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Losing hope...........what should I do now? Please help

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Posted (edited)

Hello everyone,

 

I really need help. I'm frustrated and losing hope. I had perfect credit my whole life but my family hit a catastrophic financial situation several years ago with me getting very sick and out of work, my wife losing her job, and our first born arrived increasing our lifestyle expenses. 

After reviewing just my Experian report online directly from Experian tonight, my FICO is 580.

 

I have:

6 open accounts with perfect payment history and reporting as so (5 credit cards and 1 HELOC)

5 closed accounts where only 1 is reporting delinquent that happens to have a balance over the credit limit. 

0 collections

 

We own our current residence but need to move soon to get in a better school district and hence need a loan. I've been working as much as I can to help this CRO (which came referred to me by a creditable individual) to improve my scores. I hired the CRO in 2/2019, I decided to to do so because I truly do not have time nor knowledge to repair my credit myself and wanted to give it a shot to see how it would, so I did. Here we are exactly 1 year later and my scores barely improved to 615 which is about a 15 point increase since I hired the CRO. Since increasing my balances on 2 of my cards to have a high utilization now, my scores have dropped to 580. I'm not worried about this because I will have everything paid off in 1 to 2 months from now. 

 

I have piggybacked on to a family members perfect credit history by becoming an authorized user on several of their accounts in addition to my own. I have my own CC's that have $0 balance and perfect payment history.

 

Spoke to the CRO this week with my frustration and he said, "Though your scores don't indicate, you really do have great credit. We just have to get this 1 credit card charge off removed. I haven't been successful in removing it and I suggest at this point you try and settle for 25% which I'm sure they'll do. It's the only thing holding your credit down that I can see."

 

He offered to refund my half of my money back but I told him I don't want it. I just want him to keep working on my credit. I know here on CB, CRO's are frowned upon which I understand. 

 

What do I do CB family? I'm just spent and exhausted with this all. I'm really upset because I was faithful in being responsible and paying my financial debts all my life, but life happens. Our family hit a financial catastrophic event, avoided filing BK like SO many of my friends and family did because I wanted to do "the right thing", settled 3 cc's by paying thousands, hired a CRO, piggy backing of a family members perfect credit, have ONLY 1 negative reporting account that I can see BUT YET MY SCORE IS STILL NOT MOVING! 1 derogatory item vs 6 perfectly reporting lines and it's as if the only item I'm being judged on is the 1 derogatory item. Ugh, I'm so sick and saddened from all this.

 

What can I do family? What can I do? I'm ready to file BK if I can and just call it a day.  A family member of mine was in worst shape than I and had near 800 scores within months of filing BK.  

 

They seriously need to revamp this antiquated scoring models. It's like there are only 2 options for scoring people.........perfection or total garbage.

 

Edited by maverick9

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You really need to be ordering your "paid" paper credit reports. Online and sometimes free reports don't always paint an accurate picture. 

 

Hopefully someone will be along shortly and provide the phone numbers for each CRA.

 

Again paper reports from "each". No combined or freebie flim flamery. Time to learn and take ownership of how all this works.

 

I'm surprised the CRO is offering half your money back a year later. This also tells me they may have exhausted all they are capable of doing.

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Definitely get your paper reports.

4 hours ago, maverick9 said:

5 closed accounts where only 1 is reporting delinquent that happens to have a balance over the credit limit. 

So the five that are closed with zero balance have perfect payment history?

 

What do you mean by "delinquent"?  Does it have one old 30-day late from five years ago, or is it charged off.  If CO'd, when was did it CO?  Who is the creditor?   If the account is closed the credit limit should report as $0.  How much is the balance that's reporting?  Is the balance accurate?

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4 hours ago, maverick9 said:

settled 3 cc's by paying thousands

So these are no longer reporting?

 

4 hours ago, maverick9 said:

I'm ready to file BK if I can and just call it a day.

Nothing else in your post indicates that you are drowning in debt.  What is the thought process here?  

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8 hours ago, cv91915 said:

Definitely get your paper reports.

So the five that are closed with zero balance have perfect payment history?

 

What do you mean by "delinquent"?  Does it have one old 30-day late from five years ago, or is it charged off.  If CO'd, when was did it CO?  Who is the creditor?   If the account is closed the credit limit should report as $0.  How much is the balance that's reporting?  Is the balance accurate?

