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collegestudent91

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Grad relocating soon, I need to get an apartment and car in Jan. Score is 530. Advice on next steps?
Hey everyone! Here are the important details:
I have between now and the end of December to raise my score as much as possible (5 months) because I need to get a car and rent an apartment
$179 in collection on a closed account to Charter Communications from 2 years ago that I didn't know about until recently and haven't paid.
$350 in collections on a closed account for a Discover credit card. I have been been making steady payments to the collections agency for about a year.
$1200 in collections on a closed account for a Chase credit card. I have been ignoring the collections agency for about a year and have not made any effort to pay this down. It shows up on my equifax report (530) but not my Transunion report (550).
$44,000 in student loan debt. Payments will begin in July 2016. There is not much I can do about this right now.
I pay rent at my current college apartment. I used my student loans to pay upfront, eliminating the need for a credit check.
I just received a high-interest credit card with a $300 limit that I know for a fact I can pay off every month (groceries, gas, etc.)
I start my new job in February 2016 and I'm looking to move to the new city in January 2016.
After taxes, I'll be making around $5400/month at this job
I will receive a relocation check for $5000 in December 2015
Like I said before, I have between now and the end of December to raise my score as much as possible (5 months) because I need to get a car and rent an apartment in a new city where rent is pretty high. I'll be on a strapped budget until then so I'd like to prioritize which accounts I should pay down/off. Thank you in advance to those who help/reply! I'm just a college student trying to figure this whole credit thing out after having made a few mistakes over the last couple of years.

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First, do a ton of reading on the subject of credit before you start doing anything as mistakes can be made if you do not know exactly what you are doing. If you have the time, designate a couple of hours per day for the next couple of weeks to read about the subject of credit building/repair. Do that before you do anything. I will give you a quick run down of some things for you to consider:

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Don't hire any companies that clean or build credit reports/scores as you can do everything you need to all on your own. Obviously, the negative items on your reports are hurting you the most. What you will want to do, is try your best to get "pay for delete agreements" on the negative accounts, that means they agree to remove the negative account from your credit report(s) in exchange for your payment. You will have to be willing to pay in one lump sum though with these types of agreements and many companies will not do it anyway, but it should always be attempted.

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I would start with the $179 account as it is the cheapest and give them a Pay for Delete offer, if you have the money to pay in full. Then when you get more money put together, try the next account up the ladder.

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You say you have one active card currently and you will use it for gas, groceries, etc. DON'T!! Just use it for a ten dollar purchase every month, let the report amount at statement time, then pay it off before the due date. You said the card was high interest, but you did not say when interest is charged (after due date or at time of purchase) if it is at time of purchase, then only put the ten dollars on the card a couple days before the statement date/report time to the bureaus. You really need more than one active line of credit to build credit, but you also have to be careful opening new accounts as that will drop your score. In my opinion, regarding Fico scores, you may be able to open one more credit card and still be ok, but I would say be cautious about that as it may not work out like I said, but if it were me, I think I would open one more if possible. You will really have to do some serious research on which card you have the best chance of being approved for, you do not want to get dinged with a hard inquiry for nothing.

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As I said, read and read some more. Research "pay for delete agreements" "statute of limitations to be sued for a debt" "credit reporting time periods" "best credit cards for bad credit" "different versions and scoring models of credit scores" "Fico vs Non-Fico" "paying collections does not have the effect you would think" etc. Also, start looking for landlords in the city you are moving to that are either lenient or do not run credit checks, try to meet some people there and ask them if they know a good landlord and think about getting a $1500 car out of your relocation money, then you have money left over to secure an apartment.

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I wish you the best of luck and a great future ahead.

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