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HoneyB123

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Everything posted by HoneyB123

  1. And that means interviewing lenders. I get that the learning curve is high buying your first house, so I'm trying to ask as many relevant questions as possible before I decide to apply with anyone. Please let me know what I am missing! Thank you! What kind of mortgage products do you offer? Do I have to decide which one I want when I seek prequalification? I have cash savings, but I anticipate needing some of that money for closing costs and moving expenses. Do you have down payment assistance programs? Downpayment minimums? If I do apply, how long will my prequalification last? Will you pull my credit again before closing? What do I need to apply? What fees are associated with your loans? Origination fee? Funding fee? What upfront costs should I be prepared for at closing? Escrow for taxes? Prepay homeowner’s insurance? Are there any penalties or negative amortization? At what point will I receive a Loan Estimate? Will you be servicing the loan or are you likely to sell it off?
  2. I waited six years from discharge, which I read somewhere here was my best bet, and had no other apps/inquiries for 12 months prior. I've also read your EX FICO needs to be over 700, not positive about that but mine was. The great thing about AmEx though is the prequalified offers page on their website, so you don't have to blow an inquiry with your fingers crossed. Good luck!!
  3. Thank you for being candid. I don't think it will take me longer to buy a house that isn't a fixer upper, but I like things the way I like them and I thought being involved in the fixing would be more rewarding than settling for someone else's vision and making changes over time. Maybe not.
  4. Since you are a contractor...I'm looking at a place that needs the kitchen and two bathrooms completely renovated. My best friend is a house painter and her husband is a handyman and they've spent the last year renovating an income property. Between the three of us I think we can handle flooring and cosmetic issues. I would be happy rescuing old cabinetry from the Habitat ReStore and getting butcher block counters from Ikea. My ultimate luxury would be an old claw foot tub, so I'm not expecting to end up with an HGTV dream house. The Homestyle loan requires you to come in with contractor bids and determines the loan amount as purchase + renovation costs and contingency. When you're done, hopefully there is instant equity and this also appeals to me. So, am I delusional to consider this?
  5. I've been here working on repairing my credit since my BK7 six years ago and I've achieved all my modest financial goals but one: becoming a homeowner. I'm low income, but I also live where there are affordable homes. My ideal scenario, I think, would be to buy an older home with good bones that needs renovation. I've researched Fannie Mae Homestyle Loans a bit and I will have saved more than the required 5% by September, but it seems more complicated than applying for a traditional mortgage. So many questions. Does anyone have experience with Homestyle Loans? If so, how do you find lenders/realtors/contractors who are experienced with the process? Is it harder in general to get financing for loans under $100,000? Am I crazy to go the renovation route as a first time home buyer? I like things the way they used to be built with hardwood floors and solid craftsmanship, but I don't want to get in over my head either. What should I be considering that I don't know about yet because I've never done this before? My FICO scores range from 706-734 and my DTI is 16%. My income is around $35,000 and I'm looking at homes priced from $50-60,000 and assuming up to $25,000 in renovations. All advice appreciated. Thank you!
  6. AmEx BCE $4,000 instant approval! This is my first American Express card and I'm 6 years and 1 month post BK7, so I've been waiting patiently to apply and I'm delighted.
  7. I tried calling several numbers, found here and elsewhere, over the last week and they all lead to the same automated menu reporting 90 min to 2 hour wait times. Tuesday night I waited 2 hours and 20 minutes to get a live human...who told me the system was not generating security questions to confirm my identity and I would have to mail or upload ID docs. I'm trying to lift a security freeze I never received a related PIN for, so YMMV, but I then waited another 20 minutes for this story to be confirmed by a supervisor. They said it will take 3-5 days to process the uploaded docs. Good luck!
  8. UPDATE: I can't figure out how to post the screen grab, but my EQ FICO 09 went from 674 to 783 today!! Obviously this was years in the making, but a 109 point bump is thrilling any way you slice it. I was 5 years post BK7 as of February, but I think the big difference is my bad student loans finally fell off my report. I long suspected they were more damaging to my score than the bankruptcy and had been disputing the accounts for years. Initially they weren't set to come off until 2019, but disputing the DOFD worked and now all four of them (with 10+ 120 day lates each) are gone. Hallelujah!
  9. FWIW, I got my NFCU CLOC in early May, haven't used it, and it just started reporting this week.
  10. I applied for the Apple Rewards Visa last month to take advantage of their 0% financing offer buying a new laptop and I went straight to ID verification. The slow pace and lack of communication struck me as BS as well. I did some research across other forums and found that this is business as usual for them. But I've never heard of anyone having to verify after instant approval, so that is strange. FWIW after I called into the security line and got a supervisor looking for my docs, things went a lot faster. They scan everything you send them before it's analyzed and they don't always do the best job scanning. I was able to fax a second round of docs and they actually connected me to the same supervisor when I called in again the next day. Good luck!
