This forum educated me on getting a number of cards over the last decade and varying amounts of credit on them....some large, some not so much. As time would go on, we would depend on this credit when my wife was unexpectedly unemployed twice in the last five years (things are better now). But we still racked up an eye-watering amount of debt in the process keeping the lifestyle. We also each took out debt consolidation loans (Sofi) mainly to get control of interest and after about 16 months, we each owe about $35k left. Both loans will run their course in 3.5 years.
Now an inheritence has allowed us to pay down $100K of credit card debt in the last few days. So this is the heat map of what got paid (these are my cards, my wife's have a couple of differences):
Chase Sapphire ($7500 CL), $7000->$0
BofA Cash Rewards ($12,5K CL), $12,200->$0
Amex Platinum $13,000->$0
Amex BCP ($20K CL), $10,000->$0
Fidelity Visa ($20K CL), $19,700->$0
USBank Cash+ ($12K CL), $1600->$0
Discover ($7500 CL), $5400->$0
Paypal Credit ($5K CL), $2600->$1270
Penfed ($28K CL), $24.5K balance
Chase Freedom ($25K CL), $24K balance
Citi TY Preferred ($8,300 CL), $4900 balance
A few notes: Penfed and Chase are two of the lowest interests rate cards of the bunch. Chase is actually at prime (don't ask me how my wife talked her way into that one!). Paypal Credit is mainly used for larger ticket items that we can get promotional rates on but we took the opportunity of knocking off some of them that will expired in a few months. The Citi card had a 0% promotion on new purchases so we put some large things on it in recent months after a $0 balance and now we are budgeted to pay it off when the promotion ends in August from cash flow. At that point we begin to attack Penfed in earnest with a goal to be free of credit card and Sofi in 3-5 years. The Chase card will be last...it might as well be a HELOC considering the low rate.
We'll wait a month or two for all of the cards to be reported and see what happens to the scores. Right now my Fico scores have been in the low 700s (720 EQ, 713 TU, 717 EX) mainly due to a 30 year credit history and a spotless payment history in the last 20 years. Utilization will drop from an uncomfortable 72% down to 35%.
My question to the group is, once the new scores come in, would I be eligible for any CLIs or should I continue to wait until we get Chase paid in August or Penfed much lower? I'm really looking at a few things. First is BofA which did a CLD on us from $20K to $12.5K during this past year. Second is Discover...I've heard of people getting good CLs out of them under the right circumstances. Years ago I got them to CLI us from the initial $4K to $7.5K but I think I can do better. USBank has been giving us CLIs without notice over time...what began at $7500 went to $9500 and now $12000 and I didn't even realize it had gone up. And we're now back in down to zero debt at Amex as a family (my wife's BCP card was paid off too to the tune of $12000).
Wait till the updated scores hit your reports. While I'm sure you'll see a jump, the high balances on the last 3 will be killing you from even greater achievement.
I would try to go after Disco CLI increase first. They don't have a 6 month rule and you can always try to double dip!
Now for the fun part - a bit of strategic planning! I would pick 1 or 2 cards and try to CLI only if its a SP!. Once you get those done, you're pretty much locked in for 6 months. So then pick another 1 or 2 a month later and go after CLI if its a SP! Rinse and repeat and you'll likely get into a habit of having good results year round. YMMV of course! But I've got my cards seperated out ever few months so its a constant change each quarter (hopefully a reward for good behavior for me!)
Double dipping Discover? I haven't been here in a while....last I remembered the Discover card made you wait a while between CLIs. Has that changed?
Just a follow-up to this thread...
We're getting to the point that most (but not all) of our payments have been noted to credit bureaus. There are still two of them (one of them substancial) that hasn't made it in the barn yet. We began with a total utilization of about 77% and now we're down to 49% reported and once everything comes in, we should be at a total of 37%. We still will have three cards with signficant balances out of 14 total.
Chase Freedom (98%, but extremely low interest rate)
All the others (Discover, Amex Plat, Amex BCP, BofA Cash Rew, USBank Cash+, Fidelity) are at or close to 0% except Amex which is being used for basic cash flow stuff but now gets paid off monthly. Suntrust will be paid off in July and Citi follows quickly in August. After that we can turn our attention to plowing down Penfed and finally Chase although we may pay some into Chase just to get it under 89%. And finally there are three Synchrony Bank accounts for individual stores, all sitting at $0 at the moment.
Paypal Credit is interesting.....it's currently sitting at about 33% (down from 40%) after an unexpected CLI from $5K to $6K just this morning. We use it exclusively for 6 month SaC stuff and won't accrue interest if we can help it. Which brings me back to the topic....will this ability to get our utilization down result in the ability to get some CLIs? Well Paypal has shown it's already begun. I still want to wait another week or two for the rest to report and see where we are at before asking for some outright (like BofA which had a CLD a while back) But right now, Fico is showing me at 742 EQ 729 EX 743 TU which is about 15-22 points higher on each versus two months ago and Experian hasn't seen some of the reports the other two have yet.