Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Can I raise my credit score?
Old 07-30-2014, 04:05 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
veremchuka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: irradiated - too close to the nuclear furnace
Posts: 1,294
Can I raise my credit score?

It was 741 and Sears closed my account because I did not use my credit card for 2 years! My score just dropped to 731. OK this isn't a serious problem but I have always been bothered that my score was only 741 and now it is lower.

I am retired. I've used my current VISA cc since 2006, seldom have a balance over $800 per month and I ALWAYS pay the balance off every month. I have never paid 1 cent in interest so I'm not carrying a balance. My credit availability is about 90% maybe 93%, the limit on the card has always been $10,000.

I have had an LL Bean cc since 2008 that I seldom use, maybe once a year. I checked it and the limit is $2,500. In 2009 they reduced it to that level because I wasn't using it! I don't know what the original limit was but after 1 year they lowered it? Jeesh I guess banks punish you for not using their card!

I don't have any loans having paid off the mortgage a few years ago. I buy used cars and pay cash. Any time in the past that I bought something using "their" installment program I always took advantage of the free time period and then paid it off before any interest would start. I have very good (excellent?) credit. I have never missed any mortgage payment (I've had 4 or 5) or any payment of any kind. Needless to say I've never declared bankruptcy or had any credit issues. I check my credit report every 4 months and it's been OK for many years, no issues there.

I'd like my credit score to be in the 800's, is that possible and if so how? I just asked the bank where my VISA is for an increase in my cc limit yesterday thinking that will increase my available credit percentage, I'll know in a week or so. I'm thinking I should apply for another cc with another $10k limit and use it sparingly just to boost the score.

Any ideas?
__________________

__________________
veremchuka is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-30-2014, 04:10 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,074
Quote:
Originally Posted by veremchuka View Post
Any ideas?
Find an inexpensive hobby to take your mind off something not worth worrying about...
__________________

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2014, 04:19 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
veremchuka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: irradiated - too close to the nuclear furnace
Posts: 1,294
Insurance rates/premiums are based upon your credit score no? Seems that alone is a good reason to get it higher? Good driving record too but I'd like the premiums lower.
__________________
veremchuka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2014, 04:33 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,459
My score went up after deciding to scoop up some free money from the card companies. By adding some card accounts my available credit went way up - that & percentage of card utilization helped my score go over 800. Seems like a credit inquiry costs my score 5-10 points for about 3 months, then it bounces up.

Worthy cards to look into include Barclays Arival, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and Fidelity Amex. Include sign up bonus in your search. Dang I love free money.
__________________
calmloki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2014, 04:33 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,074
Quote:
Originally Posted by veremchuka View Post
Insurance rates/premiums are based upon your credit score no?
They aren't based on your credit score but a low score can negatively impact rates unless you live in Massachusetts, Hawaii, or California.

Note that there is a difference in your Auto Insurance Score and your Credit Score - they are measured on a different scale.

If you haven't done so already you might consider signing up for a free account at CreditKarma.com. You can see all your scores and get info on how to improve them. Maybe that can become your "inexpensive hobby"...
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2014, 04:53 PM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: ST LOUIS
Posts: 993
I do not think 731 is anything to worry about. I always heard above 700 is good.
__________________
Proverbs 15:22 Designs are brought to nothing where there is no counsel: but where there are many counsellors, they are established.
rec7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2014, 05:46 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
sengsational's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,823
Google clark howard credit score guide. The clark howard site tells you all the "do's and don't s" to get your score up.
__________________
sengsational is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2014, 05:58 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,874
That's nothing personal and not a credit demerit. Sears did this to me, too, and probably everybody else who stopped using store cards in favor of rewards credit cards.

Amethyst

Quote:
Originally Posted by veremchuka View Post
....Sears closed my account because I did not use my credit card for 2 years!
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success to be able to spend your life in your own way. Christopher Morley.
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2014, 09:02 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
veremchuka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: irradiated - too close to the nuclear furnace
Posts: 1,294
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Note that there is a difference in your Auto Insurance Score and your Credit Score - they are measured on a different scale.

If you haven't done so already you might consider signing up for a free account at CreditKarma.com. You can see all your scores and get info on how to improve them. Maybe that can become your "inexpensive hobby"...
I thought the insurance companies used the FICO score. It is at Credit Karma that I found out my score dropped, I've used them for a few years and this is the 1st time I've seen a decrease in the FICO score, the other 2 scores I ignore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
Google clark howard credit score guide. The clark howard site tells you all the "do's and don't s" to get your score up.
Thanks I'll look at that.
__________________
veremchuka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2014, 09:40 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,074
Quote:
Originally Posted by veremchuka View Post
I thought the insurance companies used the FICO score. It is at Credit Karma that I found out my score dropped, I've used them for a few years and this is the 1st time I've seen a decrease in the FICO score, the other 2 scores I ignore.
Credit Karma shows four different credit scores - at least it does for me. If you are concerned about your auto insurance rate you probably shouldn't ignore the one titled "Auto Insurance Score". Click on it and it will show you a chart of how your score has changed over time.

Also, if you click on the "credit score simulator" in the left column you can see the impact to your score of adding new cards, closing accounts, etc.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2014, 09:49 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
veremchuka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: irradiated - too close to the nuclear furnace
Posts: 1,294
I'll check that out, how adding new cc effects score. I don't spend much time there, just signed up to see my score years ago. Thanks!

Yeah there are 4 scores, I last saw 3, I guess they added one but I am not sure which.

Apparently adding a new cc decreases your score as they pull your credit report. Maybe this is not worth worrying about, I don't want it going lower my goal was to increase it!

