I'm Sure You Guys See This All the Time...

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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Groot
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I'm Sure You Guys See This All the Time...

Postby Groot » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:25 pm

...but I'm going to ask anyway. lol

A new year, a new leaf. I've been looking at working on my credit score for a while. Now, my credit score isn't that bad (~730), and I'm not in a position where I need to apply for a car/house loan or anything like that in the immediate future.

My credit utilization is higher than where it needs to be. I've got a pretty significant tax refund and a company bonus headed my way as well in a couple months. I'm sure that I can make a pretty good dent in that utilization. Besides, from what I've read, 10%-20% is healthy, yeah?

Here's my question, should I slowly pay down my credit cards and slowly watch as my credit score trickles up +1 pt every other month, or is there something better that I could actively be doing?

I have 3 CC's, but none of which I've applied for recently. There's been little to no activity on my credit report. I just wanna know if there's more I could be doing. Even if that means taking a hit on my score for the time being (knowing that nothing in the foreseeable future would be impacted) and I could bounce back.

Cards:
Capital One Venture ($2800 balance; $6500 CL; 22.99% APR; 10/2006)
Chase Freedom ($3100 balance; $5000 CL; 13.99% APR; 06/2007)
Citi Forward ($1600 balance; $5600 CL; 12.99% APR; 09/2007)


If the advice is just to pay down, I suppose I shall just be patient or "garden" I think is the correct term. (I'm learning. Shut up. haha)

Any advice would be fantastic. Thanks in advance!
[CENTER]
BoA Platinum Plus - [6/06] | CapOne Venture - [10/06] | Chase Freedom - [6/07] | Citi Forward - [9/07] | Discover it - [1/15]

TCL: $24,000
[/align]


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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:37 am

Are you making 401(k) contributions? Do you get an employer match on them?

If you could be contributing more money and get a 50% or 100% match on those funds, then that is more important. That's instantly earning 50% or 100% in a tax-advantaged account.

If you're not able to contribute more, or you don't get a match, then I'd pay down the CC debt as quickly as possible. Make minimum payments on Chase and Citi, and put every cent you can towards Capital One.

You don't need to carry balances from month to month to get good credit. It's must better to just let a small balance report and then pay in full in time so there's no interest. 1% to 4% is much better utilization than 10% or 20%. The best FICO will result from just letting a tiny balance (a few dollars) report on one card, then paying it before it incurs interest.

The actual credit cards you have are fine and I'd just leave them alone. You don't need to apply for anything new.
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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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:59 am

Actually, since your balances are pretty high, it should be worth it to get a balance transfer card - something that will give you 0% for 12 or 18 months. Even if you have to pay a transfer fee, it will save you from paying a lot in interest. It sounds like the bonus and refund won't be in your hand for a while, and those interest rates are awful.

Chase Slate is the best major card for balance transfers, but you can't move the Freedom's balance onto it. Maybe Discover?

Getting an employer 401(k) match is still your best option, though.
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

Groot
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Postby Groot » Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:26 pm

Thanks for the reply! Yes, I do contribute to my 401(k) as my employer matches 6%. Free money is a good thing.

I was thinking about a balance transfer, and saw the Chase Slate. I also was considering the Citi Simplicity maybe. I'll have to look into Discover.

Either way, I think I have to wait because my CC's asked if I wanted a CLI in August and I said yes.
[CENTER]
BoA Platinum Plus - [6/06] | CapOne Venture - [10/06] | Chase Freedom - [6/07] | Citi Forward - [9/07] | Discover it - [1/15]

TCL: $24,000
[/align]

samhradh
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Postby samhradh » Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:46 am

1. Ask for a CLI on all your cards. Don't wait for a CLI in August. That's months and months away. (It's kind of strange. The banks offered that?)
2. Apply for a 0% balance transfer card. If you can pay off the Freedom with your bonus/return then apply for a Slate. If you can't, find a different card.
2. Pay down the balance as much as possible on your existing cards then transfer the remaining to a balance transfer card.

To reiterate, carrying a balance from month to month is not what helps your credit score. Utilization (this can be managed by paying the bank prior to statement closing) under 10% is a figure I see credit misers aim for. I personally have low enough spending for my CL that I just pay before my statement is due.
Citi Forward ($10.1K), AmEx Blue Cash Everyday ($30K), Chase Freedom ($12.4K), Discover it ($5.5K), Barclaycard Arrival ($12.5K), L.L. Bean Visa ($5K). FICO 806 (TU), 812 (EQ), 806 (EX).

Groot
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Postby Groot » Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:29 am

Well Chase asked me in August if I wanted a CLI, and I said yes, then the other two credit cards asked me if I wanted a CLI and I said yes to those as well. I thought I had to wait 6 months before I asked for a CLI?

Yeah, CarefulBuilder14 recommended the Discover It for a BT, and I think I may try applying for that. Although I'm nervous to try because my utilization is really high, they have one with a 18 month 0% APR. Chase changed their MC to Visa a couple months ago and now all my cards are Visa and Sam's Club doesn't take Visa. -_-
[CENTER]
BoA Platinum Plus - [6/06] | CapOne Venture - [10/06] | Chase Freedom - [6/07] | Citi Forward - [9/07] | Discover it - [1/15]

TCL: $24,000
[/align]



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