How long should it take for credit to improve?
How long should it take to see improvement on my credit score using 2 credit cards? They are low limit, but I've been using them and paying them off for about 3 months, no over the limits or lates.
According to Credit Karma I had a score of 590 when I started. After activating my two current cards I checked and my score was down to 552, then it came up to 575 and now it's at 572. One of the inquiries just dropped off of my report and now it's showing 4 recent inquiries. Two are for the cards I have and one is for Merrick bank, I didn't ever activate the Merrick Bank card and got my security deposit back, but those 3 applications were in the last 4 months.
Is it to be expected that my credit scores will hang back for the next few months or is it an indication that something is wrong? Is there some sort of professional who could look at my credit report and try to figure out what's going on? It's important because I can't tolerate the job I'm on a minute longer, but I just can't get another job and I think my credit score is holding me back.
While I'm starting out with kind of sucky cards, like everyone else I want to try to leave myself set up to get better cards after all, who would want a $200 credit limit and $39 annual fee for the rest of their life. Now I just need to find a professional who understands I want future cards from Bank of America and Citi but I'm not looking to apply tomorrow and I don't want huge debts I can't pay.
Did you check your credit report and look it over carefully BEFORE you started applying for cards? If you haven't, you need to stop, back up and do 2 things. First you need to get all 3 of your credit scores, then you need to get your full credit report. Credit Karma is okay if you want to check your report every day but it doesn't contain your full report and generates what is known as a FAKE score which may or may not be close to your actual score.
Did you by any chance file bankruptcy? In many cases, not filing bankruptcy is a huge mistake. Here's why, when you file bankruptcy, all your debts are discharged, you might loose 100 points or so, but then after a couple years your score bounces back. When you allow several accounts to go into default, you seriously lower your credit scores and they stay low for 7 years no matter what you do. In other words, with several baddies on your report, even if you use your cards perfectly, your scores will not improve until the baddies fall off your report in several years. I seen a case of this first hand where someone had several thousand in unpaid medical bills. They had a secured card and after 5 years they were still stuck with their secured card and bad credit.
It's a fact of life, many employers are checking credit before hiring these days and with a low credit score, you don't have a chance. If you are thinking about a bank, retail sales, warehouse or anyplace that deals with cash or valuables, you won't get the job. Also, if the job requires you to be bonded, forget it, you're unbondable. The bad news is, you're going to have to work crap jobs and use debit cards a few more years before you see improvement in your credit, but things will get better with time.
I agree that you should get an actually free copy of your credit report, knowing what is on it is very important. After that, use sites like credit sesamie, quizzle, and credit karma and the like to get credit scores for free. Some sites offer an in house algorithm that does a very good job, other sites actually pull a score from One of the bureaus. Remember there are hundreds of score models, and then multiple credit bureaus, each with different information on you. Your various FICO score models will create a different score at each of the three bureaus in the vast majority of cases. There are also very useful non FICO scores such as vantage. These scores weight different areas more or less heavily than others, and in some cases use different time frames.
I can't give you specific advice on what to do, but what I would do once I have my report down and my scores down, is set a goal. Lets say FICO '08 660, which would put you above the US average FICO score. The time to get there will be 18-24 months. In those 18-24 months, I will pay all of my debts on time, not apply for any additional types of credit (loans, payday advances,credit cards, student loans etc), have all balances paid off in full each month by the end of my 18 month window thereby lowering my card utilization, and not close any of my oldest 60% of accounts. Maybe I add a few other items in there each month that are more tactical but in the end these are the major goals I need to accomplish to get to an above average FICO '08 score.
Maybe in the mean time, I might practice marketable skill x or y in my free time, lets say web design or basic html or php programming. The skill I would practice would be useful in any job, and help me develop my worth as an employee. Even if I am not a programmer, understanding basic logic would help me see the implementation side of many things.
If you set the goal and make it very specific, break it down into steps, have it be measurable, and have a time constraint, you will have the power to meet your goal if you choose to.
Wish you luck!
To show you how messed up the system is, I tried to go back to my former employer working on an armored truck. I find two sheriff's deputies waiting in the office. They had hired a guy a few weeks back and somehow he slipped through the cracks. He was a convicted *** offender with an active order of protection. The conviction was out of state and he didn't register as a *** offender like he was supposed to plus he didn't check in with his probation officer. To top it off, he was trying to run some sort of fake money order scam. They caught him because I store had him on video using a stolen credit card.
After all that, they tell me they can't hire me back because I have bad credit. No felony convictions, I didn't file Bankruptcy, I'm still licensed to carry both on and off duty but that doesn't matter, I have bad credit. What's wrong with this system? I know I had 7 credit cards go into default, but I sold my house and paid them all off, but the paid off accounts still hang out on my credit report as "delinquent". It's why I was turned down for a Bank of America secured card, but I was told after a year with my US Bank and Capital One secured cards, I could go back and try to get the Bank of America secured card again.