Last year, I started a thread at the encouragement of @Remedios which seemed to be well-received on My FICO. The topic was our card plans for the upcoming new year, 2021. See THIS LINK for the 2021 thread. @Curious_George2 recently reopened the thread to encourage us to discuss how those plans panned out in hindsight. I found my review today on that thread was a great opportunity to reevaluate my progress and start planning for 2022, similar to last year.
Below are the highlights of my original message:
We often remind each other that "Credit is a marathon, not a Sprint," to try to pace ourselves, and to realize that we need to keep some self-discipline in the process. Self-discipline requires a plan. Periodically, we may look on with horror (or envy) as someone tries to get away with a monster App Spree. We know that's not really the way to build good credit. Overly-seeking credit can be addictive and counterproductive to finances and FICO. As a general guideline, I usually suggest to newer members that slow and steady wins the race, and that planning to add about one new account every six months is a good long-term pacing that will usually keep you within the various lender limitations, especially for those with low-to-medium scores, thinner files or derogatories. The more you go over that, the more likely you'll start getting denials or low-limit approvals eventually, and that's regardless of the strength of your profile.
Having a good strategy requires taking inventory of our existing cards, an honest evaluation of our financial picture and needs, and a careful consideration of which credit cards would be most beneficial. Sometimes, chasing after the FOTM card (Flavor of the Month) or the latest, greatest SUB isn't the card we most need. And over-app'ing can be a disruption to improving our finances with the best card for us. At times, I've been guilty of the impulsive apps so I'm not pointing fingers. But I've also planned for new cards and I'm doing so right now. Writing down my card details and plan helps me to come up with strategies for the short term (~six months), medium term (~one year), and long term (~two years.)
Tomorrow, we'll be in the last 45 days of 2021.
As it draws to a close, what are your credit goals for 2022?
Good job, #1 Credit Dad!
My strategy is to simplify. I will continue to garden as I have not opened new personal credit since 2017 and I think its time to close a few.
I am tired of category chasing; however, there are a few things that I spend enough on that it makes it worth it:
5% groceries: Chase Freedom Flex/Discover/Citi Custom Cash
5% Internet/cable/cell phone: Chase Ink Cash
2.5% on everything else: USAA Limitless Cash Rewards
I am kind of done with the other rotating categories (gas, restaurant, various .coms, streaming etc). Tired of having to keep track of balances on 4-5 cards at a time to be sure they are paid before cycle date etc.
Love seeing this thread!
Since I just got 4 cards this month, my first goal for 2022 is to garden until at least June...I plan on apping for the NFCU Flagship then, and then no more apps for 2022. Gonna garden and attempt to take advantage of SP CLI from Amex, Capital One, Synchrony (Verizon card), PNC, Wells Fargo, and Truist (if they offer).
The majority of my current CC debt is on 0% offers from Wells Fargo and NFCU, with the NFCU expiring in Nov 2022, so will have that completely paid off in Oct 2022.
Gonna meet my spend requirements for my Amex EDP upgrade at the end of this month, then I'll have 4 months to meet the spend requirements for my Amex Rose Gold SUB, should be able to knock that out in time.
I want to join First Tech FCU at some point after May (to let my most recent bank account reach 1 year of age); from what I understand, they don't do an HP when you join, just when you app for products, so I plan to join, then I'll periodically check their prequal for personal loan offers to refinance the remainder of my non-student loan debt. If I get a good offer, I'll take it, if not, I'll just keep on gardening.
2023 looks to be full of credit card apps, so gonna let my reports get a bit of a reprieve in 2022, similar to my 2020.
After the adventurous 2021 I had building up my current base of cards, I plan to garden for most of the year and then build my Navy and PenFed relationships and apply for cards with each of them. I also plan to continue asking for SP CLIs on my existing cards where available although I have stopped asking for CLIs on cards that have reached five figures as I currently don't need more than that on a particular card considering my current income level and spending patterns (sorry for those of you wondering if I can grow my Apple Card past $12K).
I just started my rebuild a bit over a month ago and so far I have paid off all of my charge offs and am waiting for them to update. I also got my Amex Optima and nRewards card. Within a month I will be adding a US Bank secured card (or 2) as well as a Navy SSL. I'll then be going to the garden to let those age.
At the 6 month mark I would like to apply for my second Navy card (Probably More rewards) and perhaps the Apple Card depending on what is being offered on the soft pull.
At 1 year I will add an Amex Platinum to the mix and close the Optima account. I would like to have all secured cards graduated by this point and to have scores in the high 600s or low 700s. Then slowly build any cards I want from this point based on my financial needs.
My card strategy for 2022 may be some more new apps for some targeted CUs with exceptionally-low interest rates, but I also at the same time have to temper my expectations to a certain extent, because the card issuers for cards I have been interested in apping for in the past have declined the apps for having "too much available credit" and "excessive revolving credit obligations", etc.
Sadly, my 2022 strategy is still in limbo.
We'll see if Navy brings back zero percent balance transfers in January/February.
If they do, I might just spend another year in the garden.
If they don't, I'll be jumping the fence in January...
Strategy, well I don't have one. I know what I need, so I guess I can call that a strategy. I will be applying for CFF on December 1st lol.
This is the first time I've fell bellow CHUNKY/24 in four years, I've gotten to 0/12, but that was always followed by an app or two, so yay me!
I'm pretty much at Chase's mercy when it comes to CFF, and that's fine. If they say no, I'll see what the letter says and try again later.
Other than that, I really have no need for cards. It's not a grandiose plan but it's the only one I have.
In 2022, I hope to add another two cards like I did this year.
1) It would be great to actually get a business card this time around. Establishing business credit is towards the top of my list. The choice is between the AMEX BBP, Chase Ink Cash and FNBO Evergreen Business cards.
2) The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the next personal card on my list. I'm an AU on a CSP and can transfer points to it, but I want my own! Finishing the core of my Chase system before moving onto other lenders is a priority for me.
Other than that, I plan to request soft pull CLI's from Capital One and Discover.