I’m new here but have been wandering for a while, reading and watching these forums. They are absolutely wonderful and have helped me to make some smart credit decisions as I rebuild. I wish I had found them before applying for my first CC in many years, but oh well lesson learned!
I could really use some suggestions, advice, etc. on several things. I’ll try and keep this to the point and not ramble.
First off some history. I had 2 old unpaid collections that were from my early 20’s and suffice to say made some bad decisions. With a hit-n-run that soon followed you can imagine that didn’t help and so they sat. The 2 CC’s were from Cap1, both I believe were $ 500.00 limits. Midland Funding and LVNV Funding had the accounts and when disputed because they were well past SOL and 7 1/2 years they were removed off my reports. Back then I also had a Target Redcard, and a PayPal GE Pay Later account, both were $ 300.00 limits. 2 medical bills also fell off last year. One was for $ 671 and the other $ 336. The SOL is way past as I am here in CA.
I have a car loan through Acura that was opened in Feb/2007 that I was co-signed with my father on. It was paid off and closed around May/2013. Across the CRA’s the lates aren’t matching up and I’m seeing 8 – 30 days on EQ, with a $ 0 balance but Current Status shows 61-90 days. It is showing as a Closed Installment account. This is off my actual credit report that I pulled on the 02/01/16. Now on CCT with EQ it’s showing Status of Open and Payment Status Late which just confuses me. Should I contact Acura about the payment discrepancies or just let it be? Now I know some of the 30 days did occur but they aren’t matching up across the 3 CRA’s.
I had an old CC that was from a CU back in 2002. It’s been closed since 2008, had only $ 1000 on it. At the time I paid and closed it. It was only reporting to EQ.
( Off of EQ report ) Length of Credit History 13 Years, 9 Months / Average Account Age 7 Years, 9 Months
CK showed a “Very Good” for the Cap1 Q1 and I wanted to start rebuilding asap so I went ahead and applied online in Sept 2015. At the time I wasn’t reading these forums so I didn’t realize that their scoring may be inaccurate, but still knew it was no 100%. I was hesitatant because of the past history with my 2 CC’s with them but low and behold I was approved for it with a $ 500 limit. Obviously I was excited and happy that they gave me another chance. I am on their credit steps program and the e-mail shows a $ 250 increase in March. After reading here though I didn’t realize requesting a CLI was a SP and to possibly do it after the 3rd statement mark. So I waited till this month Feb and got approved for a $ 1000.00 increase! I accepted it. My util right now is at 9% and I am paying off what I spend before statement date. I intend to leave it at the 9% at the end of every month.
Since opening that account I have received pre-qualified offers in the mail. Back in November I did get 2 from Capital One to apply for their Platinum card and I had decided to wait it out so they have expired. Now I’ve been reading on the forums that a sweet spot is 3 cards? When checking the pre-qual site on Cap1 it’s pulling up the Platinum and “We Also Suggest” Q1 Rewards.
I have also gotten one from AMEX. It expires the 16th. It’s for the AMEX EveryDay with no annual, 20% more rewards points, 22.99 apr. The pre-qual site is showing “We Recommend” (which I read is not a pre-qual) but for the same card it’s no interest for 12 months and Get 15,000 Points after you spend $ 1,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months .I don’t see that on my mail offer.
The ones I’m getting most frequently are from Chase. I do have a chase chking/savings account. When checking the pre-qual site it’s not showing me any offers but I just got 2 more earlier this week in the mail. One is for the Freedom, 0% Intro for 15 months, 5% cash back in bonus cats, no annual, $ 150 bonus after you spend $ 500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening… turns into a variable 18.99 apr. Offer expires March 3rd. The next one is the Slte. 0% for 15 months, after that 22.99%, no annual fee. Fee monthly FICO… Expires March 15th. And some Disney Visa, which I don’t visit at all really so don’t think that one really applies.
I haven’t recieved any Discover offers in the mail, but I did check the site. It shows “Your Personalized Offer” and “Here’s the Card We Found for You”. Discover It, No Annual, 0% Intro for 12 months.. then 11.24-23.24% APR, then the cashback bonuses. Not sure if this is an actual pre-qual or not.
I listed these because I’m not sure where to go from here. I won’t be making any big loan purchases (car, mortgage) for at least a few years. I’m not sure if I should wait on applying for more cards or apply for 1 or 2 of these offers. I don’t really take a lot of trips (flying) so those rewards are kinda useless to me. I just joined CCT today to try it out, check my reports etc. EX and EQ updated with my new Q1 balance but TU hasn’t.. so the score is lower. I’ve been using CK to this day exclusively and reading up on FAKO’s I decided it was time to see my FICO’s or at least a good idea of them. I wish I would have written down my scores in Sept. and got some FICO ones before I applied, but they have probably gone up and I’m watching them now.
One more thing. I got a collection notice from BYL. I had purchased a Total Gym back in 2014 around August and had only 8 montly payments. I made my payments and took note to look and make sure in my financial books that it was paid.. Well a week ago I recieve some bill from BYL Collections out of PA that I owe Total Gym $ 570. I thought no way! They listed a settlement on the paper for half that amount $ 285. Since it was late Friday when I got the notice and they are closed on the weekends I had to wait till last Monday to contact them. I pulled my CR’s to make sure nothing was on there and don’t see anything. I called them and spoke to a rep who told me that’s how much I owe them. He told me that his notes showed I called in February 2015 to let them know I would be mailing in a check to make my payments to them. Which I told him isn’t true, I don’t use checks. (Which I don’t even have any so I know it’s impossible, I just don’t use them). I told him that they needed to mail me in writing an invoice to show when and how much/payments were made, etc. I still have not recieved anything in the mail. I had asked and he told me that BYL just does their billing and neither of them report to the CRA’s. I tried finding out any info on BYL and no searches came up with them regarding Total Gym and collections. The only things I found were Southwest energy/utility bills which are based in PA.
Now I did explain to them that last year our home was broken into. (which it was)… my laptop was stolen, along with many other things including financial documents, cards, etc. All of those accounts were closed/changed over immediately and any bills were moved over as well. There also was a big $ 342 payment we made to Total Gym and they he said they don’t see it at all. Any of the records I had for paying them I will have to go into the bank and try and get since those accounts were long closed and the history to be able to search online or anything is long gone with them. The $ 342 was long after the fact (April 2015) so they should have been paid off.
Now if I’m wrong and I missed a payment or two (I don’t trust this company at all) because of the break-in we had AND the fact that there is no way I would of called in to state oh yeah I’m gonna be mailing you a check, I know I need to be extra extra careful. I have no intention of giving them any money until I make sure I owe them anything. I don’t want anything to hit my report and I know I’ll have some fight on my hands if they do since they don’t seem legitimate at all. I want to get something in writing from them stating that if paid (if they aren’t PIF already) before I give them anything that they will not report to the CRA’s, etc etc…. but if I can’t even get an invoice from them then I wonder how that’s going to be.
I really appreciate you all taking the time to read my post and offer what you can. This forum has been immensely helpful and I look forward to being a daily member and contributor. While I don’t condone my previous history with the collections I had, I will not be making the same mistakes again and I look forward to a healthier credit life.