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  1. Wow. Deleted any posts criticizing a huge problem on here and an administrator putting posts under a different file and 'locking' it (whatever that means), then reminding the guy that was responding to a rude poster that the site was privately owned and calling him an 'oaf'. That's too much, even for me. I guess one less person won't affect the site that much, but I'm outta here. Thanks for your help though, especially ICANHASMUNY; god, I'm going to miss her expertise. To the two people that are going to read this before it's removed, please tell her thank you, but I'll be using another site, though god knows it'll be hard to find one as good as this. I hope your 'The customer is always wrong' approach works out for you.
  2. Don't let it get to you. Remember, the reason they know so much is because they aren't nice. You try dealing with Cap1, lol. It was their advice that got me THIS: https://creditboards.com/forums/index.php?s=7d55a8806dbf69e8cea9f2b7dabddc63&showtopic=552118&hl=
  3. I wonder if someone on here has already done that; let the CRA's 'peek' at one months balance and see if it helps your score. I would guess it's an algorithm and that the lower the utilization the better, but I have too many things going on to try it now. Maybe when the dust settles on everything and I'm just doing the same thing every month for awhile I'll do that for one month and see what effect it has on my score. If I did it now I wouldn't be able to tell if it was that or something else. Post your results when you do it.
  4. I've been doing this as far as utilization: I think of it as dealing with TWO entities. First, the credit card company. Use your card as little or as much as you want, but you have to be able to pay it off monthly before you get charged interest. If you owe a lot on it then pay it down to nothing. Next, is the credit reporting agencies. All of your cards report how much of your credit you've used each month to Experian, Equifax and Transunion. They see your percentage of utilization and that determines a huge part of your score based on that number. When do they report it? Most likely a couple of days after your statement cuts. So, as an example, you charge $800.00 on a card with a limit of $1000.00. Your card company will say, cool, he's using our card. THEY know you're using it and making them money. You pay it off before the statement cuts. The CRA's see you've used 0% of the card and that you have 0% utilization. THEY don't see the $800.00 you used, as the credit card company reported you owed $0 when the credit card reported it to the CRA's. So, pay down the card until you owe nothing on it. Then start using it again but pay it off monthly BEFORE the statement cuts. Not the 'Payment Due' date, but the 'Statement' date. If you do this for awhile and have 0% utilization for a long time then your score might go down a bit, as the CRA's want to see you actually USING cards to prove you're responsible by using cards and then and paying them off. So you might want to pay the card down to 1% or so, just so the CRA's know you're using credit. Pay it off right after the credit card company reports to the CRA's. That way you don't pay any interest, but still have something reporting, even if it is only 1%. (The CRA's love 1%) Remember, the lower the better. I hope this helped you.
  5. Just to be clear: You had trouble paying Chase and worked out a deal with them to make lower payments to pay down the total. They are reporting it as a charge-off. You are saying that since you never missed a payment on their 'slow pay' plan that it shouldn't be reported as a charge-off. My question is- are you paying less than what was owed? That is, did you agree to pay less of the total in this program? If you are paying it off completely eventually then they should report it as 150+ late, but paid in full. If you are paying LESS than the total then it can be reported as a charge-off, but 'paid in full for less than...'.
  6. My mortgage broker told me basically the same thing as this article. That lenders are desperate to give loans and make money, but so many millions tanked after the housing crises it's impossible to get approved. They want those customers. It wasn't official or anything, he just said they were 'kinda trying to ignore' all the people who had two+ homes, underwater, etc. and were looking for people that paid their bills on time. That was my guess before I even talked to him. I've been carry no balances on any of my cards since my $425K house dropped to $199K. I don't see getting a new house soon, but maybe this is a step in the right direction, as long as they don't go back to their old standards for a home loan- having a pulse. (And that was negotiable.)
  7. Hi. I had a house I bought under the VA loan program. Foreclosure was started but I got a buyer before anything happen foreclosure-wise. The house sold for less than what was owed on it. The VA made up the difference (80K+). Now I'd like to get a new home. Snag is I can't get my VA loan guarantee back unless I pay them back the 80K. There's no hope of that. I've been reading on here that I can't use any type of federally guaranteed FHA/VA/HUD/USDA loans if I owe the government money, namely, the VA loan money they paid off the mortgage company with. The question is: Is there any hope of buying even a small home without getting 20% down and using a regular bank? What would you guys do if you were in my shoes? Any options? Thanks in advance.
  8. An incredibly good story about Brazil and the nature of money here: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/423/the-invention-of-money Just click on the tiny arrow facing right and it will play. All about how money is a fiction dependent on our belief that it's real.
  9. I'd go into more detail, but I don't think it would help most people, as it involved a lot of phone calls. I think calling in general is a mistake, as these people are trained to make you say something you'll regret later. I will say that some of the credit card companies are relatively reasonable. Except Capital One. The main thing to remember is that this is only about money and nothing else. You have to get rid of the mindset that you are a deadbeat or somehow stupid or should be ashamed about getting in over your head; something I will never do again. It's like in 'The Godfather'- "It's just business." My wife taught me this after making a quick call that got a lawyers bill reduced from $15K to $2K. She's an accountant and taught me how the rules are different for companies then for regular people.
  10. You could sign up for MyFico for one month, then cancel right away. Then, switch to another company for regular monitoring. You can compare the one time scores you got from MyFico with the ones you get from whatever service you pick to use long term. If they're way different from MyFico you can see how close they are to the real thing. Just make sure to print everything from MyFico first, or save it to your computer. If you're a Costco member they have a decent service for $8.99 a month. My Walmart card gives me my scores and they seem to match MyFico spot on. Everywhere else I've tried have scores all over the place, some in the ballpark, some wildly different from my real scores.
  11. Wow. Long post. You say it's because of a $97.00 bill from 3 years ago? What I would do first? Write the CEO of Sprint. Just say in your own words that a bill got by you and that this charge-off is wrecking your credit, and is there any chance they could have it removed from yout credit reports. There's a chance that such a small amount isn't really worth it for them to worry about. Mention in the letter that you don't remember even getting this bill. I would also find out my Sprint account number and send them a check for $97.00. There's a chance they'll immediately cash the check. That'll give you some leverage when dealing with the collection agency they sold it to. Don't worry about 're-setting' the 7 year date. That starts when you were first delinquent on it. Remember also that, although not great- a 3 year old paid charge-off isn't really that big a deal. A never-paid charge-off is. Try the things I said in order and be patient; everything takes month in the credit world.
  12. MyFico. They have charts like that. I didn't use them for awhile- hence the long pause you see there, but recently signed back on with them and they still had the records from when I started.
  13. Capital One. Chase. Check the creditpulls section and see which card you'd be most likely to get. Try to find one that uses a different CRA to check your credit, that way you'll spread out the hard pulls, even though he's already passed a year on a couple, which shouldn't affect your score. Go for the easiest card with no fees and when you get it stick it in a box and only use it for a gallon of milk or something, then pay it off right away. Sounds like you have a handle on this already. The medical baddie you can get off from using the medical forum.

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