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My Post Chap 13 Rebuilding Thread

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  • #16
    Lady - Cogratulations for being bk free on your credit reports now!!!! Are you still looking at buying a new home?
    Filed Chapter 13 - 07/20/12
    Discharged 8/2/16


    • #17
      RetiredArmy, it will be interesting to see how your scores change 30 to 60 days after discharge.

      sophieanne, I am shopping for a refi of my variable rate mortgage with about $100K cash out to make some repairs and improvements. It is looking like I will be able to keep the payment about the same, but I will be 13 years further form paying off the mortgage. I will hopefully start paying it more quickly in a few years after the new car I bought is paid off. I am not one to replace cars often. I considered selling my home and buying something else, but I am not seeing anything in my price range in areas I would be interested in. Also, the real estate market in my area is very competitive and I am not sure I will be a successful bidder when I would have to include closing a sale on my home as a contingency. So, I hope to add a bathroom and some closet space and maybe an office and remodel the kitchen. We also need a new roof. I still don't know what I can do in my budget.
      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!


      • #18
        That actual;y sounds like fun Lady..taking your current home and making it better . Perhaps you should try and get on one of those home makever shows They could do a lot with your budget. Good luck as you move forward.
        Filed Chapter 13 - 07/20/12
        Discharged 8/2/16


        • #19
          Originally posted by LadyInTheRed View Post
          RetiredArmy, it will be interesting to see how your scores change 30 to 60 days after discharge.

          sophieanne, I am shopping for a refi of my variable rate mortgage with about $100K cash out to make some repairs and improvements. It is looking like I will be able to keep the payment about the same, but I will be 13 years further form paying off the mortgage. I will hopefully start paying it more quickly in a few years after the new car I bought is paid off. I am not one to replace cars often. I considered selling my home and buying something else, but I am not seeing anything in my price range in areas I would be interested in. Also, the real estate market in my area is very competitive and I am not sure I will be a successful bidder when I would have to include closing a sale on my home as a contingency. So, I hope to add a bathroom and some closet space and maybe an office and remodel the kitchen. We also need a new roof. I still don't know what I can do in my budget.
          This was the main reason why I was looking at this thread! After being financially up and down since 2007, I have had to put off some pretty drastically needed repairs. Had a major water leak that had been hiding behind the walls by the back door in our kitchen. Sub-floor rotted out, door frame rotted out, mold....then I had to remove the linoleum by the kitchen sink only discover even more water damage from the dishwasher and fridge. So, we have a bare floor with a home-made subfloor patch and base kitchen cabinets that are extremely water damaged.

          I already have a 3.75% interest rate after going through Wells Fargo VA Streamlined REFI program. My interest rate dropped from 8.75% to this current rate and now my total mortgage payment with Escrow and Homeowners Insurance is $670 a month. I started to look into the VA Cashout REFI which allows me to take out 100% of my equity for repairs, but the downside to this is having a much higher interest rate.

          I am going to start putting the money that had been going to the plan into my Savings Account and have about 3/4 months of gross income in this account. Also, I will use a separate account to begin my secured credit card with Navy Federal and USAA. I read a news article that talks about the new credit scoring model which focuses on CREDIT CARD UTILIZATION percentages.

          I helped my college student daughter obtain her secured credit card and had her use this card for all of her purchases. Then I made sure that she paid the entire balance in full every month. A couple of months through no fault of her own, she had to carryover her balance. She paid 2 to 3 times her minimum and when she got her scholarship money paid the card off. She surprised me a couple of months ago when she applied for a USED-CAR LOAN through Navy Federal. She was approved with a 4.25% interest rate!

          I am proud to have been able to TEACH by my SCREW UP and explain how finances work. Growing up, I never had family members or mentors to show me how to handle my finances and very early on in my military career found myself living paycheck to paycheck. NEVER AGAIN!


          • #20
            Originally posted by LadyInTheRed View Post
            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?

            Sorry, LIR, I missed this! Congratulations to you on your continued success!

            So, since I last reported in December, things are moving up nicely. Reminder, I was Chapter 7, pro se and my downhill slide to BK began with divorce, which led to unpaid credit cards (side note- no matter how bad you want the divorce to be over, be smart about who takes the debt), foreclosure, and the cherry on the poop sundae was developing chronic kidney stones which led to big ugly medical bills. I waited a while to file because I was scared of the whole process and didn't have the cash for an attorney. Mostly it was the fear. I am now a couple days shy of 7 months past discharge.

            I drive a lot for work and needed a new vehicle. The cost of maintaining what I had was beginning to exceed it's value. I was able to get a car loan from Capital One in January this year at 4.24% for 72 months. I went longer term to keep the payments down and throw in extra every month. After not having a payment for many years it was scary to take that on, but it's been fine. I started with their prequalification and was offered a range from 2.49- 9.9% on a max of $40K. I found a used (just off lease) 2014 Escape Titanium with like 7600 miles on it for under $20K all totaled. When I went to the dealer, he ran my credit and wasn't able to beat Capital One's rate. I was turned down by quite a few creditors. He did say my auto score was the highest he had seen in his 20 some years as a finance guy (I think it was 717-TU) for someone in my circumstances. So, yay! My score took a dip with the inquiries (still shows as multiple on TU) but as soon as the payments started to be made, the points were recovered.

