I love all the great info on this forum. After reading for a few days, I thought it best to just ask my question.
My situation. I had a 760 FICO (+or- with all three CRAs) for over a year now. Worked hard to get all college student mistakes off my credit reports, and in 2011 I had no negatives on my CRs. I had very high balances on my 2 (BOA - 3900 out of 4000 and AmEx - 4500 out of 5000) cards and after talking with the credit union they offered me an installment loan to consolidate that debt at a much lower rate and payroll deduct (I'm a teacher and they were offering a special for teachers at the time) the payments. Doing the math it would save me 400-600 a month by doing that, so I did. At the same time I'm trying to consolidate my student loans (finishing my PhD so there's a lot) and in that process 2 student loan accounts reported being 60 days past due mere days before I called them, had them put the loans in deferment back dating well past the past due amounts. Meaning that they reported me 60 days late in Feb and the loans are in deferment back dated to Dec. This dropped my FICO to a 640 (the past due appearing on my CR) and AmEx canceled my account. They gave me 90 days to fix my credit score and they would reinstate the account - they did not give me a number to shoot for though.
What I've done. I paid the small balance on my AmEx ($140) the week after they canceled (on time payment). I have pulled all 3 credit reports and disputed the negatives stating that the loans are in deferment during the time they are reported past due. I also disputed a hard inquiry that shouldn't have been there. I pay for everything with my BOA card now and pay the balance in full each month.
Losing the AmEx killed my available credit and thus my % usage. I really want that AmEx account back open (it's 8 years old) though I don't plan to use it - I want it there for emergencies and credit score reasons. My question is 2 fold - 1. is there anything else I should/can do to help get the AmEx back and 2. would getting another credit card to increase my available credit and decrease my % usage help? Thanks for you opinions and help!
I did call the lenders and they said that they would not change the late payment reporting to the CRAs.
I have not heard back yet about the disuputs. It has only been about a week since I disputed it. I didn't figure that was enough time yet.
I'm just nervous about opening a (hopefully) 3rd credit card if that will affect my chances of getting the AmEx reinstated. Thanks for the input.
I would not apply for anything! Not until you get things straightened out. To get your AMEX card open again is your number one priority. Then open an additional account if you need it. I would also stay in touch with AMEX and listen to what they require for you to become into good graces once again. Good Luck.
I wasn't sure if calling AmEx would do much other than agrivate me. I will call them and see if I can't find out what they are expecting from me before reinstating my account. My wife's accountant wants me to charge everything to a CC and then pay one payment each month. He says it's easier for me to reconcile everything that way. I use the BOA card for that and pay the full balance each month, but I use over 1/2 the available credit on it each month. That's one reason I want a second card so my utilization % will stay low (that and the security of having but not needing the extra available for emergencies).
I'm torn about appling for a new card - will it help/will it hurt... I just don't know and I really don't want to do anything else that hurts