It's been a long rough roller coaster ride and it feels like the operator went on break and forgot about the ride -- just left it running with me on it! I admit, I rely heavily on Credit Karma, but I'm not sure what else to look at. I started out with a CK score of 552, managed to get a secured card, then for some reason got as low as 512......left us holding our breaths because I was sure I was going to fall below 500, but then it started to rise, fell, started to rise again. I hung out at 572 to 575 for the longest time then went up to 624, then fell to 601 and now am sitting at 618. So far my only 2 cards are Capital One $800 CL and US Bank $300 CL both secured. Cap1 is about 7 months and US Bank is 4 months. Paid both online several times a month and never been over my limit on either. These are the only 2 accounts I have reporting.
My funny family has always been, you get one chance to do it yourself, blow it and we step in and do it for you. Once you've shown you can't handle credit, that's it, you're done. You might be 32 years old, but you're treated like you're 15. I was really only supposed to get one credit card but I got 2. My mom who's 89 argued with me about the MasterCard because she didn't think anyone around here would accept it - a credit card should be a Visa card, end of story. She came uncorked when the bank gave me a debit card because she thought all Visa cards were credit cards, then when she got a rebate on a Visa gift card, she was totally confused.....and she wants to run my life?????
Well, this is a small town, one back woods no service bank -- they say "full service" but they tend to leave customers standing at the window while they are laughing and joking in the back. I totally lost faith in this bank when they told my mom they never heard of US Bank and my credit card was likely a scam. Then they are off on this kick that credit cards are completely unnecessary because debit cards do the same thing now days. I refused to talk to the financial people from the bank further, so I get sent to this jack of all trades who's supposed to sell insurance, have investments, figure taxes, etc. and he's supposed to advise me on the proper use of credit cards?????
Right now, my real reason for having credit cards is to try to get my score up. It's part of planning for the future, because at some point, I would like to buy my mom's house. It's only valued at $20,000 and I should be able to get it for less, but the bank said if my mom passed away today, I'd be totally screwed and wouldn't be able to get it because I wouldn't be able to borrow a dime. Now this investment guy says I should just garden the 2 secured cards I have and wait at least 2 years before filling out any new applications. I would like to think I would be able to get the cash rewards card from Capital One with the $39 annual fee as early as the summer before my annual fee is due on my secured card. I could really use the $650 I gave them back, but then I just get another card I'll outgrow in a year. We discussed getting another secured trade-line, but he said I would do better increasing the deposit on what I had.
The guy looked at my credit report to see if there was something that could be repaired, but it's not looking good. There are 7 charge off's from when I lost my job several years ago, I know I paid most of them but he said they are now stuck on my report for 7 years and nothing can be done. There are 2 open collections, one for $130 and the other for $75. For the life of me I can't figure out what they are for because I didn't get any bills, just poof they showed up on my report, no letter from the collection agency or anything. One is for like something like TIC Group, never heard of them and don't even know how to contact them. He's going to try to help me dispute them as "not mine" but he says when your credit totally sucks like mine, it's hard to get anyone to believe you. He pointed out that the first open collection wasn't dated so we don't know when it was added and it's likely to be stuck on my report for life. The other just hit maybe 3 months ago, but no warning at all.
Now the question remains, how long do I wait to apply for another card and what do I apply for? Would adding a few hundred to my account now make a huge difference in a few months? Is there any possibility of my scores ever improving, or should I just cancel my cards and get my money back?