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Old 11-21-2012, 09:25 PM   #101
AU2006
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Cool thread

How accurate is credit karma? I've never really had a reason to pull my own credit report. Credit karma has it estimated at 782 or something like that. Is it reasonable to assume it's with +/- 10 points?
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:56 AM   #102
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Finally applied for Discover card after reading this thread, been putting it off for a while. Approved for $5,000 limit. Ship it.

Info: Credit Karma 748, 2% Credit utilization

Reward Card Collection:

1. Citi Forward (5% Restaurants, Fast food, Movies, Amazon) - $7500CL, got $200 bonus for signing up
Point Value & Discussion: Others have reported this card's cashback value is not 1:1. For some this may be true but for me it is not. You can use points to make a payment on student loans or mortgage at a 1:1 point:dollar value. I'm a graduate student with undergradute loans in deferal, and I just cash out my points to make small payments on my loans when I get enough.

2. Chase Freedom (Rotating 5%) - $5000CL, got $300 cash bonus for signing up
Point Value & Discussion: This is the highest point value card I have, mainly because you can usually track someone down online who has the Chase Sapphire Card, which values points at a ratio of 100pt = $1.50-$2.00. When I got my 30,000 bonus points for signing up I was able to find a guy to give me like $1.25 to my 100 points and I traded him my points. Currently there is at least one website that does this. With a quick google search I found this site http://www.rewards2cash.com/ that gives $1.25 for each 100 points. I opened a checking account with these guys for a $150 signup bonus as well. If you have a freedom card and a chase checking account you get an extra 10 points (10 cents) per every transaction you make with the Forward card.

3. Bank of America Cash Rewards (2% Groceries, 3% Gas) - $3000CL, got $250 cash bonus for signing up
Point Value & Discussion: These guys don't have points, they just give you straight up cash. Once you get $25 you can cash out to any checking account you have. If you have a BoA Checking account and cash out into it, you get 10% bonus cash, effectively increasing the cashback of the card by 10% (i.e. 3.3% on gas). I haven't opened up a BoA checking account account mainly because I haven't seen any decent cashback offers for opening one with them ($100-$150+)

4. Citi Dividend Mastercard (Rotating 5%) - $8000CL, got $200 cash bonus for signing up
Point Value & Discussion: The 5% categories on this card are typically very bad, though they did have utilities one month and I paid my Comcast bill for like 9 months in advance. Another bad thing about this card is that you can only cash out in $50 increments. Cashouts from this card get delivered to you in the form of a check.

5. Discover More (Rotating 5%) - $5000CL, will get $200 bonus once I spend $1500 within next 3 months for signing up

The next card I have my eyes on is the US BANK Cash+ Rewards card, mainly for the 5% cashback on my comcast bill. Unfortunately local gas and electric companies dont allow auto payment from credit card. But still, the way I look at it I will get 6.25% off my Comcast bill in the long-long run. Reason I am waiting on opening this card is that it is a relatively new and I am waiting for them to start a promo for at least $100 cashback for card opening before I jump on this.

Last edited by imjosh; 11-22-2012 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:27 AM   #103
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Update: Just applied and got approved for Blue Cash Preferred Card, $150 back after $1k spend in 3 months.

$75 annual fee, but 6% cashback on groceries. Between my fiancee and I we spent almost $3000 on groceries this year, making it worth more than the 3% Blue Cash Everyday card (doesnt have an annual fee). Our Meijer has a gas station next to it, so I think it will be relatively straightforward to buy a $25-$50 Meijer gift card once or twice a month to use at the Meijer gas station nearby, not to mention other random perks Meijer has when buying a gift card occasionally.
Should equate to an effective 4-5% cashback on groceries and gas now.

I was inspired to apply based on reading some posts in this thread. I wanna be able to get in on the small business saturday next year and other promotions I see AMEX running all the time for linking facebook etc. Looked it up, and turns out a liquor store near where I live participates in the small business saturday promotions.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:58 AM   #104
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Wtf, how do you only spend $250/month on groceries for 2 people?
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:00 PM   #105
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Quote:
Originally Posted by AU2006 View Post
Cool thread

How accurate is credit karma? I've never really had a reason to pull my own credit report. Credit karma has it estimated at 782 or something like that. Is it reasonable to assume it's with +/- 10 points?

I'm a little out of the loop, but back in the day 'pull your score daily' scores were referred to as FACO scores, meaning fake'o. They can be off by 50+ points from your real FICO scores and can't be trusted. That said high 700's probably means your real scores are pretty good.


