So I’ll try to make this as succinct as possible, but I need advice. So I started out my credit journey 11 months ago by getting a co-signed auto loan of $3000 (the rest was saved up cash), and I’ve made every payment on time. When the loan reported I received a credit score of 629. 6 months after that I apped for and received a capital one platinum which when reported my score rose to 677. Upgraded to QS and $100 cli since then. The score creeped up for several months to 689. I then apped for and received an Amex BCP which when reported this past week jettisoned my score to 715. I got the 3x CLI and score should raise again when reported. I’ve done everything by the myfico book, put on tons of spend, and PIF every month. No baddies of any kind.
My Question: what is the best next move? More Cards? Stay in the garden ? (my file is thin!) Credit building personal loan? (I don’t have a good credit variety) Any advice would be much appreciated. I’d love to see 800 by next year. What is the smartest move?
So, you've got an auto loan and two cards, correct? One or two more cards would help build up your file.
As long as you've got the auto loan open, you shouldn't need another term loan on your file.
So, find a couple cards that appeal to you, and manage them responsibly. You'll be at 800 in no time.
You might want to look into a replacement loan about three months before your auto loan ends. But you might also decide that your scores are good enough that you can absorb the scoring hit for no open loan reporting.
I think you've done great so far and that you're on the right track. A card every six months sounds good to me. If there's something you really want, you can apply before that, but I'd wait until the AMEX card is three months old. The main thing is that you can afford to be choosy at this point. Don't apply for anything you don't really want.
Also, don't apply for so much at once that meeting sign-up bonuses becomes a challenge. You don't ever want to spend money that you wouldn't have spent otherwise for the sake of a bonus. A great way to meet a bonus without increasing spending is to temporarily shift charges from other cards.
Also, if you haven't done so, make sure you're looking at FICO scores rather than VantageScores or something else. The fact that the first score you saw was 629 tells me that you may have been looking at something other than FICO. Normally, a first FICO score will come in quite a bit higher. You can get all three FICO8s along with corresponding reports by signing up for the $1 trial at CreditCheck Total, then canceling within the trial period.