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Cloak's success story

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This is totally off the subject but I am so lost on this board. Some of the topics are old and no one will reply. Can someone please supply a link to the sample letters? Supposedly there is a sample letter forum but I can't find it. Thank you.

Edited by sugarplum

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Your story is very insprirational. I am a newbie who is on her way. I've been reading and searching and learning. I hope to receive a response back from my first round of letters. I hope to be in your situation soon. I only regret not finding this information sooner!


Thanks for sharing!

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This is my first post on this board and it is in response to your success story. It encourages me and gives me hope that it can be done. Thank you for posting and congrats!:clapping::clapping::clapping:









I thought I would write a little bit about what it took me to get to where I am today. I think before you can get somewhere you have to know where you're coming from...so I will post a few of my early posts so people can understand how I got started. Here are some early quotes:


March 8th, 2005

All of my scores were below 500 in August. I've been lurking for a long time and just started posting. They're starting to see the light of day (TU up from 491 to 620 as of 2/21/05). So it's never as bleak as it seems!


Good luck...tons of good info here.



I'm right there with you.


My three are:


First Premier (ugh) $250

Merrick Bank secured (ugh) $300

Household Bank (yay!) $900 (opened with $300...all CLI's initiated by HH)


To diznieb:


I know what it's like to have nothing (and be denied for everything). If not for the information from this place I'd probably still have all three scores below 500. It'll turn around if you work at it...I always go up to the success stories area when I feel like I'm running in place (like Experian with my previous addresses situation).


Good luck!




Score Change From 503 to 526 - What your score means.

Your score rose above your target score of 503.


I lost 5 pts when Fred Hanna decided to do a hard inquiry BUT Mr. Hanna is no match for the power of CB!!


I know it's not a big jump compared to others but it's certainly a start. MCK hasn't updated yet so I can't tell you exactly what it was that contributed to the jump (Score Watch gave me some idea...there was no alert so it may have just been age or util going down).


It's a start!


March 29th, 2005

I'm a newbie and I try to help when I can. This is like having your own support group with all sorts of people who have gone through what you're about to go through before. I've learned that if I can't find an answer to my own questions I sure can get the answer I'm looking for by asking. Most people around here are great with answers (you may have to bump your question once in awhile but they will get to it!)


Ask away! That's what a forum is for anyways (at least IMO).



That gives you an idea of how I started out. Wide-eyed and excited to get my life back together. I spent a month just reading the newbie forum and this forum before I finally had the nerve to start attacking the negatives. I had them all. You name it they were on my reports at some point. Companies like:


Allied Collections (2)

Berks Credit and Collections

Central Credit Audit

IC Systems (2)

Collection Company of America (3)

Certified Recovery

Arrow Financial Services (2)


Gulf State Credit

Sherman Acquisitions (2)


Collection Service Center


Charge-offs (Paid and Unpaid)


Verizon (3)


Fairlane Credit


Aspire Visa


Public Record

Satisfied Judgement from 1999


I spent the last 5 years paying cash for everything and living in really small apartments in "not-so-nice" neighborhoods. My scores were horrible including a low point in 2002 with a 390 TU score. I had to buy a car in the Bronx that barely ran but was basic transportation so it worked for me. I was alone and believed there was nothing I could do to fix my credit. It came to a boiling point in 2004 when I was told by a realtor that my credit was "embarrassing" and that there was nothing she could do to get me into a home...at least for another 4 or 5 years. I had had it. I had 3 credit cards by then...and my total revolving line of credit was about 1500 bucks(when I started I had the $300 Merrick Secured, the $250 First Premier and a $500 HH card...that was the existence of my positive TL's). So I made a New Year's resolution to do what I could to repair my credit. I looked at CCCS and attorneys and BK and those PDF's you can download that offer to "improve your score in 7 days!" and I read everything but nothing seemed to make sense. I didn't want to throw good money after bad and I am a very independent person so I wanted to find a way to do this myself.


Enter CB...


I didn't know what to make of this place at first. I kept looking at people's signatures and reading the posts of people that had WORSE credit than I did and were able to improve it to the point where they were actually picking out what credit cards they wanted and were getting instantly approved. I didn't believe this could ever happen to me...but I was hooked after reading some of the other people's success stories. So I went to work. I lived in the newbie forum and the letters forum for a month before I got the nerve to start posting. I signed up at the end of February and started asking questions. On March 7th I received my credit reports for the first time in a long while. On March 13th I signed up at MyFICO and PrivacyGuard and started pulling daily tri-merge reports. I opted out and after receiving my first reports directly from the CRA's I disputed all the outdated personal info. TU and EQ were quick to oblige, EX of course wasn't, but I wasn't deterred. I also signed up for EQ Score Watch after finding out I could track an actual FICO score. I wanted to know everything. My first SW update was a DROP of 5 points. My first TU FICO change was 2 new collections added and a 40 point score drop. I knew I had awaken some sleeping dogs and they were coming after me and I had to fight back. I did.


