How to get a better credit score fast?

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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:13 pm
Location: Texas

How to get a better credit score fast?

Postby theking » Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:36 pm

Hello Everyone,

I need some advice how to increase my credit score the best. I moved to USA in September and right now I own 4 credit cards and I am a cosigner for a 5 card.

But 4 out of these 5 have 1k limit and the other one has a 2k, which is Chase Freedom card. I have two Discover and 2 Bank of America.

Recently, I get rejected from the Chase Sapphire Preferred which I need for my travel. So I need to build credit.

I generally pay my balances before the statement is available, so first question is if this a good strategy ? Or shall I wait for the statement and pay everything just when I get the statement?

How about spending amounts. For example will my credit score increase more if I spend around half my limit each month? Or is lower usage better? I am open to any advice since I am not familiar with these right now.

Thank you

Centurion Member
Centurion Member
Posts: 188
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:11 pm
Location: New York, NY

Postby randeman » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:34 am

Well, how do you define "fast?"

You mentioned that you have been in the USA for four months. Assuming that it you were granted the four cards in four months, I can tell you that you are going to get yourself into trouble with some credit grantors because you are applying for a lot of credit in a very short period of time.

You see, each time you apply for credit your credit score drops slightly. It looks to cc companies like you might get the credit, charge up the cards, and then default. Even if every application you make is denied, they don't necessarily look at that point. Each credit application results in what is known as a "hard pull" on your credit reports and that hard pull stays on your report for two years. It isn't a big drop, perhaps ten points at most, but every one hits you. And if you apply four times at ten points each that's a 40 point drop.

One of the biggest factors that affects your credit score is credit utilization. Potential creditors look at how much credit you use against how much credit you have. For example, if your four cards each have $1,000 credit limits ($4,000 available credit) and you are using $2,000 of that credit when the creditor does a hard pull, that's bad. Creditors don't like to see someone who is using more than 30% of their total available credit limit. It also affects your score. Paying cards off each month, or at least paying down to 30% of your available credit is better.

Another factor that is a major impact on credit scores is late payments. They stay on you credit report for seven years! The negative hit to your credit score becomes less as time passes, but it still has an effect. You obviously don't seem to have a problem there, but you should be aware of it.

You should also be aware that credit scores are affected by the types of credit that you have, too. I don't know how much of an impact percentage wise this factor has on your score. Believe it or not, there are different types of credit out there. Mortgages, car loans, credit cards, etc. are different types of credit. Installment, open, revolving, etc. are all considered. Yes, they are all credit, but they are all looked at when evaluating your credit health. In other words, chardonnay, cabernet, and merlot are all wines, but they are all DIFFERENT wines. Same here.

My advice is to chill with the credit applications. Live with what you have for a year or so, make payments on time, pay them off or down to 30% of available credit, and you will gradually get a better credit score. Then you can try again for the Sapphire card.

PS: Monitor that fifth card, the one you have co-signed for, just as closely as your other cards. When it comes to your credit health, trust NO ONE. Even your own mother.
Cards and Credit lines Acquired:

Escape by Discover (7.75K), Barclay Holland America Visa (7K), Macy's store card (7K), Bloomingdale's store card (2.6K), Citi Custom Credit Line (3.5K), PayPal Smart Connect credit line (2.7K), Chase Freedom Visa (5K), Chase United MileagePlus Visa (5K), Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa (6K), Amazon store card (2.2K), Lord & Taylor store card (550), Nordstrom store card (1500), Gold Delta SkyMiles from American Express (3K), Discover It (6.5K), PayPal Credit Line (1K).

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