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Old 11-23-2012, 06:00 PM   #126
Paul Openfold
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Ah cool that sounds like a way better scenario. Yeah that Chase Freedom rate seems high to me, and you can hopefully get them to drop it after the promotional rate. I know everyone says credit is hard to obtain in this economy blah blah blah, but Chase Freedom is known as one of the lowest APR cards available. They might not cut you any slack until you have some credit history with them though, so I would check back again in a year or so to see what they can do.

I had one late payment on my Discover card recently just because I spaced it, and they tried to jack from rate up to 22.99 from 14.99 for being late. I've been in good standing with them since 2006 so I called them up to complain and they lowered the card to 12.99. Ymmv, but they'll usually work with you assuming you aren't hitting your limits or anything (fwiw I don't carry a balance on this card usually, I just have a lot of bills auto-paid on it, then I pay off the card)

Last edited by Paul Openfold; 11-23-2012 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:10 PM   #127
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

That's awesome that they lowered it!

I plan on taking full advantage of my Chase Freedom card 0% APR for 15 months so I'll definitely have a lot of history by this time next year. I always have autopay on as well with all my bills as well as autopay for my credit cards to deduct from my checking. I won't be carrying any balances from Jan/Feb moving forward.

But as far as cancelling the US Airways card if they don't waive the $89 fee... what's the best way to try and improve my credit score come april when I need to make that decision? Does my plan sound okay?
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:14 PM   #128
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Sounds like you have everything pretty well thought out. Make your payments on time and try to keep your utilization score low I guess. Are you planning on taking a mortgage or something soon? Your current score isn't horrible, and given that it constantly fluctuates, if you stay the course I see no reason why it wouldn't continue to increase
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:58 PM   #129
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

I was thinking about taking out a car loan soon. As far as mortgage, not for a few years. I just like to be very on top of my finances where I know exactly what I have and what I can afford so I never have to worry.

I appreciate the advice though!
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:55 PM   #130
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Quote:
Originally Posted by iCrush Souls View Post

But as far as cancelling the US Airways card if they don't waive the $89 fee... what's the best way to try and improve my credit score come april when I need to make that decision? Does my plan sound okay?
As long as your UT% is low when you apply for car/home loans, closing this account should have little to no effect on your score until april 2023. Positive accounts stay on your reports for 10 years after closing. You have a decent portfolio so as long as you keep UT low all else you really can do is NOT apply for stuff in the months leading up to loan shopping. You're on your way to high 700's.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:21 PM   #131
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

great thread, ty op.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:19 PM   #132
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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Originally Posted by iCrush Souls View Post
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!
I would plan on closing the Barclays US Air unless you are going to travel soon as the 5000 pts off reward redemptions is a good perk. That's a known churnable card so I would close it and apply for it again in a few months to get the bonus again. You could also ask if they could downgrade you to a fee free card, which lets you keep the history and credit limit without the annual fee, but I don't know if Barclays has anything available.

Frankly, with your income and your credit score you should be getting approved with higher limits in my experience. But I bet your utilization was holding you back. Definitely pay down your cards and if possible stop carrying a balance. Try paying your cards off in full for a few months then request a credit limit increase.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:57 AM   #133
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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I would plan on closing the Barclays US Air unless you are going to travel soon as the 5000 pts off reward redemptions is a good perk. That's a known churnable card so I would close it and apply for it again in a few months to get the bonus again. You could also ask if they could downgrade you to a fee free card, which lets you keep the history and credit limit without the annual fee, but I don't know if Barclays has anything available.

Frankly, with your income and your credit score you should be getting approved with higher limits in my experience. But I bet your utilization was holding you back. Definitely pay down your cards and if possible stop carrying a balance. Try paying your cards off in full for a few months then request a credit limit increase.
Thank you for the response JL!

Yea I almost believe it was my credit utilization holding me back from being approved by chase for a higher amount and a better interest rate. Black Friday is the reason why I held a lot of debt over the last year seeing that grinding was my livelihood at the time.

