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CleverCynic
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.... and it has consumed me for the last 3 days straight.

Hi, I'm Rob (Hi Rob) and I'm newly addicted to credit repair! I have been lurking and reading for the last couple of days, and I've just purchased your people's bible (GCISEXY) which I'm sure will help a lot towards answering more of my questions. I just have so many from how fico scores work, how it varies from the other two fakos, do newly posted CA transfers leapfrog my good entries, does everyone REALLY love Raymond?

Anyway, don't answer those, I'll make questions much more specific in time to come and I always knock a few off with the search button, but it takes hours.

SO, I used to have a business in FL in my 20's, thought it would last forever and dropped out of college yada yada. Well, when it all came crashing down I just let everything... I mean EVERYTHING go, my cards, cars repoed... hid my head in the sand and moved north. At that point I resigned myself to the fact that I was a person with crappy credit and turned away from all things credit for a long time, I really didn't even want to know how bad it was on paper, but you know the feeling of being that person that gets uncomfortable when the sales agent asks if you want to put that on your store credit or open one... yeah no way in he!! that's going to happen. Bottom 10% of the world here and quite possibly a terrible person to boot.

Anyway, I know a slap in the face when I get it, so I did make some major life changes since I was now married and having kids and looking towards the future. I moved to North Carolina, got a job and went back to school. In a couple years I finished my biochem degree, then was accepted to grad school for Pharmacy. Between my FICO and my GPA it was like looking at 2 different people on paper.

The first form of the haunting came almost 2 years ago on what was supposed to be a joyous occasion, what with moving to the new grad school, getting a new place in order etc... but then came the brick wall. It was/is a private school that is very expensive and guaranteed loans didn't come close. I needed private loans as well. So it looked like that was a terrible and ironic end to my pursuit, I was declined at all the chosen lenders, and Suntrust even went out of their way to tell me "not EVEN with ANY co-signer". Well I don't come from wealth or people who make good choices, fortunately my wife's mother swooped in the last moment with great reluctance and cosigned for me and was approved.

So again the joy, I was getting to go to grad school after all! The year went fine until again the new year. I went to renew and all of a sudden there's an application. I call and say there must be some sort of mitake, I was already approved last year and am starting my second year. "Oh yeah, you have to reapply each year". Whaa?? So fine I have to bring it up AGAIN to the mom-in law and remind her again of putting another 20k on her CR, which she did... BUT... DECLINED! Apparently the lender had changed THEIR criteria since the last year and raised their fico acceptance by 50 points. So, same people, no changes to credit, and now declined by the very company that started me on my way, knowing there's no turning back and no way to pay off the first amount if you don't FINISH! What kind of stupid business plan was this anyway? At LEAST grandfather existing customers right?

So anyway, outrageous, but I guess they know what they're doing because desperate people do desperate things and I stressed out relationships with everyone in my family all summer, and then somehow my own mother came through... keep in mind as the oldest of 8, she's only achieved decent credit by completely ignoring ALL of our needs as a matter of policy over the years, and certainly to her benefit since we've all had screwups. So that sucked getting the ok, then having to mail her all the paperwork weeks later and sweat it out while waiting on her to mail it all in... but that she did and I got to go back all this last year.

So NOW (I'm getting to the end here), the school's promise all along was that I would only need the credit for the first 2 years since the last two, as upperclass grads qualified for more in stafford guaranteed loans and I wouldn't have to worry.....

Well wouldn't you know it as of this year legislation has changed on that and the new loans are now CREDIT BASED as well! So now I'm going to have to do this all over again, I've already promised everyone it was only the one other year I needed and I'm back in the same freakin position for my 3rd year.

Now I'm sick of it and dreading having to ask for anything... I've just turned 35 this month for crying out loud! So now I'm turning to face the credit bureaus to see what the deal really is:

I pulled equifax with score and it was 625! I think I only need 650 to qualify for the student loan on my own!

So here's what I've done and what I need to know:

I've not had a late payment on anything for 5 years and 4 months according to my "top positives" of which there is only one thing listed lol....

My 2 repoed cars show up 7 different ways on a single report, with last activity ACTUALLY being 11/2001. The CA's say N/A on those lines and reported as late as this year. I also have cross country bank CA, even though the OC is not listing, it's gotta be REALLY old. Now on Transunion, PINNACLE has just popped up last month touting a debt from orchard bank a lifetime ago.

