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Did One Card Mess Up My Score?

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Valued Contributor

Re: Did One Card Mess Up My Score?

You have some decisions to make...

 

You currently have excellent scores but a very thin credit profile. This will cause volatility in your scores every time you get new credit. You can either stay the course and try to maintain high scores with limited available credit or give up a few points now to build a rock solid credit score for the future.

 

Credit cards are the foundation to rock solid high credit scores that will stay with you for life. They are the only credit vehicle that once opened can stay with you for life if you take care of them. Even 30 year mortgages very rarely get paid off in 30 years. Life happens and people move well before their mortgages are even 6 years old.

 

The only credit that should be shared with a spouse is a mortgage and perhaps an auto loan/lease. In some states it can be pretty much mandatory that a spouse be on an auto loan because of marital property laws. In the end of this credit building process, both you and your wife need to have at least 3 credit cards in your individual names. No sharing! (What happens when many years from now the primary card holder dies? Catch my drift? Now the living spouse has no credit and is probably retired.)

 

I would highly suggest that as soon as you can, both you and your spouse app for enough cards that you each have 2 cards in your own name. After those cards turn 1 year old, app for another card so that you each have a minimum of 3 cards and better yet 5 cards. Spread the wealth around in case something sours your relationship with that lender or that lender goes out of business, that you can close that card. Don't get any store cards but only so called prime lender's cards from the following:

 

AMEX

CitiBank

Chase

Bank of America

Discover

Capital One

 

Your scores will take a small hit the first year but by the time 12 months is up they will be back to where you started or higher. Your scores will lose a lot of volatility when you do need to apply for new credit in the future.

 

Good luck!


Starting Score: EQ 653 6/21/12
Current Score: EQ 817 7/10/19 - EX 802 7/13/19 - TU 815 6/03/19
Message 31 of 37
Super Contributor

Re: Did One Card Mess Up My Score?


@jamie123 wrote:

In the end of this credit building process, both you and your wife need to have at least 3 credit cards in your individual names. No sharing! (What happens when many years from now the primary card holder dies? Catch my drift? Now the living spouse has no credit and is probably retired.)

 

I would highly suggest that as soon as you can, both you and your spouse app for enough cards that you each have 2 cards in your own name. After those cards turn 1 year old, app for another card so that you each have a minimum of 3 cards and better yet 5 cards.


I disagree strongly with the advice above if you read where the OP is coming from, having had 1 card of his own from 1989 to present and being perfectly content using just that 1 AU card with is wife for a long time now.  Adding 1 card of his own?  Fine.  For him specifically though, 3 is likely a waste and 5 is complete overkill.  While I agree that your advice may be solid for the majority of the members of this forum, I don't believe it would suit the OP particularly well.

Message 32 of 37
Valued Contributor

Re: Did One Card Mess Up My Score?


@BrutalBodyShots wrote:

@jamie123 wrote:

In the end of this credit building process, both you and your wife need to have at least 3 credit cards in your individual names. No sharing! (What happens when many years from now the primary card holder dies? Catch my drift? Now the living spouse has no credit and is probably retired.)

 

I would highly suggest that as soon as you can, both you and your spouse app for enough cards that you each have 2 cards in your own name. After those cards turn 1 year old, app for another card so that you each have a minimum of 3 cards and better yet 5 cards.


I disagree strongly with the advice above if you read where the OP is coming from, having had 1 card of his own from 1989 to present and being perfectly content using just that 1 AU card with is wife for a long time now.  Adding 1 card of his own?  Fine.  For him specifically though, 3 is likely a waste and 5 is complete overkill.  While I agree that your advice may be solid for the majority of the members of this forum, I don't believe it would suit the OP particularly well.


The OP is here for advice. I am giving him the best advice that I and probably you know. You really do need to have a minimum of 3 credit cards to get the best scores. Just because OP wants a thin file AND high scores, doesn't mean that is the best advice. OP seems like a smart guy and he shouldn't have any trouble managing 3 to 5 credit cards. Why would you recommend any less? Why are you assuming that 3 to 5 CCs wouldn't fit OP particularly well?

 

There are a lot of credit decisions that I make that I don't particularly like but I need to make them if I want rock solid high scores.


Starting Score: EQ 653 6/21/12
Current Score: EQ 817 7/10/19 - EX 802 7/13/19 - TU 815 6/03/19
Message 33 of 37
Valued Contributor

Re: Did One Card Mess Up My Score?

You two are beating a dead horse. I brought up the 3 card statement way back when.  Ideally right now OP opens at least 1 to get the ball moving again after the prior card closing so long ago.  Getting something reporting again before the last of the CC's drops of is the important part here.  Squabbling about the # of cards to get isn't productive.

 

https://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/Understanding-FICO-Scoring/Did-One-Card-Mess-Up-My-Score/m-p/564841...

500K+ TCL / 800+ FCOs
Message 34 of 37
New Member

Re: Did One Card Mess Up My Score?

Hi guys.  Original Poster here.  Just my .02 with what I know so far.  Being nearly 50 year old and having had an 800+ FICO for some time while having just:

 - my own original CC (yes, that I let close in 2012 when I shouldn't have)

 - and my wife's $35k CL CC on which I am an AU

 - and the few other mortgage and installment accounts

 

...I would be reluctant to do more than to add back one of my own cards.  If that formula was working for me before, I would hesitate to go beyond that.  At least, that's what I'm thinking now.

 

Mind you, I appreciate, read and consider all the advice that all of you are generous enough to give.  I'm just stating where my head is at the moment while I still explore the equation.

 

Thank you all for your continued advice.

Message 35 of 37
New Member

Re: Did One Card Mess Up My Score?

Jamie123, thanks for the post.  I understand your post and see where you are coming from...looking at the big picture and planning for changes in creditors existence, the physical and financial health and such of my wife and I.

 

I hear ya.  Lots to think about, and I appreciate the view point.

Message 36 of 37
Highlighted
Super Contributor

Re: Did One Card Mess Up My Score?


@jamie123 wrote:


You really do need to have a minimum of 3 credit cards to get the best scores.


Incorrect, unless by "the best scores" you're referring to 840-850 or something.  One can obtain and sustain top-tier FICO scores for decades while possessing only 1 CC.  I've written about it in many threads over the years where I went 10+ years with 1 CC and my scores were in the 780-810 range for just about the entire time. 

 

Can one increase their ceiling slightly with 3 cards present compared to 1?  Likely yes, but not some significant amount that should result in the pom-poms being taken out constantly on this forum with people saying everyone should have 3+ cards.  Again, it goes back to what suits the individual.  Clearly the OP doesn't see a purpose for multiple cards, as discussed earlier in this thread and again from his recent post where it's just not something that suits his lifestyle.  It is what it is.

Message 37 of 37
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