newbie here in need of help
/wave, glad to have found these forums!
Here's my story: I've been in grad school forever, and slowly accumulated a lot of credit card debt whenever I had to move or emergencies came up (grad student stipends only cover enough for food and shelter). I also had pay gaps over the summers, or through university book keeping blips, and each of those resulted in late CC payments. I managed to keep my head above water, never went to collections, kept everything paid, just had 30 and 60 day dings and maxed out cards. I also acquired a couple of 90 days dings on my Perkins loan since that debt often was the last to get paid since they didn't call and harass me.
I didn't think my score would be that bad since nothing went to collections and everything is now current. I knew I would eventually have a real job to pay down the CC's. I didn't think my score would be that bad, I was wrong. I'm in the 520-550 range, lowest 5% :( I should be able to pay off the credit cards within a year, my debt to available credit ratio is horrible, but my debt to income ratio isn't too bad (but I guess FICO doesn't use that). I know it was a stupid thing to do, but I had a "do what it takes to get through grad school, and deal with the consequences later."
Cleaning all of this up seems overwhelming, my score is too low to even rent a decent place, much less buy, which is pretty depressing since I have always paid rent on time. I've gotten my 3 credit reports, written letters to fix my address and work info. I've started to write goodwill letters to see how that plays out. I've decided to start there since I am much better at using honey than being demanding. Can anyone offer advice on a goodwill letter for a Perkins loan? Any other advice is greatly appreciated!
You need to address the issues as well through the credit reporting agencies. Goodwill letters are one approach but, they do not often work. This is particularly true with multiple lates.
In addition, and as you've already stated, pay down the balances are quickly as possible. That will help moreso than anything else.
Thanks for the advice apex. In writing dispute letters, would the following count as an inconsistency one could use to remove a ding?
In several places on my Perkins loan report, the following sequence appears:
OK 60 days 60 days 120 days
How can one go from OK to 60 days in a month, or 60 days to 120 days in a month? In the summary of lates on myFICO, these 120 days are listed as 90 days.
Does that make sense?
No, it certainly doesn't make sense and that is what you need to apply in your letters to the credit reporting agencies.
Pinpoint the inaccuracies just like you've already done.