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  1. Thanks for the quick reply, WhyChat! Yes, absolutely. I admit, I had opted-in about two months ago in order to look for SP prequal while rebuilding. This did work for that purpose, but I have to imagine that it also brought the CA as well. Afterall, the jacklegs had the account since February 2018 and didn't report till now "coincidentally" when my scores jumped up 75+ points, new credit was obtained, and old collections paid. Future rebuilders reading this should take heed. Cuts both ways. Pulling all three reports today, and will be hand writing and addressing the letters as you indicated (Priority Mail, POD only). Its only showing up on EQ and TU as of 9/11, but I'm going ahead and prepping one for EX in the event it pops up in a week or so. I sat down last night to start writing, and then came to the realization I have no pens in the house or at my office. Slightly computer dependent! While I'm slightly incredulous about whether the 3B's OCR can be overcome, I'm following the program. I'm probably going to go this route, but I want a night to grind on the EOB statements I downloaded yesterday. I have the correct contact info for the HIPPA Coordinator as well. I eat spreadsheets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so my OCD kicks in when I see a stack of statements I haven't fully analyzed. I'm not going for anymore new credit in the next few months, and no mortgage or car loan apps till spring of next year. As long as it doesn't pop up on EX and mess up my new AMEX line (and potential 3X CLI in 60 days) I'm not in a huge hurry. Plus, if the hospital refuses payment, I want to be ready to start poking holes in that bill. I should hear back from my HR department tomorrow on the gap insurance and letter I requested. Again, thank you so much!
  2. So I've spent the past year patching and repairing my credit. I've documented my progress over the past few months in this thread. My Sunday afternoon was upset by alerts from my various credit tracking apps. A new medical collection for $3800 had been added to my EQ and TU dropping my scores by about 50 points. After some digging today, I found out what happened. I spent a week in the hospital last July 2017. It took till the end of October 2017 for all the insurance claims to be made, and in the end, I owed around $3400. I have gap insurance which was more than enough to pay the balance owed, filed the claim with my HR rep at work, and was told the gap insurance would pay the remainder directly. I didn't hear anything from anyone until yesterday's EQ and TU fallout. Back to HR, and found out the gap insurance claim was never filed by my employer. The HR rep who took the claim is no longer with the company. HR is handling the refile with the gap insurance company, and filing an appeal to get them to approve the late filing due to the extenuating circumstances, but advised me to go ahead and pay the bill. The gap insurance will refund me the money. This is, of course, now complicated since its sitting with a CA now reporting on two of my three bureau reports. I have the funds to make the payment immediately, but am not in anyway interested in having a paid collections on my reports for the next 7 years! As of this afternoon: Opted out. Not planning on disputing old addresses since this is all linked to my current address. I've asked my HR department to draft a letter of explanation regarding the failure to file my claim. Possibly thinking it might help convince the hospital to pull the bill back in-house and call off the CA if I go that route. I've had zero communication with the hospital, CA, or CRA's. I have access to all EOB files online with my primary insurance company. I've reviewed them, and all seems to be relatively in-line, however I noticed the CA jacked up the claim amount by about $400 over the last bill. I have not pulled my official bureau reports with ID#'s yet, but will do that tonight. I have identified the CA (small, local debt collector), and they've had the account since February 2018, but just now reported it. My suspicion is that this isn't a JDB, but an assignee from the hospital. From what I've read so far, I follow the HIPPA approach, determine the relationship between hospital and CA with a pre-HIPPA, then remit payment to the hospital? The bill is valid, I want to pay it, I can pay it, I just don't want to be hit with a fresh collection. Any advice would be appreciated. I'll be reading Whychat's guide more closely tonight, and will document the results for posterity sake regardless. Thanks, folks! -round2
