Vattené wrote:Welcome! Honestly, it sounds like your credit is in a really good position and you don't need to worry about your score at all. If your only anticipated credit needs for the foreseeable future are which credit cards to apply for to get the best rewards, you are golden. You should be able to get approved for any credit card you want. If you keep paying everything on time and don't let any negative items come into your credit profile, I would bet you can get approved for any credit product you want (within reason, of course - not a new million-dollar mortgage on a house if your income doesn't support it).
I don't have any experience with refinancing student loans, but generally being in the mid-700s will put you in the top tier of any lender and get you the best terms they offer. This is just one anecdote, but I think I was around 740 when I applied to finance a car about a year after graduating college. I was a little nervous about qualifying for the manufacturer's promotional low rate because I had only a few years of credit history and it ALL came from credit cards, but I qualified for their top credit tier no problem. About a year after that I also got a mortgage at the lowest rate offered, and my actual score was higher but definitely not 800.
If you are going to apply for refinancing, I'd make sure my utilization was under 10% to be safe and put my credit in as positive a light as possible, but if you're not applying for anything IMO there's really no benefit in manipulating utilization on a regular, ongoing basis. Having a score over 800 may be cool for bragging rights (I'm getting close and want to break 800 myself), but in reality it probably won't have any impact on you.
As for your varying credit scores, this is because the information is coming from different sources. Discover's score is from TU and Chase's is from EX. There are different versions of the FICO model, too. Discover uses FICO-8; I'm not sure what specific FICO Chase provides, but if it is a different version the score would be different even if they came from the same CRA. The dates when the scores are pulled matters, too, as info in your credit profile could change. So, even though you are getting a FICO, there are a lot of other variables and you shouldn't expect the numbers to be the same.
Finally, whether you should close accounts depends largely on personal preference. The history should stay on your profile for 10 years, so closed accounts still figure into account aging. You will have an immediate impact on utilization, however. Closing an account means losing some available credit, so your utilization will go up even if you have the same amount outstanding because it suddenly becomes a larger portion of what is available to you. The impact should be minimal, especially for someone with a well-established credit profile. If the accounts aren't of any value to you and you don't want to bother with monitoring them for fraud, I would just close them. Quicksilver and Discover seem like the ones that earn rewards and you will definitely want to keep. I'm not sure what BofA card you have, but BofA is the bank and it just uses the Amex network. You will have to apply for the BCP directly from Amex, as they are the issuing bank of the BCP. Again, I don't think you need to worry about getting approved, though. Will the $75 AF be worth it, and will you just use the BCP for groceries and gas? If so, if you want to maximize rewards you should apply for the BCP for gas and groceries and use Discover on everything else until the double cash back promo ends. Then, use Discover on categories and Quicksilver for everything else.
**edited because I mentioned an introductory offer I thought was publicly available for all new applicants, but it appears Amex is toying around with different introductory offers**
Thank you for adding your input Vanttene. I can't believe how much we have been missing out on earning cash back and rewards, and just ignorant about credit scores in general. It has been 20 years since we bought our house and we have just been in auto pilot paying our regular bills and only using the cards we got so many years ago when we had a larger purchase to make or were traveling. We had a case of fraud last year with my debit card and that scared me because the charges were hitting our checking account. Thankfully I keep a close eye on our account and caught it before too much damage was done. I decided at that point we probably shouldn't be using our debit cards for all of our purchases.
I have been reading this forum and researching what would be the smartest way to consolidate the cards we already have and apply for 1 or 2 others that would make good sense for us to have. So far I think I should ask to combine my old Cap 1 plat with the quicksilver that way I would increase the CL from $10,000 to $18,500 and just have the one account. Would I get to keep the age of the old account (16 yrs) on the quicksilver?
I think with the Chase Slate I could ask for a PC to the Freedom, but since I already have the Discover I am not sure how much that would really benefit us? Maybe this is the card that I should drop since I would really like to get the AM EX BCP. We spend on average $800 a month on groceries and $300 on gas, so the cash back would more than make up for the AF.
I don't think I will apply for any new cards until I get my student loan refinanced. I am really hoping to get that down to 2-3% so I can work on getting that paid off before my dh retires in 6 years. We are also planning to try and pay our mortgage off in that time frame.
I was doing some reading on the MY FICO sight and I was amazed at how many people have 15+ cc. I couldn't imagine keeping track of that many accounts. I am the type of person that likes to put as many bills as I can on auto payment and keep things as simple as possible. I was really shocked at how many people with lower FICO scores had so many cards and were calling every month for CLI. I have never actually asked for an increase lol ... I guess I have never really seen a reason to have that much credit available. I am guessing that if I asked I could have higher limits and I might ask for an increase on my Discover so I can keep my utilization low without having to make extra payments throughout the month.
Thanks again for the advice.