So.. Even before popping into these forums, I am relatively educated in credit/credit cards/reporting/etc., and whenever I attempt to "help" my bf understand AAoA and other positive factors regarding your credit profile/scores he treats me like I am clueless. It is frustrating to hear the not-so-good decisions he makes. He has very good credit, but sometimes he makes less then beneficial choices regarding his credit.
He likes to open accounts to use the instant benefits (points, deals, etc.) but then closes them after 60 days or so, Cards with no interest, high (5000+ CL), etc. Saying that he doesn't need them Explaining how the credit lines are helping his score his reply is always "close if I don't need them". This has happened 7-10 times since November.
How do try to approach these things without being overbearing?
Thank you for your replies!!
You can only do what you can do. I made a huge mistake when I got married 21 years ago. I married a woman smarter than me.
Maybe it is just going to take him awhile to figure that one on his own.
Suggest he keep them open for "emergencies".
We keep mine open just in case. It's our safety net. We are blessed that we now have a small cash emergency fund to use. It's not eough to meet a months of expenses, but it's a start. The cc's helped us save tidy sum of money (see my post on my way to a 100k, last page talks about how we used the cc's to do that). Maybe that would strike a cord with the bf.
Actually had a pretty good talk over dinner about AAoA & Util, and closing accounts he isn't using (and how it can affect both), and... I think I saw a light go on *ding*
I asked him to give the accounts a few months/year, and we'll see how his credit profile/score reflects NOT closing them.. Hey it's a start!
You're doing it wrong.
Don't explain to him the negatives of closing accounts. Explain to him the POSITIVES and possible benefits he'll get over the long term. Don't you understand that's exactly why he is opening those accounts in the first place? He's not focusing on the negatives, he's focusing on the positives.
Research those cards he opens, and see if those are the kind of cards that offer later benefits or rewards.
Ex: Barclays NFL Card had a sign-up bonus that was worth $400 statement credit. You figure, open it, get the credit, close. But no, I researched and saw that this particular card continuously does promotions where they give statement credits for spending. Explain to your boyfriend that if he keeps closing them, he might not reap those benefits later on.
I don't know what type of relationship you are in (meaning, how long you've been together) but sometimes talking bigger picture (house, family, etc...) can also scare the bejeezus out of men when talking about credit if they aren't that far into it.
Follow my financial journey: http://www.frugalrican.com
It might be a good idea to talk about long-term goals with him, like how his behavior could affect his interest rate on big loans like mortgages or auto loans. It sounds like he's a little bit set in his ways, but I was too before I got educated about credit.
I suggest you follow the suggestion someone else posted to keep your own finances separate. I married a hopeless case you never got it right. Up to and through our divorce she was still borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, and regularly paying bounced checks, overdraft and late payment fees. Such people can be a severe drag on your own financial goals. Think very seriously before deciding upon marriage. On a more positive note, you might seek out and print for him the expert explanation from MyFICO and others about the impact of closing accounts and starting new one. Sit with him and review the material together and from the heart. The negatives are clear...in terms of his credit point scores. In my experience these days, there is so much competition the credit card companies are always offering new incentive programs that your BF can take advantage of involving the cards he keeps. Good luck.