  3. Thanks to some market shifts, my job responsibilities are expanding and I'll be hitting the road more frequently starting next year. Since we exclusively fly Delta, I figured hey, see if AMEX is still showing that Delta Gold SkyMiles pre-approval. I figure worst case scenario, they SP my old score from July and I get declined. No big deal. Checking the AMEX site, I found that yes, the Gold is still showing up with a slight difference. Instead of the previous 24 or 25% APR, it was showing 17.25%. I also noticed it had the 50K SkyMiles points bonus after $1000 spent in 3 months. That wasn't there the last time I checked. I filled the application out, and waited for the decision to be kicked back. No decision. Just a message "Please call us", which I did. After going through some basic ID questions by the very helpful rep... "Congratulations, Mr. Salamander. You're approved!" Then a pause.... Here it comes... the starting $500 baby limit. I don't care. I'm back in with AMEX! "Mr. Salamander, I'm not sure what you're doing with your credit, but keep it up! You've been approved for a starting credit limit of $10,000!" I don't even know what to say other than, THANK YOU Creditboards family!!!! I brought the dedication and commitment to fix what I broke, but you wonderful people brought your advice, support, and personal experience. Suffice to say, no Optima program for me. 😄 Here's where I very gratefully sit going into September: All collection accounts paid All active accounts current CL's at $15,000: Discover IT Secured $2,000, Capital One QuickSilver One $3,000, AMEX Delta Gold SkyMiles $10,000 EQ: 667, TU: 687, EX: 686 -round2
  4. After being lost in spreadsheet Hades for the past week, I decided to take a break and follow up with AMEX. I checked the online status of my recon, which had gone from Declined to In Process after my call. Well, it reverted back to Declined. I figured I would have at least gotten a HP, but nothing on EQ, TU, or EX. Also, when I reviewed the e-doc attached to the Declined, I noticed it was the same as the original from 8/21. I received a letter in the mail from AMEX yesterday. It confirmed AMEX had "reviewed my recon request, but they were sorry to inform me that they had decided to abide by their original decision". No further details provided. As of today, I still show no HPs. The AMEX Prequal check is still showing the Green Card, BCE, Everyday, and now the Delta Gold Card. All cards showing an actual APR (not a range). As a tip for anyone who is waiting by their mailbox for their Optima application, I still hadn't gotten my Optima application as of today. While poking around in my quarantine folder today I stumbled across an email from AMEX with an encrypted *.pdf file. Opened it up, and low and behold, it was the application for Optima. Since it was an encrypted file, it went to quarantine (not spam). I think I'm going to sit on it till later in September. I'll "guestimate" when AMEX updates my SP credit file (last pull was 7/14 according to the Declined letter), and re-apply for BCE. If I actually get declined based on my current credit report, I'll send in the Optima application. My focus now is racking up on-time payments. - round2
  5. althes, correct. The SP was before the increase in EX. EX FICO Timeline Today, Disco reported the new CL to EQ and TU with similar effect to EX: EQ: 639 -> 667 TU: 655-> 687 EX: 679 Again, very happy with the numbers. As of this evening, AMEX hasn't done a HP from my recon request from yesterday, and the app status is still In Progress.
  6. Insufficient FICO of 604 on EX from 7/14/2018. Reason codes were: Account(s) not paid as agreed. Proportion of revolving balances to revolving credit limits is too high. Number of accounts delinquent Insufficient number of satisfactory accounts. I know AMEX isn’t known for recons but I figured with the 45 point FICO jump on EX, all accounts paid, and UTI now showing zero, it was worth the call. Like dvd said, worst case the u/w gives me another decline when they HP and I follow up on the Optima program. Best case scenario, I become one of the rare few with a successful AMEX recon and get to start rebuilding my relationship with them with a card that will grow. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. dvd, Done and done. Just spoke to a very nice rep who couldn't do too much for me, but sent the app to u/w and said to give it 5 days for recon. We shall see. cashnocredit, I wonder if Camus would have called for recon, or would he have considered it an absurd, sisyphean task. LOL! I'll opt for strapping on my wings and giving it my all over resigned acquiescence any day. In the immortal words of Neil Young, "it's better to burn out than fade away." 😊
  8. DVD and CV, Poor Icarus. He flew too high. Went for the BCE and received an instant denial. According to the decision letter, it was based on EX FICO score of 604 from 7/14/2018. So no hard pull. Maybe I'm still on the Black List, but why would I have gotten a pre-qual yesterday? I just logged into MF to check EX and see that the brand new Discover reported yesterday and resulted in ANOTHER score jump: EX: (June 2018) 604 -> (yesterday) 648 (+44) -> (today) 679 (+31) Not bad for having activated the card less than 12 hours ago! Guys, I know scores are just numbers, and I promise I am in this for the long haul, but I'm pretty happy right now! So I'm planning on calling AMEX to ask for reconsideration based on where I am now. I know there's a TON of information out there on recon, which I'll read up on before making the call this afternoon. Any tips would be appreciated, but I know I need to do my homework. 😉 round2
