Some Questions for Starting Out

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
16 posts
darkguy2
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 616
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:24 am
Location: United States

Postby darkguy2 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:47 pm

Sevenfeet wrote:I'm just messing with you. :) My house is mostly Apple stuff (Macs, iPads, etc) but I still use Windows for work. I will warn you that my wife did get a Windows 8 laptop for work and it was so frustrating that it's going to be downgraded back to Win7. That being said, I think Win8 will make a lot more sense in tablet form than just a stock pseudo-ultrabook. I am a little concerned that a first-gen Surface Pro isn't going to cut it concerning power and performance. Intel Core technology doesn't have a good reputation in this form factor for battery life. And specs I saw months ago had the first Surface Pros with a screen resolution that is blown away by just about everything at half the price (or less). I'm hoping Microsoft fixes this soon (if not by launch). I know you need a proper PC, but I'm wondering if you'd be better served with something in the Ultrabook/MacBook Air class.

And speaking my wife, she completed an engineering-based PhD last spring, so I am quite familiar of having to get MatLab up and running on a laptop, in this case, my wife's MacBook Pro.

Lastly, with all due respect to the others on this forum (since I'm new), I think a little too much energy is spent trying to game the system. Now a lot of people like the game and that's fine. But most of us just don't have the time or energy to worry about whether we've paid off the balance before a date before the credit agencies get reporting. As long as you are paying on time and do it consistently forever, your credit will continue to do well.


This may be a little off topic for the site but here I go. My phone is a Apple but when it comes to my computer I am a PC. I actually got the new Windows OS early for free through my engineering department and I have actually started to like it. Windows 8 is actually designed for lower power devices and for touchscreens. I am not sure what you are refering to when you say first Surface Pros. The one that is out now is the Surface RT which is using a watered down version of Windows 8 that runs on a ARM processor. I am sorry if this is a little technical. Microsoft made a slight mistake by now releasing both tablets at the same time as the RT version was received very badly. I was never interested in this version. The one that is coming out in two weeks is the Surface Pro which runs the full bonafide Windows 8 OS. It runs on a 3rd generation i5 processor which is the same as those found in laptops. I am not sure what you mean about the screen resolution as the Pro has a full 1080p HD screen which is better than the Air. It is also about the same price as the air which also runs the same i5 processor. I am aware that because of this the battery life will suffer as it is 5 hours but compared to my current laptop with a battery life of 1 hour it is much better. This tablet should have no problems running anything that I need it to as it is also capable of running some high-end games. It also weighs less than the Air (about half a pound less). I am paying a premium for the size and weight. It could be said that Microsoft has already accomplished what they wanted with the Pro. They made a device that has polarized people. Usually if you ask someone about it they will either love it or hate it and will have reasons to back it up. This is what they wanted. Also the target customer of the Pro is not you and me but CIOs (Chief Information Officer) of companies. The tablets and be taken out of the box and set up for corporations in just minutes unlike iPads which have to use third party software to set up. iPads also cannot do the kind of work that a Pro can do in terms of precision and power.
Discover IT - $5,700
Chase Freedom - $5,700
Costco Citi - $13,000
Sallie Mae - $4,000
Chase Sapphire Preferred - $6,000
Chase Sapphire Reserve - $19,500
Citi Double Cash - $6,500
Amex BCE - $13,000

FICOs: Discover (777), SallieMae (764), Amex (767), Citi (772)
FAKOs: CK- TU (760), EQ (760)


Sevenfeet
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:20 pm
Location: United States

Postby Sevenfeet » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:31 pm

Robrus1 wrote:He was asking for tips on how to IMPROVE his score since he is NEW to credit. These tips will help his score go up quicker than having high utilization. This isn't something people with high credit lines and excellent credit need to worry about as much, true. He isn't there yet, so he should find the time and energy it takes (which isn't much) to pay the balance off before the statement reports if he wants to boost his scores as quickly as possible. I don't think offering a few tips on how to raise a credit score translates to, "too much energy trying to game the system."


