I am a little over two months into a build/rebuild from a mostly empty profile, and without exactly intending to do this, I have begun what I will call a "thick start."
I will detail what I have, since definitions vary, but the purpose of this thread is to understand what pros and cons I might have compared with a perhaps more typical situation of someone slowly opening accounts as they build.
I've opened seven new accounts (plus an AU card) in two months. My oldest account is a Citi card I opened on April 2. My newest account is an Amazon Store Card opened on May 23. The other five are in between. The AU card is a 7-year-old account but I don't know how it will display on my reports. It hasn't appeared yet.
The accounts are:
- Discover secured, $500 CL
- Citi secured, $200 CL (sigh - should have done a bigger deposit - in the long run, I want a DC)
- Amazon Store Card, unsecured, $1,500 CL
- Capital One secured, $300 CL (sigh - does not graduate)
- Primor Green Dot secured, $300 CL (SIGH)
- Self Lender $500/12-month secured installment loan
- My Jeweler Club $5,000 CL (hasn't shown up on reports yet)
The AU is:
- Barclay Arrival Plus Mastercard, $25,000 CL (hasn't shown up on reports yet)
The exception to this is that on Equifax only, I have two old "open" accounts from 2010-2012, and one that shows as closed from that same era. In reality, all three are closed. But, this is why I have FICO scores for Equifax. On the other two (TU and EX), there is nothing older than April 2 2019. The old accounts all show positive with no lates, by the way. I have no derogs at all.
The old accounts on EQ only are:
- Discover Card, opened 2008, last activity 2012, $2000 CL (shows as open, is actually closed)
- Sunoco/Citi card, opened 2007, last activity 2010, $400 CL (shows as open, is actually closed)
- ExxonMobil card, opened 2007, last activity 2011, $950 CL (shows as closed)
I also have too many inquiries, due to applications I don't regret as well as applications I do regret. When not de-duping for multiple applications of the same type, I have 11 inquiries on Equifax, 9 on TU and 7 on EX. I'm not proud, it is what it is.
I don't care very much about applying for or getting anything that's hard to get in the next six months or so, but I would like to be able to start getting better cards, decent loan terms etc in 6-12 months. My intermediate goal is a good car loan. My longterm goal is a good mortgage. I see cards as a means to an end (building credit for those two uses) and have no particular goals specific to cards, beyond what will help me with those other goals.
All that said - I have a statement, a question and an offer.
The statement is, since I don't care about anything I'd be likely to be approved for in the first six months, I don't really mind the hit I took from credit-seeking behavior. I think in the long run, I will have a nice wall of aging accounts that will let me better absorb new accounts. I think the "thick start" method would be terrible for getting approved for better stuff in the short term, though.
The question is, does this remind you of you from the past? If so, what patterns did you see as far as changes in your scores, and what advice would you give for someone in my situation? What kinds of scores would you predict for me at 3 months/6 months/12 months, assuming PIF, no lates, and low utilization?
The offer is, is there anything that people would like me to track for research purposes?
My advice would be to not apply for any further credit until you either need it (auto loan like you said or eventually mortgage) or until your profiles/scores are good enough (say) around 730+ where you stand a strong chance of getting approved with favorable terms for whatever card(s) you'd like.
You said you've added 7-8 accounts to your profile in 2 months. That's a lot and more than enough to thicken your file and help absorb (age of accounts wise) new accounts in the future. Adding (say) 5 or 10 additional accounts in the next 6-12 months isn't going to benefit you IMO at all short/mid/long term at this point based on what you've already added. I think it's best you just sit tight with what you have, let aging do its thing and work on your profile/scores. In the meantime feel free to research some cards and if a few would benefit you, go ahead and apply for them once your scores are in a good place so that you get favorable terms.
I wasn't quite as aggressive but I did the same basically when I started.
