Snowman wrote:Sparky- actually what happened was when I was viewing my fico scores from myfico's free trial, ( they usually charge 1.00 I think, but you do not pay anything if you cancel before the trial is over.) and when I viewed my statement there was a balance of 1.00, which I paid off this morning. So is this 1.00 balance a good thing or bad thing? Also I am considering ( when I get my new cards) that I buy a subscription from myfico ( the 14.95) and from experian and just view them monthly. Does this sound like a good or bad idea? And of course I will post when my other statements cut.
Humm...This is hard to answer. I'll try to answer as best I can. I apologize for being wordy. But this stuff can be complicated at first, so please bare with me.
1) The $1 that posted has helped your FICO scores as long as your other cards all show $0.
2) You need to sign up for something that pulls all 3 credit scores and reports (check out USAA..They have a great one that you can pull everyday, although they just raised the price (something like $20 a month maybe?). But these sites are FAKE scores! They are not FICO's. Just use to view the changes on each of your credit reports. You have 3 of them (EX, TU, EQ).
3)Monthly is not enough at this point. You are going to have multiple cards closing at different times of the month. You need to learn when and how each payment posts to your different CRA's. By getting a daily puller (where you log on and run a report that shows all 3 of your credit reports) then you can monitor what's happening.
4)I can't advise you if that is worth doing. I don't know your budget but assume this is not an expense you planned on taking on. I think the investment of that small amount of money is worth it. You will learn a lot from doing it.
5) Once you see when your cc's post to your different credit bureaus, then you will see how they affect your FICO scores. This will cost money to do to run them on occasion. Some people only pull their FICO's once a year. Some by the month, some by the week. It just depends how much you want to learn and how fast you want to reach your goals over time.
Building a good credit profile and score takes time. Think long term. Right now you're learning. Invest a bit to track and understand things, then you can switch to monthly, quarterly or yearly etc..I think pulling once a month is too slow for you right now. But, I'm not the one paying the expense to run these various reports (FICO's and FAKO's). The FAKO scores can help you with trends if your scores are going up or down but sometimes they are massively way off (100+ pts from your true FICO scores). So don't put too much weight on them. Once you get your cards reporting the way you want them to report (FICO wise) then pull your FICO's to see if your scores went up. But how will you know unless you benchmark your scores first? So you have to run them before you make any changes. Then after your changes post (that you verified looking at your 3 CRA FAKO reports) then run your FICO's again and you will be able to see the changes if you are charting everything.
I started by signing up for TU, EQ and EX by going to each of those websites, studying their plans that allow me to pull a report and score anytime I wanted (I wanted daily or unlimited pulls). Those cost about $14 -$17 each per month. Then I found out about USAA offering a daily/unlimited report I could get that pulled all 3 CRA's each day. So I signed up for that one. Then I got approved for Amex and found out they have a credit monitoring product called Credit Secure. It's great! But costs $24.99 each month. I signed up for it, but it is exactly like USAA..So I have now cancelled USAA since it is the same report as Credit Secure. This has cost me a few bucks to do this, but I sure learned a heck of lot! I even learned about B* (aka-bumpage..definitely complicated to explain here, but it has to do with getting rid of your INQ's on TU and EQ before the 2 years is up that they stay on your credit reports)....
So for now, learn how to monitor your credit reports on a daily/weekly basis depending on how much time and money you have to devote to this. Then make your decision what you want to do as you learn more how this all works. What I think is holding you back is that you don't understand you have to view your credit reports from each of the 3 bureaus, not just one. They are all different companies so you have to watch how and when they do things. Then once you get that down, you can focus on maximizing your FICO scores as you will see and learn that not all credit cards report to all 3 credit bureaus at the same time. When you get that foundation in place, then you will know exactly when to time your applications for new cards and not the other way around. You are picking dates to apply for things, but you don't have your statement cut dates and payments the way they need to be to have the best scores, so you are just hoping things will work out and I'm hoping you will take a different approach and get the best credit products you can get at the right times.
If lightbulbs are starting to go off in your head, then we are making progress. This all has an order to it and once you see it, it is very easy to handle your credit. I just wish someone would have taught me this when I was your age or I would have done things much differently when I was younger. Now I understand and I will be joining the 800 club very soon! But they didn't have computers when I was 18 years old to share information like this, so that's why I'm hoping this is helping you