My main question is when could I realistically apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Freedom Unlimited? Assuming I can bring that FICO up to over 700 through my aggressive debt paydown, how many months should I wait before going through with the applications? I currently use the SW and a Best Buy credit card as my main cards but I'm hoping to transition by the end of the year. On a side note, would it be unreasonable to obtain a personal loan through my local credit union to pay off my cards earlier at a lower APR (some of my cards have rates in the mid 20%'s) or should I just wait until October to pay them off through monthly budgeting?
Get down your overall utilization down to 30% ideally and on each individual card below 30% as well not just as an aggregate for better results. Ideally you want to be below <10% debt, but that isn't always realistic and below 30% is fine IMO. Once paid down make sure it reports to all CRA's being the lower debt before applying for it. Just dont pay it down say today and apply tomorrow or you utilization will stil show 75%.
Thanks for the reply. Even if I completely pay off the Chase SW card, I'd assume that Chase would look at how long it's been since I had max'd out the card. Do you think there's any value in keeping the utilization < 10% for a couple months before applying or is the mere fact that I paid it down sufficient?
Mere fact it being paid off should be good.. You will see a huge score increase as well getting your utilization down.
Thanks for the great advice! Forgot that my brother-in-law has the CSR so I'm sure he'd appreciate the referral points. So are you recommending that I don't try to apply to both on the same day? I'm under the 5/24 rule, only having obtained the SW card in 1/2016 (and my only other new accounts are the Chase auto loan in 6/2016 and furniture financing in 7/2016.)
Ah, got it. Thanks!