cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

First Time Member - HELP, Lots of questions :)

charleneg
New Member

First Time Member - HELP, Lots of questions :)

HISTORY - My FICO score is 659 and today I've signed up for Score watch, etc.  I was very discouraged to see such a low credit score given my payment history.  I've in the past month paid several thousands of dollars to lower my outstanding balance on credit cards, some not reflected yet.  I have way too many, but now each are under 50% and I've just cut up several of them, but haven't closed any due to available credit, but they have never been late.  My available credit is $40k just on credit cards.  I also have mortgage, car loans, etc. that are all in good standing, never been late.  Over 35 accounts are reported on my credit with a 11+ year history for my first account.  I have had several mortgages and car loans paid in full over the years with none showing late.
 
EXCEPT: I co-signed a loan for my brother (dumb I know) and didn't discover until I started getting my credit report that he paid it late (30 days) 4 times.  This was in 2002 and the last activity on that account was early 2003 and it was a lease paid off.  This shows as a negative on my credit report.  Anything I can do about this?  Or just bide my time?
 
My last credit card was opened in July of 2006 - if I close it would my most recent opened account change?  Or should I keep open if it has available credit?  I know I won't do any more new cards.
 
REVOLVING CREDIT - What is the magic number for available credit and outstanding balance on cc?  Is it under 50%? 40%?  I know the lower the better, but what will help my score get up to 700 the most quickly
 
I also just realized today that my Home Equity Line (interest only) is a revolving account, not an installment account.  I'm assuming because that is maxed out it is bringing down my score similar to when credit cards are maxed out?  Is that true or is it treated differently?  Can you shift something like this to a fixed loan and then it's treated as an installment?
 
Given all you've heard, any ideas on how to get my score up most quickly?  Your input and help would be GREATLY appreciated!!
 
 
 
 
Message 1 of 4
3 REPLIES 3
Brammy
Moderator Emeritus

Re: First Time Member - HELP, Lots of questions :)

Hi there its is a good thing to bring those cards down to below 50%, however, as you probably read your utilization is still high.  The magic number seems to be 30% or less with 10 even better. Unfortunately that includes your HELOC as it is a revolving line of credit.
 
As far as your brother's 30 day lates back in '04 they really shuoldn't be hurting your scores much now, Upon initial reporting they can drag you down as much as 100 points but the older they get the less impact they have on your score.  A 30 day over two years old probably isn't really figuring into the mix.
 
Your scores arent that bad considering.  What is showing as your overall utilzation?  That would be the number I would work on first once you're down under 30 percent, take another look and see ifyou like what you see.
 
Closing a card really does no good unless you can't fight the temptation of using it.  Once it is open the damage to the average length of credit history has already been done.  The only reason I would close it is after getting the rest of my revolving under 30% (wihtout this one figuring into the mix) so as not to scare my lenders into believe that I have so much avail credit that maxing it out at anytime would result in me having difficulty repaying.  40K avail is a lot of avail credit.  Do you really need it?  Personally, right now I have about 14k and that prospect alone is enough to cause me sleepless nights.Smiley Very Happy  Can't imagine what my creditors think.
Message 2 of 4
charleneg
New Member

Re: First Time Member - HELP, Lots of questions :)

Great, thanks for the advice, this is very helpful.  When you say overall utilization, I"m not sure I know what you mean?  Where would I see that?
Message 3 of 4
Brammy
Moderator Emeritus

Re: First Time Member - HELP, Lots of questions :)



charleneg wrote:
Great, thanks for the advice, this is very helpful.  When you say overall utilization, I"m not sure I know what you mean?  Where would I see that?


You really don't want to be over 50% on any card  but say you have 12k total credit the most you want to use of that at any time would be about 3.6K somewould say 4K but that's actually 33% though it seems that number is coming down the more people learn about FICO scoring.

Message 4 of 4
Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third party advertisers from whom FICO receives compensation.