My wife and I had a CH7 BK discharged 3 years ago this month. For a while we did not use credit at all and had no accounts open except for our mortgage, a car loan, and our student loans. We realize now that that was a mistake and that we should have begun rebuilding credit immediately, but its water under the bridge at this point. We have about $ 20K in savings now and are planning to buy another home in June of 2017 so that we can be settled in a new home/new school district by the time my daughter starts school in September. Since we are about 15 months out at this point, we want to do whatever we can in that time frame to raise our scores as much as possible. Here is where we are right now:
Trans Union – 704 / Equifax – 716
Lowes (Synchrony Bank) – $ 17K limit, opened 10/11/2015
Capital One Quicksilver Visa – $ 10K limit, opened 10/13/2015
Since then I’ve tried to open a BofA Visa twice and been denied even though it was offered to me on their prequalification site. They offered me a secured card instead with a $ 500 limit. Should I take it? Should I also try for more store cards?
Trans Union – 672 / Equifax – 695
Capital One Quicksilver Visa – $ 3500 limit, opened 3/8/2016
Also, just as background, we did not reaffirm our mortgage, but it is reporting, which is a good thing, because we’ve never had a late payment, before, during or since the BK. We are both on the mortgage. Our car loan (we did reaffirm that) is in my wife’s name only and we’ve never had a late payment on that either. Finally, we’ve never been late on student loans. All of our debt was credit cards and medical bills that caught up with us because my wife was out of work for 18 months. We defaulted on the cards and put what money we had toward the mortgage, student loans, and the car in order to avoid problems there and wiped out the unsecured debt with the BK.
So basically, where do we go from here? Again, should I try to go for some lower limit store cards and utilize them in the hopes of getting my score up to a point where I can get another major card? Should my wife try for another major or some store cards? Are there any other factors we should be looking at? I’m hoping that my wife can get her scores into at least the low to mid 700s by the time we apply-does that sound doable? I just hope its not too late to make improvements. My score rose pretty dramatically once I was approved for the Lowes/Cap One cards.