I found this forum and am thrilled to be among "kindredd spirits" -- if I may call you all that. My story: 1. Single Mom of 2. 2. Eldest son mentally challenged and medical problems (which caused the bankruptcies. I'm also his legal guardian) 3. Self-employed 5 years nows I learned yesterday that my credit score is 649 on Experian and 644 on Equifax. That's with 4 Publics showing -- a 9 year old Chpt 7 which will drop off in 10 months, 2 attempts at filing Chapter 13 in 2000 and 1999 (both dismissed recently) and a judgement. Three charge-offs (Progressive, which I dispute for $60, EXXON, which I ignorantly paid the collection agency instead of going back to the original creditor -- live and learn; and AT&T Cable. What's keeping my score from being in the 300's is my previous good credit (several personal loans "Paid as Agreed/never late" totally some $20,000, and that fact that I'm a homeowner (although no where on any of the online reports does it say so. Confusing, since both times they had me verify the date of the mortgage, before showing me the credit report.) My first venture back into the credit world. 1) Negotiated my mortgage and arrears into the note starting June 2001 -- with Chase Mortgage. 2) Couple of weeks ago I got a preapproved for Gold MasterCard from Capitol One. It was the frst offer I'd seen that didn't require me to state my income (always a touchy point when you're self-employed), so I grabbed for it. It came last week with a $200 limit. That's okay for now, I'll take it. My sub-prime mortgage is an atrocious 14% so I want to refinance in a year or 2 as soon as my scores come up. My only current debt is the mortgage in which I have about $100k equity. I had to sell my car in December to make one of the bankruptcy and mortgage payments and I'm scared to death to try for even a "note lot" car right now. I've got income and an insurance settlement (6-figures coming up in 3 months. My goal is to rebuild for myself and my kids. I guess I'm just looking for some hand-holding. Thanks everyone!