Fastest way to increase credit score?

I filed BK last year so I have an abysmal score of around 550. I was lucky in that I work for Amex so I still was able to get a Gold Card so that should help. What else should I do to get it better fast. There are a couple of inquires on there that should be soft inquires showing as hard inquires. should I get some secured credit cards as well?

Fixing your credit takes time. If you filed a bankruptcy, it will take two or three years at least to establish a decent credit history. There are no quick fixes.

If there are erroneous inquiries, you should dispute them. That may help a little.

Definitely get a couple of secured credit cards. I recently leased a car to an 19 year old boy who had a 811 beacon and all he had was three credit cards (usually he still would not have gotten approved for the loan as credit history is also looked at, but he had a substantial amount of money down). Needless to say, it was the credit cards he had.

There are a few other things you can do to help your credit card. Small, responsible loans help out. But having a BK might make it hard for you to get a loan.

But you have to start somewhere. If you are looking for a car, a nice down payment on a low-priced car will be a good place to start. This will also prove to the next lender you are responsibile. Within about two years, you can definitely build yourself back up to a respectable 700+ beacon.

Good luck!

Doesn’t bankruptcy stay seven years on the ole’ credit rating?

It stays on your report from 7 to 10 years.
That being said, the same items on a credit report don’t have the same impact as they age.
The longer-ago your bankruptcy was, the greater the chance it really isn’t killing your score.
It can actually help your score, insofar as bankrupting on a bunch of items and then turning yourself around sometimes nets a better score than having gone deadbeat and then turning around and paying things off.
I saw documentation at least once of a lady who successfully DISPUTED OFF OF HER CREDIT REPORT a two-year-old bankruptcy. Fine, but she hadn’t gotten all of her nasties off of her credit report, and the scoring algorithm actually DROPPED her score 100 points when the BK was removed but she still had poor payment histories with a number of creditors.

It is actually there longer in some cases, depending on type of bankruptcy. However, you can still bring your beacon/fica score up.

Study your reports carefully first of all. They should just tell you what most of the problems are.

Next, you need to establish some credit. The reporting agencies don’t generally care much about how much you spend on credit, it is both more simple and complicated than that. You don’t want to open three of more credit cards because that carries risk and hurts matters. What would be nearly ideal is to get some credit card with say $500 and put a small amount on it and let it revolve a few times while you make payments. Remember that the credit reporting agencies are mainly concerned with your actual credit paying ability. Lots of bills are not credit. For example, your phone and utility bills are not credit accounts and they just plain ignore those no matter how you pay unless it goes to a collection agency.

The best thing to do is to get a low limit credit card and spend some small amount of money for a few months and don’t pay it all off any given month. Full payments during a cycle aren’t always considered credit but rather just another bill. American Express may be bad for that purpose. I would get a $500 secured card and put $25 -$100 on it a month and just pay most of it each month and repeat. Don’t get yourself in the hole however.

You don’t need to carry a balance to establish credit. Just use the card from time to time to keep it from getting cancelled. You can even escrow a given amount and set a de facto “limit” on the card equal to cash you actually own.

Get a copy of your credit report (all three). You’ll find a lot of crap there which can be disputed off. Debts that aren’t yours, debts that are questionable, old small debts,and so forth. I beleive debts discharged in bankruptcy have a special code, too.

I am not disputing you directly. I am just curious. The credit score formulas are a secret but we can make some good guesses about what is going on. I know there is a high balance field for credit cards on the credit reports. I don’t think that would ever show any balance if you always paid your card in full each month from day one. Does that sound right?

The high balance isn’t reported on the end of statement cycle, it’s reported whenever they report. That is NOT going to always fall after your payment hits and before your next charges appear.
We could discuss Cap One’s fraudulent practice of reporting your high balance as your credit limit, but that deserves a pit thread.

Items discharged in bankruptcy should have the code “Included in Bankrutcy” on them, although if the item hasn’t reported since you were granted your discharge, it may accurately report without the IIB notation.
I wouldn’t try to press the issue of having the IIB notation on there, because I would never TELL the credit bureaus I’d filed bankruptcy, just in case it might get disputed off or drop off early.