Hi Jean, I am really frustrated today. My husband and I claimed bankruptcy and it was discharged 2 years ago. We are trying to work out a modification on our mortgage (the mortgage was included in the bankruptcy). I just tried to get into a newer used car — the minivan we have is falling apart by the day. We are still in need of a co-signer. We have gotten a few small credit cards to help build our scores back up. We were at 740/745 when we filed and it brought our scores down to 640. We have built them up a bit to 700. When will we be able to get a car loan on our own? Is there anything else we can do? I got the feeling from the dealership that even if we had good scores, the house is what is dragging us down. Thank you for your time. – Robyn
I’m sorry you’re frustrated. I wish that I could flip a switch and make this all better for you but the unfortunate fact about credit score improvement is that it takes months and, particularly after a bankruptcy, years — not days, not even weeks. Making sure that you pay every one of your bills on time and stay out of credit card debt is exactly what you need to do to get yourself back on your feet. To see what is dragging you down, you might want to take a look at my Scorebuilder program. (There’s a link here.) Unfortunately it’s not free (sorry about that) but it will enable you to take a look at your credit score in a different way — showing you precisely which negative items are impacting your score the most. And then it lets you communicate directly with your creditors to try to clear some of those things up. People who are using it tell me they find it’s really helpful. But I do want to do something for you!! So, I’m sending you a copy of Pay It Down my book about getting back on your feet after debt. And this, I am doing for free. Good luck — and cheer up. It will get better over time. That I promise.