Credit Card Center Advertiser Disclosure†
07-16-2012 08:24 PM
OK. So, here's the rundown.
I'm 20 years old, college student, and have TONS of credit ALL in good standing. I started my credit right around my 18th birthday with a capital one student card. You'll read more below.
I managed to finance an auto loan originally at 4.9 interest with Ford Motor Credit. This loan was for around $20,000 I got in a severe accident (I was not at fault) and then I had to purchase a new car and insurance paid off the loan ($19000) and gave me $3000. I went to the same awesome dealership, and got a new loan at a whopping 9.9APY and financed $16000 or 17000 because I was required to put a larger down payment down. The good side, my payments are lower. I make monthly payments and frequently pay ahead. My payment is $348.55/mo. The reason I was not able to get as good of a deal was because I opened up new credit accounts (although all were in good standing). To be honest, based on my income, I probably should not have been approved. My monthly income from work at the time was insufficient to get by. But at the time, I had no rent payment, no credit card payments really, etc. It was at Galpin Ford, the world's largest ford dealership. My income has significantly increased due to a new, better job...and while maintaining my other (older) job.
I have MANY credit card accounts. In a way, I'm addicted to credit I suppose.
First credit card: Capital One. Always in good standing. Has been almost maxed out at times, but never OVER THE LIMIT. Paid in full occasionally and currently has a balance of around $38.
After having that card for a year, every card GECRB offered, I could get approved for. Virtually almost every mall store I have a card to. I also have some by Citi including Home Depot, Shell Gas, Sears. I have 2 by world financial including buckle and pac sun.
Currently my balances are:
Auto loan: $15000
Home Depot: $30/$2000
Best Buy: $384.30/$2600
Wells Fargo: $915/$1000
Capital One: $38/$750
I frequently utilize my Wal Mart card to loan money out to friends and occasionally my mom which has less income during summer. I usually charge about $120 a month on it and it gets PAID OFF each month shortly following the time I use it. I never leave a balance on it. My American Eagle card I usually charge and pay off as soon as possible, in no less than 2 months.
Capital One, being my oldest card, has the highest interest rate out of my available visa cards. Bank of Americard has an interest of 14.24. Wells Fargo has introductory 7.9 and then 17.9. But yet, Capital One just offered me a "new deal" lowering my interest from 24.9 to 20.90. What the heck?! What can I do to get them to lower it? I've asked, asked, and asked some more.
My newest problem/delimma. I had an American Express Green Card until 7/13/12. They canceled it due to verbal confusion (I was pissed at their decision to suspend my card for financial review). I said "It seems easier to cancel my card, but I'll call you back soon." She canceled my card. Amex says there is nothing they can do and that it will be marked as "paid in full and canceled by consumer". How will this impact my credit?
I get my free FICO score from my Walmart Credit Card issued by GECRB each month. It's an excellent service. It charts it and also gives me a short reason why. Currently, the score reported as a 723. Last month, it was a 740.
When I receive my student aid refund (which includes loans and a $10000 scholarship), I plan on paying off Wells Fargo, paying forward my loan, and making sure most cards are to $0 balance. The next few pay checks I get from work, leading up to my aid, I plan on making sure Capital One is at $0, Best Buy at $0, Shell at $0, and as many others at $0...and starting paying towards wells fargo.
ANY suggestions as to what I can do to ensure my credit gets stronger and stays strong as I begin to get close to graduating college, getting a job, and then shortly later maybe buying a home. What are my flaws? What can I do better? And what am I doing good with? Feel free to ask more questions to get more detail to help me better. Thanks
07-17-2012 01:29 AM
CapOne likes to keep their rates higher. Also, they assign it based on your credit profile. I'd keep calling every so often. BTW, the APR doesn't matter if you pay in full each month. Your rate would be 0%.
Closure of your Amex will have very little impact. The closure won't impact your length of history or AAoA. FICO largely ignores it for util purposes, except for the older TU98 FICO version as found on here (it won't impact your TU FICO from WalMart). And if you ever open an Amex again, they'll backdate to the open date of this closed Amex.
