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I have been reading the posts and have learned so much already! But,

I wonder if I could obtain some specific advice. I am a 22 year old full time college student.

The Quasi Good News. . . :cool:

I obtained an auto loan one year ago to assist in improving my credit rating. I have never made a late payment. It has worked because in less than one year, my score has increased from 490 to Eq617/TU618.

The Bad News. . . :oops:

I still have four COs (Target,CellPhone,BOA,CITI) but they all have zero balances. One is in dispute. I have serious late payment histories for all four CO accounts. (1.5 yrs. old) If you thought that was bad, I also have a CHEXsystem notation with BankOne, which is almost four years old.

Phew. . .

So, I have no open revolving accounts. I haven't applied for any lines of revolving credit for almost 2 years.

I understand that the next step in rebuilding is to apply for a secured card. Should I wait until my score increases to apply for a secured card? What are my chances of obtaining one with my current credit ratings and student status? How should I approach re-establishing credit with my old creditors?







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i'd say pretty good. Since it is secured, the creditor won't get burned since you agree to forfeit the money they are holding. Think about what a great deal it is for the bank that issues you a secured card. They have no risk, but get 3% of your monthly purchases from merchants, and collect annual fees from you. Plus, as an added bonus, they also get to hose you on any balances carried over monthly. What a great business to be in!

Some are better than others, IMO. Personally my favorite is American Pacific Bank. I applied online and sent the $300 check to them (2 weeks post BK7). They approved and reported to all three CRAs within two weeks. The only fee I pay is an annual $29 or $39 fee (I forget which). Customer service is friendly and they are great to deal with. Just remember to send your payments EARLY if you are on the east coast- it took about 10 days for my payment to make it from my mailbox in PA to their payment dept in Oregon!

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Also, I would apply right away and get started. The longer the TL has been reporting for you, the better. But while you are re-establishing credit, I would work hard on cleaning up the old stuff. And, by no means, can you afford to make any late payments from this point forward!!

I'm in a different situation than you since I don't have OPEN charge-offs anymore, but after my bk7 in 10/04 my middle credit score was 492 (11/04). As of last week, it was 606. I started with American Pacific Secured, then two months later got a Target Card (unsecured) and a Household Bank (unsecured). My next project is a secured installment loan from a bank. I think its wise to start with secured then sub-sub-prime unsecured credit, then work your way up!

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