  11. Your social security benefits can be garnished or "offset" when you owe the government money, as in taxes or a federal student loan. I had to end up contacting ECMC's CEO's office and basically shamed them into returning the funds and even then they wouldn't work with me on a lower payment. I was told my only option was to discharge the entire debt due to disability and they ceased garnishment for a few months to let me file the paperwork, however in the meantime congress changed the law and allowed consolidation out of default and I was able to do that and apply for income based repayment. It was such an ordeal!
  12. Thank you! I must admit I had been here learning better credit practices before my BK, but I never saw my disability coming. We can each have the rug pulled out from under us. Now that it's happened though, I can never see myself signing on to financial responsibilities that seem even remotely unmanageable.
  13. I'm sharing my story because I think it can be particularly challenging to make progress rebuilding with low/fixed income, but it can be done. So to make a long story long... I became disabled in 2009 and filed ch7 bk in 2012 (discharged 1/2013) and didn't start repairing until 2014 when I was able to get my student loans out of default with a consolidation loan. I could have applied to have them discharged due to disability, but the paperwork was onerous and I had them paid down to $1,000 or so. I figured I'd have at least one positive TL to rebuild with and I did, but the loans had been resold in default so I still had four delinquent TLs with 26 120+ lates. I don't know if discharge would have taken away the negative TLs from the loan being in default, but if I were to do it all again I would find out before deciding. The lates associated with those accounts have been more damaging than my BK IMHO.Although I learned here to always do things in writing/create a paper trail, that proved to be a mistake in approaching my lender about my defaulted student loans. ECMC ignored the content of my letter requesting a more affordable monthly payment and immediately used my updated address to garnish my disability benefits by 15% (about 5 times the amount of the payment I couldn't afford). I eventually got the money returned, but it was a nightmare couple of months that haunts me to this day. I recommend calling and giving as little personal information as possible until you get a repayment agreement that works for you.In 2014 my reports showed my BK7, a civil judgement that was discharged in BK, at least 5 IIB cc accounts, 2 delinquent utilities from my previous address, and a medical collection. I rushed in a bit and disputed like crazy, which got rid of 4 of the IIB cc accounts, the delinquent utilities, and the medical collection. I wasn't looking at my scores at the time (too afraid) but I have since learned that I probably should have left the IIB accounts alone as they were helping my AAOA.After that, summer 2015, my FAKOs were in the low 600s. I wanted to start rebuilding, but I took the wrong approach and applied for cards I wanted instead of researching what cards I might be able to get. I was declined for Target and Amazon store cards. I made a little extra cash babysitting, but there was never enough extra to save up for a secured card, which was definitely a goal at the time. I was very pessimistic and didn't feel like I had options. In Feb 2016 my BK7 was 3 years post discharge and I got a pre-approved offer for a CapOne Platinum card. I was so nervous that there was going to be a catch, but in March I got my first cc in 4 years with a $300 CL! I read up on CB, used the card for everything and PIF a couple of times a month and got a CLI to $800 after my 3rd statement, $1300 at the end of steps, and $3300 six months later. Just getting the card gave me the confidence to hatch a financial plan for the future and reading up on CB helped me do just that, so thank you everybody. The top item on my list was to buy a more reliable car. I had a regular part-time babysitting job by now and saved up for a downpayment, but it was still a big challenge. I had paid cash for my clunker, so I had no auto credit history. My scores were on the rise (EQ 677, EX 627, TU 648), but my extra income was not considered because it was cash. My local CU wouldn't give me a loan without a cosigner and that wasn't an option for me. CapOne again came to my rescue! In May 2016 I was able to prequalify with CapOne Auto Finance and found a 2 year old CPO car still under warranty through their Auto Navigator website with a 6.5% APR. After I bought the car an old disputed utility came back under a new CA. I see a lot of people ask DV or dispute and I was wondering if DV might be more effective, so I tried it. All the CA did was add a remark saying I disputed but they had done all FCRA required. They never responded to me directly. Once I saw the remark I disputed on EQ only and quickly the collection disappeared from all 3 reports. In the last year it has not come back again. My next goal was to improve my credit enough to refinance my car at a lower rate within a year. From what I read here that meant I needed 2 more CCs. My dad put me on his Citi card as an AU in September. Then I read about Navy Federal eligibility and I joined in November. I was approved for the cash rewards Visa for $1200 and got a CLI to $7500 after the third statement. So one year after my $300 CL start I had $12K in available credit! My utilization was around 2% and my scores were up to EQ 689 EX 690 TU 686. I have since learned that the AU cc doesn't count toward the 3 revolvers I need, but I was gun shy about applying for anything before the refi so I'm not sure