            I was waiting patiently (ha!) for my Capital One Platinum Credit Steps to kick in at 6 months and the day after the 7th statement hit, I received my $500 increase. I was approved for $3K shortly after discharge and had upgraded my card to a Quicksilver at around 4 months. I had also requested a CLI in that timeframe and got another $300. As of the beginning of April, the total limit was $3,800. the same day I got the increase, I checked their prequalifier site for credit cards and I was pre-approved for a Quicksilver at about 7% less than the current card. I bit and watched through my fingers while it processed.....approved for a Quicksilver World Elite MasterCard at $10K with a $100 bonus and 9 months interest free. I seriously thought they made a mistake and kept waiting for the "OOPS" email. It was real! I also succumbed to the low hanging fruit Comenity has and have some of their store cards. I received some minor increases from them and have a total of $17K in available credit. Utilization is well under 10%. I'm actually making a little money with the cash back buying what I would have anyway.

            I also have student loans I have paid faithfully. I just changed my payment plan to "standard" because I realized there was no way I made enough qualifying payments to ever get it forgiven under Public Servant Loan Forgiveness and to make the payments qualify, they would be nearly double.

            So now I am at the very unsexy part of the rebuild where I spend wisely, pay on time, and watch my scores go up incrementally. I unsubscribed to my FICO scores because a) it's $30 a month and b) I don't need to know every little thing along the way. I'll make myself crazy. I'll pay again in a few months but for now, I'll take the free one from Discover and Experian (both EX).

            The other day I did get an interesting piece of mail offering me a mortgage for up to $400K (yeah right) at 7.125%. The bank is legit, gets good reviews, has a branch nearby and is based in my state. I know there are catches other than the high rate so I'm not taking it but it felt good to see something like that. My goal is to purchase the home I'm in (my parents own it - I pay the mortgage/taxes/insurance) by fall of 2018.This made me think I may be able to move on it sooner.

            Scores as of April 2017:
            EQ 702 (up 18 from December 2016- they seem to love me for some reason)
            TU 676 (up 3)
            EX 683 (up 8)

            The new Capital One card is not reporting yet, only the inquiries.

            There it is in a nutshell. It feels so good to know how far I've come and that I understand and control my credit now.
            It's been said before, but it is true that there is life after bankruptcy and I am finding I like it a lot better. Makes me wish I hadn't waited!


            • #21
              Now that I have reached my credit rating related goal by refinancing my mortgage into a fixed rate, I will give one last update since I am done rebuilding my credit.

              I am proof that people who say filing bankruptcy will forever ruin your credit are either ignorant or liars. I think there are some of both.

              I filed BK in April 2010 and was discharged in May 2015. The BK fell off my credit reports in March 2017, a month earlier than I expected.

              Scores from my original post in this thread:

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

              From my 10/27/16 post:

              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)

              Current Scores:

              Transunion FICO 8: 816 as of 6/9/17 (range is 300-850)
              Experian FICO as of 7/12/17: 796 (range is 300-825)
              Equifax FICO 8 as of 6/27/18: 837 (range is 250-900)
              Mortgage scores pulled on 6/10/17:
              Experian: 762 (range 320-844. My score is higher than 61% of US consumers)
              Transunion: 775 (range 309-839. My score is higher than 68% of US consumers)
              Equifax: 776 (range 334-818, My score is higher than 71% of US Consumers)
              Equifax Vantagescore from CreditKarma: 794 as of 7/29/17 (range is 300-850)
              TransUnion Vantagescore from CreditKarma 798 as of 7/29/17 (range is 300-850)

              Wow, in 2 years, my Transunion FICO 8 went from 590 to 816!

              Factors negatively affecting my score, according to reports pulled by the credit card companies and mortgage company, are too many inquiries in the last 12 months (9 of them: car loan, a Home Depot and Macy's charge card due to incentives offered, and several mortgage applications), proportion of loan balance to original balance (November car loan), too many recent inquiries (must be mortgage shopping) and balances on too many cards. But, none of those kept my scores from being high enough to qualify for he best mortgage rates. I did have to explain the recent inquiries to the underwriters. All of he inquiries they asked about, except the Home Depot card, was explained as "mortgage shopping". I told them that I applied for the HomeDepot card because of the instant discount they offered. I realized after I walked out off HomeDepot that night that adding that inquiry was not the best move when I was in the middle of mortgage applications.

              I do pay all credit card balances in full, except for one that is at 0%. I need to figure out which ones are more valuable for points and consolidate my use. But, now that I have refinanced my mortgage, have over $50K in revolving credit, a new car and a second car that is in good shape and that I plan to run into the ground, I don't really care if my scores improve. I have a feeling they will as long as I keep payments current and don't increase my utilization.
              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!


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