Greetings, fellow credit gardeners! The summer is rapidly coming to a close and we're ready to start a new month. And so, I hereby convene the September meeting of the myFICO Garden Club.
For those who are new to the concept of gardening, it involves refraining from applying for new credit or seeking CLIs that require hard pulls. Soft pulls CLIs, however, are not only acceptable, but are encouraged. The idea is to allow one's current TLs to grow and mature, waiting for inqs to age or fall off, and possibly waiting for "baddies" to be removed or age off. During this time, one tends to one's current accounts and watches their AAoA grow and the new credit ding fade.
So, if you're at the stage of your credit journey where you're ready to enter the garden, please come and join us. You may pick up your complimentary watering can and garden gloves by the front door -- you can even choose your favorite color! We're proud to offer a well appointed clubhouse. There is a snack table set up. We have a full featured gass grill, so burgers, hot dogs, and kebobs are available for your dining pleasure! We will be bidding farewell to our summer menu, so this labor day weekend will be our last offering of fresh corn on the cob; where has the summer gone? There's iced tea, lemonade and sodas, and if you like, a variety of ice cold beers. For dessert offerings, we'll transition from summer to fall with a selection of either apple pie or marble pumpkin cheesecake. We have an appetizer selection consisting of jalapeno corn fritters, bruschetta with tomato and basil, and as always, an assortment of mini-quiches. Please feel free to bring and add any items that you'd like. And, in the corner diagonally across from the front door, there is a fully stocked bar. If needed, there are some anti-itch medications stocked in our supply cabinet near the door -- Lanacaine, Benedryl, etc. If you need to place your reports in the deep freeze, we also have a freezer, located next to the bar, so go ahead and throw your reports in!
Come on in and make yourself comfortable. Make a gardening plan and commit to sticking with it! Are you planning to wait six months before applying for additional credit? A year? Until the last of your baddies drop off? Whatever your goal, we're here to support you. If you feel the "app-itch" coming on, let us know and we'll try to help you through it.
Now, if you happen to leave the garden prematurely, that’s your decision and we respect that. You are always welcome to come back, pick up your gardening tools and start over again. But please, celebrate any approvals on another thread. While we are happy with members’ success stories, we really do want to keep this thread’s focus and tone to be consistent with gardening efforts. You are certainly welcome to celebrate soft CLIs on this thread, though, as they do not involve inqs or apps for new credit.
GARDEN CLUB CHALLENGE AND RECOGNITIONS:
Garden Club Challenge: Pick a firm date for staying in the garden and post it in your siggy!
Garden Club recognition levels: To qualify, your reports must contain:
You will be able to add the following to your siggy if you have abided by the above for the following time periods...
New!!! Less than 1 month - seedling
1 month - bronze spade
3 months - silver spade
6 months - gold spade
12 months - platinum spade
24 months or more - diamond spade
Please note: recognition levels reset once you add an account or incur a HP. We recognize that there may be very good reasons for "leaving the garden," and we respect whatever thoughtful decisions members make. As stated previously, members are always welcome to come back, grab their gloves and start gardening once more.
I'd like to express my appreciation to DaveSignal for coming up with some spade graphics that you can embed in your siggy in order to display your status. Thanks, DS -- great job!!!
<img src="http://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/image/serverpage/image-id/2546iB18EF7FE7143CFD1/image-size/large?v=m..." border="0" width="75" height="100" align="right">
<img src="http://i.imgur.com/LEYWe.png" border="0" width="40" height="40" align="right">
line to put at top of sig:
<img src="http://i.imgur.com/Gfc4B.png" border="0" width="40" height="40" align="right">
line to put at top of sig:
<img src="http://i.imgur.com/24xvV.png" border="0" width="40" height="40" align="right">
line to put at top of sig:
<img src="http://i.imgur.com/vVRv5.png" border="0" alt="" title="" width="120" height="80" align="right" />
line to put at top of sig:
<img src="http://i.imgur.com/40nIa.png" border="0" alt="" title="" width="40" height="40" align="right" />
So, how's everyone's garden doing this month? Please feel free to mix and mingle, and share your gardening goals as well as your progress on the journey.
