So wait, what?

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SparkyinCA
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Postby SparkyinCA » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:24 am

Ok, I understand your plan. I would still sign up now to monitor so you can check what's happening daily between now and the end of December.

Let one balance report a small amount on either one of your cards (doesn't matter which one).

You should purchase 2 FICO scores now (cost $19.95 each for TU and EQ) at myFICO.com (Click on Buy My Report for each one in your shopping basket for TU and EQ). You can't buy your EX FICO (which is what Amex will pull). If your 2 FICO's are looking good now, they will only get better by the end of December if you follow this method of paying your cards the way I have suggested.

Then just before you apply for the new cards, run your FICO's again (another $40) once you've verified on your credit monitoring company you decide to go with that monitors all 3 CRA's.

You will be golden if your scores are looking good and this puts you in control of your scores anytime you apply for credit. The "let's throw a dart" method of applying for credit is for amateurs. You are controlling your credit and how and when things report so you can apply confidently for credit with the highest scores possible for the length of time you've had credit and your current credit trade lines.

If you get approved for both or just one card (or neither card you want) that just means you need to Garden your credit for another 6 months to a year (a year is better to let things age more). You can either PIF both of your cards each month since it doesn't matter to you since you won't be applying while you're gardening. Monitor your CRA's every so often (weekly, monthly, quarterly..whatever works for you). I like to pull mine daily. You'd be surprised how many little changes happen in the course of a week (INQ's falling off, Utilization changes, AAoA, your balances posting along with when they post since they don't post right away after your statements close). I've noticed EX information posts usually the day after my statements cut, EQ a few days later and then TU about a full week later...It's always really slow. If you don't see the changes on your monitoring reports then FICO won't be updated either. So I know you plan to apply for the Amex card before the end of the year, so timing is really important in your case to get your FICO scores at their optimum.

I just reviewed your cutoff dates carefully so here is what I would do in your case:

1) Let your Discover post a small balance on your December 12th statement ($2 or $3...that's all it takes). That will stay on your CRA's until the middle of January 2013.
2) Make sure your BofA and Citi cards post $0 on November 27th. That way if they don't update in time for the end of December you are sure to have $0 reported on those 2 cards with your CRA's.
3) For the December 27th cutoff, make sure Citi and BofA are PIF to $0. Then you won't have to stress if they don't update in time for you to apply before December 31st ish to get your Amex Member Since date set for 2012).

Hope this helps..


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Snowman
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Postby Snowman » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:07 pm

Okay so as you suggested I bought my scores today for this month and here they are

Transuinon: 742
Equifax: 729
Last time I checked on Experian is when Citi pulled it for my Forward card and they told me it was 738, When Discover sent me my approval notice and card in the mail they told me my score from TU was 759, but now it is 742. Which one should I use to monitor all three CRA's? I have 3 total Inquires on each bureau. Discover on Transunion, Citi for Experian and Equifax from At&T (I didn't know phone companies check your credit, but at least I know now.)

And yeah the goal is to apply on December 30th, I'll be home since I'll be working Christmas eve, day, and New Years Eve and Day.So hopefully I'll be good. And If I follow that, Do you think with my credit history I would have a chance of getting approved for an Amex or a Chase? I don't want to risk a hard pull for nothing.

And Lastly, I heard Discover does not report for the 1st three to six months, I don't if it's true? and will it help when Citi starts reporting or is it going to hurt me because of my recent inquires.
Bank Of America: BankAmeriCard Cash Rewards-4.2k
Citi: Forward-4.5k American Airlines Advantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard 9/6/15-4K
Discover: More-7k
Amex BCE.2k- Amex SPG-5k
Chase: Freedom-5kSouthwest Rapid Rewards Plus- 3.6k
Capital one: Venture one-10,000, Visa Signature.