In the positives, I have like 6 different student loans going, all deferred payment with "pays as agreed". 8 months ago I got a JCPenney Card which has been perfect. I also got an ExxonMobil card around the same time which I pay off every month as well.

So we're up to speed now: I've disputed all negatives from all 3 CRA's to see what will stick. I had thought they would be temp removed from my fico calc while in investigation, but according to myfico 7 days later, this is not the case, and in fact my score dropped 7 points to 618. This wigged me out a bit but I compared the two reports a week apart and my JCPenney was 169 balance on the first and then $400 / $500 on the next. That was a big hit, I wish I knew then what I know now before I took advantage of their "same as cash until august" sale last week. It seemed like a smart thing to do at the time for getting the kids summer clothes.

So now my questions:

Have I done anything wrong so far?

Can I possibly raise my score to 650 by summer?

Also, how long will it take for ExxonMobil to report? They don't show on any of the CR's and when it finally hits it should be a nice bump since it will already have aged when it debuts, but it's frustrating not to see a good account on there. (BTW these guys were GEMoneyBank when I got the card but recently changed to Citi last month)

Last question for now: GE Money bank has been sending me "pre-approved" offers, then biting my head off when I accept... this happened with SEARS and with Merrick Bank. I've stopped sending them in like a dork and taking inquiry hits, but now it's a few months later and I've just gotten my second pre-approved in so many months from Crap 1. I don't have any bank cards... do I dare or should I stay away from it?

I give anyone credit for reading half of this or taking any of it on. Thanks to those who try, and you only introduce yourself once!

(oh I like how the bookstore told me my purchase was APPROVED. Makes you feel all warm and cozy... good lingo for the site!)

Rob

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Welcome, You'll see that credit repair is a long process. From my experience I've noticed that when I had a negative TL deleted I lost a few points on my score. The reason this happens is that the age of the account has a greater impact on the score, and is factored in when calculating a score. Now it is always good to get rid of the negatives but don't be surprised when scores go down. I also learned that being an "authorized user" on someones credit card has helped with the score and alot of people will agree with me on this one. For example I put my DH on my macy's card and Victorias Secret card as an AU and a month later his EX score when from 528 to 600. If you know someone that has a "good" card, meaning no lates, low balance (under 35%) . You basically get the whole history of that card. Do a search for "Authorized user" and you'll get a bunch of info on it. Good luck!

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Thanks for the welcome and the tip. I don't know anyone silly enough to add me to one of their accounts unfortunately... also I'm not sure about the AU thing... most of my credit apps just ask how many cards I want and what names to put on them without even asking for their ss#, so I don't know how they would even report it unless it was a true joint account.

Also, nothing has come off my report yet I don't think, the 7 point drop was because my only reported revolving account went from 20 to 80% utilization.

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Send DV letters to all the CAs you find on your CRAs. "I pulled my credit report, and I discovered you are reporting that I owe you a debt. In accordance with FDCPA, send me validation of this debt". Do NOT use any "cease and desist" language. You wanna keep the lines of communication open. Use the address they report on your CRs.

On the Pinnacle account, dispute it with TU. Tell 'em it's too old to report.

If you have old accounts that are paid off, or were settled for less than the full amount, send 'em a GW letter. Do a search for goodwill. Lots of examples. Here's a few of mine that worked.

http://www.debt-consolidation-credit-repair-service.com/forums/showpost.php?p=746810&postcount=2

Try getting rid of some of your inquiries.

http://www.debt-consolidation-credit-repair-service.com/forums/showpost.php?p=752959&postcount=14

If you're considering a card, you might try one of the cards listed here under a FICO score of Fair.

http://www.myfico.com/LoanCenter/Offers/CreditCards.aspx

If you didn't default on an AMEX account, their Delta Skymiles card is supposed to be one of the easiest to get.

Keep payments current and util under 35% on all cards.

If any CAs are still calling you, you might consider getting a telephone recording machine. You're in NC, and that's a one party state for the recording of calls. You can record a CA, log violations (they almost always violate when they call), and since you don't have to tell 'em you're recording it can spell easy money, or easy deletion, for you.

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That all sounds very helpful, thanks! I hope I don't have to write any letters. Most of this stuff is due to fall off by this time next year, I'm looking for some quick easy scores. The most recent is ANFI for a cingular balance in '03. I don't have any paid closed accounts, and everything is beyond SOL for both states in question, so disputes should be good and safe.