Took me a while to succeed at the job hunt but I'm thankful for that. I was flying a lot this past year as well and with US Airways 0% APR on balance transfers for 15months, it seemed that it was best to take full advantage of that.

I'll see if they can offer me a fee free card otherwise I'll close it.

Really appreciate the advice in this thread!
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:18 AM   #134
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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They are pretty bad in Canada as well. I think the US is the abnormality with more generous rewards.
Yes, this. Nonetheless, I'd like some input because the crazy 5-6% reward rates I am seeing in this thread have my head explode. I'm getting 2% on EVERYTHING, pure cash back, with mbna travel rewards (grandfathered). Can someone in Canada think of a better deal? There are no fees on my card but I'd be willing to look into cards with fees.

I spend about 10k on construction material a year and then:

- 15k travel (that's about 5k airline, 7k hotels, 3k car rentals);
- 1-1.5k on groceries
- 2-3k on gas
- everything else is random stuff, with a total spend of probably around 40k on credit cards a year.

Would love to hear input about better cards tham what I have now. I am fully satisfied from a insurnace and benefits perspective but theses 6% deals are having me water at the mouth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrung View Post
I just did mine through transunion Canada and my score is 702

With this score it states:

I am rated as fair.

Your credit ranks higher than 35.93% of the Canadian population

That score is with a perfect payment history and Ive had lots of loans. One for a $22.000 truck a $16,000 car ..all 3 of my credit cards and rogers bill

I have some pretty solid credit card debt going on right now so I checked my score. I was thinking about going into my bank to see if I can consolidate it. I wonder if a 702 score would be good enough to get that loan
You will easily get a consolidation loan with this. I recommend you look into a line of credit instead; it could be the same rate but is much more flexible. Also, personally, I have found scotia to have much better rates than anyone else in the business. I am affiliated with a financial institution that is a competitor of Scotia, yet I find them to be great on rates.

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+1'ing what JL said on this. I believe these bills would not show up on your credit report (ie FICO score) as these recurring bills do not represent any sort of extension of credit to an individual.

I'm not even sure massively late payments on these bills would show up on a credit report. (Perhaps they do if say Verizon Wireless takes action against you if you're like 90 days late on a cell phone payment?)
I'm in Canada so it may be different, but I have missed payemnts on internet and phone bills for 30-45 day periods because my credit card number was cancelled and changed (lost cards) multiple times and, while the provider got pissed at me for being quite late, there is nothing showing up on my credit score that I pulled 2 weeks ago.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:05 AM   #135
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Bills do not show up on credit reports in Canada. The only way a bill will be on your credit report is if you never paid or at least allowed it to get so late that it was sent to outside collections before you paid. You'll have your service disconnected way before they report to credit agencies. It would also need to be for a considerable amount.

Typically the only time I have ever heard of bills ending up on credit reports involves cellphones where you get an expensive free phone on contract and then run up a bill and never pay. You end up owing for the phone, breaking the contract fee, and the usage so typically $1000-2500+ and those get reported but if I choose to not pay my ISP they would never bother reporting the $100 I'd owe them before they disconnected.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:18 PM   #136
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

My Rogers bill shows. It's on my credit report every single month.

Last edited by Byrung; 11-24-2012 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:46 PM   #137
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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My Rogers bill shows. It's on my credit report every single month.
I assume you have a cable video package and ISP account with Rogers? Unless these type accounts, or credit, generally works differently in Canada, this seems to make no sense.

When you typically sign up for a service contract with an ISP or Cable company providing video services, they do not extend any credit to the consumer... (hence do not appear on a *credit* report)...

Outside of say Rogers going after you for owed monies (which could show up on a credit report as bad debt)... Curious - am I missing something here?
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:57 PM   #138
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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My Rogers bill shows. It's on my credit report every single month.
Your bill shows up or did you not pay a substantial bill and now that shows up as a collection item?