Being slightly loose with the dates I opened up 12 accounts in my first year (really the first 14 months as I'd opened a BOFA secured card 2 months before I found this forum right before I got my first auto loan). I then sat on my hands for 15 months prepping for a mortgage, though once that fell apart I went and picked up 4 more tradelines before sitting on my hands again to where I could pull the trigger on a mortgage. Basically if you're going to spree, hang out afterwards for a while which appears to be what you're planning anyway so I approve.
It's a different time now, things were more conservative in the credit market back in 2012 so I don't know if I could've gotten that many accounts right from the start though I suppose I could've done more secured tradelines, but ultimately it doesn't matter at all long term and it does buffer one's AAOA and various accounts with balances bit. We're still working on that TBH, sadly my file isn't clean enough on EQ to nail it down but I can probably do TU FICO 4 if I materially change my installment tradeline number; I don't really want to reset new accounts again (though installment line might not, actually I might do it in the name of science in a few months anyway if I get Cassie's data confirmed).
Either way I'm absolutely confident my file thickness is part of the reason I could shrug off that 60D late on TU that I was admittedly stupid on without being impacted for anything relevant.
First u didn’t really give us very much information. What are your current FICO scores? What is your AooA? I assume your youngest account is one month? And you said your profile is clean? My only FICO score is Equifax, because of the mystery old accounts that appear only on Equifax. My Equifax FICO 8 is in my signature (668 at last update). For TU and EX, I have only FAKO scores, which are currently around 615. I listed everything on my profile. Oldest account on TU and EX was opened on April 2, 2019. Yes, 100% clean (I did have some derogs that were removed via GWL).
From all recent that up in appears that you will receive a score bump at three months and six months AoYA. At 12 months you will be rebucket most likely which will result in a score change as well typically upwards. Points depend on scorecard and possibly a couple other attributes. Can you tell us how many points you lost when the first account report? I can't give a good clear answer, because this overlapped with removing some derogs. My scores were all over the place the first month or so. In FAKO, I will often see a new account drop my TU and raise my EQ or vice versa, I suppose because those two are calculated differently due to the phantom old accounts on EQ. I am waiting to see if EQ FICO goes up or down with the most recent additions.
OK I think your 6 to 12 month timeline is a little ambitious. I think you need to back that up to 12 months. That way you can get your rebucketing points and not appear overzealous to potential creditors.
Last let’s talk about this loan you have. Unfortunately you only have a 12 month term. For optimal scoring you need an open installment loan with the B/L under 8.9%. By the time you get your 12 month award for AoYA your loan will terminate and you will lose points because of it. They may cancel each other out even at least to some degree. So how do you fix this? You go get another SSL right now with a longer-term get the inquiry and new account out the way now, so you can sit on your hands for 12 months. This time try to get a 60 month term at least. Read the thread on the share secured loan technique. Utilize it. Thanks, will check that out. I'm also willing to get a car loan that's still not quite prime, as long as I'm not paying over 10%. So, I guess what I have in the back of my mind is getting the best car loan I can in about 6 months (reason I mentioned 6-12). Would a longer SSL still help, given that?
Thanks! My comments in blue.
No, the benefit of a SSL is only had when it is your only open installment loan. If you are planning on adding a car loan, adding the SSL first isn't going to help.
Also, you said you only have your EQ Fico 8 score. You can get your EX Fico 8 score for free at either creditscorecard.com or creditscore.com. I suggest signing up for one right away and the other 2 weeks later, as each of those scores will update once monthly. In doing that between the two sites you'll effectively be able to grab your EX Fico 8 score every other week.
Thanks - I should have elaborated earlier - the reason I don't have a TU or EX FICO score is that my oldest account on those two is only two months old, and FICO won't calculate a score until you have at least one account that is six months old. So, I don't think I will be able to get FICO scores for those two until October, unless the AU counts (waiting for the AU to appear so I can find out, but I'm pessimistic on that point). I am able to get EQ FICO because of those old mystery accounts from 2010-2012 that appear only on EQ.
Gotcha. I didn't realize you didn't have 6 months of history on EX yet. Best to hold off until that time like you said to grab those EX Fico 8 scores.