I still don't know why ExxonMobil is not appearing on any of the reports, they are at least 6 months old now... anyone know anything about this? I sent them an e-mail asking about it and they just sent back the line from the agreement that "the account performances would be reported to the bureaus" as stated. But when?! This will double my active revolving accounts.

I'll let crap 1 pre-approval slide for now. I saw those cards on myfico, but I'm not sure I'm really in the "Fair" credit zone in looking at the chart. I'm only better than 18 or 20% of most scores right now. I was looking at the student discover too.

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That all sounds very helpful, thanks! I hope I don't have to write any letters. Most of this stuff is due to fall off by this time next year, I'm looking for some quick easy scores.

Welcome!!:)++

Someonesomewhere gave you great advice. If you want your credit score to go up intime to get some loans, you better start writing those letters. The letters work. Since those accounts are pass SOL, you may get lucky.

Wow you would prefer to keep looking at those negatives for another year rather than write a letter:roll:.

Listen to the advice and send all the CAs that are reporting a DV letter. That is a very fast way to improve your credit if they cant validate they may delete. I cant remember if you have any settled or paid accounts. If you do send them a Goodwill letter.

Good luck with your school plans. I was in a similar situation I used up all my Stafford loans and now need Private loans. I think my credit is fine now to get private loans from most lenders. I however sent ever letter that I thought would help me get a delete and within a few months my scores were decent.

Sent off those letters and send them Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested (CMRRR).

The form letters are listed on the forum make them your own and get to work. I am sure the letters won't take as long to write as your original post :wink:

chilton1

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If you need an increase in a couple months, stop applying for credit, as that will actually hurt you in the short term.

Your goal should be to figure out the actual default ages of anything showing on your credit and disputing the ones that should be off already.

Hard to get all that accomplished in 2 months though, since JDBs that re-age like to be stubborn. It will take you 2 months just to go through a few rounds of disputes to have a legitimate re-aging lawsuit threat against them.

Your living in N. Carolina could be a HUGE benefit though, as they have very tough debt collection laws and penalties.

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I hope I don't have to write any letters.

Why? You're obviously intelligent and articulate. Your first post in this thread was divided up into coherent sentences and paragraphs. Debt Validation is your most potent weapon. Use it. DV letters are simple. It's not requesting an audience with the Queen.

Most of this stuff is due to fall off by this time next year, I'm looking for some quick easy scores.

It don't get much easier than DV and dispute letters. If you wanna wait until next year, well then OK. But from your posts, you wanna see changes now. Well, it ain't gonna happen thru the power of positive thinking. It will require some action on your part.

The most recent is ANFI for a cingular balance in '03. I don't have any paid closed accounts, and everything is beyond SOL for both states in question, so disputes should be good and safe.

If it's safe for a dispute, then it's also safe for a DV letter to a CA.

I still don't know why ExxonMobil is not appearing on any of the reports, they are at least 6 months old now... anyone know anything about this?

Give 'em a call. Be nice. Be polite. Appear lost and in need of help.

I'll let crap 1 pre-approval slide for now. I saw those cards on myfico, but I'm not sure I'm really in the "Fair" credit zone in looking at the chart.

Actually, you're right in the Fair zone. Folks have reported getting cards with lower FICOs than yours. On the monster AMEX thread, some reported getting AMEX cards like Delta with scores in the high 500s.

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Thank you SomeoneSomewhere, IHateCa's, and Chilton1 for your very helpful and insightful answers. These reinforce what I've been reading completely.

So the main questions now are: Do I wait until 5/23 for verdicts on the disputes or send letters TODAY as well? I'd hate to rub it in or awake a sleeping lion with a two-pronged approach for something that will delete with one. If I understand correctly, anything that comes back before that date is BAD NEWS for me.

And:

Any more opinions on whether I should apply for a bank card now or wait until my scores exceed 650? (my first goal)

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"IHateCAs" said it, but I second it! If you follow the primer.... and catch them in violations..... then the money you sue for can pay your student loans back some!

Good luck!

IHateCAs also said "If you need an increase in a couple months, stop applying for credit, as that will actually hurt you in the short term."

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Thanks for the welcome and the tip. I don't know anyone silly enough to add me to one of their accounts unfortunately... also I'm not sure about the AU thing... most of my credit apps just ask how many cards I want and what names to put on them without even asking for their ss#, so I don't know how they would even report it unless it was a true joint account.

