When To Garden

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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spy23714
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When To Garden

Postby spy23714 » Tue May 10, 2016 11:04 pm

Over the past 18-24 months, I've been on my credit game in preparations for buying a new car. I picked up the new car 4 days ago, and now I have nothing I intend to finance any time soon, so I'm wondering when you should consider gardening and when you should just leave things alone.

Since it'll be at least two years before I finance anything else (fingers crossed for no emergencies) should I go ahead and take the hit and request a CLI for each card? Most of them I'm comfortable with the limit where it is, but I wouldn't be opposed to higher. A couple, however, are pretty low. i.e. A gas card with a $450 limit, but it was my first card and carries most of my average age of accounts weight.

Any and all help appreciated in advance!


ingramjuan
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Re: When To Garden

Postby ingramjuan » Wed May 11, 2016 12:13 am

spy23714 wrote:I'm wondering when you should consider gardening and when you should just leave things alone.


I would suggested letting things rest for 6 to 9 months
CARDS:
Capital One Platinum (2001) |Capital One QuickSilver World (2002) | Amex Gold Delta (2013) | Best Buy Visa (2013) |Discover It (2015) | Amex Platinum (2015)

Gardening Since: June, 2015

Next Cards:
Personal: Chase Freedom Unlimited
Business: Amex Plum
Store Card: Lowes

TXviking
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Re: When To Garden

Postby TXviking » Wed May 11, 2016 4:43 am

Do you know your FICO and how many inquiries you've had in the past 2 years? What's your debt:income ratio and total available credit now? Easier to offer advice with those data points.

spy23714
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Re: When To Garden

Postby spy23714 » Wed May 11, 2016 7:33 am

TXviking wrote:Do you know your FICO and how many inquiries you've had in the past 2 years? What's your debt:income ratio and total available credit now? Easier to offer advice with those data points.


I'm not sure about the fico. Credit Karma has me at 736 equifax and 738 transunion. After financing the car, I applied for an American Express after years of waiting, so I currently have 3 inquiries but one falls off next month. I make about $50k per year and have about $4,000 in balances with $37,000 available credit.

Kevin86475391
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Re: When To Garden

Postby Kevin86475391 » Wed May 11, 2016 9:11 am

Congrats on your new car and general success so far! :cheers:

Personally I'd definitely shift into a quiet period for at least the next 6-12 months. I wouldn't apply for anything else or take any HPs (hard pulls) for CLIs (credit limit increases). Personally, I probably wouldn't even do SP (soft pull) requests for CLIs for at least 6-12 months, because I'd rather my profile remain completely static in the near term. This is particularly true if you're already mostly satisfied with your limits anyway.

After about 6-12 months I'd consider doing some SP requests for CLIs and perhaps an HP here or there if you really want a CLI or want a new account. After about a year I'd resume 'normal' credit activity, which for me would mean adding about 1 credit card as desired/needed every 12-24 months. If needed I'd consider doing 1 CLI request per account about once every 6-12 months. I'd stop seeking new accounts or doing CLI requests at least 6-12 months before applying for future car loans or mortgages.

That's just me though and I tend to be fairly conservative with seeking new credit and larger limits.

In your position I'd also focus on paying down your car loan and that 4K in credit card debt.

Also, regarding your gas card if you do want to close the account I'd go ahead. It will remain on your credit report and continue to factor into your AAOA for another 10 years. By then your other accounts will be older and likely more than offset your AAOA. If you don't need/want it and especially if it's costing you anything in AFs or service fees I'd cut it loose. If you still find it useful and it's not costing you anything, then it's probably fine to hang onto it.

Anyway good luck!

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Vattené
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Re: When To Garden

Postby Vattené » Wed May 11, 2016 7:40 pm

If you're just leaving things alone then you are gardening. If you don't really need CLIs for any practical reason but just want to pad utilization, I'd recommend trying for a CLI on all accounts that will let you do it with a SP. If they require a HP, just leave the account alone. A SP won't have any impact on your credit.

If you know that you're not going to be able to just leave them alone and will break down and ask for a CLI even if it means a HP, IMO you are better off just taking the HP and getting it over with now, just to let that HP start aging ASAP.
Last edited by Vattené on Fri May 20, 2016 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
-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

takeshi
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Re: When To Garden

Postby takeshi » Thu May 12, 2016 9:47 am

spy23714 wrote:so I'm wondering when you should consider gardening and when you should just leave things alone.

As stated above, gardening is leaving things alone. Gardening is usually used in the context of gardening and spreeing which is like starving and binging IMO. I'd recommend getting a feel for what sort of new credit and credit seeking activity your credit profile can support rather than gardening and spreeing. A stronger, established profile can generally handle more new credit and credit seeking activity than a thinner profile and/or a profile with issues. We really can't tell you "X months" or whatever timeframe.

JonE
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Re: When To Garden

Postby JonE » Thu May 12, 2016 10:03 am

It all depends on goals, my big goals right now are investing, buying a house in the next 2-3 years and rebuilding savings. None of which are conducive to applying for more credit. I really don't do gardening for gardening's sake, nor do I go on app sprees. I pick and choose what's right for me, as of right now there isn't anything else I can see that I need that I don't already have.
Current Cards: Chase Freedom, Discover IT
Future: TBD

TXviking
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Re: When To Garden

Postby TXviking » Thu May 12, 2016 10:06 am

I'd eliminate existing revolving debt (credit card debt) before applying for anything else. You sound like you're in decent shape credit-wise but still have a somewhat thin file, which means that even if you get approved for new products, high existing utilization is likely to translate into lower credit lines on new cards. One to look out for in particular is the $5K requirement to qualify for Visa Signature on new Visa accounts.

That said, since the only direct impact of a credit card application is a HP that falls off in two years, and you don't plan to finance anything else in the next two years, you don't have a whole lot to lose. So if there's a credit card product out there you really want, I'd give it a few months, try to get your utilization down a bit, and then simply apply.

Are there any particular cards you're interested in?

MemberSince99
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Re: When To Garden

Postby MemberSince99 » Fri May 20, 2016 1:32 pm

Always

Forever

Infinite loop

A diamond spade is way better than any card you might get. Want to be one of the cool kids well a seedling isn't going to cut it I'm afraid. And 09Lexie might chop off some body parts vital to creating children.



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