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  1. LOL I'm dying! Two of my favorite stores (Sephora and Ulta) both have credit cards and they are both through Cumentitty. The Ulta one actually nets a good return (around 7% back), but I am just not interested in dealing with that bank, so I haven't applied.
  2. What I do when I get gift cards/prepaid cards is send the money from my Paypal account using the card to my spouse's Paypal account. Because it's a card, the money shows up instantly. I can then deposit it into one of our accounts using his Paypal or send it back to my Paypal to use one of my specific accounts. The only downside to this is you get charged a fee of about 3% by Paypal to send the money. However, there is no fee to send it to your bank. For me, this is fine, because I usually only do this for smaller amounts. You'll have to see if it's worth the cost for you to do it this way.
  3. At least they aren’t charging an annual fee. They floated that idea over on the “other” forum and it was an unpopular idea, even there. Otherwise, the card is very similar to Citi Double Cash. And you have to have a relationship with them already to get it. I don’t see anything innovative here.
  4. If you now have 3 secured cards, I don't see why you need any more. 3 is plenty to get your credit back on track. I think you'll see some pretty good gains in your scores once the negative items come off. After that, you could try the pre-qualifier tool at American Express and see what they offer. You might be able to get unsecured cards with them. If you're in with NFCU, I think they also have a pre-qualify tool so you can keep checking to see if they have any other cards you might want.
  5. For one, I want to say congrats on all your success so far! I think the Portfolio account will fall off at some point, you may just be waiting on one computer to talk to another computer at this point. You could always dispute it with the bureaus and say that Portfolio agree to delete the account and send them the settlement agreement. I would give it at least 45 days after you settled the account before disputing it though. TBH, when you are rebuilding, inquiries don't make much of a difference to your profile. If you want the SDFCU secured card, then I say go for it. I think I read somewhere that it does not require a hard pull. I would just make sure your membership/savings is already approved. I have been approved for a credit card at a CU before, then denied a savings account, so I always recommend getting the savings setup first.
  6. You can definitely freeze it. I have frozen mine and they sent me a PIN number in the mail. Basically, you need to send them a letter in the mail saying you want to put a security freeze on your LexisNexis report. I would include a copy of your driver's license, your Social Security card, and a recent utility bill. They should respond with a letter saying it has been placed and will provide you with a PIN number. As far as I can tell, the only way to put one on your report is to send them a letter.
  7. For the Chase accounts, I would highly recommend looking at all of the collection letters they are sending you. My spouse and I have both settled our Chase account for A LOT less than what we owed. The offers we both got were sent in letters, proactively from the collection agencies collecting on the debt. Chase still owned both of our accounts, but the collection agency was in charge of calling/writing us on their behalf. I settled my original balance of $9500 for about $1,150. It was about 2 and a half years past due at the time, as was my husband's. My husband settled his original balance of $6950 for about $695. You can get good settlement deals with Chase, so if this seems like something you want to do, then I would start looking at those letters. If none of the letters offer something you can afford, then you might consider calling the collection agency to try and negotiate a deal. I would aim for about 20% and explain to them that you are unemployed and that a low amount paid in a lump sum is all you can afford to do. The Amazon card balance is smaller, so I would not expect too much of a savings on it, but the higher balance would be easier to get a good discount on. What if you could settle both of these for a total of $1,500? I am just saying, it is possible. P.S. I just saw your post saying you are dealing with Nationwide Credit about the Chase account. Those are the folks I settled our Chase accounts with that got us an amazing deal. I would not hesitate to get them on the phone and negotiate. They hold onto the account for about 4-5 months, in my experience, and the letters they send progressively offer a better discount. If you call the and offer about 15%, they might just go for it, assuming you have the money. As far as AmEx goes, I was in a similar payment plan with them a couple of years ago. The only way to make any changes on it is to call them up and speak to their Indian reps who specifically deal with folks on a payment plan. That's why you couldn't change your account online. Anyway, I would maybe just try and pay them in full. It's a small amount and they might offer you the opportunity to get into their Optima Oasis program, so you can rebuild a relationship with them in the future. My guess is you will need to google the AmEx collections department phone number, assuming they have not sold your debt to a debt buyer.