Ham on Rye- I'm not sure about combining into joint account status on your wife's mortage. I do know that you can piggyback on her good credit card history simply by having her add you as an authorized user. The CRAs read this as your history. If that isn't an option 5-7 years gives you tons of time to build credit. I'd open 5 or so cc accts tomorrow and buy lunch or a six pack a couple times a year on each to keep them open and reporting. Don't forget to pay any bill and the history/age builds itself.
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:20 PM   #106
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Thanks JL....you really didnt answer me though..

Does anyone here know what a tradeline is ?
Why is not recommended?

I'm not really interested in spending more than a few hundred dollars to fix my credit history. What's the best way to do this?

Does anyone have any history / experience doing this?
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:06 PM   #107
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

I'm sorry to keep posting and posting.....creditboards.com and other sites seem to have so much useless information that I'm having a hard time finding something that can actually help....
Simply....how do I increase my credit score ? What do those credit repair people do? How do they help ? I'm not asking if what they do is ethical or legal, I'm asking what do they do?
I'm interested in one thing, increasing my score....please help!
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:20 PM   #108
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Wtf, how do you only spend $250/month on groceries for 2 people?
Coupons, etc
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:22 PM   #109
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Quote:
Originally Posted by BestCherryGoose View Post
I'm sorry to keep posting and posting.....creditboards.com and other sites seem to have so much useless information that I'm having a hard time finding something that can actually help....
Simply....how do I increase my credit score ? What do those credit repair people do? How do they help ? I'm not asking if what they do is ethical or legal, I'm asking what do they do?
I'm interested in one thing, increasing my score....please help!

A tradeline is any account reporting on a credit report. If you buy a "good" tradeline from some con man good luck selling it back to him when it goes bad, or maybe it's not so good in the first place. I've got a dethroned Nigerian prince fixing my credit as we speak.


If you want simple snap your fingers fix your credit answers you're not going to find them on credit boards or anywhere else.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:10 PM   #110
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Quote:
Originally Posted by imjosh View Post
2. Chase Freedom (Rotating 5%) - $5000CL, got $300 cash bonus for signing up
Point Value & Discussion: This is the highest point value card I have, mainly because you can usually track someone down online who has the Chase Sapphire Card, which values points at a ratio of 100pt = $1.50-$2.00. When I got my 30,000 bonus points for signing up I was able to find a guy to give me like $1.25 to my 100 points and I traded him my points. Currently there is at least one website that does this. With a quick google search I found this site http://www.rewards2cash.com/ that gives $1.25 for each 100 points. I opened a checking account with these guys for a $150 signup bonus as well. If you have a freedom card and a chase checking account you get an extra 10 points (10 cents) per every transaction you make with the Forward card.
Be careful with this as the Chase ToS says you can only trade points between family and spouses I believe and some people are getting their accounts shut down for transferring UR points. I have the Sapphire Preferred and I'll save my points for a high end Hyatt stay or flights on United, or a suite on the Amtrak Coast Starlight. I love UR points.

The Chase Exclusives program was supposed to be reworked and toned down so I'm not sure if it's still what it was (10% bonus, 10pt bonus on transactions).

Quote:
Originally Posted by imjosh View Post
4. Citi Dividend Mastercard (Rotating 5%) - $8000CL, got $200 cash bonus for signing up
Point Value & Discussion: The 5% categories on this card are typically very bad, though they did have utilities one month and I paid my Comcast bill for like 9 months in advance. Another bad thing about this card is that you can only cash out in $50 increments. Cashouts from this card get delivered to you in the form of a check.
For these utilities, my #1 recommendation would be the Chase Ink Bold or Ink Plus. They come with a 50k point signup bonus and get 5x on telecom, internet, cable. Also gets 2x on gas, and 5x on office supply stores.

Having this card allows you to transfer to rewards programs like the sapphire preferred, and staples/officedepot/officemax have gift card racks where you can get 5% on other places you shop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imjosh View Post
5. Discover More (Rotating 5%) - $5000CL, will get $200 bonus once I spend $1500 within next 3 months for signing up
I will eventually get this card, probably on my next cycle because the Discover shopping portal consistently has the highest cash back available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imjosh View Post
The next card I have my eyes on is the US BANK Cash+ Rewards card, mainly for the 5% cashback on my comcast bill. Unfortunately local gas and electric companies dont allow auto payment from credit card. But still, the way I look at it I will get 6.25% off my Comcast bill in the long-long run. Reason I am waiting on opening this card is that it is a relatively new and I am waiting for them to start a promo for at least $100 cashback for card opening before I jump on this.
As I said above, I would recommend the Ink Plus because UR points are much more valuable and will get 5% on your comcast bill.