I will get the paper reports.

 

The five accounts that are closed I'll address but when I look under "Closed Accounts" section it is showing more which I don't understand. 

  1. Is closed - Legally paid in full for less than the full balance. Last report date 4/2019.
  2. Is closed - Legally paid in full for less than the full balance. Last report date 4/2019.
  3. Is closed - Legally paid in full for less than the full balance. Last report date 8/2019.
  4. Is closed - Charge-off. Last report date 2/2020. THIS ONE HAS A BALANCE HIGHER THAN THE LIMIT.
  5. Is closed - Legally paid in full for less than the full balance. Last report date 3/2019.
  6. Is closed - Account transferred to another office. Last report date shows unknown. Last report date 5/2015.
  7. Is closed - Paid satisfactorily. Last report date 6/2014.
  8. Is closed - Paid satisfactorily. Last report date 2/2017.
  9. Is closed - Paid satisfactorily. Last report date 5/2016.
  10. Is closed - Paid satisfactorily. Last report date 6/2015.
Quote

What do you mean by "delinquent"?

Meaning it's currently reporting late payments and states "Charge off". A collection agency owns it and believe it's been sold twice now from the original creditor Citibank. Credit limit 15k and owed Balance just over $16,500. 

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10 hours ago, TheVig said:

You really need to be ordering your "paid" paper credit reports. Online and sometimes free reports don't always paint an accurate picture. 

 

Hopefully someone will be along shortly and provide the phone numbers for each CRA.

 

Again paper reports from "each". No combined or freebie flim flamery. Time to learn and take ownership of how all this works.

 

I'm surprised the CRO is offering half your money back a year later. This also tells me they may have exhausted all they are capable of doing.

Yes, happy that he's going refund me if I want it.

 

So are you saying to request my paid paper credit reports by phone instead of requesting them online?

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settled 3 cc's by paying thousands

So these are no longer reporting?

 

  13 hours ago, maverick9 said:

I'm ready to file BK if I can and just call it a day.

Nothing else in your post indicates that you are drowning in debt.  What is the thought process here?  

They are no longer reporting. 2 of them don't show up on the report any longer from what I can see. Perhaps the CRO removed them?

 

BK? I'm not drowning in debt any longer as I pretty much paid everything off. I'm frustratedly saying perhaps I should file BK because it's the only thing I know that I've personally seen get people's credit raised and fast at that. I'm reluctantly willing to start slaving away at getting my credit back but I'm wondering if BK is just as good an option. 

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1. The charge off and the 4 accounts that were paid less than owed are all score killers. The latter is known as "settling" and it will keep you from getting sued but dings your credit since the banks took a loss. And they are recent which has the most negative effect. It will gradually improve over time but slowly.

 

2. The over credit limit notation is not material. The biggie is the charge off.

 

Because you also have other established credit, HELOC and CCs, the piggybacked cards will not improve scores much.

 

Removing negatives is difficult (called a pay for delete) and is harder when you have already settled because there is no incentive for the creditor to remove the negative.

 

And you would see little improvement from removing one or two of them.

 

 

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2 hours ago, maverick9 said:
  • Is closed - Legally paid in full for less than the full balance. Last report date 4/2019.
  • Is closed - Legally paid in full for less than the full balance. Last report date 4/2019.
  • Is closed - Legally paid in full for less than the full balance. Last report date 8/2019.
  • Is closed - Charge-off. Last report date 2/2020. THIS ONE HAS A BALANCE HIGHER THAN THE LIMIT.
  • Is closed - Legally paid in full for less than the full balance. Last report date 3/2019.
  • Is closed - Account transferred to another office. Last report date shows unknown. Last report date 5/2015.

These items above totally devastate any FICO score model.   If that was accomplished via your CRO person, then I think that person did you no favors.

And no, IMO you should not file a BK petition based on the information you provided.

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4 hours ago, MarvBear said:

These items above totally devastate any FICO score model.   If that was accomplished via your CRO person, then I think that person did you no favors.

And no, IMO you should not file a BK petition based on the information you provided.

