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Seeking advice for repairing credit :)

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Posted (edited)

Hi everyone, just looking for some advice...


I'm in the last year of my 20s and have a very high debt in general. I blame my past self since after getting my first job, I was blinded by approvals of several credit cards and used them like cash. I would like to start my journey to a better credit score, especially since my 30s will probably consist of buying a home and having children with my fiance.


Not really sure where to start... I'd like to start bringing down my debt but I feel so overwhelmed with everything that I have to pay for. I currently keep track of my money using a spreadsheet, but that doesn't mean anything if I don't actually try to pay off the debt I have... I recently paid off my Chase CC balance (that's why it's 0 right now) and an installment loan around $2,500.


Would it be better to pay the closed accounts first (at least the ones accruing interest), or pay off the balance in my open accounts? Any advice would be helpful, thank you!


With that being said, here are my stats:


Credit scores
Experian - 565 | Equifax - 582 | Transunion - 587


Current monthly bills - ~$1240, including payments below
Monthly salary - min $2,500

*New job that just started this month; previously, I was earning around $1,200 a month
Current savings - $3,000



Chase - 0 (balance) / 500 (limit) @ (23.15%) min payment: $25
Capital One Quicksilver - 1,519/1,500  @(22.90%) min payment: $44
Capital One Platinum - 2,230/2,250 @ (22.90%) min payment: $70



Bank of America - $2,110 @ (21.24%) min payment: $70
Barclays - $920 (21.24%) min payment: $30
CareCredit - $1,200 (under hardship assistance, interest no longer accruing) min payment: $22
Nordstrom  - $1,915 (under hardship assistance, interest no longer accruing) min payment: $22
PayPal - $1,083 (under hardship assistance, interest no longer accruing) min payment: $25

Student Loans
Sallie Mae - $25,000 (deferred payment, only paying $25 a month)
Fed Loans - $16,000 (forbearance due to COVID19)

Edited by chickenfritata

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Ultimately, you want to push to repay any closed account.  Outstanding balances on a closed account can be a score killer.


However, you have some harsh interest rates, so repayment of your interest bearing (non-hardship agreement) accounts takes precedence (as your post suggests you recognize).  It's apparent that your resources have been stretched, as evidenced by the fact that your open accounts are largely maxed out.  Until you've appreciably paid off your outstanding debt, you want to enforce a spending discipline in which you charge each month ONLY what you can repay in full the next month.


For the time being, I'd constrain your charges to the Chase account you recently paid off.  Target any payments in excess of those necessary to repay the Chase charges each month, and your minimums on other accounts, to your other two open account balances.  But consider those two accounts otherwise off limits (until such time as they're paid in full, and then only as you're confident you have the discipline to repay those cards promptly when you charge on them).


I recommend deferring additional payments above the minimums on your closed accounts until you've paid your open account balances. 


You'll need to adjust this strategy accordingly when the time comes where you're no longer able to secure extensions to your hardship agreements.  At some point you're also going to have to accommodate renewed student debt payments -- try to plan accordingly several months in advance of those payments resuming at they full scheduled amounts.

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