Also, I would keep an eye out to see if any stores near you have vanilla reload cards (check CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens). If so, get a card that earns high bonuses at drug stores (like the Amex Hilton) and buy reloads, and load them onto an Amex Bluebird. Bluebird has a billpay feature that will cut checks to whomever you want, so you can essentially be getting 6 Hilton pts per $ you send to your landlord, or electric company, or student loan payments as you mentioned. Google Bluebird and vanilla reload for more info.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:13 PM   #111
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Quote:
Originally Posted by imjosh View Post
Update: Just applied and got approved for Blue Cash Preferred Card, $150 back after $1k spend in 3 months.

$75 annual fee, but 6% cashback on groceries. Between my fiancee and I we spent almost $3000 on groceries this year, making it worth more than the 3% Blue Cash Everyday card (doesnt have an annual fee). Our Meijer has a gas station next to it, so I think it will be relatively straightforward to buy a $25-$50 Meijer gift card once or twice a month to use at the Meijer gas station nearby, not to mention other random perks Meijer has when buying a gift card occasionally.
Should equate to an effective 4-5% cashback on groceries and gas now.

I was inspired to apply based on reading some posts in this thread. I wanna be able to get in on the small business saturday next year and other promotions I see AMEX running all the time for linking facebook etc. Looked it up, and turns out a liquor store near where I live participates in the small business saturday promotions.
Make sure that you get an AU card for your fiance as it will come with a different account # and then you will have 2 cards for small business saturday next year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by losing all2 View Post
I'm a little out of the loop, but back in the day 'pull your score daily' scores were referred to as FACO scores, meaning fake'o. They can be off by 50+ points from your real FICO scores and can't be trusted. That said high 700's probably means your real scores are pretty good.
Yeah, they can vary quite a bit from your actual score but it's a good guideline. Mine has varied at most ~30pts at one time, and other times it's almost perfect.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:36 PM   #112
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Question I hope you can answer. My wife has been an authorized user on her parents account since.. whenever the age that was allowed. Mostly she just had it available to her for big emergencies etc. Up until the last few years, her parents have been solid with their cards but for the last year or so they've struggled a bit financially. Should she think about removing herself from the authorized card? Her parents aren't falling behind on payments, but they haven't been paying off the card every month either. She has four credit cards on her own, all with $3k+ credit limits, 3 of which have been open several years (the longest being 5 years).

Also, I struggled with credit in the past (twice).. and am on the road to recovery now..last I checked my credit was in the upper 600s. Should I think about having her add me as an authorized user on her oldest credit card? I have two capital one cards, both with low caps.. one has 2% cash back on everything but the other has no rewards. I'd like to hop onto another card with at least some reward but because I have a charge off from 5 years ago.. I can't get it at the moment.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:13 AM   #113
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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Be careful with this as the Chase ToS says you can only trade points between family and spouses I believe and some people are getting their accounts shut down for transferring UR points. I have the Sapphire Preferred and I'll save my points for a high end Hyatt stay or flights on United, or a suite on the Amtrak Coast Starlight. I love UR points.

The Chase Exclusives program was supposed to be reworked and toned down so I'm not sure if it's still what it was (10% bonus, 10pt bonus on transactions).



For these utilities, my #1 recommendation would be the Chase Ink Bold or Ink Plus. They come with a 50k point signup bonus and get 5x on telecom, internet, cable. Also gets 2x on gas, and 5x on office supply stores.

Having this card allows you to transfer to rewards programs like the sapphire preferred, and staples/officedepot/officemax have gift card racks where you can get 5% on other places you shop.



I will eventually get this card, probably on my next cycle because the Discover shopping portal consistently has the highest cash back available.



As I said above, I would recommend the Ink Plus because UR points are much more valuable and will get 5% on your comcast bill.

Also, I would keep an eye out to see if any stores near you have vanilla reload cards (check CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens). If so, get a card that earns high bonuses at drug stores (like the Amex Hilton) and buy reloads, and load them onto an Amex Bluebird. Bluebird has a billpay feature that will cut checks to whomever you want, so you can essentially be getting 6 Hilton pts per $ you send to your landlord, or electric company, or student loan payments as you mentioned. Google Bluebird and vanilla reload for more info.
$5000 in 3 months to unlock the $50k points O_O. Cant do that lol. Maybe with gaming Amazon Payments I could, but idk.

