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Should I start pruning or wait a while?

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Valued Contributor

Should I start pruning or wait a while?

My signature shows everything I have, except that I also have an AU (a Barclay Arrival+ $25k card, my brother's). Income $108k, member of Coastal Federal Credit Union since 1987, member of PenFed since yesterday.

 

Yes, I know 10 accounts in three months is kind of weird. Oldest account opened on April 2 of this year. My intention is to frontload inquiries and new accounts so they age together.

 

I have a few things that don't fit my longterm plans, and I'm wondering if I should go ahead and close them, or if I may as well let them sit around reporting positive for another six months or so before closing them.

 

The stuff I intend to keep longterm: car loan, signature Visa, Discover secured, Citi secured, Amazon Store Card

The stuff on the chopping block: Primor, Capital One, the two small loans, MJC

 

I'm not interested in getting any additional credit this year, with one exception: I am testing a theory that having a corporate Amex makes it a cinch to get a personal Amex. If so, I am trying to get an Amex Gold. Otherwise just gardening. I would like to get one or two better cards next year, and I would like to get a good mortgage either late next year or the following year.

 

Thanks!


No derogs, but tons of inquiries and heavy credit-seeking behavior. In March of 2019, I had no open accounts, a charge-off, two collections, and scores in the low 500s. What I call the "thick build method" worked for me, but may not work for every situation.
Cards

Authorized user / Corporate / Auto loan / Personal loan

Card CLs total $85,100, not counting the AU card. The AU card brings the total to $110,100. In March 2019, card CLs totaled $0.

Closed but still on reports: ExxonMobil, $950, 10/08-02/11 (Equifax only) | Citi secured, $200, 04/19-09/19 | Capital One secured, $300, 04/19-08/19 | My Jewelers Club, $5,000, 05/19-08/19 | Green Dot Primor, $300, 05/19-08/19 | Self Lender secured $500 loan, 04/19-01/20 | Unsecured personal loan from Coastal, $1,000, 06/19-08/19.
Message 1 of 8
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Established Contributor

Re: Should I start pruning or wait a while?

Since you're looking at a mortgage in the next 18 months or so, I'm going to start with a reminder that in general, you shouldn't apply for any new credit within 12 months of applying for a mortgage, so that AoYA > 1 year and no inqs within 365 days, since both will lower your score. Keep this in mind while eyeing that Amex Gold and other CCs.

Next, those loans: probably a good idea to pay those off and close.

The cards: close Primor and MJC. They won't make a difference to account ages for 10 years.

Why are you keeping the secured card?

I would consider keeping Cap1 if it is something you can PC in the future. If not, close away.

Last, a disclaimer: I'm a noob, and there may be good reasons to keep/jettison something that I'm not aware of from this post.
Garden Gnome
11 CC | 1 PLOC | 0 MTG | 0 AUTO
No inquiries since: 2019-11
No new accounts since: 2020-01
Message 2 of 8
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Super Contributor

Re: Should I start pruning or wait a while?

Since you already took the plunge. Let them age at least a year. If any have a annual fee. Shut it down before it posts. You already took the hits to your scores. Let them rebound 6-8 months or better yet a full year. Then decide. Its helping you more than you think for now. Let them work for you as you show you can be responsible for so many accounts. Your Discover will graduate. And it looks like you'll have 3 unsecured in a year. Then shut down the secured ones that wont graduate.





My posts are JMHO. My siggy is not to brag at all. Just sharing my experiences after learning here from rebuild to recovery after BK DC @ 540's. And to show fellow members what can be accomplished when you do it right and play the FICO Credit Game.
Message 3 of 8
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Valued Contributor

Re: Should I start pruning or wait a while?


@VanderSnoot wrote:
Why are you keeping the secured card?

I would consider keeping Cap1 if it is something you can PC in the future. If not, close away.

The Discover and Citi secured cards will graduate to unsecured at some point. The Cap1 card will not. I plan to ultimately product-change the Citi card to Double Cash.

 

Thanks!


No derogs, but tons of inquiries and heavy credit-seeking behavior. In March of 2019, I had no open accounts, a charge-off, two collections, and scores in the low 500s. What I call the "thick build method" worked for me, but may not work for every situation.
Cards

Authorized user / Corporate / Auto loan / Personal loan

Card CLs total $85,100, not counting the AU card. The AU card brings the total to $110,100. In March 2019, card CLs totaled $0.

Closed but still on reports: ExxonMobil, $950, 10/08-02/11 (Equifax only) | Citi secured, $200, 04/19-09/19 | Capital One secured, $300, 04/19-08/19 | My Jewelers Club, $5,000, 05/19-08/19 | Green Dot Primor, $300, 05/19-08/19 | Self Lender secured $500 loan, 04/19-01/20 | Unsecured personal loan from Coastal, $1,000, 06/19-08/19.
Message 4 of 8
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Established Contributor

Re: Should I start pruning or wait a while?

