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Valued Contributor
Gunnar419
Posts: 1,183
Registered: ‎01-23-2013
0

Can I really garden my way to 800+?

I always had a credit score in the low-mid 700s & thought that was fine. Since coming here, I've seen things differently and am enjoying the challenge of moving upward. My utilization has gone from 32% to 8%. I've gone from three to six cards. My available credit has nearly tripled. And my Eq FICO has gone from 743 to 769. Now the elusive 800 is within sight. Distant sight, but tantalizingly on the horizon.

 

I was poking around with the score simulator. No, I don't believe its predictions. Still it intrigued me to be told that I might be able to gain 50 points and go well into 800 territory just by getting my utilization even lower and gardening my accounts for two or more years. (On the other hand, it also said I might gain as few as 10 points by doing that.)

 

I know that once you're near 800 upward motion can be slow as a glacier. So is it actually possible, in the real world outside the simulator, to gain 50 points and go over 800 just by gardening and fiddling around to find a utilization sweet spot?

 

I have no installment loans and don't plan to get any. Just credit cards. I'm firmly in the garden for now.

Established Contributor
ObeyJohnny12
Posts: 591
Registered: ‎05-05-2012
0

Re: Can I really garden my way to 800+?

Being in the garden works wonders for you if you really are determined to garden your accounts. But being in this forum it's hard to stay app free seeing the constant approval threads. Lol. 

I told myself I was going to garden this month but app for a GE card yesterday :smileysad:

 

You are so close to the 800 club and you can reach it if you garden and stay app free. 

Gardening Since: March 4, 2013.
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Established Contributor
Cdnewmanpac
Posts: 766
Registered: ‎01-16-2012
0

Re: Can I really garden my way to 800+?

This should probably be in the score forum instead of here, but: I suppose it may be possible to hit the 800s with only revolving credit on your report. Especially if you have a relatively low AAoA now, the gains from a year or two of doing nothing could be significant. But a percentage of your score (very small, in some cases) is based on "mix of credit" and you won't be able to maximize these points with just credit cards. You may stall out below 800.

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Valued Contributor
Gunnar419
Posts: 1,183
Registered: ‎01-23-2013
0

Re: Can I really garden my way to 800+?

Oh, I'm sorry about putting this in the wrong place. Would a mod like to move it?

 

I definitely understand that temptation to app (something I never experienced before I came here). But the goal of 800+ is a good motivator,

 

I also understand that I don't have the optimum credit mix. So be it. I'm mostly curious about how basically doing nothing, once a person is at this level, can grow a score.

Contributor
akabigo
Posts: 84
Registered: ‎11-01-2012
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Re: Can I really garden my way to 800+?

I have credit cards only and just broke 800 late last year. I opened a few new accounts and dont plan on any apping til 2014 so it should come back and then some. Hopefully!! Anyway, it can be done. AAOA is 5.5 years, oldest account 17 years old.

 

Good Luck

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Fico scores TU 814 EQ 806 EX 803
Valued Contributor
thom02099
Posts: 1,334
Registered: ‎08-30-2011
0

Re: Can I really garden my way to 800+?

[ Edited ]

I (unknowingly) broke through the 800 barrier last month, (the month ironically that I entered the Garden!) and it was due to getting more updated scores from TU and EQ.  Got the TU04 score that's higher than the TU98 score here, and got a EQ Beacon 9.0 rather than the 5.0 here, both recently. Both of the older versions had me in the upper 700's, pushing 800  with TU98.   I have a mix of credit cards (in signature) as well as loans and a mortgage.  You may be closer than you know!  If you can get the newer versions of TU and EQ, you may be in the 800s.

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EX = 799 EQ = 812 TU = 811 - 11/2014
Moderator
Revelate
Posts: 9,645
Registered: ‎12-30-2011
0

Re: Can I really garden my way to 800+?

[ Edited ]

Sure, given enough time passing.

 

Point is moot in the current economy though, 760 is the gold-plated level already.  There's few products which have their top tier at that breakpoint, and not a single one above that credit strata.

 

That said you are correct: the better your report, the longer it will take for score increases to accrue.  As a hypothetical example assuming I keep things on the straight and narrow, I sort of suspect my own progression will be as follows:

 

560 -> 640 year one.

