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In my late teens I was out on my own and very troubled. I used to need weekly therapy visits and other various medical services, and though I had insurance through the community college I was going to, I often couldn't pay the copayments. I let the bills stack in a high pile in my living room, and going near them put me into a panic attack.
Around 7 years ago I decided enough was enough. I checked my credit reports and found that my scores were in the low 500's, and I had 5-7 collections on each report.
I also had a credit card with a $2k limit, which I had maxed out for car repairs years prior and was only able to make minimum payments on.
In addition, I had some delinquencies for a Sallie Mae student loan, who offer zero forbearance options.
And then I found creditboards and decided to do something about all of this.
Updated all personal info, removed old info Opted out of marketing and pre-screening WhyChat's HIPAA process for removing the medical collections Waited 2+ years and disputed Sallie Mae lates Paid off Auto loan with no late payments Disputed other small non-medical collections like one from Verizon (they barely gave me time to pay an overdue bill one time and went straight to the CA's) And finally, used my tax return refunds and job raises to pay down the credit card 7 years later, all collections from my reports are gone. All delinquiencies are gone. My credit card debt is zero.
Unfortunately, I have a huge amount of installment history due to my student loans (around $70k total) but they are all in good status.
I recently checked my FAKO and FICO scores just to get a general idea.
7 years ago: All scores in low 500's
After years of certified mailings, phone calls, and research...
Jan. 2014, before SallieMae lates removed and CC not paid off
EX: 691, EQ: 730, TU: 673
July 2014, all collections and lates removed and CC paid off
EX: 780, EQ: 779, TU: 782
My medical debt was the biggest and worst part, I had over a dozen collections. WhyChat's process helped me. Thank you, WhyChat and creditboards!
I have been lurking on this website for a little while now, searching for suggestions on how people can build onto their credit with a decent foundation already established. I finally decided to sign up and give all of my details so that I can get a more personalized response from the incredibly helpful people of this forum.
My Slim Credit History
Was able to open a college checking account through Wells Fargo at the age of 16 As soon as I turned 18 I went to WF and applied for a Wells Fargo CashBack College Credit Card. I was approved with a CL of $750 Age 21: CL is now $2800 No late payments & Utilization ranges from 0-10% Took out a student loan for $3000 about 5 months ago, but if everything goes as planned, I will be a full time student for the next 4 years, so I don't have to worry about paying that any time soon. Unless my financial situation changes (by that, I mean win the lottery) I will continue to take out student loans to help pay for my next four years of school. Since I don't have my FICO scores, I took the quiz at myfico to estimate a range for my credit score. it was 695-735. CK has my TU at 722. (And, I know, I know, these are not accurate but it's all I have.) The only negative that is on my score is my AAOA. My debit card says Member since '08/ Credit Card says Member since '11 Credit Card gets PIF every month. I try to wait until a day or two before the due date so that it can report a small balance. Never had a late payment. No "Baddies" as you guys would say. Directv account in my name for over a year. Never had a late payment. Pretty much a blank canvass that needs a Picasso More Information
My parents let me use my credit card to pay all of their bills (Mortgage, Car Note, uitl., etc.) so that I can cash in on my rewards. I also plan on paying my tuition in full on my credit cards in the future, so all together, it should be about $30-40000 going through my card per year. I am unemployed I had to cancel both my debit and credit cards last year because wallet was stolen. I got new ones though, and my debit card says Member since '08/ Credit Card says Member since '11, so I don't know if this cancellation hurt my AAOA. I don't travel much. I haven't been on a plane since I was 4 years old. Drive out of town a lot with my family though.
Whew! Now that I have all of that out of the way, I really need some insight on how to build on this.
I don't really have an interest in opening any new bank accounts as WF has been good to me and it is the most convenient bank here in Iowa. But I would like to add some credit cards within the next few months and then "garden" my account (I believe that's the appropriate term ).
I would like to hold onto these new cards and not apply for new ones until I graduate from college in 4 years, if not longer.
Since I plan on holding onto them for what I feel like would be a long time, I would like a nice variety that I can rotate when I get bored after the first few years.
What I Would Like in a Card
I know this is silly but, for one of the cards, I would like it to have a little prestige. I got mail from AMEX inviting me to apply for the Premier Rewards Gold and the Cap1 Platinum, but I think that the Chase Sapphire Preferred would be a better fit, because like I said above, I will be running $30-40000 through this card a year, and I don't want to be subject to AMEX Financial Reviews, as I would most likely fail because I am unemployed and the money that is going through the card will come from my parents and financial aid. I'm not really picky about the other cards, my only requirement is that they be rewards cards, with atleast 1% cashback on every purchase or 1 point for every dollar spent, and have no annual fee, as I am only willing to pay the AF on my prestige card (only because the rewards I earn throughout the year should cover it! LOL)
Welp! That is all the information I have. I can't wait to see your suggestions on what would help build my credit, as well as the cards I should add to my pocketbook, prestige or otherwise.
Thank you all in advance for reading my long post!