I went with an initial dispute and saw immediate results. I disputed ALL negatives as NOT MINE on each of my reports at the same time. I invested in PDF maker software so I could print and save PDF's of my reports whenever I pulled online. I bought an accordian file and set up files for each bureau. The results were 5 deletions from TU, 4 deletions from EQ and 4 deletions from EX. My scores jumped up a bunch. I had a 101 pt increase from EQ after successfully getting a C/O installment and an unpaid collection off on my 2nd dispute. If you do a search my post is still around here from that day. I was so psyched. My scores were starting to creep into the 600's. I was seeing B and even though I was still getting denied for most cards I knew it was only a matter of time. If I kept plugging away one bad TL at a time I knew I could get something. Then June 7th, 2005 happened.


I wanted to get engaged in the worst way and didn't have the credit to afford a ring that I wanted to get for my to-be DW. I had applied in the past at Kay and been denied. Well after I had gotten the majority of the negatives off I figured what the heck...Kay seems to be the easiest to get when you're rebuilding so I gave it a shot. Approved: $3000 (upped to $4000 in store) with a TU FICO of 634. I practically fainted! I was able to go to Kay and purchase a $7500 ring (I paid half cash/half credit) and got engaged to the love of my life. That same day I felt so good about my accomplishment I decided to go to the one place I thought I could never go to for an approval, American Express.


AMEX to me was the highest point. They were the epicenter of good credit. They were "forbidden fruit." NO way could I ever possibly hope to be approved for an American Express card. Well I had applied for Blue and Blue Cash and been denied in the past so I read and read and read every AMEX thread I could find. I kept reading that Green was the easiest to get. I had seen in the Credit Approved thread one person had been approved for Green with a 651 score so I went for it. I held my breath waiting for the denial within 60 seconds.......APPROVED! You will receive the card in 7-10 days. I was floored. I was approved for an AMEX! I couldn't wait for that card to show up. When it did I was so proud to show it off! I had an AMEX. I had reached a peak in my credit journey. I was psyched! Then 2 weeks later...less than 4 days after I had gotten the card, I read about AMEX credit products.


I had read about the "Delta" card and how someone wanted to know if they would be approved with a 670 score. Well I had a 671 by then (6/21/05) on TU so I figured well I'll give it a shot and report back. Instant approval 10K! I went back and reported how I had gotten a Delta SkyPOINTS card with a 10,000 limit instantly. The OP said "Thanks Cloak but I was wondering about the SkyMILES card." I didn't even know there was more than one Delta card! I went back and said "well I will apply for the one the OP was looking for and see what happens." I got the 7-10 day message and expected a denial. In fact I read another thread about the Starwood Hotels card and said to myself "well that Starwood card would be great to have...but AMEX will probably deny me." I applied for 3 cards on 6/21...after about 3 days of checking the app status page every hour or two :) both said "approved." Again I was floored! When they showed up in the mail the SkyMiles Gold had a 10K limit and the Starwood card had a 15K limit. Now keep in mind up until this point I had $1500 bucks in total revolving limits. I didn't know what to do!


I continued applying for cards from issuers I knew that pulled TU because TU was the first report to have such a dramatic increase in FICO points. I had the AMEX bug and when someone would ask about whether they could be approved for this card and if they had a high enough score I would go for it. I never had an instant approval since that first SkyPOINTS card but I kept getting approvals for all the cards (at 10K limits). I now carry 10 different AMEX products. Not only does it help my utilization but it helps me keep low balances on the cards so I don't get too crazy on one card and ruin my util. I also went after a couple of cards from Chase (Starbucks and United Mileage Plus Visa's) and had gotten approved for both.


Fast forward to today...as of right now I have 2 reports over 700 and I have gone from 32 negatives when I started at CB to 1. The one is a doozy but I know I am coming down the home stretch and I know I can get this last one off EX and ride off into the sunset with three clean reports and FICO scores over 700. My goal now is to give back when I can because I know what it's like to be a newbie and I know what it's like to be depressed, frustrated and dissapointed with my credit. I can never give back what this board has given to me...and I owe each and every person here a big THANK YOU for helping me get to where I am today.


There is one final reward (at PRIME)...but I think I will let the picture do the talking for me:





Thank you CB!!!! :yahoo::yahoo:

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Congrats on your road to success. I can so relate to you my score last may of 2010 was at 501(fico) now its almost 700.. I say one dispute at a time .. Have you read the book The Secret it has helped me with positive thinking ... Keep up the good work.. we all have to pay it forward


many thanks dean


lets help out our fellow CB brothers and sisters

Edited by Mervynsb

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Guest cccfree

Great post, this is very interesting!

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WOW your story give me the hope that I need to keep going andto know that things will get better over time. Congrats



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I only discovered CB this month but I am already hooked. It's stories like these that have prompted me to announce to my husband that we can rehab our credit over the next several months and buy a house. At first he just stared at me like, "HOW?" but he didn't ask... so I told him about a couple of the success stories I've read in here. But, Cloak, yours is downright amazing! Congrats on the wife, family, house and that fist full of cards! I know it's been several years now but... wow! I just had to thank you for leaving this awesome TRUE story to help others like me keep at it! You totally rock!

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