Honestly, It probably does not matter whether you prune now or wait.  You are in a really nice spot, but time is the big factor now.

 

If it were ME, I would keep Capital One and start the pruning process for the Sub Primes.  My advice is generally, "don't wait until the last minute to cancel those cards.    Doing it a month or two early is not going to effect you, but doing it a month late will. "

 

In any case, you are in a good spot.  Be patient.

050719:     
070120:     

Message 5 of 8
Super Contributor

Re: Should I start pruning or wait a while?


@BallBounces wrote:

Honestly, It probably does not matter whether you prune now or wait.  You are in a really nice spot, but time is the big factor now.

 

If it were ME, I would keep Capital One and start the pruning process for the Sub Primes.  My advice is generally, "don't wait until the last minute to cancel those cards.    Doing it a month or two early is not going to effect you, but doing it a month late will. "

 

In any case, you are in a good spot.  Be patient.


Question. Why close out 4 secured cards that probably have only reported 1 statement? OP got them all in April. They can wait until month 11 to close them out and have a better outlook on payment history. Rather than. I opened in April and closed in June? Doesnt make sense to take the hits on all that makes FICO scores (AAoA, AoOA, AoYA) and just close them just because they're secured.





My posts are JMHO. My siggy is not to brag at all. Just sharing my experiences after learning here from rebuild to recovery after BK DC @ 540's. And to show fellow members what can be accomplished when you do it right and play the FICO Credit Game.
Message 6 of 8
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Valued Contributor

Re: Should I start pruning or wait a while?

The list of icons and alt text in my signature may not make this clear, but, I am permanently keeping two of the secured cards (though they won't permanently be secured). Discover can graduate to unsecured after the 7th statement. Citi says it will come unsecured after 18 months, although there are anecdotes of it happening as soon as 11 months, or as late as 2 1/2 years. I have no reason to close those two and no intention of doing so. The accounts I'm going to close at some point are:

- Primor secured. It will never graduate, and I overall don't have a positive impression of this company. I wonder if a lender who sees it on my list of accounts might hold it against me, though closing it won't fix that.

- Capital One secured. I got it because I thought it would graduate. I found out later that it won't. So, it serves no purpose for me.

- MJC. This is not secured. But, it's kind of fake, because it's a $5,000 unsecured CL that you can only use to buy overpriced jewelry. You have to pay half down, and they charge probably at least double what anybody else would charge, which is why they can make it unsecured. Even if you default, they've covered their cost from the half down. I assume I'd need to pay $100 again in a year to keep it open. Since I'm not applying for anything any time soon, the utilization boost it gives doesn't matter to me now.

- Self Lender. I have an auto loan now, so this no longer serves a purpose.

- Coastal $1,000 personal loan. It's only a 3-month term anyway. Got it "just because" when getting the auto loan, since it didn't require an additional credit inquiry, and I thought an unsecured loan might help my credit mix.

 

My non-numeric reason for thinking about closing stuff is just to not worry about it again - eg worry that I'll forget to cancel it in time and pay an annual fee, or that somehow, a small charge will end up on one of the accounts and I'll overlook it, and get a late payment. That's a bit paranoid, though, I guess.

 

Here's what I'm not sure of. Would closing these accounts and thus reducing my number of accounts be reassuring to Discover, Citi, Amazon and Coastal and make CLIs and graduations more likely? Or, would keeping them open help me pad my number of on-time payments and make me look more responsible? Would closing them after 1-2 statements scare future lenders that I might do the same to them?


No derogs, but tons of inquiries and heavy credit-seeking behavior. In March of 2019, I had no open accounts, a charge-off, two collections, and scores in the low 500s. What I call the "thick build method" worked for me, but may not work for every situation.
Cards

Authorized user / Corporate / Auto loan / Personal loan

Card CLs total $85,100, not counting the AU card. The AU card brings the total to $110,100. In March 2019, card CLs totaled $0.

Closed but still on reports: ExxonMobil, $950, 10/08-02/11 (Equifax only) | Citi secured, $200, 04/19-09/19 | Capital One secured, $300, 04/19-08/19 | My Jewelers Club, $5,000, 05/19-08/19 | Green Dot Primor, $300, 05/19-08/19 | Self Lender secured $500 loan, 04/19-01/20 | Unsecured personal loan from Coastal, $1,000, 06/19-08/19.
Message 7 of 8
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Established Contributor

Re: Should I start pruning or wait a while?

I agree with FireMedic1. Closing them so soon can also raise red flags when future creditors pull your credit. They aren't hurting you at the moment, so let them age for a year, as Medic said, then prune the ones that have an AF or won't graduate.







Message 8 of 8
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