I've been reading the credit card forums for a couple of days now and have a pretty good idea of what the responses here will be but I'm going to ask anyway.
I have a history of having negative financial history. I've spent the better part of the last 8 years or so trying to clean it up and have made some serious progress (I think). I pulled my TransUnion and Equifax scores via myFico and scored 676 and 673 respectively. I also pulled credit reports for both and have been pulling the three reports every February via annualcreditreport.com so I have a record.
Each year I review the reports and dispute as/if necessary. I set calendar invites throughout the year so I know when negative stuff is dropping off so I can celebrate a little on the inside and keep the momentum going. I use a Google Docs spreadsheet with plenty of formulas to keep track of my finances manually (balances, utilization, payment amount to target utilization, CLI dates, etc). I have no late payments of any kind and 1 collection that won't be dropping off my reports for 2 more years at least.
I also make an ok living and have moved my career in a positive financial direction fast. I now have a fiance and she is recovering from bankruptcy so all of my next steps are to try and include her. We keep a buffer in the checking account just in case ($200 but the checkbook says $0), we direct deposit money in to a seperate savings account, we also use another Gdocs spreadsheet to track monthly bills so we can plan ahead for increases in heat bills, more water usage in the summer on the lawn, etc.
All things considered, I'd like to think we take considerable steps to avoid suprises. Here are some details:
-I financed a newer vehicle (not new, newer) in August 2011 and have not missed any payments. $12k, $300 payments
-I have a CC through the same credit union with CL of $1500 (10+ years old)
-I have an Amazon store card with a credit limit of $1k (8 months old)
-I have a Kay card with a CL of $1k (15 months old)
In an effort to bump my available credit, I applied ... at a few places ... and was approved for a lot somewhat fast fast. I didn't realize why this is bad or how bad it might be until it was done.
So, new credit:
-Newegg.com via Billmelater gave me a CL of $2,400 (several weeks old)
-Apple via Barclay gave me a CL of $2,300 (several weeks old)
-Overstock.com via [I forget atm] gave me a CL of $1,500 (several weeks old)
All of the new credit is at $0 and I don't plan on using them; the old credit is at 10% utilization or less.
My big question: Did I just undo years of work by adding a bunch of new accounts? I came from 15+ collection accounts, hours away from repo on my first vehicle, sub 500 scredit score in 2001 and a terrible salary so I'll be bummed if I just took 100 points off for $6,200 in new credit I didn't really need.
I'm 28 years old, I'll make just a hair over $60k this year and I live plenty within my means. I've avoided buying the big dumb truck even though I can afford it, etc. I don't have a mortgage but I intenionally live in a rental with nothing included so I can show my future lender I can pay my mortgage and keep the lights on. What did I do with the new credit? How long is it going to take me to recover?
Thanks in advance,
You're going to take a hit to your scores for inquiries and AAoa. But it's nothing that won't heal fast and you will have additional positive TLs on your CR. Nothing bad going on that I can tell. Just take what you've got and garden. It will only grow and improve your CR.
In 6 months apply for a good rewards card to put your everyday spending on. You lowered your AAoA but it is still in a good range, and now you have good trade lines reporting. So all in all no major harm done.
Just make sure you only apply for accounts you actually need from here on out.
Sounds like you are doing well now, and good luck to you with the future mortgage app.
Average age of account
Welcome to the forums Kit!
AAoA simply stands for Average Age of Accounts. This is one of the metrics that the FICO algorithm uses to calculate your scores. Without going into substantial detail and random maths, every new account you open will penalize this calculation, but it's not a major portion of the FICO model anyway.
There's a bunch of information on the Understanding Fico Scoring board with regards to AAoA (as well as all other things FICO if you're interested), would recommend perusing there for additional details if desired.