A few questions that I hope I can get clarification on. Is it strictly credit cards such as Visa, MC that count for the suggested 3 credit cards? They are preferred but do NOT use a Chase card for the 8.9% utilization - they will report zero as soon as you pay the balance down. Or do cards such as the military star card count? As long as it reports, you can use it for AZEO. Also, does being an authorized user count for this purpose, or would I need my own card? You own cards would be best but any balances on an authorized user card would be counted in the AZEO mix. Lastly, do secured cards count as well? Yes, secured cards count. They report to the CRAs like regular cards. I’m beginning to get serious about building my credit, to one day buy a house. Currently, I am an authorized user on my husbands CC, and have student loans that are in deferment since I’m still in school.
Adkins wrote:...You own cards would be best but any balances on an authorized user card would be counted in the AZEO mix.
In my personal experience, cards (my wifes) on which I'm an authorized user were not a factor when I experimented with AZEO a couple months ago.
To do AZEO, you should cut a very small balance on one card while the rest of your cards report zero. That small balance should be at least $5 to avoid the possibility that the lender might forgive the small balance rather than bothering to bill you, which would result in a balance of zero being reported. If you're using a BOA Better Balance Rewards card as your AZEO card, your balance should be at least $10 as it's been reported here that $5 balances have been forgiven.
In theory, if the balance on your AZEO card results in your overall utilization being under 8.9% and if that balance is under 28.9% of your card's limit, you're probably fine. But to be safe, it's better that your balance be well under that. For instance, I get dinged with aggregate utilization that's below 8.9%, possibly 5%. The first time you try AZEO, aim for a very low balance on one card. After that, you can fiddle around with higher balances and allowing another card to report to see what you can get away with.
While using an AU card or a store card may be fine, using a major card (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Discover) where you're the primary user is best. That'll avoid any surprises. In some cases, AU cards may not report the same way as if one is the primary user. And I can tell you that I was dinged about four points on one score when I had a store card as the only one reporting. My points came right back when I addressed that. Also, avoid using a card with a very high limit as your AZEO card (above about $34,000) as some scoring models might ignore them.
While most cards report the statement balance on or just after the statement date, there are some exceptions. US Bank reports on the first of the month, for instance. Keep that in mind when controlling the reported balance on their cards.
And as mentioned above, if you have Chase cards, it's best to plan on keeping their balances at zero. They report your statement balance, but they also report zero whenever you pay to zero. While it's possible to continuously report a positive balance on a Chase card without paying interest, doing it is a little more complicated than on cards from other banks.
Hi there mrsjnt,
AZEO really only matters right before you are about to apply for something. AZEO is just a manipulation of Utilization which has no memory as far as credit score goes, so you really only need to mess with AZEO if you are going to try and apply for something in the very near term. Even then, as long as all balances are low (under 10%) and total Util is low (under 10%), it makes almost no difference, maybe a point or two.
If you are serious about your credit, research a good first card that you want and get it in your name. Being an Authorized User on your husbands card means that you will have some good history and you can probably apply for a decent first card. Then just pay the card off in full every month.
Credit isn't so much about what you do, it's about what you DON'T do. Don't ever be late on a payment and don't ever carry a balance or pay CC interest unless you absolutely have to. Other than that you just need time and patience, your score will just slowly rise over time.
Good Luck and be careful, borrowing at 15% can get you in trouble really fast!
A few questions that I hope I can get clarification on. Is it strictly credit cards such as Visa, MC that count for the suggested 3 credit cards? Or do cards such as the military star card count? Also, does being an authorized user count for this purpose, or would I need my own card? Lastly, do secured cards count as well? I’m beginning to get serious about building my credit, to one day buy a house. Currently, I am an authorized user on my husbands CC, and have student loans that are in deferment since I’m still in school.
It is any revolving account. I know that because I have two credit cards and one overdraft account. The AZERO technique is with any revolvers. Credit card, charge card, overdraft, HELLOC accounts. As long as it’s a revolving account, And not an installment it counts. So AU credit card accounts count. I hope that helps.