Darkguy2 asked if there were any FAQs around to help him improve his credit, especially since he's younger and starting out. These links are probably the best since they are literally from the proverbial "horse's mouth".

FICO Credit Score Chart: How credit scores are calculated
Will This Affect My Credit Score? Find Out What's NOT Included.
Credit Scoring: How Credit Scores Help Consumers
Improve Credit Score: Tips to Fix Poor Credit & Raise Your FICO Score
Credit Score Facts & Fallacies: The Truth Behind Common Myths

And finally, this PDF file:

http://www.myfico.com/Downloads/Files/myFICO_UYFS_Booklet.pdf

One thing I think we need to do around here is separate the fact from voodoo when it comes to credit tips. Yes, there are plenty of tips around here to help people out with how the system, especially lending institutions work, not to mention direct comments from people's experiences. But I also think a few things get repeated around here that are taken as gospel that I cannot find any basis in fact.

One of those is the opinion that paying off your balance before your credit card company reports your account status to the credit agengies makes any real difference. For the life of me, I cannot find any substantive proof that this is indeed the case.

Let's start out by stating what FICO is: it stands for Fair Issac Corporation, the company who computes credit scores for 90% of the market, be they lenders, end consumers or employers. Because credit reports are an essential part of participating in gaining credit, what's in a credit report and how it gets there is standardized and regulated by Congress. All three credit agencies keep the data and present it in a standard fashion, which helps everyone who contributes to or consumes the data to understand it clearly and consistently. Substantive changes to this system is literally "an act of Congress".

If you look at a credit report, an account's payment history is reported on monthly basis reporting whether the account is "paid as agreed" (meaning it was paid on time or no balance), 30 days in arrears, 60 days in arrears, 90 days in arrears or in some kind of default/collection/charge-off. No where does it report what your balance is on a month by month basis. There is a single balance amount based upon the current date, and the same the the balance limit.

Fair Issac Corporation generates it's FICO scores solely on what's in the standardized credit report, since that's the data they are allowed to use by law. And while they are also required to let consumers (us) know how major parts of the credit score are computed, the score itself is a closely guarded trade secret algorithm, which like most algorithms gets tweaked from time to time to reflect current realities of the credit market. But they cannot use data not available to them. And month-by-month balance/limit ratios don't exist for them.

That doesn't mean they don't exist at all. If you approach a bank you've already been using for new credit, they can use several different analytic metric to determine your credit risk except those prohibited by law (gender, race or nationality, where you live). So if you already have a credit card with said bank, they can look at metrics including how soon you pay your bills, what method you typically use, and even what kind of products you typically buy.

So bottom line, I cannot find any evidence that paying early makes any difference in your overall credit score picture. If you paid your bill before credit center reporting happens and your ratio is 10%, yes your score would be lower if instead it reported 60% at the end of the month. But if you still paid on time, you'd be back to 10% during the next month reporting period and you'd have the same score anyway. In other words, going through the trouble of paying that early doesn't mean anything to Fair Issac since they cannot use that data (though it might make a nominal difference to your bank).
Cards:
American Express Platinum (NPSL)
Penfed Platinum Reward Visa ($28K)
Chase Freedom Visa ($25K)
Fidelity American Express ($20K)
American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($20K)
Bank of America Cash Rewards MasterCard ($20K)
Citi Thank You Preferred Visa ($9.5K)
Chase Sapphire Preferred ($7.5K)
US Bank Cash + Visa Signature ($7K)
Discover IT ($4K)

Sevenfeet
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:20 pm
Location: United States

