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brother7
Posts: 377
Registered: ‎02-06-2009
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Applying for multiple CCs: over time or all at once?

I have 1 credit card (active) and 1 store charge card (inactive).

Both accounts are 10 years old.

 

I'm about to kill my AAoA by applying for more cards in the next 1-2 months because:

  1. I want to transition to cashback/rewards cards, which my current credit card is not,
  2. I want to add store charge cards to improve my credit mix (my current one is inactive and the store is no longer in my area), and
  3. I'll soon be an independent contractor and want to separate personal and business expenses.

I don't plan on applying for any home mortgages or car loans for at least another 2-3 years.

 

Here's my current want list:

 

Credit Cards

  1. Costco TrueEarnings
  2. AMEX Blue Cash
  3. PenFed Visa Platinum Gas Cash Reward
  4. Discover More

 Store Cards

  1. Home Depot Commercial Revolving Charge
  2. (something useful, but I'm not sure what... maybe WalMart?)
  3. (probably a gas card, just to add to the credit mix)

My scores should see a jump at end-March due to util < 10%.  Once I pay my CC off, I'll write a GW letter to my CCC asking to have some 30-day lates removed.  After all that is when I plan to apply for the above-mentioned cards.

 

My question is...

To maximize my chances for approval of all of the above, should I apply all at once, or space them out?  If space them out, over how long?  I kinda want to get at least 2 credit cards quickly; preferably the Costco TrueEarnings and Discover More.  I really want the PenFed Visa but I don't think I'll be able to get it with a tax lien, even if released :smileysad:

 

Any advice is greatly appreciated.


11/02/2012 Peak - EQ 790 (ScoreWatch EQ FICO)
08/22/2014 Current - EQ 796 (Priceline TU FICO 08 Classic)
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PayingTheBills
Posts: 353
Registered: ‎01-29-2009
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Re: Applying for multiple CCs: over time or all at once?

[ Edited ]

This is what Equifax says about it, I copy/pasted this from my Score Watch page:

"New inquiries on your credit report may lower your FICO score by a modest amount. Multiple inquiries can lower the score a little more than a single inquiry. But note that multiple inquiries within a two-week period are treated as a single inquiry.

Multiple inquiries may indicate that a consumer is in desperate search of credit. Typically, the more badly a consumer needs credit, the greater the chances that they cannot pay debts. This is why inquiries can cause a modest drop in the FICO score.

You only receive inquiry alerts as the result of applying for new credit accounts. This is the only kind of inquiry that affects your FICO score. Other kinds, such as promotional inquiries made by credit card companies to pre-approve you for an offer, have no effect. Similarly, inquiries resulting from you accessing your own credit report, have no effect."

Message Edited by PayingTheBills on 03-17-2009 12:17 PM

Starting Score: 540 EQ 517 TU on 11/17/08
Current Score: 668 EQ 715 TU
Goal Score: 760 EQ 760 TU


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Senior Contributor
score_building
Posts: 3,524
Registered: ‎01-10-2008
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Re: Applying for multiple CCs: over time or all at once?


PayingTheBills wrote:

This is what Equifax says about it, I copy/pasted this from my Score Watch page:

"New inquiries on your credit report may lower your FICO score by a modest amount. Multiple inquiries can lower the score a little more than a single inquiry. But note that multiple inquiries within a two-week period are treated as a single inquiry.

Multiple inquiries may indicate that a consumer is in desperate search of credit. Typically, the more badly a consumer needs credit, the greater the chances that they cannot pay debts. This is why inquiries can cause a modest drop in the FICO score.

You only receive inquiry alerts as the result of applying for new credit accounts. This is the only kind of inquiry that affects your FICO score. Other kinds, such as promotional inquiries made by credit card companies to pre-approve you for an offer, have no effect. Similarly, inquiries resulting from you accessing your own credit report, have no effect."


supposedly only mortgage and auto inqs are treated as one in a specified time frame.  are they saying that multiple inqs of any kind are treated as a single inq for scoring purposes?  who knew?!  can a mod or someone clarify.  the way this reads seems incomplete and a bit misleading...

FICOS:
06/13 EX 765 (PSECU) EQ 771 (DCU) TU 779 (Barclays)
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PayingTheBills
Posts: 353
Registered: ‎01-29-2009
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Re: Applying for multiple CCs: over time or all at once?

[ Edited ]

This was a note that was attached Score Watch report under my Cap1 CC inquiry from 2 days ago.

