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I'm Curious About YOU!


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I know some of you have this info posted in your sigs; however, I'm still curious...

Where were you in the beginning of your credit repair journey?

Where are you now?

How long did it take you to get where you are now?

C'mon... give us newbies a light at the end of the tunnel!

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In 1998 I had some serious financial difficulties, and defaulted on a car payment (which resulted in a repossession). I was also buried in credit card debt, to the tune of around twenty grand, and I defaulted on that too. I also owed on my student loan, from the 80s, and I defaulted on that too. Pretty bad situation, so far as credit rating is concerned.

Well, in the mid 90s, I answered a call from a collection agency trying to collect on the student loan. The guy on the phone tried some heavy duty intimidation. The conversation went something like this:

Collector: "We can and will have your wages garnished."

Me: "I'm paid in cash only, no paychecks to garnish."

Collector: "We can freeze your bank accounts."

Me: "Feel free, I think I have 4 dollars in one account."

Collector: "We can take your home and car."

Me: "I don't have a home, or a car, or a motorcycle, or even a bicycle, and no assets except the clothes on my back."

Collector: "Uhhhh...."

Me: "However, I *want* to pay the student loan off, so I'll tell *you* what I will pay, and you'll accept it, because obviously you can't threaten me; you can't take anything from a man with nothing."

Collector: "Okay, what are you willing to pay us?"

So, I started paying that off, to the collection agency. After a couple of years, they transferred me to Sallie Mae and I kept paying until that debt was gone. That looks awesome on my report now too, just years and years of timely payments on my student loan. I may have screwed everything else up, but I made good on that one.

Still, I was sure my credit was like perma-screwed, so I just didn't use any credit from 1998 until 2007. Last year, I figured, okay, let's see what it looks like now that the student loan is paid off. And, much to my surprise, my score was 768. My significant other was fairly awestruck too. (Her score is always around or above 800 -- she's a financial master.)

Seeing that sheer passage of time had restored me so hugely, I went ahead and applied for a half dozen platinum cards last September, to see if I could make my score go even higher, and try to match the woman's. I got all the cards I applied for, which told me that 768 must be pretty nice. The woman has cards with $30,000 limits (!), but the cards I got totalled (all six of them) $25,000. So all six of my cards aren't as good as *one* of my woman's cards. But I didn't care, because I didn't get the cards to use them, just to try to crack 800.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize those six inquiries would drag my score down, but it did. It went up a little at first, to 782, then dropped down to 742 when the inquiries all showed up.

As a test, I applied for a Crapital One auto loan, and they immediately approved me for a $16,498 blank check to buy a car. Still have that check, but haven't used it. I don't really need a car; I was mainly curious as to whether I'd be approved for one at all after having my previous car repossessed. But I guess that high credit score makes stuff happen.

Also, I got that car loan and all those platinum cards without ever having to prove my income (e.g. my ability to repay what I borrow). Could I repay that car loan if I use it? Yeah, probably, although it'd be tight at this point. I'm sure a car loan paid in timely fashion would help me yet more, but I want to be *sure* I can repay it, and I'm not to that point yet, so I'm going to wait a year or two.

I do still get a couple of tenacious collectors sending me mail trying to collect. They don't call anymore, because the phone is in the woman's name and she told them if they continue to call her, she'll file a police report for harassment. The statute of limitations is long past on the (1998-ish credit card) debt that they are trying to collect on anyway, so I'm not really worried about them anymore.

So, that's where I'm at now. Way better off than I was in the late 90s! I used no tactics, filed nothing with anyone, talked to no one about anything, just kinda laid low and let time pass and that seemed to fix everything, to an extent I had not even imagined.

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I started at about 550 in summer 2006. too many collections to count may have been 13 or 14 all within SOL. The latest was a few months old. I ran out of student loans and had no money to pay bills. anyway less than one year later I removed all the collection about 5 or 6 were goodwill letters after I paid in full.

At the end of that journey my higherst score was 803 lowest was 790s.

today and as of jan8 and 11 I have a new collections which they claim is from 2002-2003 however listed on reports as january 2008 so my score took a nose dive. My former high score is now 675.

goodluck with your journey

UPDATE: Collection accounts removed from all credit reports in 3 days total after DV. Current Scores are now below


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Bad spending/credit habits and a business that went south caused me to file for BK in 2003. Still had some trouble in the months after BK and and just assumed my credit would always suck. Got serious about improving my credit in 2006 when I discovered how bad I was being screwed on a mortgage and when my dad got sick, I had to borrow money from a payday loan place to go take care of him (still pisses me off.) Anyhow in 2006, my scores were around 560-580, now my scores are all 700ish. I refinanced my house and saved about $600/month.


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I'm in the 594 range (according the Equifax).

In 2001 I decided to get my second degree and went to a very fancy (expensive) art school. I graduated with debt and eager to pursue my career. Thinking I knew everything, I began to freelance in a stale job market.

I did some design work for a client. He stopped making payment and basically owed me $8K. This was my only source of income at the time.

I tried to sew but the sheriff couldn't find him to serve him. My case was dismissed w/out prejudice. I quickly went back to work doing anything to try and make ends meet. Well ends didn't meet -- minimum wage could not support by past spend habits -- but I managed.

Out of the blue -- through an art site the company that's I'm working for found be an offered me a job. I moved from San Diego (rent $695/ cc debt about $800) to Orange County (rent $1050/ cc debt $800+).

My career jump left me at starting pay -- but I LOVE my job. Every month I was in the whole. I sold everything (my sofa and my fancy SLR camera) to pay it off and I finally did. Then I tried to repair my credit by applying for credit cards.

Then gas went up! Then rent went up! Then cc debt went up to $3,500. I decided enough was enough so I found an affordable apartment an hour and a half away from my dream job and I take the train -- my driving commute is 3 miles to and frow.

I started my blog with the hopes of changing my relationship with credit - documenting my scores, letters, hopes, dreams.. and the like - in the pursuit of an 850 score.

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