- FICO (myFICO): 668
- Experian PLUS score: 645
- Credit Karma: 599
History...Unemployment in 2007-2008 resulted in:
- 3 @ Past Due 60+ (last 2+ yrs ago)
- 4 @ derogs (CO, collections, settle)
- Oldest account: 11+ years (closed Discover that still reports open and pays as agreed)
- Average age: 4 years
- Utilization: < 10% (intentionally)
- 4 cards; Never carry a balance.
- One car note @ $25K balance (~6 months old -- subprime, booooo).
To work on rebuilding...
- Got an Orchard Bank unsecured at $500. About 9 months old. Due for CLI in Dec (dunno how much).
- Got a Capital One Platinum (mediocre). Limit $500. Due CLI next month as part of their credit steps.
- Got a Discover More at $1000. About 6 months old. Requested CLI of just $500, which was granted so $1500 limit now.
- So...doin' ok so far. Decided to apply for a Chase rewards...denied. Called and asked for a recon and they were like no, pfft. They were one of my previous charge-offs, so that makes sense. Since I had the hard inquiry, applied for a couple more mediocre cards (this and the car shopping give me 7 hard inquiries)...denied, except for...
- HSBC. Dunno how much the limit is -- still not here yet.
- AMEX Gold PR. That was on a whim and didn't expect it to actually be approved (and find it weird since so many mediocre cards are declined). I plan for sure to keep this account long-term, I think I can work this and the Discover to make the rewards worthwhile. My salary is under $50K annually, so I don't do much in the way of disposable spending.
I plan to keep my utilization relatively low (at least under 20%) and pay off balances each month. The AMEX and Discover will get the most use. I'm tentatively planning to run cell, utilities, car payment, and other recurring bills like insurance through the AMEX. And swap back and forth between AMEX and Discover for some spending (gas, groceries, etc.). A part of me also thinks the benefits that come with a credit card are preferable to just continuing to always use my debit.
The other cards...well, they're mediocre. I don't necessarily desire to keep them, save for keeping the total credit number up and help keep utilization down. Plus I figure I should have at least one Mastercard, for acceptance.
So...what can I do to better my credit situation? I'd like to improve it to the point where I don't have to settle for mediocre cards in the future, where I can get good rates on loans, and when I reach the point in my life where I'm ready to buy a house I can get a decent rate on that too. I know it won't be quick, but I'd hate to spend 5 years runnin' down the wrong path.