I hope a mod chimes in here too, because I also thought this only applied to mortgage and auto loans.

Message Edited by PayingTheBills on 03-17-2009 01:15 PM

Starting Score: 540 EQ 517 TU on 11/17/08
Current Score: 668 EQ 715 TU
Goal Score: 760 EQ 760 TU


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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,115
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: Applying for multiple CCs: over time or all at once?


PayingTheBills wrote:

This was a note that was attached Score Watch report under my Cap1 CC inquiry from 2 days ago.


I hope a mod chimes in here too, because I also thought this only applied to mortgage and auto loans.



I've heard that several apps with the same lender are de-duped, but not with multiple lenders.

EQ hounded me for a year for 5 inqs, all of which hit within a 48-hour period. They sure didn't feel de-duped to me.

This might be another case of Equifax (which invented Score Watch) needing to proof-read their stuff better. :smileymad: I may well be wrong, though. I'll see if I can find out something.



brother7 wrote:

...Here's my current want list:


Credit Cards

  1. Costco TrueEarnings
  2. AMEX Blue Cash
  3. PenFed Visa Platinum Gas Cash Reward
  4. Discover More


Store Cards

  1. Home Depot Commercial Revolving Charge
  2. (something useful, but I'm not sure what... maybe WalMart?)
  3. (probably a gas card, just to add to the credit mix)

...Any advice is greatly appreciated.


OK, here's my advice: this is serious overkill with the cards. :smileyvery-happy: Trust me, I got 6 new cards and an auto loan last spring, and 3 cards and the loan would have been plenty.

Pick two rewards cards and one store card, period. I do understand the get-it-over-with-now idea; I did it myself. But in fact, it's a huge PITA to keep this many cards happy with regular, significant usage. And with rewards cards, the name of the game is to take one or two and just flat wear them out.

Have you run the numbers on how Blue Cash works? That especially is a card that must be used almost exclusively to get the real cash back. Discover More keeps jumping around with how much you have to spend to get significant rewards. PenFed is definitely the keeper of the group.

For the credit mix thing, a store card OR a gas card is all you need. No bonus points for one of each. Skip WalMart if your scores are decent. GEMB will drive you nuts. If the HD card is truly retail (not also a MasterCard), and if it reports to your personal reports, that sounds like the one to go with.

I don't remember off the top of my head what else you have, but if your AAoA is currently 10 - 12 years, adding three cards would only drop you to around 5 years AAoA, depending on what other older accounts you have. (Sorry, you've probably run the math already, but just in case...) I would aim for a strategy involving the numbers of cards and the timing on them that keeps you from going below 5 years AAoA. I'm not sure if 5 years or 6 is one of the apparent score bucket breaks, so don't go any younger.

I just barely climbed over 4 years on my new AAoA, and it will take a long time for it to grow, because I have a lot of older, closed stuff that is going to start falling off. You're going to kick yourself for a long, long time if you blow your average age out of the water. Plus again, trying to keep that many cards busy and happy. Remember that for future CLI's, banks like to see lots of usage (which is then paid off), and it isn't going to happen with too much plastic, all clamoring for your attention.
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
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Mike14
Posts: 618
Registered: ‎09-16-2008
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Re: Applying for multiple CCs: over time or all at once?

What if you apped for them all within minutes of each other?  Would the second one see the inq from the first one?  I don't think reports update in realtime, so the second one would not see the inq generated by the first one.  Someone please correct me if I'm wrong!
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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,115
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Re: Applying for multiple CCs: over time or all at once?


Mike14 wrote:
What if you apped for them all within minutes of each other?  Would the second one see the inq from the first one?  I don't think reports update in realtime, so the second one would not see the inq generated by the first one.  Someone please correct me if I'm wrong!
Yes, the inqs hit real-time. I once pulled a TC report as I hung up after apping, and the inq was there. The actual new account generally takes a while to show up, although I think BofA popped up with a couple of days.

That's why anyone who is applying for PenFed plus other cards should always app PenFed first. They will most definitely see the other inqs. Bad enough when they see the other new accounts start popping up over the next week to two months. :smileytongue:
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Frequent Contributor
brother7
Posts: 377
Registered: ‎02-06-2009
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Re: Applying for multiple CCs: over time or all at once?

[ Edited ]

haulingthescoreup wrote:
OK, here's my advice: this is serious overkill with the cards. :smileyvery-happy: Trust me, I got 6 new cards and an auto loan last spring, and 3 cards and the loan would have been plenty.

