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My Post Chap 13 Rebuilding Thread

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  • My Post Chap 13 Rebuilding Thread

    I was discharged 30 days ago today and just checked my FICO score. I thought I'd start a thread to track what happens to my score over time. Anybody else who wants to use this thread for the same purpose is welcome to do so.

    My mortgage is an adjustable rate and I hope to refinance it in 2 years after my BK falls off my credit reports.

    First, my current credit situation:

    Credit Cards:
    • My husband's Visa with a $20K limit reports on my credit reports (he did not file BK) .
    • I have an American Express card with a $20K limit that survived BK which I just used for the first time last weekend and will pay in full. I had no balance on the card when I filed BK.
    • Discover still reports my pre-BK account as open with a $500 credit limit, but I still can't log on to my account online. I'll contact them eventually if that doesn't change.
    • I finally responded to one of the Barclay's credit card offers I've been receiving for the past 5 years and got a $1500 credit limit.
    Secured Loans:
    • Bank of America just started reporting my mortgage again and they have allowed me online access.
    • Citibank has showed my stripped mortgage as closed and included in Chap 13 soon after I filed and has not reported since.
    • Honda reports my car loan that was paid through the plan as closed with no delinquencies and a zero balance with no mention of the BK.


    CreditKarma shows my Equifax score as 742 and my Transunion score as 711, both considered as in the "good" range. They have increased a bit in the last couple of months and just this month went from "fair" to "good". My current credit utilization according to CreditKarma is 6%.

    A month before I filed BK, my FICO was somewhere between 650 and 675. My post BK FICO score as of 6/15 as provided by Barclays is 590.

    According to Barclays, the highest factor affecting my score is late payments, collections or public record. It is obviously the public record because there are no delinquencies. The second highest factor is too few accounts showing as currently paid as agreed. It will be interesting to see how quickly using and paying my 3 credit cards and continuing to pay my mortgage improves the second factor.

    So, to summarize:

    Pre BK FICO: 650-675
    FICO from Barclays as of 6/15/15: 590
    Equifax from CreditKarma as of 6/27/15: 742
    TransUnion from CreditKarma as of 6/27/15: 711

    Stay tuned...
    LadyInTheRed is in the black!
    Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
    $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

  • #2
    Any updates?

    Comment


    • #3
      I'll update this weekend.
      LadyInTheRed is in the black!
      Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
      $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

      Comment


      • #4
        Provided by Barclays? It's possible they are using an old dataset. When getting my mortgage, they went through Equifax Mortgage Services. There were some things on my credit report they had questions on. So I went to the big 3 and pulled my reports. The accounts in question did not appear on the rports I pulled (these were all run the same day). 30 days later, lender pulls credit again. Accounts in question no longer appeared.

        Comment


        • #5
          Update:
          FICO from Barclays as of 7/15/15: 649 (up from 590)
          Equifax from CreditKarma as of 8/14/15: 727 (down from 742)
          TransUnion from CreditKarma as of 8/14/15: 695 (down from 711)

          So, FICO went up but the CreditKarma scores went down.

          kmjatl, as you can see, the Barclays FICO score is a month behind. I can't see the details of the FICO score, but it is based on my TransUnion report which I can view on CreditKarma. Everything is correct on the report and the only thing that has changed over the last few months is the new card and the utilization rates. Barclays doesn't say which version of FICO it is using. My understanding is that you can never know for sure that FICO a lender gets is going to be the same you or another lenders pulls the same day. All you can do is get your reports as pristine as possible before actually applying for credit.

          The fact that FICO went up while CreditKarma went down very well may be timing. My credit utilization went up because I bought a refrigerator on the Barclay's card when mine stopped working. I have an introductory rate of 0% and decided to keep the balance on that card even though I have savings to pay it off. CreditKarma points out that the utilization on that card is above 60%. Barclays update isn't recent enough to include that. Also, my overall utilization went from 9% to 11%. I just made a payment to Barclays to get below 50% utilization. We are using another card for all of our daily purchases to get points and the balance was high at the 7/25 closing date. It will be lower on 8/25. It will be interesting to see what happens as the utilization rates drop.
          LadyInTheRed is in the black!
          Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
          $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

          Comment


          • #6
            Time for another update:

            FICO from Barclays as of 10/15/15: 664 (up from 649)
            Equifax VantageScore from CreditKarma as of 10/31/15: 746 (up from 727 and previous post-bk high of 742)
            TransUnion VantageScore from CreditKarma as of 10/31/15: 717 (up from 695 and previous post-bk high of 711)

            My overall utilization is down to 5% on Equifax and 1% on Transunion. The difference is that Equifax has the info from a 10/28 statement, but TransUnion is using the 9/28 statement. In September I paid off most of the balance before the statement came out, so the utilization was low.

