Hey there Rebuilding69, I’m really sorry about the late reply.
I think you’re on the right track, the 5k unsecure Navy Fed card proves it. As far as your questions go:
From what I understand positive closed tradelines will stay on my report for 10 years after it’s closed?
Yes, that’s correct.
I think I made a mistake opening a $400 unsecured 2nd card with First Premier. Any thoughts on that would be great.
I think it’s safe to say that now that you have a 5K unsecured card with Navy Fed, you can opt for better cards. The great thing about having a card with a higher credit limit is that other banks are going to try to offer you a similar or higher limit.
As you said, “The First Premier/1st Progress cards served their purpose well”. I would probably wait until the newer cards are 6-12 months to close them, just to establish some history.
is it better to have a larger limit secured card or a lower limit unsecured card?
A larger limit unsecured card is ideal, but if you are rebuilding I believe it’s better to have a larger limit card, for the same reason I mentioned before, once your credit improves lenders will try to match that credit limit. At least that was the experience I had with my secured cards when I was rebuilding.
Second question…Are medical bills that you went to court about supposed to show up 2x on your report? Once in the public records section & the other in the Collections section?
I’m not sure about this one, but it doesn’t sound right. I believe it should be listed only once. You should think about disputing this with the credit bureau that’s reporting it.
At this point I’m not sure what to do next. Obviously I’m going to continue paying my medical bills off & finish this summer sometime.
Patience is a virtue. You are at a point where you just need to keep doing what you are doing and time will do the rest. Keep paying on time, close First Premier/Progress and get a better card. The car loan definitely sounds like a good idea, but once you get that, it’s about waiting some more again ’till you see results. Getting a store card helps too (Amazon, Ebay, Best Buy, etc.). Just don’t go crazy applying for a lot of stuff. A couple of unsecured cards with higher limits (you already have 1), a store card and a car loan. Then wait.
That should do the trick.
Those medical collections are going to hurt you, even when paid (but they’re better off paid than unpaid). I would start sending some “goodwill” letters once you pay those medical bills. Even better, why don’t you try to negotiate “pay for deletes” now that you’re still paying? Once you pay off the debt, it’ll be harder to get them removed.
Hope this helps!