640 -> 680 year two

680 -> 720 year three (this is where things start really breaking down)

720 -> 760 year six

760 -> 800 year twelve.

 

Also while one can get to 800 with nothing but credit cards anecdotally, you are leaving points on the ground by not having installment loans for the mix of credit function.  That said, finance a car in the future and get a mortgage someday, and that's enough installment history for the most part, just don't need that many tradelines.

 

Edit: lender scores may use different versions and be all over the map; I consider the current mortgage scores which include the EQ Beacon 5.0 found here to be the gold standard still; however, others opinions will differ as this score doesn't apply to all loan products.

Starting Score: EQ 561, TU 567, EX 599* (12/30/11, EX lender pull 12/29/11)
Current Score: EQ 04 673, EQ 8 707, TU 720, EX 702* (09/02/14, EX older)
Goal Score: 700 on EQ '04 (01/01/15)


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Valued Contributor
Gunnar419
Posts: 1,183
Registered: ‎01-23-2013
0

Re: Can I really garden my way to 800+?

[ Edited ]

Thanks, Revelate, for moving the thread!

 

Interesting about the newer score models maybe giving higher scores. I know that the TU '08 at Walmart/GE is my highest score of all the FICOs and FAKOs that I know. Feels good, but I'm sticking with the Eq Beacon from MyFico as my ultimate reality check.

 

Understood on how mortgages and auto loans can help boost a score. Those are just something I don't need and hope I never do need. I've had both in the distant past, but find I'm happier without them. Mortages are so expensive and such hell for low-income self-employed people to get that I hope never to apply for one again.

 

Now to see how far I can get (in how long a time) just by gardening and fine tuning utilization. I know that at this point it's just "keeping score" rather than expecting any big benefit. But I do think that being closer to 800 would help me next year when my goal is to ask for APR decreases.

New Contributor
acleynes
Posts: 66
Registered: ‎10-30-2011
0

Re: Can I really garden my way to 800+?


Gunnar419 wrote:

Thanks, Revelate, for moving the thread!

 

Interesting about the newer score models maybe giving higher scores. I know that the TU '08 at Walmart/GE is my highest score of all the FICOs and FAKOs that I know. Feels good, but I'm sticking with the Eq Beacon from MyFico as my ultimate reality check.

 

Understood on how mortgages and auto loans can help boost a score. Those are just something I don't need and hope I never do need. I've had both in the distant past, but find I'm happier without them. Mortages are so expensive and such hell for low-income self-employed people to get that I hope never to apply for one again.

 

Now to see how far I can get (in how long a time) just by gardening and fine tuning utilization. I know that at this point it's just "keeping score" rather than expecting any big benefit. But I do think that being closer to 800 would help me next year when my goal is to ask for APR decreases.



I have an 815 credit score and I don't think it is from my credit utilization or credit limit.  I just received my first card over $10,000 from PenFed last month.  A $16,500 PenFed Gas Card.  My highest credit limit before that was a $8,200 limit store card.  I only had 8 credit cards in my name.  Most were store cards.  I just closed 6 cards in the last month and I am interested to see if my score will drop or go up.
I have owned 9 cars in 10 years and paid off 4 car loans within 2 a 1/2 year period.  I pay my mortgage more than double the minimum every month.  I also paid off 1 gigantic student loan and am still paying on 2.
I attribute my 815 credit score to my variety of installment accounts and my mortgage.  I have about 20% home equity now.  I am making a wild guess here, but I think home equity might cancel out some negative effects of higher than recommended credit utilization.
My credit utilization is horrible.  Usually over 50%.  But  my total utilization including mortgage, car loans, student loans, personal loans, and revolving credit are below 40%.
I only here people talk about their revolving credit utlization.  I never hear anyone talk about their total utilization.  When I get my credit report from Equifax, it breaks utilization down into 4 categories.  Mortgage, installment loans, revolving accounts, and total of all 3.
I have a feeling that is what is keeping a lot of people from breaking 800.  Their revolving account utilization might by under 9%, but what about their total?  I pay my mortgage double per month.  So it will only take me 9 years to pay off instead of 30.  So my home equity is more in line with a person who has held a mortgage for much longer. 
I am just guessing here.  But I think a long established mortgage or really high home equity is what tips the iceberg for most people.
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Starting Score: TU 749 02/02/2014
Current Score: TU 749 02/02/2014
Goal Score: 850



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