            The utilization on my Barclays card is now below 30%. So, according to CreditKarma, the only high impact credit score factor that is not "excellent" is the BK on my credit report which makes the "derogatory marks" factor fair. The medium and low impact factors are either good or excellent. I think getting the utilization down on that one card is what is mostly responsible for the increases.

            I've received a couple of pre-screened mortgage refi offers, including one from Quicken Loans at 2.875% for a 15 year FHA loan. I just got a notice that my mortgage rate is adjusting from 2.75% to 3.125% on December 1. I just may have to find out if I can really get that rate from Quicken Loans.
            Last edited by LadyInTheRed; 10-31-2015, 05:42 PM.
            LadyInTheRed is in the black!
            Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
            $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

            Comment


            • #7
              The one year anniversary of my discharge was last week. It seems like a good time to post an update:

              My FICO from Barclays stayed at 664 since October, except for 10 point jump in March, only to drop again April and stay at 664 until 6/2/17when it increased to683.

              Equifax VantageScore from CreditKarma, which was 746 in October, went down to 745 the next month then varied between 745 and 744, except for March when it went to 748, then back to 744 in April and745 in May where it remains as of 6/2/16.

              TransUnion VantageScore from CreditKarma which was 717 in October, decreased to 714 in November and bounced around from 708 to 715 and was at 712 in May. On 6/2/16 it went to 735.

              FICO from Barclays: 683
              Equifax Vantage Score: 745
              TransUnion VantageScore: 735

              My overall utilization as stayed below 10%. But, one card occasionally goes to 11 or 12%. That could be why the reason for small variances and probably was the reason for the 10 point FICO drop in April.

              Barclay's tells me that my FICO score is low because too few accounts are showing as currently paid as agreed. I have been using 3 different credit cards. Having a 4th doesn't seem to make much sense. I guess a car loan would help. That is a possibility because my husband and I are thinking we don't really want to have a truck anymore and could sell ours or trade it in for enough money to get something else and finance only a very small portion.

              What will help most is another year passing and my Chap 13 disappearing from the report.
              LadyInTheRed is in the black!
              Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
              $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

              Comment


              • #8
                After posting the above, I decided to apply for an American Express card. I have a Costco American Express card that was the only card to survive my BK. It had no balance when I filed. The contract between American Express and Costco expires later this month, so my Costco American Express is being replaced by a Visa (fortunately, the long credit history will pass to the Visa account). I like some of the American Express benefits and CreditKarma said I had a very good chance of being approved, so I decided to apply. I got instant approval with a $20,000 credit line. My Costco American Express also has a $20,000 credit line that will be transferred to the Costco Visa. My Barclays card has a $3200 credit line and I also have a card on my husband's Chase account that has a $20K limit and shows up on my credit reports.

                CreditKarma says that adding a card with a $20K limit will increase my TransUnion Vantage Score by one point because it will reduce my overall utilization. It will be interesting how the inquiry and new line affects my scores in the next couple of months.

                This post may sound like I am becoming reinfected with credit card fever. Don't worry! My husband and I have started charging all of our expenses on credit cards and paying them off each month in order to accumulate points. We have been doing this the entire year since my discharge without falling into old habits of living beyond our means. We are also building a savings and I continue to contribute to my 401k. The biggest change from getting the new card is that I will start using my American Express instead of my husband's Chase card. So, we will keep the Chase utilization lower since he is the only one who will use it. My biggest goal is having as high a score as I can a year from now when my BK drops of my credit report so that I can get a good mortgage rate.

                For those building their own credit: One important factor that may have helped me get approved, in addition to the fact that I have had an American Express account for over 12 years with no late payments, is that I have retirement and savings accounts with a total value that fits into their $100K-$250K range in that question on the application.

                Also, American Express gives me a free FICO that I was previously unaware of. It is a FICO 8 score based on my Experian report (the Barclays score is based on TransUnion). It is 679 as of May 11th, down from 682 on March 19th. The 1 year anniversary of my discharge was May 27th, so it will be interesting to see the next update.