Postby Sevenfeet » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:44 pm

darkguy2 wrote:This may be a little off topic for the site but here I go. My phone is a Apple but when it comes to my computer I am a PC. I actually got the new Windows OS early for free through my engineering department and I have actually started to like it. Windows 8 is actually designed for lower power devices and for touchscreens. I am not sure what you are refering to when you say first Surface Pros. The one that is out now is the Surface RT which is using a watered down version of Windows 8 that runs on a ARM processor. I am sorry if this is a little technical. Microsoft made a slight mistake by now releasing both tablets at the same time as the RT version was received very badly. I was never interested in this version. The one that is coming out in two weeks is the Surface Pro which runs the full bonafide Windows 8 OS. It runs on a 3rd generation i5 processor which is the same as those found in laptops. I am not sure what you mean about the screen resolution as the Pro has a full 1080p HD screen which is better than the Air. It is also about the same price as the air which also runs the same i5 processor. I am aware that because of this the battery life will suffer as it is 5 hours but compared to my current laptop with a battery life of 1 hour it is much better. This tablet should have no problems running anything that I need it to as it is also capable of running some high-end games. It also weighs less than the Air (about half a pound less). I am paying a premium for the size and weight. It could be said that Microsoft has already accomplished what they wanted with the Pro. They made a device that has polarized people. Usually if you ask someone about it they will either love it or hate it and will have reasons to back it up. This is what they wanted. Also the target customer of the Pro is not you and me but CIOs (Chief Information Officer) of companies. The tablets and be taken out of the box and set up for corporations in just minutes unlike iPads which have to use third party software to set up. iPads also cannot do the kind of work that a Pro can do in terms of precision and power.


There's a part of me that wants to say "I was coding 6502 assembler from memory on my Apple II before you were in diapers", but that just makes me feel older than I already am. :)

First, I got the screen specs of the Surface and Surface Pro mixed up. My apologies.

Second, from a programming standpoint, Windows 8 on ARM is a full fledged OS, just like iOS is and Android is. The difference is the user interface (touch vs. mouse/menus). Microsoft chose to offer both UIs on the Intel versions of Windows 8 (a controversial choice to be sure). In Apple's case, they decided to cull APIs they considered to be immaterial to the iPad/iPhone experience but all the major ones are there, optimized for the touch experience. This was the major reason why Mac programmers had apps on the iPhone in a few weeks of being offered an SDK because the Cocoa APIs were pretty close to each others, and in some cases, identical.

The processor is not material to the discussion, but the programming APIs are. The processor only matters if you ask an ARM to do something it wasn't designed to do well, like server based Xeon duty (don't think they won't have an ARM for that purpose someday soon, because they will). Keep in mind that Windows NT used to be offered on PowerPC and Alpha, as well as Intel 20 years ago.

Lastly, you're young and probably haven't met many CIOs yet. I deal with them as a matter of my job, and I can tell you that they all have iPads (for whatever it's worth). My company is a leader in enterprise computing, who's technology I already know you are using and all of our customers are asking for iPad software and maybe for Android. Surface in any form hasn't even entered into the discussion yet because nobody is asking for it. Most IT department are still waiting for Windows 8 to finish its "shakedown cruise" period (the same goes for Windows Server 2012..it's too new and nobody has their server software certified for it yet). I don't expect to get too many inquiries from my customers for at least another 9-15 months. For comparison, we didn't start to get serious inquiries about the iPad in enterprise until it had been on the market for a year and the iPad 2 had been introduced.
Cards:

American Express Platinum (NPSL)

Penfed Platinum Reward Visa ($28K)

Chase Freedom Visa ($25K)

Fidelity American Express ($20K)

American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($20K)

Bank of America Cash Rewards MasterCard ($20K)

Citi Thank You Preferred Visa ($9.5K)

Chase Sapphire Preferred ($7.5K)

US Bank Cash + Visa Signature ($7K)

Discover IT ($4K)

darkguy2
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 616
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:24 am
Location: United States

Postby darkguy2 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:10 am

Sevenfeet wrote:There's a part of me that wants to say "I was coding 6502 assembler from memory on my Apple II before you were in diapers", but that just makes me feel older than I already am. :)

First, I got the screen specs of the Surface and Surface Pro mixed up. My apologies.

