Hi Everyone! I am new here (and somewhat new to credit) but I’ve been a lurker for lord knows how long. I finally decided to sign up because I’m having a dilemma about which card I want to sign up for that will give me the best chance at having a 5k+ SL. I need to do a balance transfer of 4800 from AMEX BCED (CL at 17,300) because I’m tired making extra payments just to cover interest (13.74). I received 3 offers in the mail that I am thinking about signing up for at the beginning of June:
1. Discover IT: 0% for 14 months (purchases & balance transfers) and then 11.74 – 15.49 Perks: Cashback
Reason: Because it’s Discover and I have been eyeing this card for the longest of times. (I made the dumb decision to apply to them in Oct 2015 when I just had a fresh car loan on my report. Smh I was counteroffered with an awful deal which I didn’t accept.)
2. UPS Capital Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card: 0% for 15 months (purchases & balance transfers) and then 13.49 – 23.49. Perks: Reward Points
Reason: I would like to have an “everywhere” card in my wallet. Plus I think it’ll be great to support my company.
3. Citi Simplicity Mastercard: 0% for 21 months (purchases & balance transfers) and then 13.99% Perks: Reward Points
Reason: Again, I’d like to have an “everywhere” card even though I already have a MC in my wallet (my debit card). That offer looks really good.
I only want to add 1 card to my wallet. AMEX is my only credit card but I do have 2 store cards (Macy’s (?/? My aunt uses the card but she told me that the balance isn’t big in the card) & Ashley Furniture store (850 of 7700). So far I don’t think I have any inquiries (altho that may change in the next couple of weeks as I am looking into owning a condo). I know that my Experian score is 776 but I don’t know what my other scores are and I’m sort of scared to add anymore inquires to my report. My income is currently $61,000. Again, I’m just looking to see which card will give me the best chance at having a 5k+ SL.
It's generally accepted that you want to try to have ZERO inquiries in the 6 months prior to getting a mortgage -- 12 months is even better.
Inquiries won't prevent getting a mortgage but they might ask you questions about it.
Checking your FICO score online does NOT count as an inquiry. You can pull your scores daily if you wanted to spend a lot of money and it wouldn't hurt your credit score.
Don't add any more cards or inquiries until the mortgage closes. You don't want any scoring surprises. If you're not in a position to pay down the AMEX balance, you're better off paying interest for a couple more months.
Also, you should know the balance on the card that your aunt uses rather than relying on her to tell you. It's good general practice, but now is an especially important time.
Having said that, it doesn't hurt to do your homework now. I'm sure people will come along with suggestions.
Oh but I guess I should clarify my statement about the condo. I haven't shopped for anything but just considering it. A consultant contacted me about homeowning but I'm comtemplating on letting them run my report. It probably won't be until early next year before I start looking which should be enough time for my inquiry of a new credit card drops off correct? I'm trying to pay off this balance quickly so that I can start prepping myself for next year.
Inquiries stay on your reports for 2 years, but for mortgage purposes they're less concerning after 12 months and can be negotiable at 6 months -- some lenders will specifically ask you about every inquiry you've had and for you to explain why it was there. Depending on your FICO and income, underwriters can value those inquiries differently.
Look at the Chase Sapphire Preferred if you want a minimum 5K limit, that is its baseline and requires 40K plus income which you show.
Pay for a MyFico 3B for 59 bucks, (better yet join for 29 bucks a month and get it free every three months) and also get your annual free credit reports, but write in to get them instead of doing it online, you WANT the paper copy as it shows more info than the online reports will.
your Fico Mortgage score is different than your FICO 8 score, so you really want to see that number.