CarefulBuilder14 wrote:Broadly speaking, it means you don't apply for new credit for a period of time. The inquiries on your credit report get older and fall off, and the average age of your accounts rises with time. Generally speaking, these two effects improve a person's FICO and general credit-worthiness over time. There are exceptions to this - usually when a person has a lot of bad things and few good things on a credit report. This 'gardening' behavior may also encourage automatic credit limit increases. You are not gardening, however, if you request a credit limit increase but must take an inquiry in the process.
Some people will argue whether you're still gardening or not if you take an inquiry for a phone contract, or if you can manage to open a new account without taking an inquiry. But that's the general idea.
THANK YOU for this explanation. It is not something that I would have ever guessed. I think of gardening as an active verb, not a passive activity (such as keeping stone still with credit acquisition). Turns out, I've been gardening most of my life, and didn't know it.
So then what is the opposite of gardening? I think I need to apply for more credit cards for some reason. At least that is the gist of what I'm understanding. I see signatures on this forum each listing a half dozen cards or so, and I've read comments about how having a lot of open accounts is somehow "good' for credit. So I need to do the opposite of garden. Gardening isn't always good. What is the antithesis called? Fishing for credit?
I just applied for (and received) my first new credit card in over a quarter of a century. For the last 27 years, I've used the same credit card. The banks who managed that credit card changed four times, but I stayed the same. Not one late payment, in all those years, paying the balance in full each month. It is strange to me that this single card, paid in full history is actually not beneficial at all to one's credit rating.
I'm sticking around to learn how to juggle multiple cards at once, for purposes of acquiring perks as well as following whatever the illogical logic is behind improving credit scores.