2 of the 3 that I paid off and settled for less had lawsuits coming against me. So I don't know how else I would have solved that. 

 

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4 hours ago, cashnocredit said:

1. The charge off and the 4 accounts that were paid less than owed are all score killers. The latter is known as "settling" and it will keep you from getting sued but dings your credit since the banks took a loss. And they are recent which has the most negative effect. It will gradually improve over time but slowly.

 

2. The over credit limit notation is not material. The biggie is the charge off.

 

Because you also have other established credit, HELOC and CCs, the piggybacked cards will not improve scores much.

 

Removing negatives is difficult (called a pay for delete) and is harder when you have already settled because there is no incentive for the creditor to remove the negative.

 

And you would see little improvement from removing one or two of them.

 

 

Yeah, I tried the whole "pay for delete".........they refused to do it. I don't know how you all get it. Perhaps I don't know the strategy.

 

So basically I'm screwed right? There's nothing I can do but wait it out? Finally BK doesn't make it better? 

I'm handcuffed once again with no time frame to know when I'll be loan ready. So upsetting. Had I filed BK, I'd have 750 scores just months out like a family member of mine had.

 

So now what?!

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36 minutes ago, maverick9 said:

Yeah, I tried the whole "pay for delete".........they refused to do it. I don't know how you all get it. Perhaps I don't know the strategy.

 

So basically I'm screwed right? There's nothing I can do but wait it out? Finally BK doesn't make it better? 

I'm handcuffed once again with no time frame to know when I'll be loan ready. So upsetting. Had I filed BK, I'd have 750 scores just months out like a family member of mine had.

 

So now what?!

BK won’t help for the settled accounts. They are closed and no debt is owed. Therefore they wouldn’t be included in a BK
Also, having “750 scores just months out” of a BK won’t necessarily help you get a mortgage. Many (most?) lenders will make you wait a certain period of time after discharge before they will lend. 

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39 minutes ago, DPB said:

BK won’t help for the settled accounts. They are closed and no debt is owed. Therefore they wouldn’t be included in a BK
Also, having “750 scores just months out” of a BK won’t necessarily help you get a mortgage. Many (most?) lenders will make you wait a certain period of time after discharge before they will lend. 

Fine but what CAN I DO to help my scores or are you telling me I can't?

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3 hours ago, maverick9 said:

Fine but what CAN I DO to help my scores or are you telling me I can't?

#1 if the credit repair guy is offering a partial refund, take it. 
 

#2 get the paper copies of your reports. If there’s anything that can be done to help with the negatives, it will be there. A BK isn’t going to help you even if you’re able to file now. 
 

#3 be patient. It’s hard. Credit repair and good scores are a marathon not a sprint. If I learned anything when I first came to CB it was this. My scores have been hovering around 765-770 for over a year. The only thing that’s going to bring them higher is time. It’s annoying sometimes but not much I can do about it.
 

#4 consider opening a secured card or personal loan to add a positive reporting trade line. Don’t go trying to open a bunch of store cards or crappy accounts! 

 

#5 don’t give up!

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1 hour ago, kaylee34 said:

#1 if the credit repair guy is offering a partial refund, take it. 
 

#2 get the paper copies of your reports. If there’s anything that can be done to help with the negatives, it will be there. A BK isn’t going to help you even if you’re able to file now. 
 

#3 be patient. It’s hard. Credit repair and good scores are a marathon not a sprint. If I learned anything when I first came to CB it was this. My scores have been hovering around 765-770 for over a year. The only thing that’s going to bring them higher is time. It’s annoying sometimes but not much I can do about it.
 

#4 consider opening a secured card or personal loan to add a positive reporting trade line. Don’t go trying to open a bunch of store cards or crappy accounts! 

 

#5 don’t give up!

#1 I'll request the refund

 

#2 The paper copies......these are the paid versions I should get?

 

#3 Time frame? Getting a 600 score to 700 can take a year or more?

 

#4 I have a credit card (Credit One) with a small limit and perfect credit history opened 2 years ago. It's not secured but it is a credit card. Should I keep it? Does it have to be a secured card or a personal loan for it to count?

 

#5 I'll try. So discouraging all that I've done. 

 

#6 Thank you so much for taking the time to advise me. I really do appreciate you. 

