21 years old with 712 credit score: how can I improve?

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stefunny21
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21 years old with 712 credit score: how can I improve?

Postby stefunny21 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:50 pm

Hello everyone! I'm new! I just got approved for the Amex Zync Card. This is not my first Amex card. I also have a Blue Cash Everyday $8,000 CL (I did a product change from my old Blue Sky)... I also have a Citi Forward $6500 CL and Chase Slate $5000 CL. I always pay by balances in full, I've never made a late payment, and I have a car loan.

I'm 21 years old and I wanted to get some feedback. Is there anything else I should be doing to improve my credit? Currently I have about a 712 credit score. Was getting the Zync a wise move? What really got me to apply for it was the rewards. Especially the one where you get 1000 points for every hour of community service and the spa/beauty specials. Thanks in advance! :)


i_t_man
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Postby i_t_man » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:24 pm

A 712 credit score seems a little low if you've got that much credit and you've never had a late payment. Do you typically have high balances? That may be what's lowering it even though you're paying it off every month.

If I'm not mistaken the day your statement cuts is the day that your balances get reported. Have you tried paying the balances a few days before your statement cuts? If you're not already doing that, I'll bet it will bring your score up a bit.

CC Deville
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Postby CC Deville » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:03 pm

The largest part of your FICO score is lenght of time. As you are 21 your credit is still very new. You somehow managed to get very good credit lines. Were you/are you an authorized user on a parents account?

You do not need any new credit. So my advise is to let your current cards age. When you outgrow Slate you can product change to a Freedom or Sapphire for rewards without having to reapply for a new card.

A 712 is a good score and it is only "low" because your average age of account is very young. Only time and being diligent in paying on time will raise your score.

jtb268
 
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I am 21 too! I have a 780 score, maybe I can help!

Postby jtb268 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:52 am

That does seem a bit low. Make sure you are only spending 30% of your credit limit on each card, going over actually hurts your credit score. You also want to keep a balance on a card, and not pay it off completely. Having a revolving balance shows that you can be responsible and make payments.

I can tell you what I did to establish credit, maybe it will help:

I started establishing credit at 18, so only about 3-4 years now, and have a 780 credit score (So I guess 3-4 years is good history). I started with a $500CL Chase Student Card (now not available) used that for 6 months while spending under 30% and keeping a revolving balance every month; then asked for an increase and got $1000CL; I applied for a Freedom Chase card last year and got a $4000CL (love this card BTW); 6 months after that I applied for a retail card (my personal banker said I should, so that all my credit wasn't from the bank), and got a BestBuy credit card at $3600CL. Earlier this year I found out about the "Palladium Card" by Chase and got $$$ in my eyes lol so I called my personal banker for an application, applied, but I got denied... (Guess I wasn't up to their status for that card, right now) BUT today, I got approved for the Platinum AMEX card :P.

I don't have a car loan or any loans for that matter, and all the cards are solely in my name (not authorized user on parents). I think you should have up'ted me on that one, since having loan should help on the credit diversity angle. So I would say that your issue is probably paying in full every month. You might also want to pull your full credit report for all 3 bureaus if you haven't, maybe there is a discrepancy.

stefunny21
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Postby stefunny21 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:49 pm

Thanks everyone for all your input. The 712 score I mentioned is the one I got through Credit Karma. I found out Credit Karma can be a little off sometimes so I went ahead and pulled all 3 scores through AMEX's credit secure. Experian and Equifax came back with a 741 and Transunion gave me a 746. Still not as high as I would like but better than a 712. :)

i_t_man
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Postby i_t_man » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:26 am

jtb268 wrote:You also want to keep a balance on a card, and not pay it off completely. Having a revolving balance shows that you can be responsible and make payments.


Sorry JTB, but this is one of the biggest credit card myths out there. The credit agencies only care that the card is active and simply using the card is all you need to show it as "active". Carrying a balance does nothing. In fact, the lower your limit is the more carrying a balance will hurt your score since this makes up about a third of your credit score.

Capital
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Postby Capital » Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:45 pm

I, too, am 21 and started building credit when I turned 18. According to CreditKarma, my score is 741. My current total credit utilization rate is 15.2% (spread between 5 cards) and I have about $38,000 in student loans, but no other debt.

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Pete838
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Postby Pete838 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:27 am

jtb268 wrote:That does seem a bit low. Make sure you are only spending 30% of your credit limit on each card, going over actually hurts your credit score. You also want to keep a balance on a card, and not pay it off completely. Having a revolving balance shows that you can be responsible and make payments.

I can tell you what I did to establish credit, maybe it will help:

I started establishing credit at 18, so only about 3-4 years now, and have a 780 credit score (So I guess 3-4 years is good history). I started with a $500CL Chase Student Card (now not available) used that for 6 months while spending under 30% and keeping a revolving balance every month; then asked for an increase and got $1000CL; I applied for a Freedom Chase card last year and got a $4000CL (love this card BTW); 6 months after that I applied for a retail card (my personal banker said I should, so that all my credit wasn't from the bank), and got a BestBuy credit card at $3600CL. Earlier this year I found out about the "Palladium Card" by Chase and got $$$ in my eyes lol so I called my personal banker for an application, applied, but I got denied... (Guess I wasn't up to their status for that card, right now) BUT today, I got approved for the Platinum AMEX card :P.

I don't have a car loan or any loans for that matter, and all the cards are solely in my name (not authorized user on parents). I think you should have up'ted me on that one, since having loan should help on the credit diversity angle. So I would say that your issue is probably paying in full every month. You might also want to pull your full credit report for all 3 bureaus if you haven't, maybe there is a discrepancy.


I find it hard to believe that translates to a true FICO of 780. Your accounts simply aren't (and couldn't be) old enough. The average account age of someone with a 760+ FICO score is 19 years, and the average newest account is 2+ years. Lots of credit ratings websites like to hawk their score and offer their services to improve your score with them. At 21 your credit file is simply too thin to be a true 780.
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
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