I've been lurking here for the past few weeks and decided to join in the "fun" today. I've already gathered and used several tips that have really helped so far (the Synchrony "love button" provided amazing results, thank guys!).
So I have some history from Credit Karma from the past 5 years, and I've been using Synchrony and Discover's free FICO score reports for about 6 months now. I've raised my (and my wife's) FICO scores by 60-70 points in those 6 months with the "low hanging fruit" but now its time to start working on those smaller gains that require more effort. I want to keep track of what I do and any results that occur. I'm sure you guys do this, too, so I'm reaching out for some examples or suggestions on how to setup an Excel spreadsheet to track this data.
Do you have suggestions on what should be monitored and entered into the spreadsheet?
Any formats or layouts you prefer?
Many thanks for any help you can provide!
I currently have EX creditworks premium which has been helpful since I receive daily updates for Fico 8, Fico 2 (MTG), a few bankcard and auto scores including those industry's 8 score. Daily updates has made it much easier to determine what happened each day and narrow down what impacted my score.
If you are using any CMS that provides your FICO scores, (not VS3 scores provided by CreditKarma) then just track changes, when they occur and determine the most likely reason for the increase or decrease or even report changes that have no score impact. And if you can't determine "why", there are experts here that can probably help you determine.
My spreadsheet for EX is simply. It has a date column, scoring model columns and a section for notes to jot down what I was able to deduce from any change or even no change. Since I currently have a MyFico subscription (will be canceling) recently I was able to determine that 50% of my accounts reporting a balance did not impact EQ & EX's Fico 8 score, but it did impact TU, 4pt loss. It also impacted all of the other EX scores provided with the exception of Auto score 8. When other accounts reported a few days later to show only 33% of my accounts reporting a balance, all of those scores rebounded the exact amount I lost. Now I know I can carry half of my accts reporting a balance with no impact to EQ and EX Fico 8 score but know it will impact TU's.
Yes, the credit works premium plan does update all scores provided daily (Basic 8, Auto 8, Bankcard 8, MTG, Auto 2, Bankcard 2 & 3). And it gives you a 3B Basic Fico 8 score monthly. I know there are other EX products out their that are cheaper but not sure what they offer. My subscription is $24.99 a month. I've read here recently they have a special on this product for a much lower price for a month or more.
What I also like about it is that its a real time update. Changes to my EX Fico 8 are realized immediately with this product where it could take days, a week or longer for MyFico subscription to update my EX Fico 8 score. Although I don't get alerts each time a score changes, if I check daily I will see it (granted I know what the score was the day before). Now it's just part of my morning coffee, ESPN routine before going to work.
Learned a lot about my profile from these day to day updates.
I'm sure you guys do this, too,
Actually, I don't monitor my scores that close. I do monitor my card balances and due dates with a spreadsheet because I always PIF and need to know how much I need available in my checking on any given day that a payment comes out.
Other than that I just pull my reports yearly and address any issues I see on those.
I have a tab on my financial spreadsheet which I monitor credit changes. It's quite basic actually, essentially each column I've listed the credit source and type of credit (i.e. FICO 8 and the three scores from each agency, Discover FICO 8 from experian, Credit Karma Vantage 3.0, etc.) and use the first column I use the date. So the first row (the baseline) I put in the current scores according to the date.
I put together a quick little worksheet with charts initially just to get an overall view from the past 5 years. I was planning on lumping similar dates together for all the different scores, but that won't work since weird things happen and scores aren't being pulled consistently on the same day each month (Discover pulled after 3 about 15 days last month and Synchrony pulled twice in the same week). Looks like I will separate the scores with their own dates and chart them together.
I'm debating on how in depth I want to take the data recording, hence the request for suggestions. It's probably best to record as much as I can, and then scale back after figuring out what is important to me.