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7 hours ago, maverick9 said:

#4 I have a credit card (Credit One) with a small limit and perfect credit history opened 2 years ago. It's not secured but it is a credit card. Should I keep it? Does it have to be a secured card or a personal loan for it to count?

Credit cards and personal loans are totally different animals when it comes to score calculations, with much more emphasis for the credit cards as they relate to scores.  Installment loans do not have the same impact,  they need to age around 2-3 years (well paid) for the maximum score boost.

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9 hours ago, maverick9 said:

#1 I'll request the refund

 

#2 The paper copies......these are the paid versions I should get?

 

#3 Time frame? Getting a 600 score to 700 can take a year or more?

 

#4 I have a credit card (Credit One) with a small limit and perfect credit history opened 2 years ago. It's not secured but it is a credit card. Should I keep it? Does it have to be a secured card or a personal loan for it to count?

 

#5 I'll try. So discouraging all that I've done. 

 

#6 Thank you so much for taking the time to advise me. I really do appreciate you. 

 

#1 Don't leave money on the table when it's offered to you. 

 

#2 If you haven't gotten a free copy of your reports within a year, yes, you'll have to pay for them. It's money well spent. Use the refund from the credit repair guy. You paper reports are MUCH different from what you will get from the bureaus online or from a source like CK. NEVER do anything with credit repair unless you have a current copy of your paper reports in hand. Paper reports are emphasized here for a reason. 

 

#3 Time frame. You're not going to see a huge score jump in a matter of months. It takes time. Yes, it sucks but remember, you didn't get here overnight and you can't get out of here quickly either. 

 

18 hours ago, maverick9 said:

Is closed - Legally paid in full for less than the full balance. Last report date 4/2019. THIS HURTS

Is closed - Legally paid in full for less than the full balance. Last report date 4/2019. THIS HURTS

Is closed - Legally paid in full for less than the full balance. Last report date 8/2019. THIS HURTS

Is closed - Charge-off. Last report date 2/2020. THIS ONE HAS A BALANCE HIGHER THAN THE LIMIT. THIS IS KILLING YOUR SCORES

Is closed - Legally paid in full for less than the full balance. Last report date 3/2019. THIS HURTS

Others have said it. All of these are less than a year old and that has a HUGE impact on your FICOs. TIME helps. They get older, they don't count for as much. You need to address the charge off. That's a massive hit and it just happened. Don't do anything until you get your paper copies then post back with what they say. If there's help for it, we'll help. Get the reports ASAP.

 

#4 Yes, keep the card. Keep it and any other open accounts you have in good standing. This is extremely important. Secured or unsecured makes no difference for FICO. The purpose behind secured accounts is to build relationships and start some positive tradelines reporting. Sometimes that's the best way to start. You have positive accounts now, so keep them positive and DON'T try to add any more yet.

 

#5 It's incredibly discouraging. I hear you. I NEVER thought I'd be where I am today. I'm here thanks to the folks on this board. If you get discouraged, go read up on the success stories. You CAN do it too. 

 

#6 You're welcome. Paper copies, channel your zen and keep posting. 

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Try this;

https://whychat.me/GUIDEBOOK.html

 

If you need to pay for paper copies it is worth it. You do NOT need to pay for "scores"

 

If any of your "baddies" are medical, (and I presume from your post that they may be) use this program;

https://whychat.me/GUIDE HIPAA PROGRAM.html

 

IF you actually get a refund from the CRO consider yourself lucky.

 

The initial dispute letter may get some of the medical accounts deleted;

https://whychat.me/hipaadisp.html

 

Credit repair is a long and difficult process, but we are all here to help you

Here is something that might help

 

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21 hours ago, maverick9 said:

Yes, happy that he's going refund me if I want it.

 

So are you saying to request my paid paper credit reports by phone instead of requesting them online?

How you request them is not the critical point...what IS critical is that you NEED the PAPER reports from the four major bureaus.  DO NOT take actions based upon the online contortion and distortion even if you are viewing it from the bureau's own website.  There are simply TOO MANY inaccuracies from online reports that make them something that cannot be trusted, not to mention the hamstringing that comes from using an online report for dispute of ANY element of a tradeline.  

