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Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-01-2014
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My situation and goal(s) - advice needed!

Firstly, thank you for reading this message and any advice is much appreciated.  I've had piss poor credit for most of my adult life - like many of us, I made poor choices in college and had multiple accounts in collection.  Since finishing my master's, I've gotten a job @ a Fortune 50 company that pays well and seems to have a decent ceiling for earning potential & advancement.  For 3 years, all I had was two First Premier (yuck, I know) cards after having a HSBC & Chase accounts settled through a collection agency back around 2007-2008.  In the last 6 months, I've focused on better managing my credit as I know I'm entering the age where it can either help or hurt someone tremendously when looking to buy a home/finance a car, etc.  My CK score stands at 585, while my Fico score shows 614.  I opened a Cap1 secured credit card and immediately made a deposit of 1,000.00 to increase the total CL to 1,350.  My CC accounts are as follows:

Capital One Secured: 1,350 CL, balance of 150

Capital One Quicksilver: 500 CL, balance of 0

BarclayCard Rewards MC: 500 CL, balance of 220

Amazon Store card (not an actual CC but shows on report as one): CL of 600, balance of 90

First Premier A: 250 CL, balance of 220

First Premier B: 300 CL, balance of 70

 

I have one outstanding student loan that I've been making regular payments on since September of 2013.  Essentially, I'd like to raise my credit score by at least 100 points in the next year and hopefully be able to close those FP cards.  I'm hesitant to do so now because they are my oldest accounts and will decrease my overall available credit.  However, my payment history shows as "F" even though I'm 81/84 payments (I was late on FP 3 times years ago - should I close these accounts?)  If I do close it, my payment history will be even shorter, but be at 100%.  Advice?  Any other tips to increase my score?  I've been diligent to keep utilization low & make payments a week before the due date, in full, when I can.  Thanks!!

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Registered: ‎04-07-2009
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Re: My situation and goal(s) - advice needed!

You mentioned collection accounts in you post what is the status of those account(s)?  How old are they (date opened at the collection agency)? I would shift your spending away from the First Premier accounts to your other cards. I would also zero the balance on those accounts as well. (this will not help your score but might help save you some money.

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Posts: 11,035
Registered: ‎12-30-2011
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Re: My situation and goal(s) - advice needed!

Realistically you can close the two FP accounts now.

3 cards is enough FICO wise and you have 4ish without them: the fees on the FP cards are suck, and you're not dropping that much available credit especially if you have the cash flow to keep goosing the C1 secured card.

Look over in the rebuilding forum for collection / late possible resolution. As Andy suggests you do have too many cards reporting balances. Want less than half, with 4 cards that means 3 should be zero... Again I'd just close the FP accounts now and go on with life unless you are near an anniversary on those tradelines (6 mo, 1, 2, 3 year or whatever).
Starting Score: EQ 561, TU 567, EX 599* (12/30/11, EX lender pull 12/29/11)
Current Score: EQ 04 693, EQ 8 685, TU 705, EX 709 (02/27/15)
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Registered: ‎01-01-2014
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Re: My situation and goal(s) - advice needed!

Well, I zeroed out the FP balances and decided to close them out.  Like you said, the secured Capital one, as well as the two unsecured capital one/barclaycard as well as the amazon & j.crew accounts should be enough, reporting wise.  Just 2 more questions for anyone willing to help:

1.)  If my derogatory payment history was on one of the first premier cards, will those negative marks now NOT impact my credit score as the accounts are closed?  Or will they still show?

 

2.)  Average length of account is less than a year now.  But, if I keep utlization extremely low (maybe make 20$ worth of purchases on each 500 limit C1/BC unsecured cards) and make a regular student loan payment each month - are these actions enough to raise my score?  I will obviously also dispute some baddies as well soon.

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Posts: 11,035
Registered: ‎12-30-2011
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Re: My situation and goal(s) - advice needed!

[ Edited ]

TL17 wrote:

Well, I zeroed out the FP balances and decided to close them out.  Like you said, the secured Capital one, as well as the two unsecured capital one/barclaycard as well as the amazon & j.crew accounts should be enough, reporting wise.  Just 2 more questions for anyone willing to help:

1.)  If my derogatory payment history was on one of the first premier cards, will those negative marks now NOT impact my credit score as the accounts are closed?  Or will they still show?

 

2.)  Average length of account is less than a year now.  But, if I keep utlization extremely low (maybe make 20$ worth of purchases on each 500 limit C1/BC unsecured cards) and make a regular student loan payment each month - are these actions enough to raise my score?  I will obviously also dispute some baddies as well soon.


1) The tradelines still count; therefore the lates still affect your score.

 

2) The tradelines still count :smileyhappy:.  FICO is unlike CK or other places which should be zealously ignored; in FICO while there's some length of individual tradeline calculation (seasoning) the primary factor in age is the Average Age of Accounts (AAoA) which measures every tradeline, open or closed, from the opening date of the tradeline.  In this case your FP cards will still be aging from their opening date and so their being closed doesn't impact this calculation.  

 

2b) I would still run your entire financial life through your cards if I were you: look around the forums regarding managing reported utilization, specifically paying before the due date such that a lower (ideally $0) balance gets reported on all but one of your tradelines, and let that one report roughly 1-9%.  

 

Between making all your payments on time both for your credit cards and student loan your score will increase over time.  Your utilization is (almost always) simply counted instant-in-time, and in general the lower it is the better: see 2b and other threads for fuller explanation than that.

Starting Score: EQ 561, TU 567, EX 599* (12/30/11, EX lender pull 12/29/11)
Current Score: EQ 04 693, EQ 8 685, TU 705, EX 709 (02/27/15)
Goal Score: 700 on EQ 04 (01/01/16)


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