Marty, I haven't gotten a SW alert in over 4 Months and have a message into CR. Everything is on, settings haven't changed, but Oh well, there must be some glitch.
My net worth is 60mm+ and I used to have Fico hovering between 790's to 803. Since I applied for new credit near the end of last year, Discover gave me 5% savings on Gas and Automotive. An getting AA citibank MC kept me from losing expiring miles. Also Saks gives you 15% off when you open and account on a big purchase, and darned if those Macy's folks don't make $25 for getting you to open and account. I had 9 of them when I checked my credit file several years back. Then they send you a Master Card you didn't even ask for. Got rid of all of those 3 years ago. So those 3 new accounts happened in the last quarter. My score fell to 767. Alltel accesses my CR even though I've been a customer for over 15 years. So think about this when you change calling plans.
I have always been an convenience user paying off my credit card balances in full every single month with never ever missing a payment. No mortgages now an any of the residences I own. Always when purchasing a car, I pay cash. But the fleet mgr (never deal with a regular sales person) insists on checking my credit score. I don't know they insist on doing if I'm writing a check. I've never ever have had a car loan. And I haven't had a mortgage in several years. Several years ago, I took out a HELOC to help my credit. Yeah, right. Didn't do a thing. Never a bad mark in my credit file, either.
During the political season, and with charity at the end of the year, I run a couple cards with 100K CL's to 50 or 60% but only do that once or twice a year. But I pay them off right when the bill comes. So I thought that getting a Black Centurion Amex Card with help my score a couple or 3 years ago when I got it. It didn't do squat. Great to have the airline privileges, though. Not impressed with the annual fee. I guess I'm an Frequent Flyer whore. I have mileage programs on all my credit cards. I also know that canceling and opening new accounts through the years doesn't help my score.
I've had credit since 1975 when I had my first MC that my parents co-signed on with a $300 CL. Of course most banks have changed names or gone away, so it's impossible to stay with the same one forever. But I will vow to not keep closing and opening old and new accounts. Been a few years since I have done this.
Anyone have any advice beyond not opening and closing accounts that I could use to increase my Score? Inquiries from Direct TV (I already had an account with) and others like Cox Communications, drive me crazy just because I change something or add premium channel or two. What gives? I haven't ever checked my other scores, and maybe I will. I'll be a more loyal customer with my revolving from now on, but if there are other suggestions, I'd sure love to hear them.
edited to add paragraphs, to make post more readable
Message Edited by haulingthescoreup on 03-26-200805:06 PM
It seems that the question of util and FICO score is more complex then I could figure in that small util then no util has no affect on your score except if you are 0 util. I have never been there but even the score simulator wants to see some balance.
I noticed that you have some CCs with large CLs and I am told here that FICO looks at a CL of say 50k diffrently then a 10k limit but I dont have a CC with 50k so I cant relate my experince here.
I would not close any accounts and I would not open a new one unless there was a good reason.
Having a high FICO score is new to me so I will have to experince what is like.
What I really want to do is to have all my score above 760 with a buffer in case Ineed to carry a larger balance or a new loan. My guess that would be in the 780's.
In my case, time is the primary way my score will get higher. They 120 day late need 4.5 more years. There isnt much more I can do except dont do anything stupid.
Message Edited by haulingthescoreup on 03-26-200805:06 PM
BillWillCharge, I split your post off to form its own thread, because when someone adds on to a really long thread, they might not get many responses. I also broke your post into paragraphs (kinda random, I'm afraid) to make it a bit more readable.
Hardly anyone is aware of this before they start researching personal credit, but even if you PIF (pay in full) every month, if you don't do so until after your statement posts, then your balance due was reported to the CRA's (credit bureaus), not the fact that you PIF'd. This doesn't make a whole lot of sense --to me, it would be more useful to report the balance left the day after your due date --but you can use this to help your scores. Just go online 4 or 5 days before you think your statement will post and pay it off then. That way, it will report a $0 balance, instead of the $1000 or whatever you put on it that month. In most cases, we advise people to let one card report a tiny balance, but I suspect that for those with long histories, it's OK to have all report $0. Certainly TU liked it when I did this accidentally.