 

Additionally, there is NOTHING a "CRO" can do that you cannot do on your own.  NOBODY is going to have as much skin in the game as the consumer seeking to repair their own credit.  The other concern with a CRO is that they often send generic tripe that simply serves to cement tradelines to the report.  Specificity is a near MUST when it comes to disputes, no matter WHAT some websites will suggest through their reliance upon templates.  You may even find that you are in a jurisdiction where the State law is far superior to the federal credit-related statutes... 

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On 3/3/2020 at 10:31 AM, centex said:

How you request them is not the critical point...what IS critical is that you NEED the PAPER reports from the four major bureaus.  DO NOT take actions based upon the online contortion and distortion even if you are viewing it from the bureau's own website.  There are simply TOO MANY inaccuracies from online reports that make them something that cannot be trusted, not to mention the hamstringing that comes from using an online report for dispute of ANY element of a tradeline.  

 

Additionally, there is NOTHING a "CRO" can do that you cannot do on your own.  NOBODY is going to have as much skin in the game as the consumer seeking to repair their own credit.  The other concern with a CRO is that they often send generic tripe that simply serves to cement tradelines to the report.  Specificity is a near MUST when it comes to disputes, no matter WHAT some websites will suggest through their reliance upon templates.  You may even find that you are in a jurisdiction where the State law is far superior to the federal credit-related statutes... 

Ok. So I'm fed up beyond words here. I've hired a "pro", had a perfect payment history for the last 4 years, paid off collections, piggybacked off someones perfect credit history and still only a 15 point increase. 

 

@centex I will start this journey as you have suggested by getting these paper reports.

 

However, when you say "there is NOTHING a "CRO" can do that you cannot do on your own.", although true, the issue with this is that it requires a lot of 2 precious finite assets called "time and energy". I pay my maid to clean my house, the landscaper to cut my grass, the auto detailer to wash my car, etc because time and energy are precious let alone. Secondly, I make much more money in my profession and it would cost me much more if I was to do these things on my own let alone the residual factor of being exhausted after maintaining all these things hence why we "hire it out to the pros". 

 

Seeing that even he couldn't do, I'm going to try and do it with the help of you all but I just discovered that the scoring models are being revamped this year. If this is true, will the advise you all are giving me be not applicable or is it too early to know?

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just because scoring models are revamped doesn't mean lenders will start using the new models right away.

 

also, the CRO ripped you off if you paid more than $1 for the service. In the time you wasted you could have accomplished a lot more on your own. So hunker down, get PAPER copies of your four major consumer credit reports and move forward.

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I relayed the info to the CRO given to me from CB and this is what he had to say:

 

"What I think is I have been doing business the same way for 14 years I have helped over 20,000 people with their credit. You may not like they way I do business or think I do things the correct way but I would say that my track record speaks for it self on how many people I have helped and how long I have been in business.  My business is 100% referral based and that is for a reason because I do things the correct way and I am an honest man. 

 

To answer you on this post I think the advice you received is wrong in many ways:

 

  1. The over the credit limit is not and issue is very incorrect.  I can show you dozens of examples of how this is a big negative on a credit report
  2. Paying the charge offs he is incorrect the damage to your credit was done by the multiply late payments on these accounts once a credit card is charged off it does not matter if you pay in full or settle the account the damage to the credit was done prior and if the balances are still on the report your credit scores will never go up since the cards are all maxed out
  3. He says your scores will not improve if you piggyback other cards.  That is 100% false
  4. Pay for delete-  no credit card company like bofa, chase,Citi...etc will ever let you pay for delete.  I do not see any mention of that

I help an average of 140 people per month .  How many people have they helped"

 

The one thing I have observed is the conflicting info given between this CRO and CB. Given that he hasn't been able to increase my scores as he stated he would which was 700 from 500 within 60 days and knowing that things do take time, I'm leaning towards CB being accurate. We will see once I implement the info here that I will act on.

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1 hour ago, hegemony said:

just because scoring models are revamped doesn't mean lenders will start using the new models right away.

 

also, the CRO ripped you off if you paid more than $1 for the service. In the time you wasted you could have accomplished a lot more on your own. So hunker down, get PAPER copies of your four major consumer credit reports and move forward.

Thanks @hegemony. Today I start. 

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