I currently have 3 open CCs:
Lane Bryant (SofA): $0 balance\$250 max (accidentally had $215 balance report on last statement, but have paid it off)
Capital One Platinum: $450 balance\ $500 max (will pay down to $15 before statement drops)
Best Buy Mastercard (HSBC): $0 balance\$450 max (reported $29 last month, paid off $100 balance, including usage from past month).
The Lane Bryant card was opened 5/2007 & I have not received a CLI since then. The Capital One card was opened 9/2007 with a $300 CL. I made my first 3 payments on time & it was upped to $500. The BB card was opened 10/2007 with a $320 limit. This past May it went up to $450.
I normally use my credit cards every few months, but I have recently been trying to use them & PIF two of them before the statement drops. I leave < 9% usage on the remaining card. I've tried calling a backdoor number for Capital One to request a CLI & was told to use my card more & PIF by the due date. I didn't try getting an increase on my Lane Bryant card since it appears they do a hard pull on your credit (as I saw the last time I requested an increase). As I mentioned I received a CLI to $450 back in May & from what I've read they only do increases every six months. I'm just wondering if there is anything else I can do to increase my CLs?
As far as my CRs, I have a judgement from Discover from 2004 (the TL is reporting as well & it is killing my utilization on TU by showing a balance of $2200). I have a consultation set up with an attorney this weekend to see if I can have it vacated on the grounds of improper service (the TL is due to fall off at the end of this year). I have a student loan that is reporting a couple 120 day lates from 2005, but has been current since that time. TU score is currently 621 (3 collections, 2 due to fall off within the next year, the other is a medical debt, as well as two COs reporting). EQ is currently at 684 (had a collection drop off after I DV'ed the CA & paid the OC for the debt, but I still have two COs reporting as well as the judgement).
Anything else I should try to do to increase my limits to improve my utilization?
It looks to me like your utilization is already ideal, in that you are keeping it >0% but <9% in spite of your low CLs. Good work with that, I think you should be the envy of most tightrope walkers!
It sounds like a good portion of your negative information will be (or could be) removed within the next year, so I would reccomend maintaining good payment records on the cards you have, and unless you have a great need for a larger CL, waiting until those baddies clear and your score improves. With the way things are going, and the things you are doing, time can do nothing but improve your score right now. Rather than waste hard INQs and your time on CLs for these cards, wait a little while until you can get a card from a major bank or a CU with a solid CL and some real room too grow.
Just my two cents, good luck!
RE: "Anything else I should try to do to increase my limits to improve my utilization?"
You have total control over your utilization based on the balances you're reporting - looks like you're in top notch shape there. You might tweak it down to 5%. Also, if you're wanting another cc, you might consider a secured card.
You've got an installment loan with your student loan reporting - so that's a plus.
Great work and good luck!
Thanks everyone for letting me know I'm on the right track (I tend to worry and overworry). The thing is, I'm hoping to purchase a home in a year, but I've been concerned that lenders will be looking at my low credit limits as a negative. This is also why I've been hesitant to open/apply for credit. Will the low credit limits hurt (provided I keep the corresponding utilization in check)?
Thanks for your advice everyone!
Hauling - I'm in the Windy City. I tried opening a CC a couple years ago at my employer's CU (before I had been there a year). They pull TU. I'll hold off on trying to get a CC through them for now.
I just find it frustrating that I have not only a CC through Capital One, but a money market savings with them as well, but I can't get a simple CLI?