I'll start to use the LL Bean card for small stuff a couple of times a month. I get cash back with the VISA so I use it for everything. Maybe using the other will help the score and at least they won't lower or cancel it if I use it... hopefully!
__________________
veremchuka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2014, 11:25 PM   #12
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,802
This thread prompted me to go look at CreditKarma. I see that my transunion score dropped 5 pts (still in the "a" range) - but my Vantage score dropped 115 pts and is now a "b".

What happened in the last 40 days? I paid off my mortgage.

Yep - that's a credit threat.

Fortunately, I'm not planning on borrowing money. I saw no impact when I moved my insurance this month - my new insurance prices are a little cheaper than my old prices. I still have "a"s for home and auto insurance credit scores.
__________________
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2014, 05:51 AM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RonBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,280
It is quite difficult to get your score in the 800 range. For instance, our score is 782. We use our four Credit Cards extensively and never have less than $3,000 in charges in a month and sometimes in the $7-8,000 range. We, of course, pay it off every month. In addition, we have a HELOC that we keep active by paying as little as we can get away with.

Nevertheless, we are dinged for a couple things out of our control. Of the six, criteria for the Credit Rating (On-time Payments, Oldest Credit Line, Credit Utilization, Recent Enquiries, New Accounts, and Available Credit) all get a "Grade A" except two.

We get a "B" for Oldest Credit Line -- 18 years is under the >25 year requirement for an "A" score.

We get a "B" for Available Credit -- $48,000 is under the >$50,000 requirement for an "A" score.

This data is from our Capital One Credit Card's -- Credit Tracker application.
__________________
"It's tough to make predictions, especially when it involves the future." ~Attributed to many
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." ~(perhaps by) Yogi Berra
"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge."~ Lau tzu
RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2014, 04:40 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
sengsational's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,823
I have two recurring events on my calendar to make sure I make a purchase with my almost never used credit cards. So instead of closing the card, you keep it "active" by using it every 6 months. I keep the one card because it lets me board early on a USeless Airline, but I'd drop it in an instant if it had an annual fee.
__________________
sengsational is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2014, 05:16 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rustward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,572
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
They aren't based on your credit score but a low score can negatively impact rates unless you live in Massachusetts, Hawaii, or California.
Several years ago the agent for my auto carrier called out of the blue and told me they were lowering my rate based on my credit score and the fact that I had been there 20 years without a claim. IIRC the agent told me that the company internalizes credit scores converting them to letter grades A - F, F being the highest. I made an F.

I second the use of CreditKarma. There is a pretty decent explanation of how credit score is determined there.

We pay each card in full each month, except for one that has six months no interest.

We also make sure to use each card at least once per quarter, except for one store card at a sporting goods place that we opened just to get 10% off on a $1100 elliptical trainer. If a card goes unused for a long period, it is a no-brainer for the card company to take back that credit and tempt someone else to use it so they can make some money with it.
__________________
Rustward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2014, 05:57 PM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 66
US Airways offered a free FICO report last week. Mine was about 10 points or so over 800 with the notation it would have been higher if I had some sort of installment payments. The mortgage was paid off about 7 years ago; its been about 6 years since there were payments to make on our HELOC.

Credit Karma comes up with 766, with a minor ding of B for total accounts (need more) and a major ding of D for age of credit history. I churn credit cards for airline miles.
__________________
EveryLady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2014, 06:02 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,587
Just out of curiosity ...
I have a number of credit cards (about ten) and I use a few of them all the time, the rest seldom (but at least a couple of times a year).

I never carry a balance on any of them; most are set to auto-pay the full balance every month.

With no mortgage, low insurance rates, and no plans to borrow anything in the foreseeable future, is there any reason why I should care what my credit score is?
__________________
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2014, 06:14 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
Just out of curiosity ...
With no mortgage, low insurance rates, and no plans to borrow anything in the foreseeable future, is there any reason why I should care what my credit score is?
Only reason I would care is that it's gratifying to get those instantaneous affirmative responses to credit card applications (for airline mile churning). No need to wait and wonder for 24-48 hours while analysts or some other minions review.
__________________
EveryLady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2014, 06:36 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,396
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
...
If you haven't done so already you might consider signing up for a free account at CreditKarma.com. You can see all your scores and get info on how to improve them. Maybe that can become your "inexpensive hobby"...
The last time I checked my credit score on the Web was perhaps 6 years ago, but I do not remember which agency. Should I care, particularly as I do not plan to borrow money? But the credit score affects my insurance rate? That, I care.

So, I decided to check with CreditKarma, just for the heck of it. Creating an account took but a couple of minutes. Nice! Here's the result.

TransUnion: 781 out of 850 - Rating: Excellent
VantageScore: 966 out of 990 - Rating: A
Auto Insurance Score: 928 out of 950 - Rating: Very Good
Home Insurance Score: 950 out of 950 - Rating: Very Good

OK! Now, what's next?

Oh, there's no next. That's it!
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2014, 09:31 AM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
sengsational's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,823
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
...With no mortgage, low insurance rates, and no plans to borrow anything in the foreseeable future, is there any reason why I should care what my credit score is?
When your insurance renews, if your credit score drops, they could raise your rate. They did it to me when I was playing the credit card / airline miles game. Just bad timing...the policy renewed right after I got high credit limit cards for both myself and spouse.
__________________

__________________
sengsational is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Do Increased Credit Card Limits affect Credit Score? marc515 FIRE and Money 6 11-15-2012 05:36 PM
Will closing a credit card hurt my wife's credit score? bank5 Other topics 4 06-03-2009 07:01 AM
Why should most ER's care about their Credit Score? Cut-Throat FIRE and Money 36 01-23-2007 05:03 PM
New credit score available REWahoo FIRE and Money 15 06-22-2006 08:51 AM
Credit Score Strategies Tommy_Dolitte Young Dreamers 18 08-15-2004 07:31 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:35 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.