Garden Cult Meeting - November 2014

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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Nixon
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Postby Nixon » Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:16 am

lobbythis wrote:The main problem is that most people over there have no business even using credit cards. Broke people telling stories to each other around the camp fire, watching their credit scores burn.


Family bankruptcy? ;)
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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:21 am

Nixon wrote:When I was reinstated, I made it known that I would be keeping "the best of me" to the less SRS boards.
One thing about MF is the sheer amount of posts to respond to and unique situations. But there IS a lot of opinionated posting that has to be sifted through to get to the bottom of things.

I find CCF to be better for fast, accurate information. Like an objective (neutral) card review.


I agree. There are so many threads there that it could be hard to maintain a discussion in more than one or two at a time.

Familiarity also plays a role. Here, I've figured out whose advice to take seriously and whose I should dismiss. Over there, it seems harder to tell, partly because there are just so many people.

I am surprised, though, at the number of more senior people here who have, at one time or another, seriously messed up their credit one way or another. I can learn from their mistakes, at least.
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

Nixon
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Postby Nixon » Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:24 am

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I agree. There are so many threads there that it could be hard to maintain a discussion in more than one or two at a time.

Familiarity also plays a role. Here, I've figured out whose advice to take seriously and whose I should dismiss. Over there, it seems harder to tell, partly because there are just so many people.

I am surprised, though, at the number of more senior people here who have, at one time or another, seriously messed up their credit one way or another. I can learn from their mistakes, at least.


Well, Hopefully i've helped you out in some way or another here or there. :)

It don't take much to mess up credit, duder. One extended period of illness can send you straight down the crapper QUICK.
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Vattené
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Postby Vattené » Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:40 am

Cre wrote:I think I still am a gardener after all.

I have no idea what my FICO is.

And I don't care to know. (That is a good gardener trait, isn't it?)

Here's why I don't care to know:

1. The three credit bureaus withhold this score when asked to provide a free credit report, which the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act... that one I already knew) requires these bureaus to provide to consumers upon request at no charge annually. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion have set up this b*llsh*t scheme where they will send you a credit report, but charge you for your score. In fact, all three credit reporting bureaus make it so difficult and tricky to get a credit report without paying them something for it, it boils my blood. What kind of sick and twisted minds dream up the maze of schemes these bureaus have created to SKIRT FEDERAL LAW for another buck?

They can go stuff themselves, as far as I'm concerned. I've sent all three bureaus CERTIFIED MAIL requesting the credit reports that we are entitled to under the law. I had two entitlements in the instance of this case. One, I hadn't made such a request in years. Decades. And two, someone had stolen my physical Chase credit card (no charges were made, I called immediately)... and I had filed the appropriate alert report with the credit bureaus, which entitled me to a report within that 90 day period. I tried to get the request done online, but no matter what, was redirected to have to pay for it. I tried calling, but no matter where I went in their phone tree, I had to pay for it. So I sent a certified letter to all three bureaus, and only ONE sent me a report. The other two ignored my CERTIFIED MAIL request. Even for just a report (I did not request a score), as per the FCRA requirements. Nothing.

So they can keep their ruse of a money grabbing FICO score scheme to themselves. I'll never pay a single solitary dime to know what it is.

2. The second reason why I don't care what my FICO score is... is because I have no control over it. Or at least, so I thought for many years. I don't create the score. I don't use the score. I can't control the score. So what care I about the score? That's for creditors and card issuers and banks to pay for and fret about.

The only thing I can personally control is MY behavior. The only behavior that I can actually do as far as credit is concerned is pay my bills on time. That's it. What else can I really personally do? What other power do I have over that mythically created score that they want me to pay for? Just make sure that whatever promises I make, I keep. Whatever obligations I incur, I satisfy per what I agreed to. I have no other control to manipulate the score that I have no use for.

