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Contributor
SpeedingWheels
Posts: 253
Registered: ‎08-06-2012

Tough decisions on what to pay off first

I'm looking to make the biggest impact on my FICO score. 

I've been approaching my payments the wrong way from everything I've read.. I just wish I had seen this information even 2 weeks ago. 

 

Here is the situation. 

 

I have 5 cards right now. 

 

Cap1 secured - $400 limit - $98 balance (1yr 1mo - PIF every month)

Cap1 Cash Rewards - $500 limit - $200 balance (4 months - PIF every month)

Walmart STore - $800 limit - $435 balance (4 months - carrying balance)

Amazon Store - $1600 limit - $463 balance (4 months - carrying balance on 6mo/0% purchase)

Meijer Store - $300 limit - $120 balance (2 months - PIF last month, might carry small balance this month)

 

As of today, all payments are current but I have roughly $275 sitting in my checking acct that can be used to make additional payments. 

 

Both Cap1 cards post on the 14th as does Amazon. Walmart posts on the 20th

 

My initial through is that I should pay off both Cap1 cards so they report $0 balance this cycle. 

But I wonder if I should look at making sure ALL 5 accts are under 30% first and then zero out accts as I can? 

 

Or even put it all to WM to knock down the interest next cycle? 

 

I should mention, the 2 Cap1 cards have been PIF from the last statement, these are new charges. 

(I run my bills through the Cash card each month for the 1% back) - I can zero them out but there wouldn't be any interest if I let them post. 


Walmart Discover ($5000) - Amazon ($5500) - Cap1 Cash Rewards ($2000) - Meijer ($5000) - Discover More ($1800) - Car Care One ($2100) - Amex Delta Skymiles ($2000) - Citi Thank You Preferred ($2000) - Chase Freedom ($500) - Sam's Club, GE ($1237?)
Valued Contributor
Crashem
Posts: 3,098
Registered: ‎01-26-2012

Re: Tough decisions on what to pay off first

Getting cards below 30% will help a little.  Getting a couple cards to report 0 will help more in your case.  Remember report 0, notI don't use cards.

               LIMITS IN CARD DESCRIPTIONS
Senior Contributor
Wolf3
Posts: 3,198
Registered: ‎01-24-2010

Re: Tough decisions on what to pay off first

Unless you have some great need to apply for somethig right away, I suggest you pay the highest interest rate cards down first. Getting to no interest should be your first goal.  Then you can get your utilization down for maximum score.    

Moderator
Revelate
Posts: 8,119
Registered: ‎12-30-2011

Re: Tough decisions on what to pay off first


Wolf3 wrote:

Unless you have some great need to apply for somethig right away, I suggest you pay the highest interest rate cards down first. Getting to no interest should be your first goal.  Then you can get your utilization down for maximum score.    


This.  Your interstitial FICO scores are absolutely meaningless between applications.  Do what makes the most financial sense: pay off your highest APR, then your next highest, and so on and so forth down the line to whatever utilization number you're happy with.

 

Starting Score: EQ 561, TU 567, EX 599* (12/30/11, EX lender pull 12/29/11)
Current Score: EQ 04 679, EQ 8 703, TU 708, EX 702* (05/30/14, EX older)
Goal Score: 700 in all three (01/01/15)


Take the myFICO Fitness Challenge
Valued Contributor
Crashem
Posts: 3,098
Registered: ‎01-26-2012

Re: Tough decisions on what to pay off first


Revelate wrote:

Wolf3 wrote:

Unless you have some great need to apply for somethig right away, I suggest you pay the highest interest rate cards down first. Getting to no interest should be your first goal.  Then you can get your utilization down for maximum score.    


This.  Your interstitial FICO scores are absolutely meaningless between applications.  Do what makes the most financial sense: pay off your highest APR, then your next highest, and so on and so forth down the line to whatever utilization number you're happy with.

 


I would have recommended highest apr first, but op said specifically how to get fico up.  So I assume he is apping soon.

               LIMITS IN CARD DESCRIPTIONS
Frequent Contributor
Autumnslight
Posts: 311
Registered: ‎07-08-2012

Re: Tough decisions on what to pay off first

[ Edited ]

I'd pay the Walmart one. It's over 50% utilization right now, plus you said you've been carrying the balance, so you're paying interest. The others are noted as PIF each month or 0%, so you're not paying any interest there.

 

*Edit* Oops, didn't see that you're specifically trying to maximize the score rather than save money. In that case, I'd still pay Walmart down to under 50%, then totally pay off Cap One secured and Meijer.

