Hi all. Hope everyone is gearing up for a good new year. This year I'm really hoping to dig myself out of the hole I'm in. For a little bit of background - I have chronic kidney disease and had to make the decision to leave my job in public school administration about five years ago. For the first three years, I did very well working from home as a virtual tutor and educational transcriptionist. When COVID hit, things were initially okay because students were learning from home, but soon families were having to cut all nonessential expenses which often meant me. My income was reduced by about 75% in 2020. I racked up quite a bit of credit card debt to cover living expenses with the expectation that things would improve quickly and I would be able to pay off the debt. As we now know, that simply hasn't happened. I owe about 15K across a number of different cards and a personal loan. As of now, everything is current, but I cannot continue at this rate.
I want to pay my creditors, but I cannot afford the current minimums. I'm considering contacting the credit card companies individually and asking about hardship plans, but I know they are often unwilling to help until you are behind. My creditors are: Capital One, Discover, Dell, Ollo, Opportun, Credit One, Aspire, Merrick Bank, Target, PayPal, and Upstart loan.
I live in South Carolina. The debt collection laws here are rather consumer friendly. I do not have the any property other than about $45,000 equity in my primary residence. I'm really trying to determine what the best course of action is. I know not paying the cards in hopes of qualifying for hardship programs involves a risk of suit, but even if there was a suit, I don't believe there's much they could take.
I also know there's the option of debt consolidation, but I know that would be yet another bill that I don't need and I might be able to accomplish the same thing myself. Does anyone have any experience with this process? What is your opinion/advice? Thanks so much.
I have searched this board to identify a singular thread that nails down the personal experience of members who follow the AZERO but ONE credit card utilization balance strategy Unfortunately, I have not found any expansive explanation behind who came up with this strategy, how to best implement it, and its success rate among credit card holders.
To my understanding, the gist of the AZERO but ONE strategy is to zero out the balance on all credit cards in one's profile, but carry a balance on one. I do hope I have this right, because I am trying to take put it into practice (along with great payment history and credit limits) to reach the 800+ club.
What I am not sure about are the following:
Does the balance of the one card have a carry a statement balance (will incur an interest for non-zero APR card)? Does the balance of the one card have to carry a current card balance (money spent to-date) at the end of the closing date? Does the balance of the one card have to be < 30 %?
I utilize the spreadsheet from the following site to play around with the card balances - Card Utilization Calculator. Ideally, I like to keep my card utilization between 7%-10% max. However, when I average out all my cards in the calculator, the total utilization rate naturally comes to less than %1. At that point, I am not sure if having < 1% is considered to be so negligible to the Fico scoring system that it makes it appear that I really don't utilize my cards at all.
As an experiment, I plan on carrying a 30% current balance on one of my cards for one billing cycle, out of 7 cards, which will bring my total utilization ratio to about 7%.
That said, does anyone have any experience or insight to this approach they are willing to share?
I've got Citi AA Miles card from 2019 still with same credit limit I opened with. Denied again for CLI, reason given was:
However, I wonder if that is the full story since they have BK loss with me that is off my credit reports now? Are they obligated to cite that in their reasons if part of their decision making process?
My inquiries on Equifax they referred to:
Feb 17, 2021 PENTAGON FCU (Denied CLI, max exposure) Feb 17, 2021 DIGITAL FEDERAL CREDIT UN (Denied card) Dec 29, 2020 CORELOGIC CREDCO CORELOGIC for BACHOMELOANSECOMMDMA (Mortgage approved) Apr 20, 2020 CREDCO/QUICKEN CREDCO/QUICKEN for QUICKEN LOANS INC Mar 07, 2020 PENTAGON FCU (Approved CLI) Mar 07, 2020 DIGITAL FEDERAL CREDIT UN (Denied card) Feb 24, 2020 CITIBANK NA CITIBANK NA (Prior Citi CLI that was denied)
Experian FICO: 827 (From Wells Fargo Bank)
TransUnion FICO: 824 (From Barclays Bank)
Equifax FICO: 770 (From DCU older version of score)
I missed a payment for a federal student loan and about a week and a half ago, it hit 7 years. Isn't it supposed to just fall off? When will that actually happen? Do I have to do something to make it fall off?
Thanks for your help!
I recently received a "score" in a letter from a financial institution. The letter revealed that the data was Equifax, but made no mention of the model, just that "Scores range from a low of 501 to a high of 990." That's an awfully high top end, could this be Vantage 4?
Of the five adverse factors listed, three were of the dunning "How dare you use your credit cards!" type, including the fact that I have too many of them. Then I got "No real estate accounts with a valid credit amount." No I don't have a mortgage; I busted my hump for 35 years to own my home free and clear and now it's a negative on my credit score. Lovely.
Then came the dreaded, infamous, Too Many Inquiries! factor; but look how they have juiced it up to sound less negative: "Number of inquiries was also a factor, but the effect was not significant."
BTW, I had one 14 month old inquiry.