SparkyinCA
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Postby SparkyinCA » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:21 pm

Snowman wrote:Okay so as you suggested I bought my scores today for this month and here they are

Transuinon: 742
Equifax: 729
Last time I checked on Experian is when Citi pulled it for my Forward card and they told me it was 738, When Discover sent me my approval notice and card in the mail they told me my score from TU was 759, but now it is 742. Which one should I use to monitor all three CRA's?

Your scores still look good even though they dropped. I assume you pulled your FICO scores right? If they aren't then no point in discussing. If you paid $39 something then they were probably your FICO scores. Your scores dropping is to be expected after you add new accounts. It takes at least 3 to 6 months to start recovering your scores after you add new accounts because your AAoA drops (average age of accounts) and the INQ's drop your scores depending on which CRA they pull (sometimes they pull all 3!! You lucked out and they only pulled one CRA). I suggest you sign up for USAA credit monitoring so you can see all 3 of your reports at the same time every day you want to pull them as I mentioned before.


I have 3 total Inquires on each bureau. Discover on Transunion, Citi for Experian and Equifax from At&T (I didn't know phone companies check your credit, but at least I know now.)

This is why it's good to pull your reports. You now have learned something you didn't know about. There is lots more to learn!

And yeah the goal is to apply on December 30th, I'll be home since I'll be working Christmas eve, day, and New Years Eve and Day.So hopefully I'll be good. And If I follow that, Do you think with my credit history I would have a chance of getting approved for an Amex or a Chase? I don't want to risk a hard pull for nothing.

I'm going to hesitate. You've added a lot of new credit this year. Would be better to wait, but you hardly have any INQ's across all your CRA's. That is good. But the new accounts are hurting you. I would probably just apply for the Amex and live with the INQ on EX (which is what they probably will pull..). They may also pull one or both of your other CRA's if you're borderline. You never know for sure since your credit is so new and your limits are low. So you have to plan for it they might pull more. But the Backdating is important enough to live with the INQ's IMHO. But I would hold off on the Chase until next Summer ish. It's your choice. No one can make that decision for you. The worst that happens is you get denied and have to wait until later in 2013. But at least you tried in 2012 and this will help you in the long term by having that extra year on the age of your accounts. Your scores are very good, but not great (over 760 I would say go for both cards). So that's my view on your situation.

And Lastly, I heard Discover does not report for the 1st three to six months, I don't if it's true? and will it help when Citi starts reporting or is it going to hurt me because of my recent inquires.

I don't know the specifics on Discover reporting timeframes. It will hurt your scores as soon as it is added because it's a new account and your AAoA will drop because it's a new account (10 to 20 pt drop for the next 6 months or so). You've already taken the hit on your INQ for it so it's just the drop of the age of your accounts that will ding you as soon as it hits.


I hope this info helps you make your decisions :)

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Snowman
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Postby Snowman » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:28 pm

Sparky- Oh no, It was definitely the 39 dollar one (19.95 each.lol) Okay, and how much does the USAA monitoring cost? or would it matter if I go with my Discover Cards credit tracker (it's 9.99 a month) and yeah there is definitely a lot more to learn! Well my plan was in general, if I get approved by Amex, the I'm going to hold off on Chase, and If I do not get approved then I will go for Chase if Amex declines me. Well I pretty much have 1 inquiry on each bureau...so I guess it helps. And I don't want my scores to drop! I want my scores to be as good as they can be when I apply instead of it backfiring on me :( . And are these Fico scores or Fako? I don't really want Fako scores....
Bank Of America: BankAmeriCard Cash Rewards-4.2k
Citi: Forward-4.5k American Airlines Advantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard 9/6/15-4K
Discover: More-7k
Amex BCE.2k- Amex SPG-5k
Chase: Freedom-5kSouthwest Rapid Rewards Plus- 3.6k
Capital one: Venture one-10,000, Visa Signature.

