Hi everyone! I've been lurking for a bit but I definitely appreciate the advice I've picked up here!
I was fortunate enough to get my first CC at 18 in 2008 (Regions). I've always had an $800 limit. Since then, I've opened: Dillard's AmEx, The Limited, Merchant's Tire, Wells Fargo and GTE Financial (Credit Union).
My utilization stinks. I had 58% utilization on all cards. Maybe $8000 in limits, total.
I have large student loan amounts. I went to law school, which was almost entirely done on loans. I did get a scholarship which helped, but I'll be paying those suckers down for awhile.
I got tired of bad utilization, so I went on a spree at the beginning of the month. First, I got an AmEx BCE ($10,000 SL) --> Chase Slate ($3,200) --> AmEx Hilton ($2000) --> Discover It ($5,500). I am sure that I will cry when the HPs come through. My first BT went through on my BCE, and 2 others are pending for the Slate. That will take it up to $3000/$3200, which also freaks me out. I closed my Limited Card ($600 limit) and my Merchant's card ($1100 limit) this week to clean out my drawer.
I have anywhere between a 688-705 FICO score, depending on where I look. I am looking to apply for an apartment later this year, and possibly a car loan. What is the best thing to do at this point? Was it unfortunate to go on this spree, or will it work out in the end? Also, since the Dillard's AmEx doesn't backdate me, is it worth it to close? It's my second oldest account, opened in 2011. I consolidated my student loans in September, so I'm at 5/24 until 09/2018.
Thanks for any help anyone can provide! I'm sorry this is so convoluted. I'm finally taking my credit seriously and want to know the best way to approach it. Also, best to pay off Slate first or the ones with the lowest balance? Is it better to pay off smaller amounts or decrease utilization?
I think that Slate reporting you maxxed out should be your immediate concern. Get that balance down fast
Thanks everyone! I know I'll be gardening until I can take these next steps to rebound ... hopefully before 9/1!
Right now, the balance transfers have gone through on all of my other cards except Regions. I have a $65 balance there, which will be paid off at the end of the month when I get paid.
I have about $2500 on the AmEx BCE right now. I had to get the struts replaced in my car and had to do a BT to that card because I didn't have a high enough limit on my Chase. I'm in the promo 0% APR for 12 months period right now, then it goes to a staggering 23%. So I will definitely do everything in my power to get that paid down ASAP. I have a refund due from taxes that I was going to apply to my Chase, AmEx and student loan balances (to a minimal degree for the loans). After paying down/off, I'll be using this as my primary grocery card unless Discover has better deals at that time.
The Slate also has 0% - for 15 months. I paid $800 towards it today after my BTs cleared. I'll have 75% UTIL after the payment posts - ~2400/3200. Like I said, I'm applying my tax refund to this balance, but after splitting it 3 ways, it won't pay it off entirely. This APR also goes up to 23% after the promo period.
The Hilton has a 19% APR. I have some spend on this so far, but it's just to get the bonus. I have ~120 on it now, which will be paid off at the end of the month after I get paid. I've learned through here that AmEx isn't fond of balance carrying, so I was already trying to PIF, but with no cushion, that's become even more important.
I haven't gotten my Discover IT card yet, so I don't know anything beyond the CL. I'm trying to focus more on spending to get bonuses for this card and paying it immediately off.
With my hefty student loan balance and the Slate, I'm not sure I can do the AmEx 3x CLI on day 61, but everyone here has at least given me a reason to try!