  9. Quick update, and a question for you wonderful folks: As of today, score progress is as follows: EQ: 587 -> 639 (+52 since 6/2018) TU: 604 -> 655 (+51 since 6/2018) EX: 604 -> 648 (+44 since 6/2018) Charge-Off Balances Now Reporting ZERO As of last Friday, all the charge-off payments I made last month are now showing on all three bureaus, as well as the new INQs for my Capital One and Discover Secured. All 3 FICOs increased a little at a time over the past couple of weeks as each posted, while FAKOs flip-flopped all over the place like a dying fish. Funniest one was TU FAKO took a 41 point drop one day only to rebound back by by 50 points the next day. So that killed the ugly 161% utilization, but it also killed all my revolving CL's, so onto the new stuff... New Trade Lines The new Capital One card is in use with the first statement cut coming up on 9/5/2018, and the first due date 10/2/2018. From what I understand, they'll report the statement balance a few days after the period ends, so I'll make my payment to drop the balance to $2.00 two days before the period end date. Guessing I won't see it report till around November since they generally wait for two statements to clear before the first reporting? The new Discover Secured should arrive sometime this week, and I'll set that to PIF 2 days before the period end date. I am still waiting for the promised AMEX Optima invitation. I was going to give them a call this afternoon, but randomly decided to just see if AMEX had any pre-approval offers. I have checked a couple times over the past month, but it always came back with the same "sorry, we have no offers for you" message... until today... AMEX came back with 3 pre-approval offers: AMEX EveryDay CreditCard (no intro APR or bonus, 24.75% variable, no annual fee) Blue Cash Everyday Card (no intro APR or bonus, 24.75% variable, no annual fee) AMEX Green Charge (no annual fee 1st year, then $95 starting the 2nd year) Should I roll the dice with one of those three (or one of the credit cards, and then the green charge card), or wait for the Optima and my "guaranteed" $500 rehab CL? Currently have 3 INQs on EQ (1 from this year), 3 INQ on TU (1 from this year), and 2 INQs on EX (both from this year) Thanks for the input in advance! round2
  10. Thanks for the link, it was a good read. I get the fact it's a non-linear model as well as the tendency for bone headed consumers (such as myself) to make assumptions based on false causality. Just found that particular one on my report humorous. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. Thanks, cv, and I agree! I find this interesting. Just got a FICO notice and took a quick glance at it. I'm new at all this, but I don't think I remember seeing or hearing about a new INQ increasing a FICO score. No other changes on EX. 🤣
  12. First time ever getting to add to this topic! [emoji846] Discover It Secured $2,000 Capital One QuicksilverOne $3,000 AMEX Optima $500 Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  13. Mulling things over this weekend, I decided to go ahead and go for my secured card. My thinking being that once the accounts I paid off post, I have nothing to offset the utilization. Again, my charged-off accounts were causing all three reports to show a 161% credit usage. Once the payments posted, that would go away but so would the credit lines. I pulled the trigger on Discover It secured with no problem. Went for a $2,000 line of credit and got approved. I know that's not a big deal to some folks but it is a huge deal to me. Quite happy! Then I decided to roll the dice. I applied for the Capital One QuicksilverOne card, banking on the pre-qualification that was showing. I figured even if they give me a dinky $500 line, it's another card to work with. Worst case scenario, I burn an inquiry on all three reports. I am only showing one on TU and one on EX that are both a year old. Hit the button and held my breath... APPROVED for $3,000!!! What???!!! Wow!!! Yes!!! I took a hard inquiry on TU and EX from Capital One and none from Discover. Both FAKOs immediately reported a 2 point drop which I'll take without complaints. So moving forward I'll have: Capital One QuicksilverOne - $3000 Discover It Secured - $2000 AMEX Optima - $500 On my current monthly spend budget that's plenty since I'll be PIF, and cycling a $2 balance remaining. It was a good day! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. Woke up this morning to my cell churning out app notifications. My first derog account just updated after my charge-off payments from July. Kohl's/C1 changed the status to PAID IN FULL on EQ which resulted in a nice little jump, and EX updated to PAID COLLECTION ACCOUNT with a 1-pt. bump up: TU: 634 (no change since end of July) EQ: 587 - 596 (+9) EX: 615 - 616 (+1) I still have the other two larger and older charge-offs waiting to report, and I noticed at the end of July, all three reports were behind by about two months reporting. I think I might wait for a couple more weeks before going for my new credit until everything gets updated and current. I'm thinking the potential score increases might mean putting me into another bucket, and might improve my offers / chances of approvals.

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