                The best new development is that I now have free access to two of my 3 FICO scores!
                LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

                Comment


                • #9
                  A quick update on my current scores:

                  Transunion FICO: 686 (up from 664 in June and 590 a year before that, right after my discharge)
                  Experian FICO: 689 (up from 679 in May)
                  Equifax FICO: 703 (down from 719 in August, probably because of increase in utilization)
                  CreditKarma Transunion VantageScore: 733 (down from 735 in June)
                  CreditKarma Equifax VantageScore: 742 (down from 745 in June)

                  Both CreditKarma scores bounce up and down a point or two each month, staying in the range shown here. The only thing that really changes is utilization. My overall utilization has stayed below 10%, but I have one card that tends to be around 15% to 20%.

                  My Equifax report shows more accounts than Transunion and Experian which decreases my utilization and increases my the average account age and includes my paid off car loan. So, I think that explains why that FICO is higher than Transunion and Experian.

                  I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in about 6 months when the BK is off my credit reports.
                  LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                  Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                  $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LadyInTheRed View Post
                    I was discharged 30 days ago today and just checked my FICO score. I thought I'd start a thread to track what happens to my score over time. Anybody else who wants to use this thread for the same purpose is welcome to do so.

                    My mortgage is an adjustable rate and I hope to refinance it in 2 years after my BK falls off my credit reports.

                    First, my current credit situation:

                    Credit Cards:
                    • My husband's Visa with a $20K limit reports on my credit reports (he did not file BK) .
                    • I have an American Express card with a $20K limit that survived BK which I just used for the first time last weekend and will pay in full. I had no balance on the card when I filed BK.
                    • Discover still reports my pre-BK account as open with a $500 credit limit, but I still can't log on to my account online. I'll contact them eventually if that doesn't change.
                    • I finally responded to one of the Barclay's credit card offers I've been receiving for the past 5 years and got a $1500 credit limit.

                    Secured Loans:
                    • Bank of America just started reporting my mortgage again and they have allowed me online access.
                    • Citibank has showed my stripped mortgage as closed and included in Chap 13 soon after I filed and has not reported since.
                    • Honda reports my car loan that was paid through the plan as closed with no delinquencies and a zero balance with no mention of the BK.



                    CreditKarma shows my Equifax score as 742 and my Transunion score as 711, both considered as in the "good" range. They have increased a bit in the last couple of months and just this month went from "fair" to "good". My current credit utilization according to CreditKarma is 6%.

                    A month before I filed BK, my FICO was somewhere between 650 and 675. My post BK FICO score as of 6/15 as provided by Barclays is 590.

                    According to Barclays, the highest factor affecting my score is late payments, collections or public record. It is obviously the public record because there are no delinquencies. The second highest factor is too few accounts showing as currently paid as agreed. It will be interesting to see how quickly using and paying my 3 credit cards and continuing to pay my mortgage improves the second factor.

                    So, to summarize:

                    Pre BK FICO: 650-675
                    FICO from Barclays as of 6/15/15: 590
                    Equifax from CreditKarma as of 6/27/15: 742
                    TransUnion from CreditKarma as of 6/27/15: 711

                    Stay tuned...
                    you are a inspiration LadyInTheRed, I cant wait until I can do that. It is something to pray and look forward to. God Bless you!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi, I wanted to add my experience so far rebuilding from Chapter 7. My situation was a little different in that my journey toward BK started with a divorce in 2011/2012. At that time I realized I wasn't going to be able to pay off my cards and cancelled all of them so I've had a long period with no cards. A foreclosure followed so I have that strike as well. I really didn't want to file but realized there wasn't another way out after I racked up some big medical bills in 2013-2014 due to crappy insurance (none of these actually appear on my credit report, thank goodness).
                      I ended up waiting to file until this year (May 2016) and was discharged October 6, 2016. I began checking my credit scores right away to see where I stood. They were in the low 500s (FICO and Vantage) but jumped up by 80 some points when my discharge was reported.

                      I decided to get some cards to move things along. Please understand my relationship with credit is a completely different animal now. Before I really had no idea what went into a credit score and only knew from our mortgage refi paperwork that it was in the mid 700s. I also operated under the belief that there would always be money to pay on my cards and that I could catch up when I wanted to. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I see my cards now as tools to get me what I need- a good score so I can get a better rate on a car and eventually a house. It's not "fun money" and if I don't have the cash in hand to back it up, I don't use them. I don't buy what I don't need and I don't spend more than I would if I were paying cash.

