If anyone already read this in the general credit topics forum, please ignore this and please excuse me. I forgot where all the action occurs on this forum, and I see now that many people are discussing the same issue, so I thought I'd post this again in case anyone else has additional thoughts for me (my husband doesn't post here but would love to know your opinion.)
My husband just borrowed enough money interest-free from a relative to pay off all of the following This list shows ALL active cards on his credit report. The only other thing is a car loan for just under $10K, in great standing, so as far as revolving debt, he owes nothing now. It's a big day for him. He actually paid them all off on Thursday. Here is the list; remember, all are now zero balances. Sorry that I don't have the opening dates but most are within the last 4-5 years or less, and in fact is AAofA is about 4.5 years even though his oldest account is 20 years or so. (that's a Macy's, and I didn't list a few old store cards almost never used.) He's definitely keeping the USAA and the Gulf. What would you cut from this list? He's thinking of closing the Target and the fake Discover, especially if they won't raise the $750 limit. Most of the accounts don't have annual fees so let's not factor that in; we're more interested to see what you think of the limits and rates and the type of card and potential for it to "grow." The Target VISA, for example, seems like one better to leave in the dust, but that's just my guess.
USAA MC $5,000 16% (all cards are listed with limit, APR, and the balance on all is zero)
USAA MC2 $2,000 17%
HSBC Dreamcard MC $1,900 20%
Barclaycard VISA $500 15%
Capital One MC $2,000 16%
Chase VISA $1,300 21%
GEMB Sam's store card $1,500 23%
GEMB Walmart store card $1,450 24%
PayPal MC $1,900 24%
GEMB Chevron $1,050 26%
HSBC Discover $750 19%
GEMB Amazon store card $900 26%
Target VISA $500 23%
NewEgg $2,400 24% or so
Dell $1,000 24% or so
Gulf Oil $500 (but we use this and PIF, so will not close; rate does not matter)
THANKS in advance for any suggestions or opinions!
chopping block candidates. several of the highlighted products seem to be of the go nowhere, low limit/ high interest ilk.
would still consider keeping those that may receive good benes/ usage now or in the future, could nix others,
closing a couple at a time over time, not all at once IMO.
Thanks for your suggestions. I just showed it to him and he really appreciated it. You are right about the "go nowhere" cards.
Just now he called up HSBC about the "fake Discover" card. They just charged an annual fee of $39. He called pre-emptively a week ago and they told him that as a courtesy, they would waive the fee if he would call up after it actually posts and request that. So just now he called.
Talked to three people and all said, "We can't waive that fee." Finally someone higher-up offered to give him a credit back of $20 that will appear in a few days.
Of course they can waive the fee if they can do that. He's on the fence as to whether to call in a week or two (before it has been 30 days since the fee was assessed) and ask them to close the card and mail him a refund of the annual fee. The hope, of course, is that the limit can be raised now that his credit is clean, although it'll take a month or two before creditors start noticing his greatly-changed utliization. The rate on that card is stinky, too. I tend to think it's a "go-nowhere card."
I have two HSBC cards that I app'd for and got a few years back to help develop my credit coming out of college. Without much work, managed to have HSBC waive both annual fees the first year, and had one of the annual fees waived the second year (forgot to write in about the other fee). Annual fee time is coming up again but last night I just app'd on a whim and was instantly approved for a big boy Discover (Discover More) Card. So basically, after no CLI on either HSBC card despite good monetary usage and PIF every month, it's about time I cancel both cards (unless they waive both fees again). Reason I mention the waiving of annual fees is, in every case, I contacted them beforehand, and they notated and credited my account BEFORE annual fee time came around. Waiting until after they charge you for the annual fee allows HSBC to renege on their previous offer. Have them give the credit beforehand, or else you'll be stuck with the consequences when they go back on their word (easy for them to do since they have already charged your account and made their annual fee money). Good luck!
Thanks, simonlarano. Again, he doesn't have a login here, but he just read it and said you're absolutely right - he should have smelled a rat when they said they could not waive the fee ahead of time but that he should call afterwards and they would do it. As you said, the reneged on their verbal offer.
His feeling is that the limit probably will not go up, so I think he's thinking of canceling this "rebuilder" card. As someone pointed out elsewhere, it does not even appear on a CR as Discover; it just says "HSBC" and looks like an Orchard or other rebuilder card. I think he wants to cancel, for one thing, because they're keeping $19 from him in the form of an annual fee, and they promised otherwise, and they sort of deserve to (colorful language of my own deleted here) for that.
I totally agree with the choices made by score_building, with just one exception.
I'd hang onto the Chase card.
If DH doesn't get some kind of a CLI in the next six months from Chase, then dump it. But I think they'll come through after the 0 balances report.
Good luck with everything!
Good luck dealing with HSBC! FYI, it might be a little easier going through the online communication system to inquire about cancelation/annual fee credits. Each time I received my annual fee credit, I simply sent them an e-mail by logging into my account on their site. I bundled my inquiry, stating I was interested in canceling because I didn't want to pay the annual fee, especially for a card that wasn't benefiting me (no CLI, no pluses on using their cards over better cards I already have, etc.). If they don't waive the fee because of your inquiry of cancelation, then you would know that it's time to cut ties and waive goodbye to HSBC.
I would dump everything except, USAA, Chase and Gulf oil card. This will get you higher limits with USAA/Chase etc! Then apply for USAA/AMEX after report is updated with new balances/closings.
I wouldnt close any card that has no AF.
+1....pay everything to ZERO and the APR % don't matter. Use the CCs with the low APR as your primary. I would ask for a CLI "soft inquiry" every 6 months to increase your revolving accounts.
Keep the low interest ones and the one that you use very frequently and you can close the remining if you dont want them