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Buying Your Credit Score
I write this in the hopes that it helps someone who may find themselves in the same position I was in at the start of this year. I have for the past 20 years essentially lived off cash. This is a great way to avoid debt but it does not help in advancing your credit score. In Jan 2016 my TransUnion score was a 543 which was a result of about 5 inaccurate/negative items on my report and zero debt/credit to speak of. Two of the negative items were dealing with child support issues so I had to go to court to get them removed. Even though the FCRA is the baseline of how reporting agencies are instructed to handle complaints/disputes, this is not always adhered to. What I have learned is that you must 1.) be organized, 2.) use a calendar to remind you of "action dates" - meaning when you are supposed to check back with someone you spoke or wrote a letter to, 3.) document every conversation you have with creditors and 4.) use online forms to create your dispute letters as they are better crafted and yield greater results. All credit in the end is debt, so you must borrow money to begin building your score. If obtaining credit lines is met with obstacles, then you essentially begin to "buy your credit". A secured credit card or a secured bank loan is the easiest way to begin. This is the approach I took after first having incorrect items removed from my report. April 2016 my score increased to 623 by removing/disputing items. May 2016 my score increased to 701 when I opened an $1,800 secured credit card with my bank. I first verified that they would report to all 3 bureaus. June 2016 my score increased to 711. The next score is very important - July 2016 it decreased to 695 which was due to me using the card just days before the statement closing date. My credit utilization was reported at 46 % so this brought the score down. I had contacted the credit card company a couple of times to verify the statement date and both reps gave me the wrong info so when the bank reported my balance it was at almost 50%. I now have the correct statement date and have maintained 0.00% utilization since. July 16 score went up to 716. I then added another $500 to the secured cards balance and score went to 721 on Aug 13th. Hence my earlier statement of "buying your credit". Aug 16th I received a Pre-Selected offer from Chase Freedom Unlimited and it boasted of a 15 second approval. I went to the website, entered the validation code and within seconds I received the answer: Approved with $10,000 credit line. I'm certain my score will be moving upwards as soon as this is reported to the 3 bureaus. Currently my scores are TransUnion: 721, EquiFax: 727 and Experian: 737. Hope this helps guys.

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The information you post is accurate.   Living on cash myself for 30 years.   I got a secured card from USAA and saw my score jump substantially.  Increasing the line with additional deposits helped as well.    In just one year, I went from 550 to 720 and now have cards with great credit lines. (Chase, Citi, Amex, Discover)  I went from no available credit to 28,000 total line of credit.   I pay off the cards monthly prior to their posting date, using informaton here on CK and keep a very low Utilization (Usually 7%). Even walked into a car dealer this year and drove off the lot with a good rate.   It all started with that secured card and disciplin to keep spending to no more then I can afford to pay off as if I was using cash available.

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