12-04-2012 07:17 PM
12-05-2012 06:37 PM
I need to improve my score to qualify for the "better" cards with lower rates...
I am hoping that having zero cards reporting over 90% will result in a 20something point rise in my FICO score...
I've been following your progress for a while now. Please take this post as well meaning and hopefully helpful, and in no way negative:
As much as balance transfers, low(er) interest cards, and consolidation loans are useful means to help you pay off your debt. Please do not forget they are not an end in-and-of themselves.
As useful as a FICO score is in judging your credit worthiness, it's also a fickle and odd formula. If you do nothing but stay the same, generally your score will rise slightly just from aging. Some point(s) may cause you to shift the comparison buckets you're in and generate odd shifts in scores that aren't as explainable as a shift from paying off a card or reducing utilization. If that score isn't of use to you in the near-term (i.e. buying a house), and it will take until February to reduce all cards below 90% util for the slim hope that you'll get a 20 pt boost. your FICO score is likely a poor judge of your progress (though a happy side-effect). You've managed to pull off some CLIs along the way, which help too.
You seemed to make good progress when you had a set goal (payoff one card per month) and your score boosts were a side-effect of otherwise clearly measurable progress. You were even ahead of that goal for much of the year, but it sounds like that progress fell off more recently.
Set your long-term goal, and try not to let short-term score changes distract you.
IF you're only goal is to pay off your cards, I'd suggest:
- Targeting either low balances to knock out a few more cards with balances (% cards with balances affects score) and to refocus those minimum payments to other cards
- Targeting high APR cards, to try to save interest expenses (saves $, may reduce high util on some cards)
- Knock out "low-hanging fruit" balances when the opportunity strikes (i.e. can be fully paid off within one or two months), and otherwise targeting High APR cards.
If you're a little more impatient, do one of the above two strategies and either target just the DW cards first, just your cards first, or to help both out a bit in the score department, just focus on the joint cards first. The rest (Scores, CLIs, BT offers, prime cards) will keep coming along the way.
If there's a different goal, (house, other) of course develop your plan to bring you closer to achieving that first. If you want more specific advice, and are comfortable with, reshare the details of your card balances/APRs/Goal. If not, you seem to have a pretty good handle on modeling it out.
As your siggy says: Zero percent is where the devil lies. Be careful out there.
12-05-2012 07:00 PM
Thanks to all.
Yes, progress slowed way down the last few months...DW was out of work for 90 days or so...
I just sent my first "extra" CC payment last weekend, and am pondering my options...
12-06-2012 04:48 AM
No worries, no offense taken, I promise.
DW did point out to me last night that we have made considerable progress on FICO score over the last 12 months....I guess I'm just a bit impatient.
12-06-2012 04:59 AM
Stop paying attention to scores because they will hinder your growth or even become upsetting, and just attack it logically. Dump the higher APRs on to a decent BT offer.
Sure....except that I need a better score to GET a decent BT offer...