There is no way your Rogers bill should be showing up as a credit item. You should have a hard pull on your credit from when you got the initial services and that is it.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:23 PM   #139
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

signed up for the ING checking account. today is the last day for the $125 bonus. it was very easy since i already had an orange savings account. you can even open it with a deposit from there if you want.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:35 AM   #140
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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Originally Posted by Greggers View Post
I assume you have a cable video package and ISP account with Rogers? Unless these type accounts, or credit, generally works differently in Canada, this seems to make no sense.

When you typically sign up for a service contract with an ISP or Cable company providing video services, they do not extend any credit to the consumer... (hence do not appear on a *credit* report)...

Outside of say Rogers going after you for owed monies (which could show up on a credit report as bad debt)... Curious - am I missing something here?
I have a cell phone with rogers and thats all
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry17 View Post
Your bill shows up or did you not pay a substantial bill and now that shows up as a collection item?

There is no way your Rogers bill should be showing up as a credit item. You should have a hard pull on your credit from when you got the initial services and that is it.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:47 AM   #141
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Any recommendations for rebuilding credit? Specifically secured credit cards designed for that purpose?
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:01 AM   #142
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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I have a cell phone with rogers and thats all


Yeah I read recently that cell phone providers are able to report but not obligated to. Most do not, but I read that Verizon in the US does, so it appears Rogers is doing so as well.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:36 AM   #143
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

That is very strange. Byrung what province are you in? Do you know when that started to show up? Is that Transunion only or is it on Equifax as well?

I am in Ontario and I switched from Rogers to Wind in 2010. My Wind bill does not show up only the hard pull from when I opened the account. With respect to Rogers I had a Rogers cellphone from the mid-90s until 2010 and it never appeared. For a period of a few years I had two cellphones and the other was with Bell and also no record of it.

I have Rogers cable and they did a hard pull when I signed up two years ago but even that was only on Transunion with no mention of it on Equifax. Again no reporting on my payment history. I used to have Rogers and Bell internet and again neither reported.

If Rogers is reporting cell phone bills to credit that has to be something that started after mid-2010 or it has to be province specific. It is kind of an interesting situation because if I ask random financially savvy people who have not pulled their report recently everyone will say it doesn't show up. This lack of knowledge might impact how seriously they take their bill payment.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:53 AM   #144
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Im in Ontario also. I noticed it about 14 months ago when I did my first credit check. Ive never checked equifax so Im unsure there.

I asked my fiance because she checked her credit recently and her rogers cell phone is on there too
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:41 PM   #145
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Guide to getting a Credit Limit Increase on Citi Forward Card with a "Soft" Pull

*Disclaimer: Feel free to try this on other Citi Cards. I have not, so YMMV.

Q: What if I don't have a Citi Forward card?
A: Get one. It is geared towards students and thus has one of the higher acceptance rates for all credit cards. It's 5% cashback at Amazon.com cannot be beat. It also offers 5% cashback at all bookstores, restaurants, fast food places, and movie theaters.

Q: How often can I do this?
A: You can do this once every 6 months + 1 day. The first day you can request a CLI is the day after your 6th statement posts.

Q: Does it matter what my balance is?
A: I recommend paying off the previous month's balance in full and waiting for it to process (show $0 due) before applying for the CLI.

Q: Why ask for a CLI?
A: It will lower your overall credit utilization ratio, and thus improve your credit score (so long as you don't receive a hard pull - in that case, it may be a moot point).

