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Valued Member
Notmilk
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0

Please help me reach 700!

okay, I'm desperate. I would like to get a mortgage soon however before I do that, I hope to have a credit score of 700. I have one recent 30 day late back in Feb, 07 with Chase. two other lates about 4 years ago, one from Banana Republic, one from Express Fashions. (Tried to send in GWs couple of months ago, didn't work out) I'm currently at 672, having three credit cards. 3k/3k/2.2k credit lines I pay off everything every month. however I have not seen any credit score increase for the past 3 months. I was reading something about utilization; how exactly does that work? and what other steps I can take to increase my credit scores? Thanks!
Frequent Contributor
tonsers
Posts: 431
Registered: ‎02-07-2008
0

Re: Please help me reach 700!

For maximum fico points, it's best to let less than half your cards (but not zero) report a balance of less than 10%. For you, this would mean let one of your three cards report with a small balance.

I just went from one card reporting a balance to no cards - my score dropped 9 points.

Besides that little trick, I would continue with the GW letters - especially for that recent one!

Best of luck! :smileyhappy:
Established Member
KeystoneKutie87
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎09-01-2008
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Re: Please help me reach 700!

I agree with tonsers. Make sure to keep your util ratio low. Aim for 30%. So if you credit limit is $3,000, don't go over $900. I've found that paying down the debt makes a pretty nice difference. It helped my score jump over 30 points over a three month range (and I haven't even gotten to the bulk of it yet.) Good luck!

Starting Score: 584
Current Score: 623
Goal Score: 650


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Valued Member
Notmilk
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
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Re: Please help me reach 700!

[ Edited ]
hope I understand utilization clearly.

1. Let's say I have three cards in total. Pay two cards in full at the end of the month. Pay one card down to below 10% of its total credit line.

OR

2. Use only one card, leave the other two at home. the card I'll be using should not be spent more than 10% of its total credit line, and pay it in full at the end of the month?

Which of the action is the correct way to utilize?
Reason I'm asking is, last time I kept all of my cards balance below 10% I got a 25 point reduction in Fico Score and the explanation on Fico Watch was too many cards carrying balance. thanks!!

Message Edited by Notmilk on 09-02-2008 12:31 AM
Established Contributor
beenthere
Posts: 971
Registered: ‎01-13-2008
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Re: Please help me reach 700!

Use less than half your accounts in any given reporting period. Show a balance of less than 10% on the onther. You can rotate between cards every month or two to keep the issuer happy.
1-14-08....... TU=683, EQ=667, EX=666
7-04-08....... TU=688, EQ=678, EX=682.......
.......4 of my 5 cards and a new car later.
2/13/09 and forever EX 693
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Epic Contributor
haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: Please help me reach 700!

[ Edited ]

Notmilk wrote:
hope I understand utilization clearly.

1. Let's say I have three cards in total. Pay two cards in full at the end of the month. Pay one card down to below 10% of its total credit line.

OR

2. Use only one card, leave the other two at home. the card I'll be using should not be spent more than 10% of its total credit line, and pay it in full at the end of the month?

Which of the action is the correct way to utilize?
Reason I'm asking is, last time I kept all of my cards balance below 10% I got a 25 point reduction in Fico Score and the explanation on Fico Watch was too many cards carrying balance. thanks!!

It's not "end of the month." It's paying your cards to where you want them, 4-5 days before you think that each card's statement is due to post. That's how you control what is reported to the CRA's.

Since I am somewhat overburdened with cards, lol, I have statement dates on the 1st, the 5th, the 8th, the 12th, the 16th, the 18th, the 25th, and the last day of each month. And some of these wander around by a day or two. I could call up and ask that half be set for the 1st and half for the 15th, but I'm used to what I have.

These are NOT the due dates, these are the dates that the statements post/drop/etc. Nearly every CC reports the balance on the statement, on the date that the statement drops. (When the CRA's get around to posting it is another matter.) HSBC and Orchard bank cards report on the last business day of the month (when they bother to report), and the amount is what your balance was that day.

To optimize your util with three cards, pay two of them completely off online 5 days before you think the next statement is due, and stop using them until you get your online statement and see that $0 balance. Then you can use them again. On the third card, pay down your balance to 9% or less of its credit limit, let it report, don't forget to then finish paying it off, and start up again.

You can use your cards all you want. In fact, it's a good idea. It makes the CCC's happy, because they're making money from the transaction fees, and it keeps the cards active = alive. But by paying early, you are in control of your revolving util, and since that is about 1/3 of your scores, you can see how much power that gives you. Also, by having only one card out of three report a balance, you won't get the "too many accounts with balances" ding.

Until you get used to it, this can be a PITA, and many people don't bother unless they're fine-tuning before an app. But to me, it's just as easy to pay before the statement date as to pay before the due date, and I like how it focuses me on not carrying balances on cards. I just keep track of who's due next and make sure that they're paid off. Every now and then, one slips by, but I have some wiggle room, so it usually only costs me five points or so.

Anyway, just wanted to make sure that you understand that the timing varies on each card, according to when its statement drops. GL!


edit to correct wrong fraction (wish I had a numeric keypad on the laptop!)

Message Edited by haulingthescoreup on 09-02-2008 05:07 PM
* 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
Regular Contributor
siangirl34
Posts: 242
Registered: ‎07-26-2008
0

Re: Please help me reach 700!

Well, maybe a 4th card would give you a boost?? I know you aren't supposed to apply for a lot of things too close to when you want the mortage though. Maybe someone else can add to this. I know my 4th credit card gave me a minor boost in score.
Valued Member
Notmilk
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0

Re: Please help me reach 700!

[ Edited ]
Thanks haulingthescoreup, great reply.

How do I find out my statement date? I have all my cards due date at the 28th of each month.

should I open a 4th credit card? It will help my score?

Message Edited by Notmilk on 09-02-2008 07:42 PM
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Epic Contributor
haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: Please help me reach 700!

Are the Chase, Banana Republic, and Express cards the three that you have now?

I would say that you could use another bank card, EXCEPT that you don't want to do this within six months of a mortgage app, so a lot depends on your timetable.

Go to the simulators on your FICO EQ and TU score reports (EX doesn't have one), slide down to the get new credit section, and put in "Apply for and receive a new credit card with a credit limit of: and enter $1000. Click the "Simulate FICO Score" button right underneath, and see what the range of predicted scores are. I always go with the median figure, so if it says 640 - 660, I figure on 650. If it's a higher score than you have now, especially if it's a much higher score, this might mean that your credit profile "needs" another major card.

But you don't want to do this within 6 months of a mortgage, and you don't want to do this until your credit reports and scores are shined up.

What's the util figure that they show now? You might see this on screen two of your FICO reports. Try the pay-before-they-report tactic and see what happens with your scores. It will take a month plus for everything to cycle through; maybe even longer since you have store cards, and they can be pokey about updating.
* 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
Valued Member
Notmilk
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0

Re: Please help me reach 700!

Banana Republic and Express are closed due to inactivity.
I have:
Chase $3000 CL
Bank of America $3000 CL
Citicards $2190 CL

I think my utilization is pretty high. I use between the Chase and Citicards. about $1000 on each card each month. and always paid in full for the past 4-5 months. I have not seen my credit score gone up or down for 3 months now.

I just called my Chase card and they told me my statement date is the 3rd of each month, due date is 28th.

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