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Seeking advice on how to improve credit when utilization is high

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Expansion
Regular Contributor

Re: Seeking advice on how to improve credit when utilization is high

Got it.  You're right, I am so excited I just want to take care of everything right now.  I appreciate you breaking it down.  Also I am touched that you are remembering the details of my situation (like that I already have one loan in addition to the new PenFed one.)

Message 71 of 163
Expansion
Regular Contributor

Re: Seeking advice on how to improve credit when utilization is high

I'm glad you find it amusing Smiley Wink  I also find it amusing!!  And also exciting compared to previous times where I didn't have elbow room to do this kind of move. 

Message 72 of 163
tcbofade
Super Contributor

Re: Seeking advice on how to improve credit when utilization is high

It IS awfully exciting, and yay you!

 

...as already mentioned, adding another loan will not help you.

 

You are also getting close to the "too many new accounts" restriction that lots of lenders have.

 

If you can get everything under 68% utilization, you will see a nice score boost when those new, lower balances post.

 

Under 48% ?  Even better.

 

If you're already there (or will be), I would pause on the new accounts for six months or so.

 

Good luck!

06/01/24 Fico 8: EX 763, EQ 808, TU 783.
Fico 9: EX 768 05/13/24, EQ 787 05/04/24, TU No idea.

Zero percent financing is where the devil lives...
Message 73 of 163
AyaMai
Frequent Contributor

Re: Seeking advice on how to improve credit when utilization is high

Just pay down your debt period, cut your expenses, and possibly get a second part time job. Your only priority is reducing debt not increasing credit limit, focusing on ulitization and credit score based on your situation. 

Message 74 of 163
Expansion
Regular Contributor

Re: Seeking advice on how to improve credit when utilization is high

So I'm coming up on 6 months since I took out the reconsolidation loan with PenFed, and starting to consider my next move.

 

Because of the reconsolidation loan, I was able to pay all my cards down to 67% utilization.  Two cards with smaller balances I recently (8/3) paid down to 47% utilization.  

 

I have been getting some 0% BT offers for new cards.  

 

One from PenFed, which I would actually like to have a credit card with long-term just because they have good rates.  But it's for the Platinum, and I want the Gold -- longer BT offer, lower rates, and I don't care about points.  The offer expires 8/30, about a month before 6 months since the loan was taken out.  Do I use it?  Do I wait?  Do I tell them I want a different card?

 

I've also been getting 0% BT offers from Discover for the card that I already have a 0% balance transfer offer activated on!!  I'm like, guys, this is... helpful??!! strange??!!  Thank you AND could you wait for me to need a new offer before sending me an additional one?  The only way I could use it would involve transfering balances that would go back up past the 67% utilization and kind of completely defeat the point.  Do I call them and ask them for a new card instead...?  Ask them to 'save the offer for later'?  Just brainstorming here. 

 

Also some offers from Citi for 0% APR on a new card for 21 months.

 

Then I've gotten a 0% APR offer on *new purchases* from BOA on my existing card, but not very useful since I just want BTs.  Do I call them and ask them for a BT offer instead...?

 

Overall these offers indicate that I'm headed in the right direction.  

 

As of today, my scores are TU 693, EX 709, and EQ 688.  

 

Suggestions?  Words of wisdom?  As always, I want to take wise and strategic action Smiley Happy

 

I look forward to hearing your suggestions Smiley Happy

 

@tcbofade @K-in-Boston @FinStar @SouthJamaica 

Message 75 of 163
tcbofade
Super Contributor

Re: Seeking advice on how to improve credit when utilization is high


@Expansion wrote:

 

Overall these offers indicate that I'm headed in the right direction.  

 


First, congrats!   ...and thank you for the update!

 

Some random thoughts...  if you are not paying interest on credit card debt and don't need the balance transfer right now, I would wait.

 

If, however, picking up a new balance transfer card or two could help you get under 48% individual utilization, it would help your scores.

 

PenFed has been good to me, I have the Platinum, the Gold, and two Power Cash Rewards...currently, two of them are zero balance, and the other two are carrying zero percent deals....they are nothing fantastic, but do offer balance transfers fairly frequently!

 

Discover has a prequalify page... I'd see if you prequalify for a second Discover card and see what zero percent deal they offer.

 

Citi and Wells Fargo both have 21 month zero percent  BT offers going right now.

 

(of course, if you ARE paying credit card interest, by all means go grab a balance transfer offer or two... don't get silly with it!)  Smiley Wink

 

I'm not a fan of Bank of America, so I won't be much help there...

 

You're doing fine.  You got this.  Good luck!

