Thanks to all on this forum for the good advice. I have recently gotten serious about restoring my credit. For years I had my head in the sand, and I didn't think it was possible. But working with my Regions banker and setting up secure loans, LOC, and credit card accounts, along with paying off some debts and challenging others, I have improved my FICO from 617 to 745 since August 28th (about 3 months). Now I'm looking for the right stategy to approach my credit goals:
Sebastian from Ask Sebby advised me to do some gardening to reach six months with my three new credit cards (now at three months). Then he said to get Chase Ink Cash followed by Chase Ink Unlimited three months later. Good advice since I am now at Chase 3/5. I now have Navy Federal cashRewards ($500), Regions Explore (secured; $750), and OpenSky (secured; $200). I have six inquiries with Transunion, two with Equifax, and 0 with Experian.
I want to ration my inquiries to three per year. With that tactic I could consider a house loan with my bank next November. But I could still chalk up three inquiries between now and then. So that's what I have to work with. I am not concerned too much about jumping into the credit card bonus game right now, but I would like to have one business CC with travel rewards. The Chase Ink Cash should fit the bill. But when to apply?
Which brings me to my Chase plans. I am thinking of starting an LLC on Jan 1st 2020 to do expanded tech services. (I currently have a sole proprietorship as a freelance tech writer.) Suppose I put $1000 into a new Chase bank account. If I leave it there for 60 days, plus do a few other transactions, whammo, I get a $250 bonus. At the same time, I am establishing a relationship with Chase. So does it make sense to wait until March or so to go for the Chase Ink Cash? Good plan?
Next question: Can I let my business buy my new car, with a personal guarantee? I need (want) a new car, and since my credit is good, why not? Right now I am driving a 30-year old Ford van. I am thinking that I could let the LLC buy it. I am driving around all day writing in cafes or rehearsing/performing music (my other business). My personal stops are just visits to the store or the movies. I think I could justify putting a new car under my new business. Would that work?
So the tentative plan:
I have been studying about building business credit. That will be my next focus. I would appreciate any feedback on this plan. Thanks in advance!
I can only answer one of your questions. If your goal is to purchase a home, make sure that 12 months prior to applying for a mortgage that you have not applied for credit cards or an auto loan. Most lenders do not want to see credit-seeking behavior.
How old is your oldest card? The reason I ask is that most Chase card applications are denied when one's oldest card is less than a year old. Also, your current low limits probably aren't positioning you well for an Ink card.
Free mortgage scores Get your free mortgage scores. Click the link. Also check out the Mortgage Loans forum to prepare yourself for the application.
You'll be eligible for NFCU CLI at 91 days and 3 statements. However, with your starting limit, best practice would be to wait 6 months. Note: expect it to be a hard pull. I would avoid hard pull inquiries and new accounts if you're prepping for a mortgage application.
My Regions CC is now at 4 months and my OpenSky and NFCU are at 3 months. The only revolving credit I have that is older is a 1st Premier paid charge off from 6.5 years ago.
Once the derogatory if off your report, you can expect a nice FICO score boost. It should be removed at the 7 year mark from the 3 bureaus.
Alternatively, you can request EE Early Exclusion:
TU 6 months early.
EX 3 months early.
EQ 1 month early. I would not recommend asking EQ for EE.