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Rebuilding credit.
What is the fastest way for me to rebuild a good credit standing? I've attempted to get a credit card through my sole proprietorship business account for instance, and was denied recently. I had been hoping enough time had passed since I had terrible credit since I did indeed pay back each creditor (although I was delinquent and some accounts were closed). Thanks for any advice. Amber

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My attempts to rebuild my credit seem to be on a favorable path ... though it did involve a mystery denial.

I filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2006, discharged properly in 2011 - 2 months before I retired.  In March of 2013, I started rebuilding my credit by acquiring a secured VISA through my credit union with a $1,000 credit limit.  The credit union's policy stated that if I made 12 on-time monthly payments, my card would be converted to an unsecured card and my security deposit would be returned to me.

A Chapter 13 disappears from your credit file 7 years following the filing date.  And, mine did in June 2013.  Later, in December with only 9 months of credit history on the VISA, I decided to apply for 4 other credit cards - a PayPal Extras MasterCard issued by GE Capital Retail Bank (aka GECRB), a Walmart Discover card issued by GECRB, a Texaco/Chevron credit card issued by GECRB, and a Discover IT card issued by  This is where the mystery comes in.

I was approved for the Discover IT card ($750 credit limit), the Texaco/Chevron card ($300 credit limit), and the Walmart Discover card ($800 credit limit).  But GECRB denied my PayPal Extras MasterCard application for an odd reason, quote, "Unfortunately, we were unable to confirm your identity with enough confidence to issue the card."  The reason this was odd is because GECRB approved both the Walmart Discover card and Texaco/Chevron card immediately - without any apparent "identity" issue.

For the next 3 months, I peppered GECRB with letters and phone calls trying to solve the mystery of why "identity" issues caused them to deny the MasterCard while, at the same time, approving two other cards without a similar issue.  And their replies to me didn't come close to solving the mystery.  They sent me one final letter on April 4th, standing by their odd denial reason.

I'm 63 years old, living on a pension and Social Security with a total annual gross income of $31,524.  And when I discussed my denial with friends, they suggested to me that certain credit issuers (or their co-branded partners) give cryptic denials like that because they have unwritten policies to not give credit to people without income from "employment" (ie., retirees, elderly people).  In short, they suggested that I might be the victim of a subtle form of age discrimination.  These are just the opinions of similarly-aged friends, however, and may have no basis in fact.

In any case, I decided to forget the PayPal/GECRB application and "move on" - using the "spit-wad" approach to credit acquisition (grin) ... that if you throw enough spit-wads at a wall, some of them will stick.  So, I submitted a "flurry" of applications for different cards.  Applications are still pending for a Chase Freedom card (VISA), a Chrysler MasterCard, and a Capital One MasterCard.  But (grin), two of the spit-wads stuck immediately.  In the last few days, I received a Slate VISA card from Chase Bank ($3,000 credit limit) and an approval for a Diamond Preferred MasterCard from CitiBank ($3,500 credit limit) that should be arriving no later than next week.

My current Equifax credit score is 725.  But, I'm sure my flurry of applications will bring that down a bit.  However, the reason for the "flurry" is because I plan on moving later this year.  And everyone knows that if you want credit, applying "before" a move is easier than "after" a move.  I'm certain my score will take another dive after I do.  But I'm hoping that, with proper utilization of credit, my score will be back up to the high 700s (at least) by the end of 2015.

P.S.  By "proper utilization," I mean this.  It's my intention to charge "something" to each card at least once a month ... but only for things I'd normally pay cash for (or use a debit card).  And each billing period for each card, I'll pay off the balances in full.  This will require card issuers to issue "glowing" reports on my utilization once monthly.  So, by the end of next year, I'll have an over-2-year record of good credit with the first VISA card (became unsecured on April 1st as promised) and an over-1-year of good credit on the others.

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Please see my post....I now have a CK of FICO scores are Trans 721, exper 695, eq 700....get the items removed on all 3 of your reports...dispute everything...especially if they are closed and old.....

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