Q: How do I do it?
A: There are 2 ways:

1. Risky/Lazy Method
a. Navigate to your Citi account online and click "Benefits & Services in the top blue panel"
b. Under "Services and Requests", select "Request a Credit Line Increase"
c. Make sure your Citi Forward card is selected (if it is your only Citi card, skip this step)
d. Fill out the required information, requested limit increase, salary, rent, etc. I recommend asking for a 50% increase in your credit limit if you are moderately using the card or barely using it at all. If you are using upwards of 50% of your credit line each week, you may as well ask for 2-3 times your current limit.
e. Click continue, and await your fate (5-10 seconds). One of 4 screens will pop up:
(1) A notification saying that your credit limit increase was denied
(2) A notification saying that your credit limit increase is under review, and a summary of which credit reporting agency was used to make the decision.
(3) A counter offer of an amount less than what you tried to get, that you can snap-accept without getting your credit report pulled
(4) A notification saying that your credit limit increase was approved.

It's clear why this is a more risky method, because 50% of the scenarios involve you getting your credit report pulled, which hurts your score and you generally don't want to happen.

2. Risk-Free Method
a. Call the number on the back of your Citi Forward card
b. Tell the computer you are "calling about something else"
c. Say "credit limit increase"
d. Say "increase the credit limit"
e. Computer will tell you to hold your horses, they are getting a human on the line to help you.
f. Tell the CSR that you want to increase your credit limit, but that you do not want there to be a hard inquiry on your credit report. Ask if it is possible for you to suggest an amount to increase your credit limit to, and that if it is not possible to increase it to that high without a hard pull, ask if they can give you a counter-offer.
g. They will tell you OK. Note, this is similar to their online system, except the CSR has the ability to stop the CLI instantly if you do not get approved or counter-offered, so that your credit report is not pulled.

I started my Citi Forward account about 19 months ago and have followed this method. The first 2 times I used method 1, but now that I discovered method 2 I will exclusively be using it for future CLIs. I put about $300-$500 on my Forward card each month, and the progress of my credit limit has been as follows:

Opening: $4000
6mo: $5500
12mo: $7000
18mo: $8500

Each time I asked for about a 50-75% increase, and was countered with $1,500.

Good Luck!

Last edited by imjosh; 11-26-2012 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:43 PM   #146
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

FYI - spoke recently to an AMEX customer rep - thought of this thread and asked - apparently, they *never* do hard inquiries for a credit limit increase request, only soft inquiries. They will however, after you get to around $30k, ask for proof of income in form of tax returns for increases over that amount.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:35 PM   #147
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

I think you guys may be way over-estimating the impact of hard inquiries on your credit score. There is some negative impact, yes, but it is very minimal and very limited amount of time. I'm not saying go nuts and apply for tons of stuff but a few hard inquiries here and there won't be a huge impact.

*note I'm not basing this on any fact just general observation after looking at probably 10,000 credit reports
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:37 PM   #148
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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Yeah I read recently that cell phone providers are able to report but not obligated to. Most do not, but I read that Verizon in the US does, so it appears Rogers is doing so as well.
They don't in the US that I've ever seen.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:44 PM   #149
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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I think you guys may be way over-estimating the impact of hard inquiries on your credit score. There is some negative impact, yes, but it is very minimal and very limited amount of time. I'm not saying go nuts and apply for tons of stuff but a few hard inquiries here and there won't be a huge impact.

*note I'm not basing this on any fact just general observation after looking at probably 10,000 credit reports
Haha, yeah, that's a good point and thanks for the insight. And seems like on some level we might've buried the main points about maintaining a good credit score. For myself, all I've really done is make sure I don't take on more CC debt than I can afford to pay off each month, put every bill on auto pay (to avoid late payments), and remember to occasionally request CC line of credit increases (to improve utilization). Seems like if you do those 3 basic things, your credit score will always be solid.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:36 PM   #150
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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Originally Posted by gtpitch View Post
I think you guys may be way over-estimating the impact of hard inquiries on your credit score. There is some negative impact, yes, but it is very minimal and very limited amount of time. I'm not saying go nuts and apply for tons of stuff but a few hard inquiries here and there won't be a huge impact.

*note I'm not basing this on any fact just general observation after looking at probably 10,000 credit reports

Agree. I only care about inquiries because I apply for ~5 cards every 3 months. "Too many recent inquiries" is a very real rejection reason for me
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