Second, from a programming standpoint, Windows 8 on ARM is a full fledged OS, just like iOS is and Android is. The difference is the user interface (touch vs. mouse/menus). Microsoft chose to offer both UIs on the Intel versions of Windows 8 (a controversial choice to be sure). In Apple's case, they decided to cull APIs they considered to be immaterial to the iPad/iPhone experience but all the major ones are there, optimized for the touch experience. This was the major reason why Mac programmers had apps on the iPhone in a few weeks of being offered an SDK because the Cocoa APIs were pretty close to each others, and in some cases, identical.

The processor is not material to the discussion, but the programming APIs are. The processor only matters if you ask an ARM to do something it wasn't designed to do well, like server based Xeon duty (don't think they won't have an ARM for that purpose someday soon, because they will). Keep in mind that Windows NT used to be offered on PowerPC and Alpha, as well as Intel 20 years ago.

Lastly, you're young and probably haven't met many CIOs yet. I deal with them as a matter of my job, and I can tell you that they all have iPads (for whatever it's worth). My company is a leader in enterprise computing, who's technology I already know you are using and all of our customers are asking for iPad software and maybe for Android. Surface in any form hasn't even entered into the discussion yet because nobody is asking for it. Most IT department are still waiting for Windows 8 to finish its "shakedown cruise" period (the same goes for Windows Server 2012..it's too new and nobody has their server software certified for it yet). I don't expect to get too many inquiries from my customers for at least another 9-15 months. For comparison, we didn't start to get serious inquiries about the iPad in enterprise until it had been on the market for a year and the iPad 2 had been introduced.


You coded in assembly?!?!? :eek: I do not envy you at all. I had to code in LC-3 assembly in several classes and then look at the actual processor diagram and show how the code runs on it through the signals. Not fun. I then took a C class which I liked the C part but not the part where we had to manually compile the code to assembly. I got a B+ in the class but I am glad it is over. I do not think I have the patience to code an entire program of any substance in assembly. Although the first Roller Coaster Tycoon was made entirely in assembly but I am not sure what architecture.

When I said full fledged OS I really meant full fledged desktop OS. I want one where I can take the same software I am using on my PC and use it on tablet without buying a new product. ARM is a great chip and does a great job in certain applications, such as the ARM 13 in my Raspberry Pi, but I would choose a x86 architecture over it any day for my daily computing needs. It may just be a bias that I grew up with.

I will give you the CIO one. I think I have met one in my life and that was through my dad. I was mostly basing that on a tech article that I recently read and almost did not put it. We will have to see how the Pro does when it is released although I think Microsoft is making a mistake by not offering a pre-order. I guess they want to make sure they have all of the stock for sales when it releases.

Also thank you for the linked articles and I have read a few of them already but will make sure to read the other ones that I have not. Now one of the questions that has not been fully answered is the one of how I should pay off my tablet? I have all of the money to pay for it so should I buy it on the card and then pay all of it off? Or pay it off over the 6 months the I have 0% apr?
Discover IT - $5,700
Chase Freedom - $5,700
Costco Citi - $13,000
Sallie Mae - $4,000
Chase Sapphire Preferred - $6,000
Chase Sapphire Reserve - $19,500
Citi Double Cash - $6,500
Amex BCE - $13,000

FICOs: Discover (777), SallieMae (764), Amex (767), Citi (772)
FAKOs: CK- TU (760), EQ (760)

Robrus1
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 797
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:25 pm
Location: Texas

Postby Robrus1 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:57 pm

Sevenfeet wrote:Darkguy2 asked if there were any FAQs around to help him improve his credit, especially since he's younger and starting out. These links are probably the best since they are literally from the proverbial "horse's mouth".

FICO Credit Score Chart: How credit scores are calculated
Will This Affect My Credit Score? Find Out What's NOT Included.
Credit Scoring: How Credit Scores Help Consumers
Improve Credit Score: Tips to Fix Poor Credit & Raise Your FICO Score
Credit Score Facts & Fallacies: The Truth Behind Common Myths

And finally, this PDF file:

http://www.myfico.com/Downloads/Files/myFICO_UYFS_Booklet.pdf

One thing I think we need to do around here is separate the fact from voodoo when it comes to credit tips. Yes, there are plenty of tips around here to help people out with how the system, especially lending institutions work, not to mention direct comments from people's experiences. But I also think a few things get repeated around here that are taken as gospel that I cannot find any basis in fact.