  8. I was able to have a lot more success with TU and EQ because they have different data fields than Experian. Equifax had a lot of blatant inaccuracies, such as DOLP, payment history, DOLA, and others. TransUnion just had different data than Experian or Equifax for a few of the fields and payment history. Experian has fewer fields of information showing on the reports as well, I have noticed.
  9. I do have the paper ones. I just uploaded these out of convenience. I have compared them and they are just about identical for Experian. Also, they have both sent 1099-C forms for 2019. I filed them with my taxes and used the insolvency exemption.
  10. Hello everyone! I am making this post because I am looking for some help brainstorming my next disputes for these two charge-offs. I have gotten these accounts deleted from Equifax and TransUnion, but I have not had any luck getting Experian to cooperate. I wanted to see if the community had any insights on what I might try next. I pulled these from my online Experian dispute portal (I also have the paper copies, but this was easier to upload and is nearly identical). There are so many different philosophies out there about disputing that I thought putting these out there might elicit some ideas I haven't tried. On my paper reports, I have noticed that the balance shows as "not reported," but online it shows a dash where the balance should be. Both of these accounts are settled and I do not owe them any money, so I think a good argument can be made that the account must be reporting a $0 balance in order to be accurate. However, I have already disputed this issue with no success. The other thing I noticed is that BofA shows the full charge off amount was written off ($7,358) whereas Citi reports that $0 was written off. If these are both accounts that I settled with the original creditor that were not sold to debt buyers, then why would they show different numbers here? In addition, the account are not reporting the "disputed by consumer" notice, even though I have already disputed these with both Experian and the banks directly. Do you all have any advice/recommendations? Is there anything I am missing? Citi did send me a letter saying they would update the balance to $0, but that has not happened (and more than 30 days has elapse since then). Thank in advance for any guidance you can provide.
  11. Well I just double checked the score. Apparently, Alliant ain't using FICO. They are using VantageSkores. My Vantage scores are always lower than my FICOs. I think they punish you more for new accounts and inquiries.
  12. LOL my TransUnion. I'm not asking them for any more increases after this one, because they denied me a few months ago when my score was actually higher than it is today. I am currently being weighed down by new accounts and high utility on one card. I decided to go for this now after all my other apps are done for a while, and sure enough, they approved it. They did ask for POI, because I am not sending my direct deposit there anymore, but it went through shortly after I submitted the paperwork. I'm not sure which score version they are using, because the letter from them said 718, but my MyFICO report shows that my TU score is higher than that across all of the versions they offer. They lowest one MyFico shows is FICO Bankcard 4 at 738.
  13. Approved for a CLI on my Alliant CU Platinum Rewards. It only went from $5k to $7.5k, but that is fine. I just wanted a bit more of a buffer for utilization, so this should be plenty.
  14. Same here. I am not really a fan of store cards anymore, unless they offer a really good discount. It's just more stuff to manage, so I would rather have fewer cards. I keep my Target store card for the 5% because I do shop there a lot and my B&H card for the sales tax discount (8.25%) on big ticket electronics, but there aren't really any other ones I would use a lot and get a good return from that would make it worth applying for/keeping.
  15. I think the issuers are realizing that they are mainly fighting for the same group of customers. They all want to be the primary card in the wallet of the consumer with superprime credit and a good income. This would explain the all out brawl between Chase, AmEx, and Citi to offer the most rewards. As the article pointed out, consumers with subprime scores only accounted for 5% of volume on credit cards. I think this really highlights the wealth gap, because the article shows a strong connection between high credit scores and those who are spending the most on credit cards. The article also mentioned at the beginning that out of all credit and debit cards issued, that prepaid debit cards were the most issued. That points to a large population of the country being underbanked and using prepaid debit cards rather than traditional checking accounts. Other interesting things: Discover issues more cards than Amex (57 million to 53 million), but Discover has a much lower purchase volume (19.6% to Amex, versus 3.5% for Discover). Discover needs to get their card users to spend more money on their cards. Obviously, it seems Discover customers are more subprime in the credit department and spend a lot less money. Store cards are issued the most of any credit card, but they have a small purchase volume of only 4.6%. I think this can mean two things: store cards have low limits and people don't spend very much on them as a consequence and people are opening these on a whim and only using them for that one initial purchase.

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