06/01/24 Fico 8: EX 763, EQ 808, TU 783.
Fico 9: EX 768 05/13/24, EQ 787 05/04/24, TU No idea.

Zero percent financing is where the devil lives...
Message 76 of 163
SouthJamaica
Mega Contributor

Re: Seeking advice on how to improve credit when utilization is high


@Expansion wrote:

So I'm coming up on 6 months since I took out the reconsolidation loan with PenFed, and starting to consider my next move.

 

Because of the reconsolidation loan, I was able to pay all my cards down to 67% utilization.  Two cards with smaller balances I recently (8/3) paid down to 47% utilization.  

 

I have been getting some 0% BT offers for new cards.  

 

One from PenFed, which I would actually like to have a credit card with long-term just because they have good rates.  But it's for the Platinum, and I want the Gold -- longer BT offer, lower rates, and I don't care about points.  The offer expires 8/30, about a month before 6 months since the loan was taken out.  Do I use it?  Do I wait?  Do I tell them I want a different card?

 

I've also been getting 0% BT offers from Discover for the card that I already have a 0% balance transfer offer activated on!!  I'm like, guys, this is... helpful??!! strange??!!  Thank you AND could you wait for me to need a new offer before sending me an additional one?  The only way I could use it would involve transfering balances that would go back up past the 67% utilization and kind of completely defeat the point.  Do I call them and ask them for a new card instead...?  Ask them to 'save the offer for later'?  Just brainstorming here. 

 

Also some offers from Citi for 0% APR on a new card for 21 months.

 

Then I've gotten a 0% APR offer on *new purchases* from BOA on my existing card, but not very useful since I just want BTs.  Do I call them and ask them for a BT offer instead...?

 

Overall these offers indicate that I'm headed in the right direction.  

 

As of today, my scores are TU 693, EX 709, and EQ 688.  

 

Suggestions?  Words of wisdom?  As always, I want to take wise and strategic action Smiley Happy

 

I look forward to hearing your suggestions Smiley Happy

 

@tcbofade @K-in-Boston @FinStar @SouthJamaica 


At this stage of the game I wouldn't be applying for cards unless they were cards I (a) absolutely wanted and (b) was pretty certain would be approved.  So my recommendation would be to just work on paying stuff down.


Total revolving limits 650200 (530700 reporting) FICO 8: EQ 706 TU 714 EX 715

Message 77 of 163
K-in-Boston
Credit Mentor

Re: Seeking advice on how to improve credit when utilization is high

Calling and asking for balance transfer offers probably won't work.  Generally those just get loaded by computer.  With Discover it seems to be vary by profile, but in the 6 years or so since I opened mine I have never not had a BT offer.

 

For the 0% on new purchases offer from BOA, if you are not already carrying a balance on that card it might make sense to use that for all of your daily living expenses and instead apply those funds to pay down the existing balances. 

Citi could be really hit or miss.  They are definitely balance sensitive, and if you are approved you may find the limit isn't enough to make too much of a dent with BTs.  But anything that seems like closer to a "sure thing" with an approval that has a BT offer certainly couldn't hurt as you continue to pay these down.

 

Congrats on the progress!

Message 78 of 163
Expansion
Regular Contributor

Re: Seeking advice on how to improve credit when utilization is high

@tcbofade thanks so much for your reply!  I really appreciate your random thoughts.  It is extremely encouraging and helpful Smiley Happy

 

Thank you so much for the way you broke it all down!

 

Right now I am paying interest on my CCs, except for my Discover balance that has a 0% offer on it right now.

 

I appreciate the tip about the Discover prequalify tool.  For some reason I always forget to check for that.  

 

I went ahead and was prequalified, and then went ahead and submitted -- I've had a really good experience with the Discover card I already have.

 

Sadly, the credit line is only $4,000, which isn't much help for BTs when I'm trying to move each individual card from 67 to 47% utilization.  

 

Is it worth calling customer service to ask for a higher credit line?  My other Discover has a CL of $13,500, so I was expecting something somewhat in line with that. 

 

With PenFed, should I just accept the offer they sent me for Platinum (which now has a 12 mont BTO), and then ask to convert to Gold, which has a longer BT offer (15 months)?   Since I just applied for Discover, do I need to wait to space things out?  

 

Just one or two BT offers I'm planning to grab - don't worry, I won't get silly with it Smiley Happy

 

Thank you for everything Smiley Happy

Message 79 of 163
Expansion
Regular Contributor

Re: Seeking advice on how to improve credit when utilization is high

Thank you, @SouthJamaica !  I appreciate that criteria Smiley Happy

Message 80 of 163
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