After some rebuilding, my credit scores are in the 680s. I have two credit cards, both of which I've had for a little more than two years and with an APR of around 22%:
Chase Amazon -- $1500 CL. I had a 30-day late payment in November 2011, and went a bit over my CLI about the same time. I don't know if this counts in my favor, but I had the same card for 8 years, was never late (and then had a CS north of 800). I called CSR and he said they would need to do a hard pull to see if could get a CLI.
Capital One Platinum -- $1500 CL. I had a 30-day late payment in April 2012.
In the past six months, I've kept my utilization on the combined cards between 3% (where it is now) and 20%.
I'm not so much concerned about the Capital One card, as it's in my sock drawer with a monthly internet usage bill of $50 attached to it. But I'd like to use the Chase card more often to get the Amazon rewards.
Should I just wait for the to give me a manual CLI -- whenever that will be? Should I apply for a different card and continue to use these sparingly? Is what I'm doing the best way to raise my CS? (I don't really need the credit.)
Any advice you could give would be appreciated.
I don't think Chase or Capital One are really known for giving out many automatic CLIs. I've gone years without one from either company. I'm planning to close my Capital One cards within the year because I don't think they're going to go any higher. I just called Chase this week and got a credit increase from them though. So even though they don't do it automatically, you might be able to get one by calling in (though it will be a hard pull on your credit report).
Yeah, when I called, they said they could see if I was eligible courtesy of a hard pull. (I wonder if the 680s would have gotten me one.)
When I previously had the same card, they would give me periodic CLI without my asking. When I called angry once and wanted to close it, they cut my APR down and gave me a $25 gift certificate. At one point, I had an APR of 5.24% and a CLI of $8,100. (I cancelled it when that jumped to 29.99% because of troubles on another account. Stupid, I know.)
One thing I'm not sure a made clear, is I'm interested in CLI increases etc. more to boost my credit scores than for their own sake.
Yeah, I'm in a similar boat. When I requested a CLI from Chase, it was more because I want to boost my credit score than a real need for more credit. I was able to get an increase from $2,400 to $5,000 on my Chase Freedom with a score somewhere around 700.
I think the decision of whether it would be better to get a credit limit increase from Chase or to apply for a different card probably partially depends on your goals. If you apply for a new card, it will impact your AAoA. With a longterm approach, the initial hit on the AAoA may be worth it, but it may drop your score temporarily. On the other hand, the more aged accounts you have down the road, less volital your score will be when you add new accounts (and the only way to get aged accounts is to add them and let them age).
If you don't have an AmEx card, you might look into getting one of those before the end of the year to take advantage of backdating in the future.
I'm relatively new to all of this, but those are all things I've been thinking through myself - I think a lot of it really depends on what sort of approach you are looking to take with your credit score and what your goals are.
Thanks for the advice, oogy.
I want to refi my mortgage in 7-10 months, and am looking at that timeline for improving my CS. (Failing that, I'm eligible for a block grant refi at 4% with no mortgage insurance with a CS of at least 640.)
My closed accounts count towards my AAoA (which is about 7.7 years), so I'm not terribly worried about that.