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Thanks for all the amazing info! Steps for "thin" file?

Established Member

Thanks for all the amazing info! Steps for "thin" file?

I cannot thank the members of these forums enough for all the amazing info...sorry in advance if post gets long!


Was never one to utilize or pay attention to credit as I should have been as financially was always able to pay cash for cars, paid off mortgage after 5 years and etc. so my credit scores were never "gardened".  I have 1 cap1 credit card with a small $1350 limit that I never really used and kept a small running $200 balance on, have had for close to 20yrs


Anway this past January decided to look at possibly financing a new vehicle and found out my scores were all around the 610 level as an "extended" family member used my info for some utlities, small credit cards and etc. that went to collections that I wasn't aware of (since resolved with credit monitoring, etc.), lesson learned! HP may have even lowered them a bit.


After a lot of effort, disputes, documents and phone calls my current scores are:

EX 768 EQ 762 TU 645 (just got off phone with TU and last collection was removed today, so hoping for similiar 100+ pt bump)!


With all that I guess I'm considered a thin file as less than the ideal 5 open accounts.  Once TU is resolved and scores updated, I'll be adding an auto loan which after the initial point hit should help.  Other than that what are the suggestions in order to get to my ultimate goal of a member of the 800 club?  Is there anything that will give an immediate bump or will I suffer the small point hits until whatever various accounts I may go with start reporting and etc? I know the simulators are not very useful, but in messing around it showed a 40pt hit or so in just getting another credit card with small $5k limit...


Thanks again for all the amazing info!!!

Message 1 of 4
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: Thanks for all the amazing info! Steps for "thin" file?

First off, congratulations on getting the fraudulent reporting corrected and bouncing your scores into great shape.

Ideally, the minimum mix in order to max your scores is one installment account such as the loan you’re taking, and three credit cards. Use your cards but only allow one to report a balance, and have the other two report zero. Do this by paying off the balance before the statement cuts.

Your file is thin but has age. I would definitely check the prequal pages for Discover and AmEx - you’d be a likely approval on those. Look at their offerings and see which cards fit your expenditures best. If AmEx says you’re preapproved, it’s usually very solid. With Disco, seeing a prequal with a specific APR rather than a range (as in 17.49% vs 14.49-20.49%) means you’re very solid with them as well.

Last, don’t put much stock in a simulator. They’re generalizations that can’t account for all the nuances and differences from one profile to the next.

Platinum NPSL | Rose Gold NPSL | BCP | Delta Gold | Hilton Surpass | Hilton Honors | PenFed PCR | IT Cash | IT Chrome | GHSFCU Visa Plat | Quicksilver | Target | VS | Home Depot | Lowes | Sams MC | Firestone | Overstock | Kohl’s | Key Bank auto loan (2017 Audi A6 Premium Plus S-Line)

TCL $87,900 | Agg. Util under 5%
Message 2 of 4
Established Member

Re: Thanks for all the amazing info! Steps for "thin" file?

Thanks for the reply!


Did the Disco pre-qual and got a specific 14.24% apr, not a range, seeing a lot of love for Disco out there.  Not a huge Amex fan or traveler but thinking between them and either Citi or Chase...


Also I'm assuming I should get the auto finance locked in prior to hard applying for any new cards in order to get the best rate and then should I spread out the new couple of card apps?  Looking for as much of minimal score impact as possible.

Message 3 of 4
Super Contributor

Re: Thanks for all the amazing info! Steps for "thin" file?

OP, you don't have to obtain a car loan to obtain the scoring benefit from an installment loan. Please see:

You can use the SSLT to obtain the scoring benefit, but if you're planning to finance a vehicle anyway, then you should go ahead with that instead.

A couple points: when you open a new account, a few things occur. First, you may suffer a ding for the inquiry(-ies). Second, when the new account hits, it will a) reset your AoYA, if you have no other young account on your CR, and b) lower your AAoA.

All three of these can lower your score (INQ, AoYA reset, and lowered AAoA). Consequently, some ppl chose to apply for multiple accounts together so as to take advantage of their scores before they are lowered by the AoYA reset, and lowered AAoA. You can somewhat mitigate INQ dings by performing them all within 45 days for auto loans and by possibly spreading them among the CRAs if possible for CC apps.

This is why some ppl prefer sprees. Another benefit is, your accounts begin to age together now rather than having to wait for additional accounts to begin to age.

So, one method could be as follows: You could rate shop and get your vehicle within 45 days, suffering no more than 1 INQ ding @ each CRA. Next, app for your preferred cards soon thereafter, before the loan is added to your CRs. (This way you benefit from the scores before they are lowered.) Then when all 3 hit, you will take the AoYA hit and AAoA hits together.

Now, Do not app for any more credit. Seek only SP CLIs. Wait 12 months after the opening month of the latest of the 3 accounts. You will receive your INQ points back and then on the 1st of that month, you will regain significant points from your AoYA reaching 1 year.

At that point reassess and decide if you need to add more accounts or continue to garden. For max score, Keep all individual CCs under 28.9%, keep aggregate under 8.9% and implement AZEO.
-Our Community’s updated scoring wisdom: Link to Scoring Primer.
-For Negative Reason Codes see: CassieCard’s Score Factors thread.
-ccquest’s workbook to calculate metrics for you: Link to Workbook.

Oct 2020 New Account Scorecard.Nov 2020, No New Account Scorecard (reassignment conflated with aging. EX9 not updated yet. Oldest/avg varies. Estimates above.)
Real world mortgage maxes are: EQ5-818, TU4-839, EX2-844.

(Everything said is JMHO and is not endorsed by FICO or MF. I have no affiliation with either, just a grateful member.)
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