Scores:
07/29/12: EX FICO (Amex) 684 | EQ MyFICO 631 | TU Walmart 695
Current: EX FICO (MyFICO) 733 | EQ (MyFICO) 683 | TU (Walmart) 745

First Goal: 700+ across the board - Got it on EX & TU!!!
Frequent Contributor
scarrollprint
Posts: 382
Registered: ‎06-26-2012

Re: Tough decisions on what to pay off first

Honestly, I'd put it towards the walmart and not look to apply on anything till you have less than 9% across the board with a couple at $0. Otherwise your just blowing money away on interest  and in the end that will get you no where.



Current: Eq- 624 Ex - 631 (lender pulled) TU - 661 (lender pulled)
Goal 700+ across all three
Moderator
Revelate
Posts: 8,119
Registered: ‎12-30-2011

Re: Tough decisions on what to pay off first


Crashem wrote:

Revelate wrote:

Wolf3 wrote:

Unless you have some great need to apply for somethig right away, I suggest you pay the highest interest rate cards down first. Getting to no interest should be your first goal.  Then you can get your utilization down for maximum score.    


This.  Your interstitial FICO scores are absolutely meaningless between applications.  Do what makes the most financial sense: pay off your highest APR, then your next highest, and so on and so forth down the line to whatever utilization number you're happy with.

 


I would have recommended highest apr first, but op said specifically how to get fico up.  So I assume he is apping soon.


Yeah, I know bud; however, the convential wisdom here is FICO > all and that's likely what he's been reading in the last two weeks, so I re-emphasize the financial piece more strongly than I should.  The posts here tend to present a slightly distorted view of the world, and while it's an important one to understand, there isn't anything mandatory besides: pay your bills on time every time; almost everything else is putting lipstick on the pig.  

 

It wasn't a slam towards you at all, you know I respect ya highly dude, I just occasionally offer a contrary opinion :cattongue:

 

Starting Score: EQ 561, TU 567, EX 599* (12/30/11, EX lender pull 12/29/11)
Current Score: EQ 04 679, EQ 8 703, TU 708, EX 702* (05/30/14, EX older)
Goal Score: 700 in all three (01/01/15)


Take the myFICO Fitness Challenge
Valued Contributor
jamesdwi
Posts: 1,407
Registered: ‎09-16-2011

Re: Tough decisions on what to pay off first

[ Edited ]

SpeedingWheels wrote:

I'm looking to make the biggest impact on my FICO score. 

I've been approaching my payments the wrong way from everything I've read.. I just wish I had seen this information even 2 weeks ago. 

 

Here is the situation. 

 

I have 5 cards right now. 

 

Cap1 secured - $400 limit - $98 balance (1yr 1mo - PIF every month)

Cap1 Cash Rewards - $500 limit - $200 balance (4 months - PIF every month)

Walmart STore - $800 limit - $435 balance (4 months - carrying balance)

Amazon Store - $1600 limit - $463 balance (4 months - carrying balance on 6mo/0% purchase)

Meijer Store - $300 limit - $120 balance (2 months - PIF last month, might carry small balance this month)

 

As of today, all payments are current but I have roughly $275 sitting in my checking acct that can be used to make additional payments. 

 

Both Cap1 cards post on the 14th as does Amazon. Walmart posts on the 20th

 

My initial through is that I should pay off both Cap1 cards so they report $0 balance this cycle. 

But I wonder if I should look at making sure ALL 5 accts are under 30% first and then zero out accts as I can? 

 

Or even put it all to WM to knock down the interest next cycle? 

 

I should mention, the 2 Cap1 cards have been PIF from the last statement, these are new charges. 

(I run my bills through the Cash card each month for the 1% back) - I can zero them out but there wouldn't be any interest if I let them post. 


Since you PIF on all but 2 cards those are the ones in question and since one has 0% for 6 months... that leaves one card 

Walmart 800CL... since its over 50% UTL its the other reason to pay it off or at least down. 

 

 

Cards: Chase Southwest 20k & CSP 10k & Amtrak 4.6k, & Freedom 3.3k & Slate 3.3k, FNBO DISC 14.9k Oregon Duck 5k, & AMEX BCP 15k & AMEX Hilton Surpass 7.5k & AMEX Zync NPSL, Sams Club Discover 10k, Paypal Extras MC 6k, CapOne 2.5k, CapOne 750, Amazon 3.9k, Walmart 4.5k, Citi HHonors Gold 6k, Discover IT 6.5k and a nice stack of store cards.
Last APP 4/26//2014 no plans for new credit I think I have enough.

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