WS6R6
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Postby WS6R6 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:34 pm

Man, he's telling you that these scores from all the monitoring are FAKO's but still very important to watch just the changes in your scores, not the actual scores themselves. That is why he also told you to buy your actual FICO's now, and then right before you're going to apply in December. You will not be able to buy any monitoring of FICO scores, it just doesn't exist. You buy them as a one time thing and pay for it each time you want to view the real scores. The FAKO monitoring is only to watch change in scores and when certain things post which can help you out. The Discover service is only FAKO's of one agency, TU I think....so you wouldn't want that and instead would want something that gives you all 3 FAKO's. That is if you want to pay to monitor your credit...not your credit scores. You can't do anything about what your score is, but you can learn how certain things affect your score and learn to make a plan from that....who cares what the actual number is at this point because you aren't going to dramatically change it in the next month, you are only looking to maximize your chances by getting a few extra points before you apply next month.
Travel 3x, Groceries + Gas 2x: [color=Orange"]AmEx PRG[/color] (Closed)
Restaurants + Travel 2x: [color=navy"]Chase Sapphire Preferred[/color]
Groceries 3%, Gas + Department Stores 2%: [color=blue"]AmEx BCE[/color]
Dining + Entertainment 2x: [color=navy"]Citi Thank You Preferred[/color]
Hotels 5x: [color=Black"]Chase Marriott Rewards Premier[/color]
Rotating 5%: [color=darkorange"]Discover It[/color], [color=blue"]Chase Freedom[/color]
Restaurants 5x: [color=lime"]Citi Forward[/color]
Gas 5%: [color=gray"]PenFed Platinum Rewards[/color]
Future: [color=red"]US Bank Cash +[/color]

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Snowman
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Postby Snowman » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:47 pm

Ahh okay that makes sense. I simply want a card from either both or one or the other, that's my goal and then I'm done for a bit, anything that would help my chances is what I am looking for advice for. I'll just buy my score next month before I apply, and follow the advice on the previous page and hopefully it will work out.
Bank Of America: BankAmeriCard Cash Rewards-4.2k
Citi: Forward-4.5k American Airlines Advantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard 9/6/15-4K
Discover: More-7k
Amex BCE.2k- Amex SPG-5k
Chase: Freedom-5kSouthwest Rapid Rewards Plus- 3.6k
Capital one: Venture one-10,000, Visa Signature.

SparkyinCA
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Postby SparkyinCA » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:25 pm

Thanks WS6R6 for translating for me :) It's hard to explain this stuff concisely, but I think you did a good job of it! I will say that paying your cards off except one that has a small balance can change your scores a lot if you have been carrying high balances. When I paid my cards down my scores went up about 75 or 80 points. It was pretty dramatic for me. It's nice not carrying balances too. I always thought it was better to do that to improve scores until I learned more how everything works. It really is a learning process and then once you see how they do things, it makes sense.

Snowman: You have done very very well in just a short time getting some good cards. This stuff takes time to get the cards you want, so be patient. You will get those new cards soon (relatively speaking). Tend to your garden and the payoffs will be very good for you with great credit scores now that you are learning how to manage your balances and when to apply for cards when your scores are at their optimum. It's pretty addictive as there is always a better card to get (kind of like cars!!). But be happy with what you have attained for now and those cards are in your future. Having credit scores over 760 is like having a new Ferrari without a steering wheel if you don't know how to manage your credit. So take the time to learn the basics and you'll learn over time. Keep checking your credit reports often for the changes and how they affect your scores. That will help in the meantime while your gardening to get your dream cards over time.

Keep us posted how things go...

