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Best way to build credit history from 620 and defaulted student loans?
Hi credit gurus,

I'm in a good position to build my credit after a rough start, so I'm wondering what the best approach would be given my situation. A couple of years ago I graduated college with 30k student debt, and since my first job didn't pay much, I defaulted on my loans. I started paying about a year ago to a collection agency, but the original defaults resulted in 36 missed payments (4 accounts, 9 missed payments each) and that's really hurting my Missed Payment %. I'm currently at 43% Missed Payments :O.

The collection agency consolidated all my loans into a single account, so now I only have 2 open accounts contributing to my history (the student loan, plus a secured CC). I've been making my payments on time since, but it will take forever to compensate for the missed payments on 4 accounts.

I got a $200 Secured Capital One card 6 months ago and have been making payments on it while keeping the utilization at 0-30%. My credit score right now is 620 with 30% utilization, but I can bring it up to 627 next month if I bring the cc utilization down to 1%.

I have a good job now, and I have about $800 I can spend on funding more secured cards or personal loans. I’m wondering if my best course of action is to open more secured CCs and keep them all at 20% utilization while improving my payment history. I know inquiries hurt my score, so I’d like to send out all my applications at one time once I have a plan. What are the good secured or regular CCs out there besides CapitalOne that I can get with a 620-627 score? Is there something else I can be doing?

I’d like to see some effect of my efforts in 12 months to be able to pass credit checks on apartment rental applications. Otherwise, I don’t need access to credit for any foreseeable future (eg, not planning to buy a house or a car).


* 620-627 credit score
* $30k defaulted student debt being paid on time
* $200 secured CapitalOne MasterCard
* Have another $800 to spend on secured credit accounts
* Looking for the best way to increase credit score (CC recommendations, etc)

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You're basically doing everything right. Bad credit (missed payments) will follow you for 7 years before falling off your credit report, so a lot of it is just a waiting game. Get a secured loan so you have a good mix of credit (installment account and revolving aco****) - that helps your score more than having two types of the same credit.

Once your score goes up a bit more, to around 650 you can start unsecuring your credit. Your score will continue to go up from there.

Keep doing what you're doing your score will go up. 10 years ago my credit was a bit of a mess from my divorce (low 600s). I did exactly what you're doing, and now I'm over 750 (depending on what credit agency you're looking at....**** you experian!).

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