                      I know there are those who scorn store cards, and more specifically, Comenity cards, but so far it's working for me. I used the Shopping Cart trick to get a Victoria's Secret and Overstock cards. There are definitely "toy" limits ($250 and $750, respectively) but my goal was just to start a positive history. I made a purchase with both of them, keeping my utilization at 5% and let them report before paying off immediately. I likely will not use the Victoria's Secret again for a while and may use the OS card occasionally. Following that, I received email pre-qualifications for Meijer and Ulta. I do 80% of my grocery shopping at Meijer and they offer 10 cents off a gallon of gas at their stations. I took both of those and am done with store cards. The have used the Meijer card a lot, but go straight to the service desk to make a payment and watch the reporting date to keep utilization down. I'm currently at 6% for all.

                      In the midst of all that, I pre-qualified for a Capital One Platinum card and took it. They gave me a $3000 limit which was a pleasant surprise since they were IIB AND it was only days from my discharge.

                      I am now working the cards, watching my scores, waiting out credit line increases, and making sure my credit reports are correct. For some reason, my student loan is still showing up with a late payment in October on all bureaus and still IIB on Experian so if that doesn't self-correct when they report at the end of the month, I'll dispute it. Capital One has yet to report and I understand that could take a while. My scores this morning from MyFICO (FICO 8) are: EQ: 679 (good) TU: 653 (fair) EX: 660 (fair)

                      I'm feeling pretty hopeful and happy about progress so far (about 5 weeks out of BK) and can't wait to see what the corrections and addition of a "real" credit card will do to my scores. The simulations show good news ahead. Never thought I'd find all this fun but it's nice to be in control of my credit, rather than it controlling me!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Update for me -
                        Today's scores from MyFICO, about 7 weeks from discharge:
                        EQ: 684 (Good)
                        TU: 673 (Good)
                        EX: 675 (Good)

                        Rolling along!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Time for an update.

                          In November, my husband and I traded in our truck for $13K, put part of the money towards a new car and the rest paid off the 401k loan I used to buy the truck when another was totaled during my BK. That resulted in a car payment of $100 more than the payments I was making on the 401k loan which I can easily handle. Because the new car is a plug in hybrid, I got a cash rebate from the state and a large federal income tax credit. So far so good. BUT......

                          Anticipating the rebate and a large tax refund, I started Christmas shopping on a card that was still in a 0% introductory period for purchases. My friend also had a destination wedding in January the same week as my birthday, so I spent a little money to extend what would have been a weekend trip to a 4 night trip. I also got a Macy's charge card to get some great discounts. (I paid that off right away). As you might expect, I got a little carried away and spent more than the rebate and tax refund. Barclay's offered me 0% for 18 months on balance transfers. So when, I got the rebate and tax refund, I paid off all but $3,000, applied for and received a credit limit increase on the Barclays card from $3,000 to $9,000 and transferred the $3,000 to Barclays.

                          So, for a while, my utilization went above 10% on all cards combined and above 30% on 2 cards. I added two new trade lines (car loan and Macy's card) and 2 hard inquiries and increased my available credit by $6,000. I paid off the cards in the last couple of days, so my scores do not yet reflect the decreased utilization. So, it seems like a good time to record my scores and see what happens when the lower utilization hits my report and then when my BK is gone after April 30.


                          Transunion FICO: 700 as of 1/9/17 (up from 686 in October).
                          Experian FICO: 695 as of 2/4/17 (up from 689 in October after dropping to 673 in December)
                          Equifax FICO: 715 as of 1/24/17(up from 703 in October and never dropping )
                          CreditKarma Transunion VantageScore: 714 as of 2/12/17 (down from 733 in October)
                          CreditKarma Equifax VantageScore: 719 as of 2/12/16 (down from 742 in October)

                          It's interesting that my FICO scores are all at all time highs, while the VantageScores dropped as a result of my recent activity. I would say the VantageScores more accurately reflect the changes in my creditworthiness. If I continued down the path I was headed, I could easily have ended up back into troubles. But, FICO apparently likes seeing me carrying balances.