Also, nothing has come off my report yet I don't think, the 7 point drop was because my only reported revolving account went from 20 to 80% utilization.

CleverCynic....I actually have to agree with SugarNSpice....getting someone to add you as an AU is your FASTEST way to up those scores.... and if you are wanting that before summer (a couple months away)...I don't see the other remedies working as fast (work, yes they will) BUT, not as fast....

You state here you doubt anyone would want to add you!!??

Well what about the mom and mom-in-law...ask the both of them to add you to the accts that they helped you out on....

Seems like from your posted history they are wanting to see you accomplish your education goals, or they wouldn't have helped you out the 1st time...

It wouldn't have to be an indefinite thing...it can be a temp thing....you can always request to be removed later after your scores are up and you get your loans...

Also, you wouldn't have to personally hold the cards...they can keep them in their possession !!!

So, if I were you I'd give those moms and call !! (you know all they can do is say yes or no) you never know!!

Anyway, that's my 2 cents !!!

Good Luck!

ps...then, once you get your loan for school, you can battle the rest calmly and as others stated may even be able to sue them and then you'd maybe even have the $ and not need a loan the next time!!!

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Thanks, it's not out of the question, I've been good and relationships are decent. I know it's a good strategy, but then there's the whole "doing it on your own" pride thing too... not that pride has ever gotten me anywhere lol!

I'll look into it... my wife's mother will be up from FL visiting in a couple weeks... I'll pitch it as an alternative to signing for me again!

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That's good...personally, I think that is your best route to take at the moment...

I'd be careful too about doing to much disputing at the moment also....

As said sometimes it's better to let sleeping dogs lie...xdeadhorsex

Most always when you begin disputing, things start coming out of the woodwork!!

Another thing as it stands you may have some TL's that have older dates in the Date Last Reported...

When you start DVing, etc. those dates end up changing to be more current...that can sometimes cause a drastic decrease in your scores....

Ahntara has posted recently about this quite a bit (here are 3)...she explains it this way.....

Ahntara posted this on 4/20/07

"The new 'Date Last Reported' on a defaulted account is what

lowers your score by

making the TL appear recent to the scoring software."

Ahntara posted this on 4/23/07

.....The updating of a disputed/verified TL is normal, customary

and typical. It doesn't HAVE to happen, but usually does.

You tell them, "Investigate". They did and reported back their

findings. Of course...they updated the TL to show the most recent

data.

This is why we suggest not to pay CA's. Paying generally results

in an update to reflect the zero balance. The recent reporting

date on a defaulted account causes the TL to appear recent to the

scoring software. This hits your score in the History category

which factors as (up to) 35% of the total number.

Ahntara posted this on 4/25/07

For defaulted accounts; any (number of fields) and a recent 'Date

Last Reported' cause the derog to appear new to scoring programs.

So, anything that causes a defaulted account to get updated will

impact your score.

So.....if you start disputing you might actually cause your score to drop... :evil: which you don't want to do right now....

As I said....Go for the AU, get your student loan, :)% THEN start disputing....

also don't apply for any more cards either :ah:ah:ah: ....you don't want inquiries to be dropping your scores either!!

Let us know your outcome! Good luck! :goodluck:

ps...I'd call Exxon and see when they plan to report...that might help your score too?!?

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Those thoughts reflect what I used to think were questions that I had, and now they are back in play. However, the reason I felt there was no disadvantage is because somehow I think the scoring system knows by some piece of information that is tagged and not shown:

For instance, the scoring breakdown tells me that my newest account is 8 months old, which is true, it is my JCPenney, however, PINNACLE has posted a new collection as of Feb this year which looks new in every sense but represents an OC that is no longer even reporting. So somehow they know.

Also, one other confusing thing is the distinction made between DATE OF LAST ACTIVITY and DATE MAJOR DELINQUENCY WAS REPORTED. I'm still not sure by the numbers if that is significant, or if they are going by the dates I made last payment on cars or when they were picked up (big difference in time), or when they were auctioned etc...

My top positives say I haven't missed a payment in 64 months (not being creditworthy for years helps :oops: ), but at least half the collections post dates since then and over the last year for recent reporting. My score is higher than I would have thought even in its terribleness! Either way I can settle this in a month and see what the impact was. It's too late, I've already disputed everything prior to my first post!