One of those is the opinion that paying off your balance before your credit card company reports your account status to the credit agengies makes any real difference. For the life of me, I cannot find any substantive proof that this is indeed the case.

Let's start out by stating what FICO is: it stands for Fair Issac Corporation, the company who computes credit scores for 90% of the market, be they lenders, end consumers or employers. Because credit reports are an essential part of participating in gaining credit, what's in a credit report and how it gets there is standardized and regulated by Congress. All three credit agencies keep the data and present it in a standard fashion, which helps everyone who contributes to or consumes the data to understand it clearly and consistently. Substantive changes to this system is literally "an act of Congress".

If you look at a credit report, an account's payment history is reported on monthly basis reporting whether the account is "paid as agreed" (meaning it was paid on time or no balance), 30 days in arrears, 60 days in arrears, 90 days in arrears or in some kind of default/collection/charge-off. No where does it report what your balance is on a month by month basis. There is a single balance amount based upon the current date, and the same the the balance limit.

Fair Issac Corporation generates it's FICO scores solely on what's in the standardized credit report, since that's the data they are allowed to use by law. And while they are also required to let consumers (us) know how major parts of the credit score are computed, the score itself is a closely guarded trade secret algorithm, which like most algorithms gets tweaked from time to time to reflect current realities of the credit market. But they cannot use data not available to them. And month-by-month balance/limit ratios don't exist for them.

That doesn't mean they don't exist at all. If you approach a bank you've already been using for new credit, they can use several different analytic metric to determine your credit risk except those prohibited by law (gender, race or nationality, where you live). So if you already have a credit card with said bank, they can look at metrics including how soon you pay your bills, what method you typically use, and even what kind of products you typically buy.

So bottom line, I cannot find any evidence that paying early makes any difference in your overall credit score picture. If you paid your bill before credit center reporting happens and your ratio is 10%, yes your score would be lower if instead it reported 60% at the end of the month. But if you still paid on time, you'd be back to 10% during the next month reporting period and you'd have the same score anyway. In other words, going through the trouble of paying that early doesn't mean anything to Fair Issac since they cannot use that data (though it might make a nominal difference to your bank).


My tip specifically was geared toward future potential lenders. He also mentioned getting another card at some point. If he spends say 50% of his available balance each month (or more) and pays it off in full every month, it'd be better to pay it before the statement comes out. If he applies for another card, then a lower utilization will help in that situation. I know it doesn't directly effect his score, but it could be a determining factor for a lender at this stage. I understand that what I was suggesting will not make his FICO score go up any faster, but it will look better when he applies for another card if his current card isn't high utilization when he applies. I misspoke when I mentioned it would boost his scores quicker. It definitely won't hurt anything, however. My apologies.
Amex Platinum
Amex BCP 21K
Amex SPG 5K
Barclaycard Arrival Plus WEMC 5K
Chase Sapphire Preferred 23.5K
Credit Union 10K
Discover IT 7.75K

Robrus1
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 797
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:25 pm
Location: Texas

Postby Robrus1 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:07 pm

darkguy2 wrote:Also thank you for the linked articles and I have read a few of them already but will make sure to read the other ones that I have not. Now one of the questions that has not been fully answered is the one of how I should pay off my tablet? I have all of the money to pay for it so should I buy it on the card and then pay all of it off? Or pay it off over the 6 months the I have 0% apr?


I'd put the tablet on the card and pay all of it off.
Amex Platinum
Amex BCP 21K
Amex SPG 5K
Barclaycard Arrival Plus WEMC 5K
Chase Sapphire Preferred 23.5K
Credit Union 10K
Discover IT 7.75K



Return to “General Credit Card Talk”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests