, but are from issuers which will allow you increase your available credit. Barclaycard has a few cards for fair credit and they are fairly generous with credit limits. GE Cards are known for increasing their limits with regularity.

Good luck in your rebuilding efforts.
In my Wallet:
  • Amex PRG NPSL[3-14, bd 91]
  • Sallie Mae MC $8000[1-14]
  • Chase Freedom $4700[1-14]
  • Discover It $2750[8-13]
  • BoA UCF Alumni Cash Rewards $5000 [3-15]
Sometimes in my Wallet:
  • GM BuyPower WEMC $5000[9-14]
  • Wells Fargo Propel 365 Amex $7000[4-14]
  • Barclaycard Arrival WEMC $7000[3-14]
  • BoA Better Balance $3000[2-15]
In my sockdrawer: Amex BCE $1000[10-13, bd 91], OCCU Duck $10000 [11-13], The Sportsman's Guide Visa $8000[8-14], Chase Slate $4000 [9-14]Delta Gold Amex $2000 [2-15 bd 91], Diners Club MC $20000 [10-14] Commerce Bank Visa $2000 [3-15] Citi Double Cash $1000 [3-15]
Total CL: $90450

nitrov
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Postby nitrov » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:41 pm

otter wrote:welcome to the forum!

If your goal is to buy a house, you might be able to convince lenders that the bad history is far behind you. They usually look at everything about your credit, not just your score. The problem is that most of your cards seem to be from issuers which are stingy with credit line increases. I can see you've tried to increase your credit by picking up a few cards every year or so, but the cards you've got aren't really cards you want to grow with... Capitol One is notorious for being stingy with CLI's. If a six year old AMEX card only has a $500 limit, they probably aren't going to give you much of an increase-if any. As for First Premier,.. I don't know why you even got that card when you could have probably qualified for others. I would apply for a few cards which accept fair credit, but are from issuers which will allow you increase your available credit. Barclaycard has a few cards for fair credit and they are fairly generous with credit limits. GE Cards are known for increasing their limits with regularity.

Good luck in your rebuilding efforts.


Thanks, I really appreciate the info. I actually was just able to upgrade the Cap1 from Platinum to Quicksilver, and after I did that I applied for an increase, got declined, contacted the EO, and they went ahead and approved me for a $2000 CL (up from $750). Hooray!

On the Amex, the Optima is considered a "recovery product" so they won't give a CL increase, upgrade it, or make any changes to it. I called them last week to see if there were any offers I had in the system and they said I was "pre-approved" for a Blue Cash Everyday card (which is an awesome card). I did the app over the phone, just checked online and it says it was declined. I'm trying to see if it's going to give me the typical "cannot complete application due to active and open recovery product" or if it was actually a decisioned application.

The 1st Premier account I got because I received the pre-approval in the mail and figured something unsecured was better than nothing to give me a bump on available credit. I'm not sure what others I could've been approved for; haven't tried Barclaycard recently, but I know a couple years ago I was declined.

I just sent out 9 GW letters and 1 PFD and I'm going to see if I get any luck from those. Even if I get a 20% success rate on those plus the CL increase from Cap 1 that should give me a little boost. I need to do something about the rest of those cards though! Contemplating closing the $300 Cap 1 and the 1st Premier once my score comes up a bit, but don't want to shoot myself in the foot either.

I see you got a lot of your cards recently and they all have decent limits. Your scores are awesome, I'm hoping to get there in the near future :( I'd get a killer rate on my mortgage if I could. Right now I'm only qualifying for FHA which would cost me an arm & a leg in PMI plus sellers are scared out of their mind of FHA financing falling through so don't consider the offers as competitively as conventional.

Any other tips from anyone would help and be greatly appreciated!

Obi-dan
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Postby Obi-dan » Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:06 pm

When you went through the consolidation did you do everything or is there stuff on your report that shows a balance still owed? If so, you could settle and ask the company to show it paid in full.

Also, ask your mortgage lender if there is anything they specifically would like to see fixed on your credit report. Like Otter said, with a mortgage it's a lot more than just score. Also, find out which scores mortgage lenders are looking at. some just want one above 640, some look at middle score.

If this is all 5-7 years old then time is on your side and things should start dropping off. Good current credit, settling debt and time will heal a lot of credit problems. If you end up waiting two years to buy a house it may not be worst thing in world (pray interest rates don't go crazy).

With fair credit you may get approved but not at a preferred rate. If you are worried about rates 1-2 years from now when you would qualify than you may want to jump ASAP. If you think rates won't go too high it may behoove you tell let everything fall off before you apply.

Good luck.
Cards:
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Marriott Rewards
Citi Hilton
Barclay Arrival
AMEX BCE (member since 95)
Chase Freedom
Discover It
Wells Fargo Platinum
Barclaycard (Apple)
Local Credit Union Visa (buy local!)


FICO Scores:
TU: 824 (Aug 2014)
Experian: 789 (Aug 2014)
Equifax: 807 (Aug 2014)

nitrov
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Postby nitrov » Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:55 pm

Obi-dan wrote:When you went through the consolidation did you do everything or is there stuff on your report that shows a balance still owed? If so, you could settle and ask the company to show it paid in full.