Or at least... so I thought. Reading these forums gives me some pause in my previous assumptions. It appears that there are other behaviors I can do... such as having more open lines of credit... that fall within their (whoever "they" are) statistical models that would make them "perceive" me to be more credit worthy. Ok, so I'll learn this game, with the help of many posters here.

But at the end of the day, I still think about a rancher I once worked for. He purchased 200 acres of grazing land on a handshake. That's it. No written contract. Just the bond of his word, a look in the eye, and a handshake. The terms were 30 years, and he paid it off in 10. I'm glad I met that rancher in high school, because I've abided by his philosophy ever since. That maybe why I got stuck in the "garden" so many years, and didn't even realize it.


Did you try to get your reports directly from the credit reporting agency or did you go through AnnualCreditReport.com? I've done the latter and haven't had TOO much trouble. Sometimes they won't give it to me online so I have to get it mailed to me. It is the authoritative source for credit reports specifically set up to comply with the FCRA. You can request any or all three online, over the phone, or by mail. The phone number is 1-877-322-8228. From the website, you can mail what they call the Annual Credit Report Request Form to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
The webpage I got that from (provided by the Federal Trade Commission) also says:
Do not contact the three nationwide credit reporting companies individually. They are providing free annual credit reports only through annualcreditreport.com, 1-877-322-8228 or mailing to Annual Credit Report Request Service.


Why can't you get it directly from them? I have no clue! I think they should provide credit reports AND credit scores to consumers whenever requested. What is it costing them? The information is collected continuously and the score is nothing more than a mathematical output. They're developed for and sold to issuers of credit. I think we should be able to see what they are selling about us. Including the score, not just the information they are selling about us, and not once a year. It takes a lot less time than a year for wrong information to seriously screw you over.

I never pay for credit scores and I never pay credit card interest! I get free FICOs from Discover anyway.

As for controlling it...Generally, if you manage your finances responsibly and pay your bills your credit should be fine. Knowing the rules and factors going into your score can help you get it higher, but you don't have to devote a lot of time and energy into it like us hobbyists do.
-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

Cre
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Postby Cre » Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:34 am

As usual Vattene, you are a veritable fountain of helpful information, cheerfully presented. Thank you! You have definitely made membership at CCF worthwhile.

"membership has it's rewards."
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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Xorand
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Postby Xorand » Sat Nov 08, 2014 7:48 pm

I generally don't care what my actual FICO score is. Frankly, the version I get from CreditKarma (which always exactly matches the free "FICO" score I get from CapitalOne) is close enough for me.

Per the free credit reports, I just did mine last night as a matter of fact. Got all 3 online with no problem. Sometimes the questions that Experian and Equifax ask to verify my identity will trip me up. When that happens, you automatically go into a "we'll send it in the mail or you get nothing" bin.

Also, added my own "gardening" avatar since all the cool kids are doing it.
AmEx - Platinum (NPSL) , Blue Cash Preferred ($19,000), Gold Delta Skymiles ($8,500)
Chase - Sapphire Preferred ($14,000), Disney ($11,500), Amazon.com ($9,000), Freedom ($8,000)
CapOne - QuickSilver ($7,250) / Platinum Rewards ($7,250)

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lobbythis
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Postby lobbythis » Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:00 pm

Garden for life!

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popamode72
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Postby popamode72 » Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:14 pm

lobbythis wrote:Garden for life!

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Oh no! You can never EVER cut up a card in the garden, especially if there's no annual fee. You must keep all your cards or else the credit boogie man will come after you and your family. Don't ever close your secured Cap One and Credit One cards either.
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 » Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:27 pm

She may be cutting up a card, but she has the euphoric enthusiasm of a true cult member. We just need to photoshop a credit card app in place of the card.
-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

sakhalin
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Postby sakhalin » Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:48 pm

I've been in the garden for two years now. The last hard inquiry for more credit was for my AMEX BCE back in 2012. I think I applied in late November.

I do have a hard inquiry for an employment background check though.
AMEX BCE ($20,000), Citi Forward ($6,800), Discover IT ($5,250), BoA Travel Rewards ($1,800)



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