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Do I wait until 5/23 for verdicts on the disputes...

If you disputed directly with the CRAs, you can call and get a status upate. They can tell you which items have already responded and what the outcome is.

As far as opening new accounts, in my opinion I would wait just a bit. Especially until you get through the first round of disputes. I was trigger happy and applied for a card, that had I waited one month I more than likely would have gotten a much higher CL and a better APR~~and the higher CL helps with your utilization which in turn increases your FICO. With the age of most of your negatives, you may wind up in a very lucky position in that a lot of these baddies fall off wth the first round.

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...distinction made between DATE OF LAST ACTIVITY and DATE MAJOR DELINQUENCY WAS REPORTED. I'm still not sure by the numbers if that is significant, or if they are going by the dates I made last payment on cars or when they were picked up (big difference in time), or when they were auctioned etc...

Here's my understanding, and someone feel free to pipe in if I'm wrong, but DOFMD (Date of First Major Delinquency) is the date that you missed your first payment wherein you never again brought the account current. This is the date used to determine the 7 - 7 1/2 yr reporting period. The DOLA (Date of Last Activity) could be the date the OC sold the account to a JDB, the date they charged the account off, and so on and so on. EQ tends to put the reported DOFMD in the DOLA slot, but you have to look at the estimated date of removal on EX and TU to get what is being reported.

And from someone else who spent 10 yrs with her head in the sand, cringing everytime a clerk asked me if I wanted to open a card, I say "Good Luck!".

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DOFMD (Date of First Major Delinquency) is the date that you missed your first payment wherein you never again brought the account current. This is the date used to determine the 7 - 7 1/2 yr reporting period.

Absolutely correct. Usually the account will go 30 days late, 60 days late, 90 days late, 120 days late, and that month/year when it went 120 days late is the DOFD. 7-1/2 years from then, it's off yer CRs.

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Ok, using one example, they have last payment as 09/2001, but date of major delinquency as 04/2005!! However, Transunion has that same entry due to fall off 08/2008, so I guess it's all good.

On the flip side, I pulled my TU score... 568 F! Wow what a disparity! None of my 6 school loans are showing on that one and most of the derog is there. This one is a mess! EQ is 625 giving me hope!

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Ok, using one example, they have last payment as 09/2001, but date of major delinquency as 04/2005!! However, Transunion has that same entry due to fall off 08/2008, so I guess it's all good.

On the flip side, I pulled my TU score... 568 F! Wow what a disparity! None of my 6 school loans are showing on that one and most of the derog is there. This one is a mess! EQ is 625 giving me hope!

I think, :hmmmmm: correct me if I'm wrong, you experts out there.....they usually look at your mid-score...take all three into acct...and going with the score that's in the middle....or is that only the case of mortgage loans !?!

Keep on truckin'!!! :nannersplit:

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My Experian now has a Fraud Alert statement on it! This sounds like a bad thing. Says it's there for 90 days.

I didn't dispute any as "not mine", just maybe "other" or Closed account etc... at one point it asked me if I wanted to put one on there and I said no.

Is there something I'm supposed to do now? Oh also it's 567 F there too.

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I think, :hmmmmm: correct me if I'm wrong, you experts out there.....they usually look at your mid-score...take all three into acct...and going with the score that's in the middle....or is that only the case of mortgage loans !?!

Keep on truckin'!!! :nannersplit:

I think mortgage companies look at middle score.

I know that sallie mae pulls equifax and I am not absolutely sure but I think the score should be greater than 650. When i called the lloan officer told me "fair credit" but did not say what fair meant to them. I read on another forum that people have been approved with scores in the 650s.

CC, dont worry about the fraud alert I have fraud alerts on all three of my reports and i have been able to get credit.

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Thanks for your help. Actually in NC we use CFNC.org, college foundation of north carolina. They too want 650 and only pull and report to equifax. All of my previous loans (with cosigner) are with them.

The new big problem is the Grad/Plus loan we're eligible for this year. It is intended to be much easier to get by only defining no "adverse" credit, however that only applies to infants and 18 year olds who have never been trusted with a cc, mortgage, or car loan. For those of us who have been using credit for 10 to 20 years there's been plenty of opportunity to miss a payment somewhere, so it's actually LESS forgiving than a FICO score. Ironically I could have a FICO of 700 but a single unpaid collection would get me disqualified according to the criteria. It's really stupid!

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