Also, ask your mortgage lender if there is anything they specifically would like to see fixed on your credit report. Like Otter said, with a mortgage it's a lot more than just score. Also, find out which scores mortgage lenders are looking at. some just want one above 640, some look at middle score.

If this is all 5-7 years old then time is on your side and things should start dropping off. Good current credit, settling debt and time will heal a lot of credit problems. If you end up waiting two years to buy a house it may not be worst thing in world (pray interest rates don't go crazy).

With fair credit you may get approved but not at a preferred rate. If you are worried about rates 1-2 years from now when you would qualify than you may want to jump ASAP. If you think rates won't go too high it may behoove you tell let everything fall off before you apply. He said score is what's going to dictate my rate primarily, there are enough lenders that don't pick apart the specific trade lines that made up the score unless people have bankruptcies or the potential lender has previously taken a loss from a charge off for the applicant. I know that as well from previously working at a bank. If I can get up to a 640 mid-score, I can save about 25 bp on my mortgage rate, if I can get a 680-700 I can qualify for a conventional mortgage which would give me a huge advantage in rate and negotiating leverage with sellers since it's a sellers market and there's so many cash buyers where I'm looking just scooping properties right out from under you.

Good luck.


Thanks for the reply!

Everything on my report that's negative shows PIF or "charged off-legally paid for less than full amount owed." The only thing I still have on my credit that hasn't been paid is a repo from 2008 from VW Credit that shows a balance due of $32k.

My mortgage guy is a broker so he doesn't work for just one lender, which is good. He said they look at the middle score, which right now is a nasty 628 and only qualifies me for bare-bones FHA. The rates have already gone up 50 basis points in the past 60 days, and treasury rates are constantly climbing, so yea, I am very afraid rates are going to continue to increase, which is why I'm really putting the squeeze on myself to get the negative stuff off, limits up, and scores up.

I'm hoping some of the GW letters work, and I may try disputing the repo as well, but if I can get enough off and get a bump from the CL increases, etc. to get up to a 680-700 I could just tolerate waiting for the rest to come off due to age. One can only dream.

Obi-dan
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Postby Obi-dan » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:27 am

The repo is probably what is hurting you the most and you're looking at 2 years on that. You can try to dispute but at that amount they will probably respond and verify it to the bureaus.The other thing you can try and do to boost score is to plead for CLI or apply for new credit to decrease your credit utilization, but new credit can have a tipping point if you open too much.

You can always try and settle with VW. For as long as it has been, you maybe able to settle for cents on the dollar.

Hang in there.
Cards:
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Marriott Rewards
Citi Hilton
Barclay Arrival
AMEX BCE (member since 95)
Chase Freedom
Discover It
Wells Fargo Platinum
Barclaycard (Apple)
Local Credit Union Visa (buy local!)


FICO Scores:
TU: 824 (Aug 2014)
Experian: 789 (Aug 2014)
Equifax: 807 (Aug 2014)

nitrov
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Postby nitrov » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:08 am

Thank you, I'm definitely trying. Someone else on another board brought up a point that if I try and settle or send a pay for delete letter that the creditor can interpret that as an action that can reset the statute of limitations on the debt and open myself up to the possibility of a lawsuit from VWC. The last time I spoke with the collection agency who held it (about a year ago), they still wanted $12,000 or something to settle, which isn't worth it since it's going to stay on my credit for another 2 years anyway.

I'm trying tirelessly to get CLI's, but apparently all the credit card companies I have are terrible with them. I'm in the recon process with Amex right now and highly doubt I'll get anywhere. I'm running out of cards to request CLIs for :\ so disheartening... I want to apply for Discover or Barclay, but I really don't want to get declined and I'm waiting to see if my score picks up at all in the next 30 days. I'm not sure which has a higher likelihood of approving me or at a better CL.

Obi-dan
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Postby Obi-dan » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:48 am

You do need to check the laws of your state about restarting the SOL if you try and settle. Personally, I would not be a big fan of trying to settle this debt. Let's face the facts: You don't have the car, they more than likely resold the car and recovered some of their losses and finally, it is going to drop off in two years.

However, it seems like it is the biggest deal. I think your two best options are to talk to a lender (I know you are using a broker but once one gets picked talk to them) and see what they say. It may not b that big of a problem, or wait and save money for a few years and purchase a home after it drops off if you want the best rates possible.

Don't get too frustrated. Talk to the lender, see what you get approved for and at what rate. Then go from there.
Cards:
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Marriott Rewards
Citi Hilton
Barclay Arrival
AMEX BCE (member since 95)
Chase Freedom
Discover It
Wells Fargo Platinum
Barclaycard (Apple)
Local Credit Union Visa (buy local!)


FICO Scores:
TU: 824 (Aug 2014)
Experian: 789 (Aug 2014)
Equifax: 807 (Aug 2014)

whit
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Postby whit » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:49 am

Would it be possible to negotiate to get that repo off of your credit report once you settle the difference?

Between what you owed and what they were able to recoup from the sale + reasonable expense at needing it to be resold again (overhead costs)

It just won't look good if you have an expense you needed finance for; but then bailed out on and not taking care to make sure that the company who did the lending doesn't lose out. If I were a lender, that would make me wary, besides the low credit score



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