Garden Cult Meeting - November 2014

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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Cre
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Postby Cre » Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:47 pm

Awright. I can't stand it anymore, and despite studiously brainstorming what could possibly be meant by "gardening" when it is immediately apparent that no one here is discussing peppers, tomatoes, or ornamental flowers.... will someone please explain to me what is meant by "gardening" as used within the context of this forum? And can that explanation be in English... ie, no acronyms please... I'm still waiting to be directed to the English-CreditCardForum Acronym Glossary.

I'd mightily appreciate an explanation of "gardening". The best I can come up with from the context is "growing credit". But I don't want to assume. Thanks!
Current Cards:
AmEx Platinum Charge: NPSL, $450 AF
AmEx Reserve Credit: $30K limit, $450 AF
Chase Slate Visa Credit: $32K limit, No AF
Future Strategy:
Near Term: Need a good MasterCard for places that won't accept AmEx or Visa
Long Term: Will downsize out of one or both current AmEx cards to reduce AFs


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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:25 am

Cre wrote:Awright. I can't stand it anymore, and despite studiously brainstorming what could possibly be meant by "gardening" when it is immediately apparent that no one here is discussing peppers, tomatoes, or ornamental flowers.... will someone please explain to me what is meant by "gardening" as used within the context of this forum? And can that explanation be in English... ie, no acronyms please... I'm still waiting to be directed to the English-CreditCardForum Acronym Glossary.

I'd mightily appreciate an explanation of "gardening". The best I can come up with from the context is "growing credit". But I don't want to assume. Thanks!


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.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

Cre
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Postby Cre » Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:16 am

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.
Current Cards:
AmEx Platinum Charge: NPSL, $450 AF
AmEx Reserve Credit: $30K limit, $450 AF
Chase Slate Visa Credit: $32K limit, No AF
Future Strategy:
Near Term: Need a good MasterCard for places that won't accept AmEx or Visa
Long Term: Will downsize out of one or both current AmEx cards to reduce AFs

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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:28 am

I agree it's not the best term. I have definitely attacked my share of weed-infested soil beds, dug holes, and pruned fruit trees and grape vines. There's nothing passive about gardening, and many plants like grapes have their yield fall greatly within a year or two if you just leave them alone and don't cut off large sections of the vine each year.

There is some truth to the fact that old people seem to enjoy (outdoor) gardening more than young people, but that's really just because they are the 'survivors' who have the persistence to stick with it for a long time. Many young people who try gardening give up early on.

I am in my 20's but come from a family that takes gardening pretty seriously.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

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Vattené
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Postby Vattené » Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:42 am

It took me forever to figure out what gardening meant at first, too! You should also know it is an in-joke around here because folks at MyFICO take it WAY too seriously. It is good advice for the type of person that can't help but apply for every card they come across, but by no means is it best for every person in every situation.

Hence our "Garden Cult" discussions.
-Vattené
FICO-8:
EX - 809 (11/16) | TU - 803 (11/16)
Primary Cards:
American Express EveryDay - $20,000 (10/14)
Discover it - $23,000 (2/14)
AU on Barclay Sallie Mae - $10,000 (8/15)
plus several store accounts of varying usefulness now

popamode72
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Postby popamode72 » Fri Nov 07, 2014 12:16 pm

Gardening can get kinda boring sometimes. Just being honest here and not applying for anything in two years just to get some icon on a website is ridiculous IMO.
Macy's TLs (21k), Lowes (17k), CSP (10k), Sam's Club (10k), Nordstrom (5k), AARP (4.2k), Freedom (3k), Discover (1.5k), Quicksilver (2k), BoA (3k), Barclaycard Arrival (2.5k), Amazon Store (6k), Paypal (4.9k), Sam's Club MC (3.6k), Walmart MC (1.2k)

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Vattené
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Postby Vattené » Fri Nov 07, 2014 12:41 pm

Last night I requested an increase on my Walmart card. Didn't need it (in fact, I barely use it), but I've had it for a while so I figured it was worth a shot. I got a $1,000 CLI. But don't worry I made sure to call beforehand and verify that it would only require a soft pull like a Good Little Cult Member so I'm still in!!
-Vattené
FICO-8:
EX - 809 (11/16) | TU - 803 (11/16)
Primary Cards:
American Express EveryDay - $20,000 (10/14)
Discover it - $23,000 (2/14)
AU on Barclay Sallie Mae - $10,000 (8/15)
plus several store accounts of varying usefulness now

Nixon
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Postby Nixon » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:05 pm

Vattené wrote:It took me forever to figure out what gardening meant at first, too! You should also know it is an in-joke around here because folks at MyFICO take it WAY too seriously. It is good advice for the type of person that can't help but apply for every card they come across, but by no means is it best for every person in every situation.

Hence our "Garden Cult" discussions.


So serious that I got a 2 day vacation out of it (Almost a perma-ban).
I learned not to screw around with the garden fanatics though. :)

To think I almost put that seedling icon on my sig.
I came to my senses when I realized I had enough self-control/awareness to not need a support group for my credit decicions.
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Cre
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Postby Cre » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:20 pm

Nixon wrote:So serious that I got a 2 day vacation out of it (Almost a perma-ban).
I learned not to screw around with the garden fanatics though. :)

To think I almost put that seedling icon on my sig.
I came to my senses when I realized I had enough self-control/awareness to not need a support group for my credit decicions.



Wow. That's interesting. Almost banned eh? Human nature in semi-anonymous social circles is interesting.

Well, I need to bow out of this thread, because I'm done gardening, and I want to start making up for lost time applying for additional credit cards. And I think I need a support group to do it, because applying for the right cards, and cultivating the correct credit limits, is a tricky patch of weeds, and I'd like the help of those who are well practiced in the art.

I'm going to hunt around other threads for that type of advice. Thanks for teaching me a new term: CLI. I'll see if it is in the glossary thread I started.
Current Cards:
AmEx Platinum Charge: NPSL, $450 AF
AmEx Reserve Credit: $30K limit, $450 AF
Chase Slate Visa Credit: $32K limit, No AF
Future Strategy:
Near Term: Need a good MasterCard for places that won't accept AmEx or Visa
Long Term: Will downsize out of one or both current AmEx cards to reduce AFs

popamode72
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Postby popamode72 » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:46 pm

Vattené wrote:Last night I requested an increase on my Walmart card. Didn't need it (in fact, I barely use it), but I've had it for a while so I figured it was worth a shot. I got a $1,000 CLI. But don't worry I made sure to call beforehand and verify that it would only require a soft pull like a Good Little Cult Member so I'm still in!!


That's cool. I closed mine recently so I don't really know if it would have increased that much but in all my time of having that card, I only got a small CLI of 300. The starting limit was 900 and the CL at the time of closing was about 1200. My Amazon card by far has grown the fastest out of all the cards I've ever had (to think it just started out as a 600 dollar credit line, two increases later and look where it is now) with Sync Bank and they really surprised me recently with that Ebates Visa approval.
Macy's TLs (21k), Lowes (17k), CSP (10k), Sam's Club (10k), Nordstrom (5k), AARP (4.2k), Freedom (3k), Discover (1.5k), Quicksilver (2k), BoA (3k), Barclaycard Arrival (2.5k), Amazon Store (6k), Paypal (4.9k), Sam's Club MC (3.6k), Walmart MC (1.2k)



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