New Member
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎07-06-2011
CMS recommendation needed and help w/ score
[ Edited ]

OK-I'm a newbie but have been pouring through these forums since I decided to take control of my credit.  Back in 9/2010 after selling my first house, I got a mortgage with a credit score of 689 (not sure which CRA).  In May 2011, we (DH and myself) applied for a HELOC thru our credit union and got approved but didnt have enough equity in the house yet.  At that time, I got a a letter from the credit union indicating a credit score of 641 for me (again not sure from which CRA).  I'n not sure why my score went down--maybe because of the change in my debt -to-income ratio with the new larger mortgage??  My only other current debt is student loans which have been current for years.  I have one late payment in Feb 2009 from a paid off auto loan and one collection from 2007 for medical expenses for $760 that I have been advised not to bother paying off (old-damage already done).  I've had other installment loans that were always current and have been paid off. 


My issue is that I do not have any revolving credit--i've always been a little leary of credit cards and CC debt.  I would like to apply for a cash-back rewards CC to use only for groceries and gas and pay it in full every month.  Then, I would like to get another CC with a low APR that I can carry a balance on for home improvements.


The other issue is too many credit inquiries in the past year--I believe this is from mortgage shopping over a period of several months.  But that is an issue for another board!


My questions: 


1)  What is the best product to get my current credit scores?  Yesterday, I got the annual free reports from annualcreditreports and everything seems to be accurate.  But, now, i need to know my current credt scores to see if I would qualify for a cash-back CC (I'm not really interested in getting a dept store card as it would lead to unneccessary spending!).


2)  Which credit product should I purchase to monitor my scores and track changes to my reports as I get and use revolving credit accounts?  How often should I monitor the scores and reports if I'm just interested in tracking the effects of opening revolving credit accounts.


3)  Which product has a simulator to predict changes as I consider opening revolving credit accounts and pursuing a HELOC possibly next spring as I continue to pay extra on the mortgage principle? 


My apologies if this is not the correct location for this posting.  Mods--if this is the incorrect location, please feel free to relocate : )