Hello, thanks in advance for your help!
I'm trying to improve my credit so I can qualify for the best mortgage rate possible. I'll be a first-time homebuyer. I have downpayment saved, but I know my credit isn't the best. I have a few negative items and a few positive. I'm hoping to get advice on how to strengthen my credit profile, as well as what strategy to take to deal with the negatives.
My scores are 643, 651 and 679.
- I have an account with Progressive Mgmt for $1108 opened 8/2016. I think this is a collections agency for a medical bill from 2016.
- I have two accounts with a credit union for $1065 and $232 both opened 1/2013. (I thought items only remained on credit reports for 7 years?) This is 2 credit union accounts I let get overdrawn then they closed on me and I never paid it off.
- I have several late payments on 2 vehicle loans that were opened in 2012 but I caught up and paid off the loans in 2017.
- I had a vehicle loan opened in 2011 and paid off in 2014 with no negatives
- I had a student loan opened in 2002 and paid off in 2012 (again, I thought items only lasted 7 years?)
- I had a Bank of America line of credit opened in my name by my parents when I was a child in the 80's and it was closed in 2012 (obviously I'm wrong about 7 years)
So as you can see, I don't have much credit history at all. I think I need to deal with the negative items and build up some credit history by taking out some credit cards or new car loans. So I'm asking for advice in 2 areas...
1. What is the best way to deal with the negatives? Should I call and offer to settle if they delete the items from my reports? Should I hire a credit repair agency to handle them?
2. What is the best way to build up more credit? Should I apply to credit cards? Should I buy a new car?