Pick two rewards cards and one store card, period. I do understand the get-it-over-with-now idea; I did it myself. But in fact, it's a huge PITA to keep this many cards happy with regular, significant usage. And with rewards cards, the name of the game is to take one or two and just flat wear them out.

Have you run the numbers on how Blue Cash works? That especially is a card that must be used almost exclusively to get the real cash back. Discover More keeps jumping around with how much you have to spend to get significant rewards. PenFed is definitely the keeper of the group.

For the credit mix thing, a store card OR a gas card is all you need. No bonus points for one of each. Skip WalMart if your scores are decent. GEMB will drive you nuts. If the HD card is truly retail (not also a MasterCard), and if it reports to your personal reports, that sounds like the one to go with.

I don't remember off the top of my head what else you have, but if your AAoA is currently 10 - 12 years, adding three cards would only drop you to around 5 years AAoA, depending on what other older accounts you have. (Sorry, you've probably run the math already, but just in case...) I would aim for a strategy involving the numbers of cards and the timing on them that keeps you from going below 5 years AAoA. I'm not sure if 5 years or 6 is one of the apparent score bucket breaks, so don't go any younger.

I just barely climbed over 4 years on my new AAoA, and it will take a long time for it to grow, because I have a lot of older, closed stuff that is going to start falling off. You're going to kick yourself for a long, long time if you blow your average age out of the water. Plus again, trying to keep that many cards busy and happy. Remember that for future CLI's, banks like to see lots of usage (which is then paid off), and it isn't going to happen with too much plastic, all clamoring for your attention.

Thanks for clarifying that for credit mix, EITHER a store card OR a gas card is what's needed. I've lived without a gas card this long and was only considering it for credit mix.

 

Yes, I'm aware of how Blue Cash works, and that you have to pass the $6500 threshold before you earn the highest reward tier. After more thought, perhaps Blue Cash isn't necessary, especially since True Earnings is already an AMEX product.

 

Here's a tip for consumers who use Blue Cash and want to effectively reduce the $6500 limit to $4000... buy cash! Read the article Busting Cashback Tiers with Mint’s $1 Coin Direct Ship Program

 

Concerning store cards, I chose Home Depot because my future career is real estate salesperson and I thought Home Depot would be most useful for preparing houses to put on the market.  It is a store card, not Visa or MC-branded.  I guess I'll skip WalMart.

 

My current cards are a First Hawaiian Bank MC ($5000 CL, soon to be PIF) and a JCPenney charge card ($224 CL, 0 bal, still open but unused).  They were opened at the same time (11/1998) so each is 10 years, 4 months old.

 

Concerning AAoA, my combined months on my 2 cards is 248. Here's my AAoA calculations:

  • 2 current cards:  AAoA = 124 = 10 yrs, 4 mths
  • add 1 card:  AAoA = 82 = 6 yrs, 10 mths
  • add 2 cards: AAoA = 62 = 5 yrs, 2 mths
  • add 3 cards: AAoA = 49 = 4 yrs, 1 mth
  • add 4 cards: AAoA = 41 = 3 yrs, 5 mths
  • add 5 cards: AAoA = 35= 2 yrs, 11 mths

 

I don't mind taking the hit to AAoA now, as I don't plan on buying a house or car for another 2-3 years.  By then, the new accounts I open now will be nicely aged, I think.  I'm not going to cancel my 2 existing cards, even if I stop using them, because the loss in age would be too big of a hit.

Message Edited by brother7 on 03-17-2009 09:53 AM

11/02/2012 Peak - EQ 790 (ScoreWatch EQ FICO)
08/22/2014 Current - EQ 796 (Priceline TU FICO 08 Classic)
GOAL - 800! - App free since 03/13/2014
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urgent_help_needed
Posts: 268
Registered: ‎01-23-2009
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Re: Applying for multiple CCs: over time or all at once?

 ok dumb question, but is Amex Blue Cash a card that allows you to carry a balance indefinitely or is it one of Amex's cards that makes you pay it all off after 30 days?
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score_building
Posts: 3,524
Registered: ‎01-10-2008
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Re: Applying for multiple CCs: over time or all at once?


urgent_help_needed wrote:
 ok dumb question, but is Amex Blue Cash a card that allows you to carry a balance indefinitely or is it one of Amex's cards that makes you pay it all off after 30 days?

 

it's a cc (revolver) not a charge card.
FICOS:
06/13 EX 765 (PSECU) EQ 771 (DCU) TU 779 (Barclays)

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