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So my score started out at 567, went down to 564 because of an inquiry and then shot down to 546 because of a dispute I made online (Big mistake!!) It then went up to 548 with the addition of a $300 secured card, and just got an alert that it went up to 551 with the addition of my 4th $300 secured card. I am leaving these cards to grow and will not take on anymore credit cards unless the US Bank card bumps me to unsecured and I get some more unsecured offers in the future which will cause me to close the higher annual fee secured cards. I have 4 secured cards and saw no decline adding the accounts, probably due to the offset of utilization.
With the discovery of a new collection account potentially hitting my credit report in 30 days, I have decided to pay it off before it damages my progress. My utilization will go through the roof next month as I plan to pay this within the 30 days using my cards, at which time next month I will pay them all down to $0 in full. I have ceased my 401k contributions and will use that to fix this new debt discovery. I want to be credit-worthy in the next 2 years and I don't think I am asking much. My current living situation according to "should I buy a home" calculators says that if I plan to stay here for 6 years, buying a home would not be beneficial to me. I plan on saving every dollar after I am debt free and paying cash for a $120,000 home. Worst case scenario put down like $90k and finance some just for the credit portfolio purpose. I look forward to owning a home in around 10 years and have plenty of time being only 25 right now.
You'll definitely see those scores creep back up as those new TLs age. I'd guess 20 or so if you remain app-free for the next 6-12 months.