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The 'All At Just Under 8.99% Utilization' experiment

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Established Contributor

Re: The 'All At Just Under 8.99% Utilization' experiment

[UPDATE January 5, 2019]

EX: 699  EQ: 684  TU: 728

 

  • I have Card 2 in hand now. This card has already generated a statement balance of $0, and reported it. (Approved Dec 23, 2018)
  • myFICO Ultimate 3B+ alert: EX-> loan paid. The score changes happened previously, so EX is still 699.
  • myFICO Ultimate 3B+ alert: EQ-> loan paid, Card 1 added, EQ FICO 8 now 684. The 'Score Ingredients' do not update with these new FICO score alerts. The loan being paid off must have caused a drop, and then a gain from the new card, as happened with my EX report.

Now for some Credit Karma updates, only because an awful lot of people are using it these days, and they might be browsing this post.

[Note: All the people with lots of experience at this credit game (I am not one with a lot of experience - you should listen to them) will tell you that these Credit Karma/Vantage Score 3.0 scores are useless.]

 

I did receive a Credit Karma alert today that a new card was added to my Equifax report. Their report shows both of my new cards have been added. It also shows that my (useless) EQ Vantage Score 3.0 went from 658 to 641 due to 1 hard pull (HP), which resulted in my approval for Card 2.

Then it shows that score going from 641 to 676 (+35) due to 2 revolving accounts being added for the first time.

 

Still waiting on the Transunion updates.

27 FICO Scores + 3 VS3. MTG (Mortgage), AUT (Auto), and BKC (Bankcard) are scores 5,4, and 2 from the top.

Final update at AoYA 1 year. There's still a lot of points on the table: I get a significant boost from being at AZEO (50% of cards with a balance), and I'll be at zero scorable inquiries in a few weeks.

Message 21 of 101
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Established Contributor

Re: The 'All At Just Under 8.99% Utilization' experiment

Interesting journey so far. The "roller coaster" ride you've been on is the result of your relatively thin file. As your file grows and ages, the variation you've been seeing will diminish over time. A thicker file tends to stabilize your credit and make your file more resistant to changes. Things like HPs will no longer result in wild fluctuations in your scores.

 

My auto loan activity at the end of the year is a case in point. I had four or five HPs and my scores didn't change at all. When the new car loan reports, I'll see a change but it won't be anything like the variation you've experienced.

 

Keep up your good work!

 

Message 22 of 101
Established Contributor

Re: The 'All At Just Under 8.99% Utilization' experiment


@ridgebackpilot wrote:

 A thicker file tends to stabilize your credit and make your file more resistant to changes. Things like HPs will no longer result in wild fluctuations in your scores.

 Everything is amplified on this FICO scorecard. A single hard pull is -20 points. But then they give it back with a little extra when a new revolving account is added. In 3 weeks another HP I have will be over the year mark, leaving me with only 2 'recent' (<1yr) HP's. I hope that helps ( maybe +5, might even be +10 on this crazy scorecard ) on the next myFICO Ultimate 3B+ report in February.

(Note to anyone considering myFICO 3B+ monthly: You control when the next monthly report is generated - it will not generate automatically, which is great because Transunion is really slow to update.)

 

My auto loan activity at the end of the year is a case in point. I had four or five HPs and my scores didn't change at all. When the new car loan reports, I'll see a change but it won't be anything like the variation you've experienced.

 On this scorecard, 'four or five HPs' would probably result in the police coming to take my library card away from me.

 

You should get an additional +10 points just for managing those 20 cards in your signature. And another +5 for using Excel.

27 FICO Scores + 3 VS3. MTG (Mortgage), AUT (Auto), and BKC (Bankcard) are scores 5,4, and 2 from the top.

Final update at AoYA 1 year. There's still a lot of points on the table: I get a significant boost from being at AZEO (50% of cards with a balance), and I'll be at zero scorable inquiries in a few weeks.

Message 23 of 101
Established Contributor

Re: The 'All At Just Under 8.99% Utilization' experiment


@CassieCard wrote: 

You should get an additional +10 points just for managing those 20 cards in your signature. And another +5 for using Excel.


Haha! The CC utilization spreadsheet is the only way I can keep track of % utilization, payment due dates, and statement dates. Each of the 20 cards has its purpose in life, but it can get confusing. I actually keep a separate spreadsheet that notes when I originally acquired the card, the date of my last CLI (if any), and the bonus points accrued for spending on various things. I'm considering putting together a monthly index card reminding me which card to use for which purpose!

 

For example, the Amazon Prime card generally gets used only two places: Amazon and Whole Foods. Ordinarily, I pay for groceries with the AMEX BCP card to get 6% cashback. However, this quarter Discover is paying 5% cashback at grocery stores and my newest Discover card matches that, giving me essentially 10% cashback. So all groceries this quarter are going on the new Discover card. Gas generally goes on the Costco card for 4% cashback or AMEX BCP for 3% back. Travel and dining goes on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, except business travel which goes on the Chase Ink Business Preferred card (both pay 3X UR points per $$ on travel and dining). The AMEX Platinum card is mostly reserved for emergencies. And so forth...!

 

Message 24 of 101
Established Contributor

Re: The 'All At Just Under 8.99% Utilization' experiment


@ridgebackpilot wrote:

Haha! The CC utilization spreadsheet is the only way I can keep track of % utilization, payment due dates, and statement dates. Each of the 20 cards has its purpose in life, but it can get confusing. I actually keep a separate spreadsheet that notes when I originally acquired the card, the date of my last CLI (if any), and the bonus points accrued for spending on various things. I'm considering putting together a monthly index card reminding me which card to use for which purpose!

