A little backround. About a year ago, I had an awakening! I couldn't figure out where all my money was going. Turns out...It was going for late fees and interest on just about every bill I had. My credit score was horrid, and I had to do something about it. At the time, I had 2 Capital One cards, the Platinum with a $2000 limit, and a regular with a $600 limit, a Chase Speeway/SuperAmerica card with a $300 limit, a First Premier card with a $600 limit and a closed Credit Union MC with $1000 limit and balance. All of these cards were within $25 of their limit ALL of the time. I would stupidly forget dates payments were due, and miss them by a day, and get nabbed $39 plus the over limit fees.....I'm sure more than a few of us have been there.
ANYWHO.....Since January and my budget revival, I've paid off 1 of the capital one cards ($600) and the Chase card. I've dropped the balance of the Platinum Card to $1100 with an expected payoff in December. Last month, I applied for an increase on my First Premier, and got the limit up to $750. My scores have gone from the Mid 500's to what I can figure is the Mid 600's. Last week, I applied for a Barclays Frontier Airlines card and got approved for a CL of $750, and with that, I am tranferring the balance of my First Premier card to it because it has a 0% APR for 6 months on transfers.
My question is....My annual fee for the First Premier is up, should I cancel the card now? Try to negotiate getting the annual fee dropped? Try to negotiate getting the limit raised again? I'm not really a fan of this card, but it's one of my oldest cards (2002), and I don't want to ding my credit just as I've started to get it under control again. Thanks!!!
How old are your other cards?
FP is horrid as far as fees - it would be lovely to drop them.
1 Cap1 is 9/2001
1 Cap1 is 9/2005
Chase is 9/2005
Just got the Barclays Friday.
So it is my 2nd oldest account.
Because your utilization is so high, I would recommend holding on to that fee-heavy FP until December when your balance is paid down on your Cap One. You didn’t mention what balance amount you’re transferring from FP to Barclays. As soon as your overall utilization is down to 9% (or maybe even in the teens), it may be good timing for closing the FP card – it’s helped you rebuild but it’ll be time to move on and stop with the crazy fees cards. For now, you’ll still be stuck with the AF if you want to keep utilization down – but it may be worth paying the AF if it keeps your utilization from jumping even higher than it is. (On the other hand, your utilization is dropping in December. If you AF is due in November and you cancel the card rather than pay the AF, your utilization jump will only be for one month. In December, utilization will come back down and your score will come back up).
When you chose to close FP:
Your oldest account age will stay the same because it is based on your Cap One (you’ll want to keep that baby).
Your Average Age of Accounts will stay the same because FP will continue to report (for up to ten years – keep your fingers crossed).
Your utilization percentage will change (it’ll go up) due to the lost CL on FP.
One possibility: Close the FP as soon as it makes sense and use the money you would be spending on fees to help pay down your utilization.
Congrats on your Barclays – It may be good at this point to watch your AAofAccounts and hold off on app’ing for your next new card (if you even need one) until this one has some age on it.
Big applause to your excellent efforts in paying down your cards. When you can, purchase your FICO scores at myfico – you may be pleasantly surprised – and you will be able to track your progress – big-time fun!
I'm not familiar with FP's willingness to lower the AF or provide CLI's - there's probably some great info from some of our other posters.
Good luck to you!