New Bronze Spade counting down the days here
Hehe im still here, bronze spade
Still in the garden hopefully I can finish up the hippa process in a few weeks.
Here in the garden 20 days Ap free, feeling the itch, AMEX starwood prefered 30k points join offer and Barclays NFL $200 bonis promotions are both running now, must wait till January for best backdating and Baddies and INQ to fall off...fighting the good fight.
10 more days till i get my bronse spade.
As I reported last month, I've brought back a bunch of little seedlings to add to my garden. I'm looking forward to sitting back and letting them age -- and letting my AAoA recover! I'm cringing to see what happens when all four appear on my reports, but, it is what it is. I'm taking comfort in the fact that I intend to hang onto these cards for a long time, so whatever new credit hit I take for this will be short lived.
So, at this point my garden looks like this:
Cap1 Visa Platinum - 6400 CL
Cap1 NHCR MC - 750 CL
Dillard's Amex - 4200 CL
JC Penney - 2300 CL
Kay Jewelers - 5100 CL
Amex Green - NPSL
Discover - 2000 CL
BankAmericard UCF Alum Association Visa Signature - 5000 CL
Citi Diamond Preferred - 6800 CL
Wells Fargo Rewards Visa - 7000 CL
I thought about pruning the Cap1 MC, but I decided to keep it and put my DD on as an AU. This will be her first experience with a CC, she'll get almost two years of clean history with it right off the bat, and it should help her to get a card in her own name once she's gained experience with this one.
I'm thrilled with the view in my garden right now! I've gone from dead and/or dying brambles a couple of years ago to a healthy, thriving collection of cards with good limits and that suit my needs. So happy!!! Now I'm sitting tight and working on earning my spades!
Hello September! Day 8 for me. Working towards a replacement Bronze spade.
Ah, back to the garden for the last two weeks! With unfixed plans sadly.
Random ladybugs swarmed my garden and confused the FICO gods (strange or mid-month reporting dates by two entirely different lenders out of my three CC's) and wound up dropping down to a 636 on 8/31 with 46% utilization, though a part of that is possibly the inquiry I know I took on EQ replacing a 19.35% auto loan sprout with a 5.99% auto loan seedling, feeling no pain garden wise at the moment
The unfixed part comes from debating when to apply for an Amex Zync: I've gone back and forth between October and December for various things, and I'm thinking I'll hedge my bets by seeing when BOFA unsecures my card and just make the Zync application right after since I might eat an inquiry as it unsecures, not certain on that one.
The overarching concern though is mortgage qualification in 2013, and if it weren't for backdating I'm struggling to justify the rest of my planned application spree now. Yeah there's a bunch of cards I'd like to have, but 2 vs 1% rewards on my now minimalist existence (have to bank cash for the horrific downpayment in S. Cali) is laughably moot, so I'm thinking I'm going to be just fine with the BOFA 1-2-3 card. It'd be nice to have the Chase Amazon card so I could start building more of a relationship there besides the lion's share of my direct deposits
BOFA secured 1-2-3 10/11
DCU secured card 2/12
USAA secured loan 1/12
DCU auto loan 8/12
Hopefully there will be more clarity after relaxing in the garden and sipping my scotch for the next month and a half or so while partaking of the most excellent Tinu's famous mini-quiches!
Planting myself here (it's me that needs the help, not my cards) and putting freezes on all 3 of the CRAs - while it was a hugely productive month for me, it was more of an instant gratification rather than a strategic long-term plan. Not cool, and I'm disappointed in myself.
Anywho, I'm done. I need to get over the obsessive focus I have with improving my credit and let time/gardening take their effect on my credit profile. I have already reached my 2012 FICO Fitness Challenge goal (not sure about EX score, but it should be similar), and there's nothing else for me to do, really. If sometime late next year I were lucky enough to have a card under the "My Offers" boxl with PenFed, then I would take that. Otherwise, nothing until a possible mortgage in 2014.
Please help keep me accountable...