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Optimizing auto fico 4...

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Optimizing auto fico 4...

I plan on finally getting out of this 2013 Dart I purchased back in February(needed a car badly at the time, definitely overpaid and was taken for a higher rate). I owe 12.1 on it still and likely will have to eat somewhere around 500-2K when I sell it sometime before April.

What would be the best way to optimize my fico before financing the next car?

End of February is when my 13(!!!!) Inquiries fall off for the dart purchase, I know if they're coded correctly it counts as one(they definitely aren't however) so I won't be buying the new car until March at the earliest.
So I've got a few questions about the process,

1. Will having the auto loan as paid and closed HURT my auto fico? Ex: is an auto loan balance of 11.4/16.5(original amount) better than closed and 0/16.5? I also have a student loan at a full balance of 12/12 if that matters any.

2. If it IS better to have a closed/paid loan, what would/should I do? Trade in/sell the car, have my CU report , then finance a new car?

Just trying to figure this out because at my current score I'm probably looking at a 5/6 % rate and if there's anyway to bump it up another 10-20 points I'd be at something like 3%.
Equifax Fico is currently at 678, my auto 4(the one iirc, they use) is something like 650, I'd imagine (based on my TU and EX scores, I should be getting a sizable jump based on the inquiries alone dropping off in two months. Current Tu is 711 while EX is 696
......13 inquiries...
03/09 EX- 701 TU- 716 EQ- 684 || 12 Mnth Inq EX- 3 TU- 1 EQ- 4
Last late Payment Feb '14(180 Days) || Oldest ACC- 4 Yrs
AAOA- 1.8 years || Total CL 84k || Goal: 700 across the board

Message 1 of 3
Valued Contributor

Re: Optimizing auto fico 4...

I think having an active auto score with good payment history will actually help your score. Paying it off may actually drop your score as you will no longer have the variety of loans. The way to get the most money for your car will be to sell it private party. However, if you are able to get a tax break for trading in the car it may make sense to trade it into the dealer. In Kansas If I but a $30,000 car and have a trade they give me $20,000 for (even if you owe money) you only pay taxes on the difference, or $10,000 in this example. In the listed example, I would save $1,870 in taxes by trading in the car to the dealer.


If you have a Carmax near you, take it in for a free buy offer. Carmax is one of the biggest buyer of used cars and their offer will let you know what your car is truly worth. You are under no obligation to sell or buy from them. but you can use the number they give you when trading the Dart in (or selling it). I also recommend looking on and see what similar cars are selling for in your region.


Having 13 inquiries fall off will certainly give your score a boost. The student loan can be a positive if you have a good payment history. It will hurt your debt to income ratio because it is another payment. You will have to read elsewhere on this site, but a variety of credit products is helpful, mortgage, credit card, auto loan etc.


I wish you luck and please let us know how things work out.

Message 2 of 3
Established Contributor

Re: Optimizing auto fico 4...

I'll definitely followup here so the thread can be used for others. The student loans deferred so I'm using payment wise that doesn't matter since there isn't one(though the balance counts against me still in sure) 


I made a separate thread in Fido scoring but someone may be able to help here too. I'm assuming I want the Dart on my record since it probably helps my installment utilization?

Does anyone know if at a year of auto payments I could expect a boost?

If at3 years from last 180+ payment I might get a slight boost?

Orrrr at what point do new accounts dings start to lessen?

03/09 EX- 701 TU- 716 EQ- 684 || 12 Mnth Inq EX- 3 TU- 1 EQ- 4
Last late Payment Feb '14(180 Days) || Oldest ACC- 4 Yrs
AAOA- 1.8 years || Total CL 84k || Goal: 700 across the board

Message 3 of 3
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