Don't app for anything else. Let everything age.
07-17-2012 11:10 AM
Although your overall utilization appears to be in check FICO also has a scoring algorithm for number of accounts with balances. They certainly seem to like for less than 1/2 of all the accounts on your report to have a balance but as in most things FICO I would hazard a guess that less is more. In other words let all but 1 or 2 of your accounts report on their statement with a zero balance. Other than that as ILECS said just let everything age in place. As your average age of accounts gets better the credit score will improve. You appear to be doing well for someone so young as evidenced by your WalMart TU FICO.
07-17-2012 11:26 AM - edited 07-17-2012 11:29 AM
Since my post yesterday, I have closed one more account.
I closed my Buckle Card through World Financial because I received a letter stating they would be closing it for me if I did not start using it. I have always been told that it is always better for the consumer to close the account instead of the bank...even if it is for something as little as not using it.
After getting the card, I realized how expensive buckle was compared to nearly identical stuff at pacsun. I chose to close the account. The account had only an available credit of $300 and I have never used the card. It should not impact the age of accounts because almost all of my current cards (except CapOne, Wells Fargo, and maybe a few others) were opened at the exact same time. There was one day, about a year after first getting capital one, that almost any card I applied to world approve me. It could have been the strong and steady history I had with CapOne.
Also, yes...I try to keep on top of things. I have never had a late payment since my credit history has started. I have never went over the limit. Never had any issues. My biggest flaw now is the fact I do have so much credit which some companies will/would think it would outweigh my income.
The reason I wish capital one would lower the interest is because of the interest, I rarely use it now. I usually will pay off one of my cash credit cards (Capital One, Wells Fargo, and BofA) twice a year and then change which one is in my wallet. Throughout the school year, I will usually put a balance on it that I do not pay off at once (thus accumulating some interest). Capital One will never be a card that I accumulate interest on because it is a card with the highest interest. An entire month of a $900 balance at wells fargo is drastically less than a smaller balance on Capital One. Why would I ever use Capital One? I just know the importance of keeping it open for credit purposes. So now I have reoccuring bills that used to go to Amex now going to Capital One. I just know I am capable of paying the bill off each and every month (as I did with Amex).
07-17-2012 02:47 PM
You are doing an awesome job!
You already have 2 prime bank cards in case you didn't already know it! (Wells Fargo and BoA)
Keep your utilization as low as you can and make sure that every six months or so you call for credit line increases on your cards, especially the prime cards.
If I were you I would only apply for prime cards from here on out, and maybe only 1 per year.
These are the banks that most people on the forums consider prime banks:
Bank of America
Don't app for any other cards except from these banks, call for CLI at least every year and you will be golden.
Keep your utilization below 9% of available credit!
07-17-2012 10:56 PM
I'll have to wait a little before any credit company will consider me (despite my decent credit score)...I just applied too much recently.
Also, based on the circumstances, do you think it will be easy to get my Amex back in a year or two? I'm somewhat upset at the entire situation and my card should actually be opened, but due to error, the representative assumed I closed my account by requesting it, but I said "It would just be easier to close my account probably, but I will call you back." The last part is key. I wanted to work with them and see what was up and I just misunderstood the credit review and the process...plus I was furious they suspended my account while I was on vacation and they had NO WAY of contacting me, but they still suspended it without proper notification.
Also I have another question for everyone. I cannot view my annual credit report because I already did this year, but...I got in a severe car accident which totaled my car. Insurance paid ford motor credit the entire value of the loan ($19000) and gave me $3000. I went and purchased a new car (at worse terms) from same dealership. My first question is: the fact that my first loan got paid in full, does that reflect as if I paid it in full? Can that boost my credit or be actively boosting my credit? Also, what about refinancing. I would like to refinance my new car soon because I'm at 9.9% APY...versus the original 4.9APY. What should I do? Who should I go through? Any advice?