 This is exactly the kind of stuff I would be doing if I had 20 cards. My credit union and Citi have excellent mobile alert/email systems that I have already set up, but with 20 cards....lol it would be like a broadcast storm on statement day.

 

Gas generally goes on the Costco card for 4% cashback or AMEX BCP for 3% back.

 Tomorrow I will get gas at Costco using the Citi card for the first time, and I was wondering: since the Citi card has our picture on it and doubles as the Costco membership card, do you still have to swipe the member card first before waving the Visa in front of the pump?

27 FICO Scores + 3 VS3. MTG (Mortgage), AUT (Auto), and BKC (Bankcard) are scores 5,4, and 2 from the top.

Final update at AoYA 1 year. There's still a lot of points on the table: I get a significant boost from being at AZEO (50% of cards with a balance), and I'll be at zero scorable inquiries in a few weeks.

Message 25 of 101
Established Contributor

Re: The 'All At Just Under 8.99% Utilization' experiment


@CassieCard wrote:

 Tomorrow I will get gas at Costco using the Citi card for the first time, and I was wondering: since the Citi card has our picture on it and doubles as the Costco membership card, do you still have to swipe the member card first before waving the Visa in front of the pump?

Not sure, but I know the gas pump at Costco always asks you to scan your membership card first. I've never scanned the Costco VISA first. But it's a good question. Maybe other Costco members have a better answer?

 

Incidentally, if you're an Executive member, don't forget that Costco does not count gasoline purchases towards your annual 2% rebate. Of course, you're earning 4% cashback by using the Costco VISA card to purchase gas anyway; you just don't earn an additional 2%. On a related note, ordinarily your annual membership dues don't count towards the 2% rebate either. However, if you pay your dues using the Costco VISA card (default unless you opt-out), the dues will count towards the annual 2% back via the credit card.

 

The Executive membership costs twice the price of a $60 regular membership (which pays no rebate). So the math is easy: You have to spend at least $3,000 per year at Costco (not counting gas and other non-qualifying purchases) to break even. I easily do that considering that I buy all my tires at Costco as well as other big-ticket items. And if you put all Costco spending on their credit card, Executive members essentially earn 4% cashback on nearly all Costco store and online purchases! So Executive members who are also Costco VISA cardholders need only spend $1,500 each year at Costco to break even.

Message 26 of 101
Established Contributor

Re: The 'All At Just Under 8.99% Utilization' experiment

[Minor Creepy Update: January 6, 2019]

 

I posted a reply to someone, within the past hour, and mentioned that Transunion is slow to update their credit report.

 

+84 point gain reported a few minutes ago at Credit Karma on my TU Vantage Score 3.0. lol

 

629 to 713 with 1 new card ($6500 CL) showing now. But this isn't going to last, because it still shows the open secured loan with a low balance. Once that gets factored in as 'closed', that score will probably drop at least 35 points.

27 FICO Scores + 3 VS3. MTG (Mortgage), AUT (Auto), and BKC (Bankcard) are scores 5,4, and 2 from the top.

Final update at AoYA 1 year. There's still a lot of points on the table: I get a significant boost from being at AZEO (50% of cards with a balance), and I'll be at zero scorable inquiries in a few weeks.

Message 27 of 101
Established Contributor

Re: The 'All At Just Under 8.99% Utilization' experiment


@ridgebackpilot wrote:
Not sure, but I know the gas pump at Costco always asks you to scan your membership card first. I've never scanned the Costco VISA first. But it's a good question.

 My Costco has the pumps with Visa payWave on them, so they could easily integrate the 2 separate swipes  - membership card first, Visa card second - into one single wave of the Costco Visa card (since it doubles as membership card). Now that would be neat.

 

I just wanted to find out beforehand because if you look in the fine print on your Costco membership agreement, it says that you can only look like an idiot at their gas pumps 2 times within the first 30 days of activation. After that, it's a $10 charge each time.*

 * May or may not be true.

27 FICO Scores + 3 VS3. MTG (Mortgage), AUT (Auto), and BKC (Bankcard) are scores 5,4, and 2 from the top.

Final update at AoYA 1 year. There's still a lot of points on the table: I get a significant boost from being at AZEO (50% of cards with a balance), and I'll be at zero scorable inquiries in a few weeks.

Message 28 of 101
Valued Contributor

Re: The 'All At Just Under 8.99% Utilization' experiment

I use the Citi Costco Card at the pump as my main method to purchase gas.

You do not need to use the membership card- the Citi card works as both membership & payment. 




Message 29 of 101
Established Contributor

Re: The 'All At Just Under 8.99% Utilization' experiment


@MaizeandBlue wrote:
My experience is that Experian is the quickest to update their files, followed by Equifax, with TransUnion being the slowest.  All three CRAs update their files at midnight Pacific Time. 

@MaizeandBlue called it perfectly. That's exactly what I am seeing with myFICO Ultimate 3B+ and Experian CreditWorks Premium.

 

It's also worth signing up with Credit Karma. I've received Transunion updates from there already, and neither myFICO or Experian has reported any from TU.

27 FICO Scores + 3 VS3. MTG (Mortgage), AUT (Auto), and BKC (Bankcard) are scores 5,4, and 2 from the top.

Final update at AoYA 1 year. There's still a lot of points on the table: I get a significant boost from being at AZEO (50% of cards with a balance), and I'll be at zero scorable inquiries in a few weeks.

Message 30 of 101
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