As marty said, high limit cards often don't report the same way that more pedestrian cards do, and you might well not be getting the utilization advantage from them. Same for the traditional American Express charge cards, like Green, Gold, Platinum, Centurion, and whatever else they're cooking up these days.
Once people start approaching the 800-level, their scores are incredibly sensitive and can make wild swings for almost no reason at all. You can look at screen two on your FICO score reports and see what you're being scolded for, and you can also play with the simulator on your FICO EQ and FICO TU scores to see which actions might help your scores. I suspect that you have balances reporting on your cards, and that's hurting your scores, along with the possibility of high-limit cards not reporting at all. hope that helps
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit? FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
I'm sorry I wasn't available to participate in this discussion earlier. You've mentioned Discover, American Express Centurion, Citi AAdvantage MC and Saks Fifth Avenue cards. You added that you've closed a number of Macy's accounts. I have a few questions--
I assume that you have the Discover Open Road card. What is the credit limit on this card?
Do you have the Saks Fifth Avenue World Elite MasterCard, or the regular Saks Fifth Avenue (retail store use only) card?
Do you have any other major credit cards? If so, do any of these cards have pre-set spending limits of less than $29K or $30K?
Do you have any other credit cards that you haven't mentioned?
According to your credit reports--When was your oldest account opened? What is the average age of your accounts? What is your ratio of revolving balances to your credit limits? What factors are mentioned as "hurting your FICO score?"
haulingthescoreup mentioned how sensitive FICO scores are when you're nearing the 800-level. I do know from experience, that Equifax is a little hard on FICO High Achievers who've applied for new credit recently. I applied for new credit in June 2006, and Equifax penalized me for 1 full year. So, your Equifax score might suffer a little until the end of this year.
Hi Psychic. I do have the "open road" card. I applied when I saw 5% cash back being offered on Gas buddies.com (phoenixgasprices.com) [insert any major city] and they gave me 8K CL. I think I have the retail card from Saks w/a 4K CL and Macy's gave me their card and a MC that I didn't ask for. I think Sears did that too a while back and I cancelled it. Heres what I have: Costco Amex: 50K, Centurion no preset, Barclay's Juniper US Airways: 100K, Chase CO MC: 100K, Capital 1Miles: 17K, Chase Priority Club Visa 17.5K, AA Citibank MC 18K. There are some old mortgage accounts on there some where in the 1990's and one big one 1.25mm that were all pd off. The latter in 2006. Of course there are all these MC/Visa cards I used to have that I closed out in the 90's when they were sold to different lenders. HSBC, 1st USA, Associates, HH, and the like. Quite a few of those, they are showing closed. I can't seem to get all the ones closed or the CB's to recognize they are no longer in existence such as UNVL/Citi. When cards are sold to other companies, they still report, at least Universal City did even though they were bought by Tandy/Radio Shack. I've tried to clean up my credit before, but they continue to list all of these old closed accounts. No neg info, but surprisingly, they are still on there from the early 90's or late 80's, some of them. I know that I've had the Chase MC since 2001, Cap1 since 99, Chase Priority Club since 02, US Airways since 06. When it was America West, it was BA and a visa and I had that card since 94 and 99 when they changed their programs. Costco Amex & Centurion Amex since 04. So my oldest account would have changed dates when the bank was sold or the account was transferred to someone else. Otherwise, I've had credit (MC's and Visa) since 1975. I currently have way too much credit. The fact I opened 3 new accounts at the end of last year hurt my credit score the most. (DS, Citi, Saks) Also when you change plans with Direct TV, Alltel (Cell phone carrier) and they access your CR, it doesn't help either. Companies that don't report at all even though you are a longtime customer hurt your credit score by a few pts with what looks to the CR's as a hard pull. Convenience users like me, get penalized when we wait for the bill date to pay. Maybe I'll take haulingthescoreup's advice and pay much sooner. I will see what happens to my scores then. My TU score which I pulled for the 1st time ever penalized me for having a car lease with Ford Motor even though I paid ACH and ontime 96-98. The fact that I used what they call "personal finance" companies they penalized me for. My old 1.25mm Merrril Lynch Int only Mortgage was also considered a "personal finance" even though it was a mortgage loan on a 3mm property for a few years that was backed not only with the property but a stock account. TU is 771, EQ is 780 and EX is 786. Trying to get back to the 800's! Amazing how they handle convenience users. Always paying your cards in full doesn't make a bit of difference. I will try to do that before the bill is sent. Thanks!
