Good credit could always be better?

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Rifleman, Sep 25, 2001.

  1. Rifleman

    Rifleman Member

    Long time reader, first time poster! It is a very interesting forum and I have learned alot of reading your discussions. Thank you very much!

    I have some questions about my family's personal finances and I would appreciate any advice on how to improve it.

    I belive that I have a pretty good creditline, but "good" can always become "better". I have also some concerns about my wife's future creditworthiness.

    I am a foreign national and have only lived in the United States for four years. Before my wife and I got married in 1997, she had to file for BK with around $35.000 in bad debts (one of her so called friend borrowed $20.000 on my wife's credit cards and never paid her back)

    Because of my complete lack of a credit history and my wife's BK, it was almost impossible for us to get any credit for two years. The only credit we had for two years were a secured Capital One card ($300) and a Texaco gas card ($100).

    After I had been serving in the military for one year (2/00), my creditworthiness magically appeared to have jumped from "poor" to "excellent" because credit card offers started to flood in.

    I have today the following credit cards (dates,lines, and rates are my estimations from memory):

    Military Star (Retail), Line: $2,500 @ 12.99%, Open: 10/99
    Direct Merchants (MC Platinum), Line: $5,500 @ 14.99%, Open: 3/00
    Citibank (MC Platinum), Line: $8,000 @ 12.99%, Open: 8/00
    American Express (Blue), Line: $3,800 @ 10,99%, Open: 3/01
    First USA (Visa Platinum), Line: $6,000 @ 13,99%. Open: 6/01

    I am currently not carrying any balance on the cards at all. My wife is a joint account holder of only the Direct Merchants Bank card and none of the others.

    We have also have the following loans to pay off:

    Car loan, $12,000 @ 6.99%, 5 yrs, ($16,000 in 9/00)
    Student loan, $8,000 @ 7.5%, 5 yrs ($13,000 in 6/99)

    Our repayments on both loans are higher than the minimum and we are expecting to have both loans repayed at least a year before the final due dates.

    Our annual household income is around $50,000. We are living in government quarters, so we do not have any regulary montly expenses besides food, cable, phone, insurance, gas, and our two loans.

    I got my creditreport from Experian the other day. It has nothing negative on it and everything appears o be in order. The only hard inquiry on the report is from 9/00 when I got my car loan.

    Now, over to my questions:

    I'm hardly using more than maybe 10% of my current creditline, so is there any reason for me to wanting to improve my credit?

    My wife's credit has been badly damaged because of the BK in 1997. The only credit she currently has is the joint account at Direct Merchants Bank. The student loan is also in her name.

    How can I help her to improve her creditrating and get good credit? I do not want to leave her with poor credit if it happens that I never comes back home again from a future war.

    Thanks for your time and I am looking forward to any comments and answers on my questions.
  2. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member

    Yours really sound pretty good. Have you checked your scores? That is supposed to be the measure - of course you know how we feel about them, hehe.

    If I were you, I would go to work on the wife's credit. Have you checked her report? Does she have any derogs showing besides the bk? Maybe we can come up with a card she could get in her own name.
  3. matty61184

    matty61184 Well-Known Member

    You could try the GetSmart Visa. It's very easy to get their card, but there is a chance if she's approved for the classic there could be fees, as well as a higher interest rate. Another good company is Capital One. They are actually better. I have had a card with them for a little over a year. In that time, they have brought my interest rate down from 19.8 to 12.9% and to a $1,000 credit line from $500. Make sure you look at both and consider the costs involved. It may take a little investment at first, but once she has made 6 months worth of timely payments, she will be on her way to excellent credit! Good luck!
  4. Rifleman

    Rifleman Member

    I haven't checked my wife's report since 1998 (got one for free) but it was in pretty bad shape at that time. She had derogs on at least 5 credit cards leading up to the BK. She tried debt management through Ameridebt but the payments were still too high (40% of her monthly income). There should be no derogs whatsoever after the BK in 1997.

    After the BK she has had two credit cards in her name only, both secured Capital One cards. We did however cancel both cards after I recieved my high limit, no annual fee, platinum cards. Capital One offered to raise the limits to $500 if she kept them, but we had gotten tired of the annual fees and closed the accounts.