The Cash+ card seems nice because you can pick the 5% categories. We don't travel really ever, so I don't think the bonus UR point value for hotels etc is worth as much for us. Mostly looking to just exchange for cash or Amazon gift cards

Thanks for the pointer on requesting AU on the AMEX card. It will really come with a different account number? I did AU for her on my Citi Forward card and AFAIK it has the same number just a different name on the card
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:36 AM   #114
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ice_W0lf View Post
Question I hope you can answer. My wife has been an authorized user on her parents account since.. whenever the age that was allowed. Mostly she just had it available to her for big emergencies etc. Up until the last few years, her parents have been solid with their cards but for the last year or so they've struggled a bit financially. Should she think about removing herself from the authorized card? Her parents aren't falling behind on payments, but they haven't been paying off the card every month either. She has four credit cards on her own, all with $3k+ credit limits, 3 of which have been open several years (the longest being 5 years).

Also, I struggled with credit in the past (twice).. and am on the road to recovery now..last I checked my credit was in the upper 600s. Should I think about having her add me as an authorized user on her oldest credit card? I have two capital one cards, both with low caps.. one has 2% cash back on everything but the other has no rewards. I'd like to hop onto another card with at least some reward but because I have a charge off from 5 years ago.. I can't get it at the moment.
I had a similar scenario. I was an AU on my mom's card since I was 12 years old. Her credit limit on the one card was higher than all of my cards combined, and she kept the balance at like 50% of the total available credit, only paying off a little more than the minimum each month. The result was that my credit score was hurt tremendously due to my total utilization among all accounts being over 25%, but helped tremendously because it brought my average age of accounts up from 1 year to over 6-7 years.

In the end I used CreditKarma's credit simulator to try to predict what would happen if I removed myself as an AU on the card. They predicted that my score would go up by about 25 points and in the end it went up around 20 points, so it was a good decision. I would recommend your wife to try the simulator as well to see what it predicts in her specific scenario. My guess is that if her parents are keep a balance that is a significant amount relative to her total avaialble credit, it would probably be best to remove herself as AU - as it seems that credit utilization % plays a larger role in your credit score than average account age. If you believe this link, it is 2 times more important: http://moneyover55.about.com/od/mana...reditscore.htm

To answer your second question, if your wife adds you as an AU user on her oldest card your credit score would most definitely improve, especially if she has had a good history with the card.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:10 AM   #115
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Sorry if this is thread hi-jack but this is at least loosely related to credit because its another rewards-based post.

ING Black Friday Sale

Fiancee and I are gonna hop on this, $125/ea for opening a checking account with ING. No monthly payments or overdraft fees. We will probably end up converting this into our joint account.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:19 AM   #116
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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Originally Posted by imjosh View Post
Sorry if this is thread hi-jack but this is at least loosely related to credit because its another rewards-based post.

ING Black Friday Sale

Fiancee and I are gonna hop on this, $125/ea for opening a checking account with ING. No monthly payments or overdraft fees. We will probably end up converting this into our joint account.
Thanks for the reply. Also, this is a solid deal.. their regular deal is $50 with 3 with purchaes (vs $125 w/ 10 purchases).
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:28 PM   #117
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$5000 in 3 months to unlock the $50k points O_O. Cant do that lol. Maybe with gaming Amazon Payments I could, but idk.

The Cash+ card seems nice because you can pick the 5% categories. We don't travel really ever, so I don't think the bonus UR point value for hotels etc is worth as much for us. Mostly looking to just exchange for cash or Amazon gift cards

Thanks for the pointer on requesting AU on the AMEX card. It will really come with a different account number? I did AU for her on my Citi Forward card and AFAIK it has the same number just a different name on the card
$5k in 3 months isn't that bad. Amazon payments is 3k in 3 months and just spend the remaining 2k on gift cards at staples on stuff that you'll use later. My Chase Plus came with 6 months 0% also so it was no problem.

Also why not spend that 2k on amazon giftcards giving yourself 5% off amazon like u get with the Citicard.

And yes, I'm positive that an AU card for Amex will be a separate acct number. Enjoy the free money
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:46 PM   #118
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Quote:
Originally Posted by imjosh View Post
Sorry if this is thread hi-jack but this is at least loosely related to credit because its another rewards-based post.