Like haulingthescoreup mentioned earlier, paying your account balances in full before the closing date should help you out. She also mentioned to let one card report a tiny balance. Since you have many high credit limit and no pre-set spending limit cards, I'd try to leave a very small balance on your Discover Open Road card. Just have it report a small balance monthly, and unlike your other cards, pay this one in full after the statement closing date. You can even pay most of your Discover balance before the closing date, and then pay the small remainder after the statement date. On one of my credit cards, I deliberately allow a $7 balance to remain until after the statement date, and I then pay it in full. That seems to satisfy the credit reporting agencies.
Try this out, and see if it works. Equifax won't penalize you for obtaining new credit after a year has passed. So, you should see some sort of score increase around the end of this year. Also, make certain to review the factors hurting your credit score on your credit reports (the "Understanding Your FICO Score" page).
Make certain to keep us updated on how well this is working. I'll be thinking about you!!!
Hey. Sure I'll jump in too. You do know a score over 760 doesn't matter right? All the same interest rates. For me 850 is just a challenge. No financial advantage. The scoring system was not designed for the ultra wealthy. So you are playing by the average persons rules when it comes to credit scores. From what I understand the wealthy have lower scores because they own too many accounts with balances on homes, boats, ect... The secret is what you already know, keep unpaid balances that carry over below 4% and limit to 3 or 4 debts total. The 3-4 debts usually catch people of wealth because they can afford more, but the scoring system doesn't understand that.
You should have at least 4 credit cards which you probably do and I like to see at least 2 installments but no more than 29 total accounts open and closed all together. ect.
It's fine to max out everything you got as long as you pay it off right away.
Other than that your only enemy is your inquiries. New celphone, inq, ect.. Say no to all inquiries. Not much more that you can do unless you feel like taking out a loan for 12 or so months ($ size does not matter). Credit scores are based on payment history. You need monthly activity on a variety of accounts on going to generate a trend. And only a few 3-4 max with balances while you can have up to 29, just 3-4 showing balances. And not everyone gets a score drop from 5 balances, but most do.
Why do you want a better credit score? Just for the game like me or is there another reason. Usually 760 is best. I'm not going to be satisfied until I hit 850 because it's the most mind entertaining game I have ever played. Careful you might get hooked on the challenge like we did. But honestly other than the challenge I can't see how a higher score will benefit anyone. Your credit lines (IF POSTED) are over $55k then they don't report as revolving UTL. Now get a card with a $30k limit and max that out, your score will drop some.
One more thing. You need to use at least 4 cards every 6 months to keep them active on your credit reports. I like 3 months. They can go dormant in your scoring.
Message Edited by ilovepizza on 04-03-200811:30 PM
SW settings... Set all to 1 months or 3 if minimum. Set Target score to current score. Adjust target each time score changes. Triggers more alerts. But with scores over 760 there aren't many alerts any more. Just balance changes and inquiries generally. If you happen to gain score points then yes, every 30 days you might see and update. But mostly your score won't change that much. Mine didn't change for months. Finally my actions are triggering score changes so SW is alerting me every 2 weeks. All depends on what you are doing. If you are not changing anything, then probably no alert will happen. But that is a good thing. Shows that your credit is stable.
Yes. You can loose up to -40 or -50 points for 12 months for those inqs when you get a new phone, -10, cable TV inq, -10 they add up and stay on your score for 12 months. Totally not fair.. But that sounds like what is bringing your score down.
Thank you for the additional information ilovepizza!!!
One thing that BillWillCharge must keep in mind is that along with having high credit line cards, he also has some other accounts with lower credit lines that have no pre-set spending limits. Showing a monthly balance on these types of cards can have a negative effect on his scores. That's why I suggested that he shows a balance on his Discover Open Road card--it has a pre-set spending limit, and a CL that would report as revolving. I have 3 cards with CLs over $29,000--TransUnion and (I'm just guessing) Experian do not consider these accounts revolving, while Equifax does. So, BillWillCharge has to look at which of his cards can show a balance, without hurting his score.
But again, thanks for the addtional insights!!! I'm sure he'll appreciate it!!!