    My wife is the joint account holder on the Direct Merchants Platinum Card. How much impact does a joint account (in good standing) have on the credit worthiness for somebody with bad credit? I do not know if AMEX, Citi, and FUSA offers joint accounts, but if they do.... would it be wise for me to add her to my accounts as a joint holder instead of just having her as an authorized user?

    I am having problems convincing her to spend any money on improving her credit worthiness. She feels that my good credit is the only thing we need and that I shouldn't waste money on credit reports and FICO scores. I need some good arguments to convince her that it would be worth the money and that she needs to have good credit.

    In any case... I think that I could convince her to apply for a credit card in her name only. It would, however, have to be an unsecured and no annual fees card with a credit limit of at least $1,000. It should have regular increases of the credit limit without greater hassle. None of us are willing to pay an annual fee for a credit card.
  5. creditwork

    creditwork Well-Known Member

    My biggest argument in obtaining better credit is "credit can be used to earn money". You must improve your credit when you don't need it. When you need it, it will be too late. I convinced my girlfriend back in 1996 to improve her credit, she took me up on it and now has over $100,000 in available credit, by the way she is now my wife and a part owner of CreditWorks, LLC, the company built on credit to improve credit.
  6. Rifleman

    Rifleman Member

    I took the advantage of the 30-days free trial from CreditExperts to find out my score and get a credit report for my wife. I know that the CE score is not the same as the FICO score, but at least it will give me a guidance on where I am standing.

    My current CE score is 708 points with 10 accounts in good standing and no derogs. I have had a total of 5 hard inquiry during the last two years. Looks like the only thing I can do to improve my score is to let my current creditlines mature (most of them are less than two years old.)

    My wife's CE score is 657 points with 11 accounts in good standing and 8 negative items (from before the BK). She have only had one hard inquiry during the last two years. Everything seems to be correct with the exception of one thing.

    According to Credit Expert she has one current derog for the amount of $9,000 past due. I looked at her credit report and found that Household Bank seems to have posted incorrect information in her creditfile.

    Her account with Household Bank was included in her 1997 bankruptcy and duly discharged. However, the creditor has reported it as the following:

    "Account charged off/Past due 60 days. $9,000 written off. $9,000 past due as of 2-1999."

    In her creditreport it looks like she is still past due with her payment to Household Bank and it really drags down her score.

    What is the best way to tackle this problem... shall I put it in dispute or do something else?

    BTW... thanks for all help so far! :)
  7. Rifleman

    Rifleman Member

  8. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member

    Yes, dispute with CRA's first. Should be "included in bk."
  9. Rifleman

    Rifleman Member

    What's going on here?

    My wife's account with UCS/UNIVERSAL Card Services were discharged in her BK in 1997, but the CCC seems to still be reporting it with $0 balance and as "paid as of 09/2001." The account history states: "Discharged Through BK Ch 7, 11, or 12 09/02/2001 to 09/02/2001."

    Same story with ANBCC. Last reported in 08/2001 with $0 balance as of 08/2001. Account history stateds "Debt included in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy 06/11/2000 to 08/10/2001."

    Will this reporting as any impact on her score and date when it will drop out of her record?
  10. Rifleman

    Rifleman Member


    I disputed the incorrect "past due" on my wife's report and Experian changed it to "included in BK and $0 past due". Now everything seems to be correct on her Experian report, however the change did not seem to have had any impact on her CE score. It has actually dropped 10 pts to 647 for some reason since I first checked the score.

    When my wife filed for BK her Exxon card was not included in it. It was our intentions to keep the card and use it to pay for gas. However, Exxon decided on its own to close her account and charge off the $40 that was owned. Now the Exxon account is in her report as a $40 charge-off and robbing her of valueable points. Can I do anything about this somewhat unfair derog?

    I still trying to figure out why both my wife and mine credit score has dropped with 10 points each. The creditreport looks almost the same with just a little bit less monthly balance. Does CreditExperts own inquires have any impact on the CE score?

    Thanks in advance for any reply.


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