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Snowman
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Postby Snowman » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:13 pm

Thank you WS6R6 for translating...lol. And no I typically do not carry a high balance, the highest I have ever charged on my BOFA Card (back when it was my first) was 620, but thankfully I paid it off. But I got really sick back in May (had an infection) and I had about 520+ balance. Thankfully, I was able to pay it off so it worked out, and my scores have not been great but I would think they are decent so far. You say you are in rebuilding sparky, do you mind sharing what's happened?, if not it's totally fine. And thank you and and all the other posters that have posted on this thread, I really do appreciate every advice and idea that has been given to me in the course of the last 3 weeks.
Bank Of America: BankAmeriCard Cash Rewards-4.2k
Citi: Forward-4.5k American Airlines Advantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard 9/6/15-4K
Discover: More-7k
Amex BCE.2k- Amex SPG-5k
Chase: Freedom-5kSouthwest Rapid Rewards Plus- 3.6k
Capital one: Venture one-10,000, Visa Signature.

SparkyinCA
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Postby SparkyinCA » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:49 pm

You always have to plan on the unexpected since good credit is not guaranteed in life, Snowman. You asked why I am rebuilding. The short version is I was happily living my life, had a good paying full time career job. But, my parents were at an age they needed to retire from a family farm they were running and they were faced with going under and having to file BK. I stepped in, bought them out so they could retire without having to go through the nightmare of BK. It was quite a challenge for me and I got a couple of dings on my credit in the process, but I accomplished what I felt was an important mission to help my folks out when they needed it. I was young enough where I knew I could repair my credit - my parents didn't have that luxury. My Dad passed away 3 years ago after he had terminal cancer. My Mom moved in with me so I could take care of her after she had serious heart surgery at the same time my Dad was dying. I was able to retire from my full time job at a fairly young age (50 yrs old) with a very good pension to look after her 24/7 and things have worked out. My credit will be back in tip top shape by the end of next year. Thankfully, most things can be repaired with time when it comes to credit. I'm lucky I didn't have to go through BK. I did the right thing for my family as they were more important than my credit taking a temporary hit. That's why I keep mentioning to be patient since it takes time to get good cards to build a good credit report and the scores to go with it. If something happens in the course of your life (and odds are something will happen you don't expect) then you will be able to recover from it faster if you understand how everything works when you're young. I learned the hard way by reading creditboards and asking lots of questions and people helping me the same way I have tried to help you. Pay it forward to others to keep the tradition going. It's well worth it..

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Snowman
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Postby Snowman » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:38 am

I agree. And I am sorry about your Dad, but thankfully your mom is okay. truthfully, I am much closer to my mom then to my dad. Last year was very tough for me as well. I lost my best friend in January of 2011. ( someone who I would call my second brother, I have 2 brothers, but he was like family to me.) Anyways we were coming back from a friend's birthday party when we were hit by a drunk driver. I had gotten him out after the Impact and try to resuscitate him, but he passed away there. Ever since, I have always felt guilty that why it was not me that night. He was a Great kid, wonderful personality, one of the kindest hearted kids I had ever known. Every day I think about him and wonder what we'd be doing today if he was still here today. I also lost my Grandpa last June, he had developed T-cell lymphoma, which pretty much is a rare form of cancer that would eat away at the nerves and cause more cancerous cell and was very aggressive he was in his 80's when he passed. I had never seen my dad cry before then, because they were very close, my Grandpa and I were close and he would always advise me to do the right thing, even if it wasn't always in my favor. I miss him terribly. And I know, things will happen in life that I will not be able to control, and I've learned that being on this forum and life, it is about patience and learning to persevere through it, I may act impatient and very ready to go on this forum, but in real life, I am just a simple person, and any questions that I ask, I ask because there are people that have been through things before are more knowledgeable then I am, which is why I ask so many questions (not to drive the posters here crazy.) I don't want to mess up my future because I am still pretty young and I don't where my life is headed so I tend to take things slowly and day by day, because I don't ever truly know when my time comes.
Bank Of America: BankAmeriCard Cash Rewards-4.2k
Citi: Forward-4.5k American Airlines Advantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard 9/6/15-4K
Discover: More-7k
Amex BCE.2k- Amex SPG-5k
Chase: Freedom-5kSouthwest Rapid Rewards Plus- 3.6k
Capital one: Venture one-10,000, Visa Signature.



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