I would've done things differently had I known that.Another thing I did after buying the car was to find a different part-time job (on the books) so that all my income could be considered in my refi application. And I got MyFICO monitoring in the month before I applied to refinance just to make sure my scores were at their best. FWIW, the $2 reporting trick boosted me 20 points with EX and 10 points with EQ/TU. I applied for the refi with NFCU and PenFed and I asked to apply for more than one product for each credit pull. NFCU approved the loan at 5.74% and a CLOC for $1500. PenFed approved the loan at 2.99% and a Power Cash Rewards Visa with a $4500 CL. I went with PenFed and opened a checking account there and got a CLOC for $500 the next day. I joined PenFed when I was looking for my first car loan, but they didn't approve me because I couldn't prove my income. A lot of people here say not to join with a dirty EQ report, but I'm glad I did because they are really helping with my rebuilding. I may have to do without auto CLIs in the future, but I need the help now more.My next financial step was to buy a new laptop with the Barclay Apple Rewards Visa 0% financing offer. I'm over 12 months aging on my oldest cc so I felt like I had a good chance of being approved. But I had a couple of instances of attempted ID theft over the last year and had frozen my reports for that reason. Even though I unfroze TU to app Barclay, they routed my app through their security department for ID verification. In theory this is great and I sent off copies of the requested documents right away, but it can take them weeks to verify documents. I did some research across other sites and it turns out this is business as usual for them if you are not approved instantly. I kept calling in, was told my docs were illegible, got a supervisor, was able to fax in scans, and was finally approved for $3,000. Since Barclay pulls TU, I apped Target and Amazon store cards on the same day and was approved for both! I don't plan on trying for anything else until 2/2018 when I will be 5 years post BK. My ultimate long-term financial goal is to buy a house, a very modest house. After my disability I moved to a much more affordable city, so I feel like this is possible. I don't want to even apply until all those old student loan lates fall off my reports in June 2018, which is fine because I have a lot of saving to do. I've found some downpayment assistance plans and pre-purchase educational workshops in my area, but a year ago this would have seemed utterly impossible. When you lose everything, financial stability seems at the same time more important and harder to reach. With my part-time job and disability benefits my income is less than $30K per year, but I have been able to make progress. I have lessened my anxiety considerably by making myself tend to these matters, but I remember how hard it was for me to order that first report, make that first dispute, call for that first recon. I just wanted to show things can work out for those of us with limited resources too.
  14. Thanks. I faxed them right away, but I don't have the patience to call again until tomorrow. Finally approved! I had to enlarge my DL to fill an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper and do a hi res color fax before all was complete, but it took half the time I expected from the stories I'd read. I will say that it's no joke about Barclay having great CSRs. I didn't love having to call in and ask for a supervisor three days in a row, but they actually connected me to the same one every time, she found and liaised with the security person reviewing the scans of my docs, and she contacted me personally to let me know once I'd been approved. Still glad it's over though.
  15. Thanks. I faxed them right away, but I don't have the patience to call again until tomorrow.
  16. I'm kind of amazed by all the stories I'm encountering of people who are not instantly approved, either denied or subject to security verification, being asked to send documents in the 7-10 days following the app and then being approved in the next 30-60 days, sometimes without even providing the documents. Some of them even forgot they applied it took so long. I sent my documents in right away and then I get a call a week later saying the security team says they are illegible. I sent in perfect copies, so they must not be scanning things well. I got on the line with a supervisor and she "got permission" for me to resubmit my docs via fax, but somehow I doubt things will go any faster. Also when they called this morning I couldn't get to the phone before they hung up and they never left a message, so I had to call back to get to the bottom of it. I applied for the Apple Rewards Visa because I'm trying to buy a laptop. I will definitely use the rewards and I want to have another major bank card, but this process is ridiculous. I waited to apply until after my oldest card was reporting 12 months and my TU is 686, so I feel confident I'll ultimately be approved...I guess that's why I'm still waiting. But this is bush league, right???
  17. If you want to dispute something that is linked to your name at an old address often it will come back verified with the CRA as soon as they see that address on your report. If you delete those old addresses first you have a better chance at a successful dispute.
  18. When looking through the list on the above thread know that "graduates" means the secured card has the potential to turn into an unsecured card after a set amount of on time payments. This can be very helpful in the long run.
  19. Yes, I hear they are very good on recon.

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