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Cleaning up credit scores, getting secured CC. What else can one do?


newstart2012
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Hi everyone. I’ve been lurking and learning on these forums for the last couple of weeks. My plan as my name indicates is a new start in 2012. I have some questions about my initial plan which I hope someone will read and critique.

Background:

Live in SC

Husband: on SS Disability which will switch to SS when he turns 65 in July

Wife: working a part-time job of between 4 and 40 hours per week.

No current credit card debt. Bills are rent, gas, food, cells, cable, insurance, utilities

Need a new car which precipitated this whole adventure into the forums

Husband went online and got his credit score (616) in order to fill out a Drivetime app. Didn’t read the fine print and got charged$29.95 after the initial 10 days Immediately cancelled, but due to online reviews of Scoresense, we didn’t trust that additional monies wouldn’t be deducted. So we closed that checking account and opened a new one with same bank.

This led to a discussion with the banker about improving our credit score and ID theft protection. Through the bank we signed up for Enhanced Identity Theft Protection. Got credit scores from them which were slightly better.

Discovered this site and been lurking.

Initial goal: Improve credit scores so that we can get a car loan through someone other than Drivetime (been checking them out, too)

Plan:

Get a secured CC thru our bank (Wells Fargo) with initial deposit of $300.00. Use card up to 30% of the credit limit monthly. Pay all but $5.00 of the charges each month on time or earlier. As we are doing this over the next 6 months, the scores should improve. Also, try to increase the limit by depositing more.

At the same time: work on repairing the items on the report. There are some old (2001) items from Verizon (under $500.00) which we should be able to get taken off due to SOL.

There are two huge (107K and 60K) student loans which have been in forgiveness mode since husband went on disability. DOE says that the three years is up 6/12/12. So that entire amount should go away eventually. It shows as deferred on the report. (These loans show up under Sallie Mae and Dept of Ed, so they are showing twice)

There is a GMAC (22K) loan from 2001 which shows as current, but which hasn’t seen a payment by us since about 2005. Car was repo’d in 2004.

There are some other items all with dates around 2001.

A couple weeks ago we tried to get a TV and washer on credit with a local appliance store. He tried every which way, but the scores just didn’t make it to their cut-off. Don’t know what that was. But we are waiting on the reject letter in the mail so that we can request the reports just in case what the bank gives is FAKO ones

Questions for anyone willing to answer:

1. Is Enhanced Identity Theft Protection thru Wells Fargo a good way to keep track of the credit reports monthly?

2. Are those FICO or FAKO scores?

3. Will the plan for the secured card result in improving the scores?

4. Besides working on cleaning the reports of doubles, wrong names, SOLs, what else can we do?

I probably gave more info than needed for my questions. I realize that the repair info given needs to be addressed in that forum as well. I’ll be doing that soon.

Thank you everyone for your time in reading this and any help we get will be appreciated.

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