                          So, as I scold myself for excessive spending and resolve to go back to my budget and get that Barclay's card paid off before the rate goes to 25%,hHere is an overview of my Equifax report which is more up to date than Transunion:

                          Total accounts reporting: 20. This is recently down by 5 because my pre-bk accounts are starting to fall off.
                          Open Accounts: 6, including 1 mortgage, 3 credit cards in my name, 1 card in my husband's name that I am an authorized user on, and 1 car loan
                          Hard Inquiries: 3 (1 for the car loan, 1 for the credit line increase and one for a mortgage refi shopping).
                          Age of Credit History: 4 years, 5 months (without the one card that survived the BK and my husband's card, this would be less than a year)
                          Total Credit Card Limits: $70,200
                          Total Credit Card Balances: $11,641
                          Individual credit card utilization: 40%, 34%, 2%, 1%, 0%
                          Total credit card utilization: 17%
                          One time payments: 100%
                          Derogatory marks: 1 that will disappear in a little over 2 months!

                          Even though I regret my credit card activity, it is more than balanced by a $10,000 CD that was exempt in my BK and about $2,000 in my savings account. With that and about $250K in equity in my home, LadyInTheRed is still in the black!

                          kberly69 , how are you doing?
                          LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                          Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                          $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My BK is gone from my reports. Here are my credit scores from within the last couple of days compared to the last scores I have available. I am including the upper end of each scoring system because I think it is relevant in comparing the different scores.

                            Transunion FICO: 825 of 850 (up from 700)
                            Experian FICO: 790 of 850 (up from 695)
                            Equifax FICO: 841 of 900 (up from 729)
                            Transunion Vantagescore: 723 of 850 (up from 714, but down from a prior high of 733)
                            Equifax Vantagescore: 800 of 850 (up from 719)

                            According to the comments on the credit card company sites giving me the scores, my recent car loan is hurting me a bit. From my research, they want to see that the original balance has been decreased. If I knew that, I might have taken more cash from the trade in and paid it towards the loan after the purchase instead of using it as a down payment. In the long run I think the loan will help more than it hurts now. The other factor they say is affecting my score is that I have balances on too many cards. I'm paying all but one off every month, but I choose which card I use based on the points I will get for a specific purchase. I'm using 3 cards on a regular basis. I'll either have to rethink that or start paying off the balances before the billing period ends. I'm only really concerned about getting the scores higher between now and when I refi my mortgage. I pretty satisfied with these scores otherwise.

                            I guess my credit is rebuilt!
                            LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                            Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                            $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LadyInTheRed View Post
                              My BK is gone from my reports. Here are my credit scores from within the last couple of days compared to the last scores I have available. I am including the upper end of each scoring system because I think it is relevant in comparing the different scores.

                              Transunion FICO: 825 of 850 (up from 700)
                              Experian FICO: 790 of 850 (up from 695)
                              Equifax FICO: 841 of 900 (up from 729)
                              Transunion Vantagescore: 723 of 850 (up from 714, but down from a prior high of 733)
                              Equifax Vantagescore: 800 of 850 (up from 719)

                              According to the comments on the credit card company sites giving me the scores, my recent car loan is hurting me a bit. From my research, they want to see that the original balance has been decreased. If I knew that, I might have taken more cash from the trade in and paid it towards the loan after the purchase instead of using it as a down payment. In the long run I think the loan will help more than it hurts now. The other factor they say is affecting my score is that I have balances on too many cards. I'm paying all but one off every month, but I choose which card I use based on the points I will get for a specific purchase. I'm using 3 cards on a regular basis. I'll either have to rethink that or start paying off the balances before the billing period ends. I'm only really concerned about getting the scores higher between now and when I refi my mortgage. I pretty satisfied with these scores otherwise.

                              I guess my credit is rebuilt!
                              LadyinRed now Lady way in the BLACK! Great post timeline! I have been searching this website for just this type of post for helping me establish my credit once we get our discharge paperwork from the Trustee. Impatiently waiting.......

                              My pre-Chapter 13 credit scores NOV 2012

                              TransUnion: 520
                              Equifax: 650
                              Experian: 625

                              One Month from Discharge April 2017

                              TransUnion: 583
                              Experian: NO SCORE NO REPORTING????
                              Equifax: 653

                              Signed up for the credit monitoring service with Experian looked at my credit report and saw that the previous dismissals were removed except for the newest and my current ch13 which should drop in December 2018. Wells Fargo is only reporting to Equifax and I have two car loans that were part of my current Chapter 13 plan from Carmax that are now paid in full. Called today for the titles and they replied that they will send them out after receiving the Discharge Letter. Would like to lower my insurance to Liability on one and keep Full Coverage on the 09 Taurus.

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