ING Black Friday Sale

Fiancee and I are gonna hop on this, $125/ea for opening a checking account with ING. No monthly payments or overdraft fees. We will probably end up converting this into our joint account.

im definitely thinking of opening a checking account with them, thats a sick bonus. are there any downsides to having a 2nd checking accout open? also are there drawbacks? seems to be no monthly fees and no charge for overdraft protection. it doesnt mention any minimum balance anywhere that i can see. anyone know if there is one?

also i see that you link your current checking account to it so that you can transfer between both which seems awesome.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:26 PM   #119
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I've got ing direct already... No min balance necessary in my experience. You can set up to something like 21 savings accounts with it also. I've got accounts with just a dollar or two in them with no issue.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:34 PM   #120
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

what is the point of having 20 savings accounts?
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:51 PM   #121
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

I'm actually thinking about dropping ING for Ally. Not too keen about the switch to Capital One, plus Ally has a slightly better rate and they refund all ATM fees (Wells Fargo fees pissing me off lately)

I've been super happy with ING over the past years, and I don't really have any strong explanation as to why the Capital One takeover turns me off so much, but it does

Maybe I'll do that $125 electric orange checking deal, get the cash and then bounce...


Edit: looks like ING just dropped their savings rate to 0.75 whereas Ally is 0.95... both ****ty, but still...

Last edited by Paul Openfold; 11-23-2012 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:11 PM   #122
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what is the point of having 20 savings accounts?
Not sure... I've got a few as I like to have an account for different things I'm saving for but yeah 20 is crazy.

Also, I've been looking at ally myself.
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:28 PM   #123
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

I have a question about what I'm trying to do in terms of reducing costs and making my credit score better. I just received my chase freedom card in the mail today so this is my plan:

A little bit of background,

24yrs old, make 53k/year, and have 5 credit cards. Currently my credit score is 729

Chase Freedom. 4k limit (APR for 15 months 0%. After that it will be 22.99%)
USAA: 4k limit (APR 9.99%)
US Airways Mastercard: 5k limit (APR 24.99%)
PNC Bank: $500 limit (APR 14.99%) actually stopped using this 2 yrs ago but it's still open.
Macys Card: $800 limit (not sure of the APR)

Total revolving credit $14,300

I currently hold balances only on my USAA and US airways card. Now after receiving my Chase Freedom card, my current credit utilization is ~24.5%

At this moment, I decided that I'll take a portion of my savings to just pay off two balances by end of Dec/Jan in full. My renewal fee for my US airways card is April 30th and that's $89 per year. I'm not going to be flying much anymore so I'm going to ask them to either waive the fee or I'll drop the card. I understand cancelling a card will affect my credit by lowering my utilization. But by this time I should have no balances at all.

Now if they aren't going to waive the fee and I do indeed cancel my US airways card then my plan was to ask for credit increases on both my USAA and Chase Freedom to make up for the credit lost from cancelling a card.

My goal is to have Chase Freedom's APR reduced down as low as possible, so after the 15 month 0% APR initial sign up perk ends, I won't be at 22.99%.

My question is, Am I thinking about this correctly? Is this the best way to maximize my credit score while allowing me to obtain a lower rate with Chase?

Appreciate any replies thanks!
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:48 PM   #124
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

You should have done a balance transfer from the 24.99 US Airways card to the new Chase Freedom. Carrying a balance with that APR is INSANE. Then pay down the balance on the Chase card while still in the promotional rate and call to ***** about lowering the APR in a year or so with the account still in good standing. My Chase Freedom card is currently a 7.9 APR, so that 22.99 is still pretty unbelievable

I would try a balance transfer to the new Chase card (promotional rate), a new card transfer offer, or the USAA @ 9.9. Get the balance off the US Airways and tell them to lower the APR or **** off, and diligently pay down the balances to improve your utilization

Edit: whoops didn't see that you're using your savings to pay off balances. Definitely do that and push for lowered APRs for US Airways and Chase or tell them to stick it where the sun don't shine (especially US Airways) hell I would cancel just because of the annual fee unless you travel a ton

If you're going to pay off the balances I wouldn't worry about asking to raise the limits

Last edited by Paul Openfold; 11-23-2012 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:54 PM   #125
iCrush Souls
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

My fault I forgot to mention that the balance on my US Airways card is 0% APR since that balance was transferred from my USAA card initially as a 15month introductory 0% APR for balance transfers. That ends in July but my card renewal is set for April 30th.

The only thing I'm paying interest on is my USAA balance.

But I plan to pay off the USAA in Full next month and the US Airways in full in January just to get it out of the way since I'm able to.

So you're saying that it's pretty absurd that they gave me 22.99%? I think so too.
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