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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 2/16/2006 3:49:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/16/2006 6:01:20 AM EDT by Greywolf2112]
So, if I have a bunch of open accounts (credit cards) with $0 balance and around $5000-$8000 limits, would I be smart to close them? I have heard that it can often hurt your scare and can never help, but I've also heard that length of history with those accounts makes a big deal as well. If they have been open for less than 3 years, would closing them help my score due to the fact that I would have a lot fewer accounts open?

Also, how different can a husband's beacon score be from a wife's?

I have the house mortgage in my name, our one car is in both (for the lien), and we have a few credit cards in both names (though have pretty low balances).

Never been late, bankrupt, etc. Was wondering, if we go to finance a car, should I use her credit instead of mine due to the home mortgage being in my name?
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 5:59:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Greywolf2112:
So, if I have a bunch of open accounts (credit cards) with $0 balance and around $5000-$8000 limits, would I be smart to close them?



Its not smart to close accounts. Your credit "history" relates in (big) part to the length of time you've had credit, period. So you look at the shitty cards you have, they are probably the oldest... (you can find those dates out, on your credit reports) Therefore, if you close the shitty cards you'd never want to use... well, you effectively shorten your credit history. Bad, always bad.


If they have been open for less than 3 yeras, would closing them help my score due to the fact that I would have a lot fewer accounts open?


No, not at all. You don't want "excessive" accounts... meaning, too much credit available that you never use. Always use your accounts, and then pay in full. Keep em active.

Whether the accounts are 30 years old, or three years, or three months... since you have them now, you keep them. That is all. The most important factors are these:

#1 Pay all bills on time. So fucking important!
#2 Credit to debt ratio - Ideally you want less than 20% credit utilization.

In other words, you raise your score by paying on time, no matter what, and by keeping low balances. If you have $10,000 worth of credit available... you are wise keeping that card's balance at $2,000 or lower. Thats for each account seperately, not a combined overview.


Also, how different can a husband's beacon score be from a wife's?


A marriage does not equal a combined credit history! Nor should it.
I go by FICO score (www.myfico.com) but regardless... her length of credit history, employment, payment history, age, debts like school loans etc... all variables that differentiate her from him.


I have the house mortgage in my name, our one car is in both (for the lien), and we have a few credit cards in both names (though have pretty low balances).


The *Primary* is often the only one reported to the CRAs (credit reporting agencies).
Because someone is a co-signer, does not make them anymore credit-worthy or have any impact on anything, since it's on the primary account holder to pay the debts. Hopefully you understand what I'm saying here?

Go to MyFico, and pull triple reports for both of you and compare them. You'll likely see the joint credit accounts are only on your report, not hers. There will be differences across the board most likely.


Never been late, bankrupt, etc. Was wondering, if we go to finance a car, should I use her credit instead of mine due to the home mortgage being in my name?


I'd have to say... it depends solely on the lenders. They all look at different things.
My best advice... is both of you should apply for financing and see who gets the better offer.

If you need clarification or have more questions, feel free to IM me.
Chances are good I won't see this thread again.


Oh, one last bit of free advice
Don't apply for any more credit cards! Seeking credit hurts. Inquiries stay on reports for two years. Use what credit you've got, you don't need no more. No more store cards, no more major credit cards, just leave yourself as "established, but not looking".

When you apply for financing, try to do all your applications within as small a timeframe as possible. When you go mortgage or car shopping, you'll get inquiries on the report... but if done within a close period of time, it becomes obvious that you were just rate shopping... opposed to being seen as a red flag.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 6:11:26 AM EDT
I tend to disagree. Some lenders see those cards with no debt as "potential debt". In other words, they don't always view it as a zero balance because they know that you could go ut and max out every card you have in one day.

If you don't need the cards then get rid of them, if for no other reason than they are a temptation. Being responsible for your debts speaks for itself. You don't need open credit card accounts to prove you are worthy of credit.

Just my $.02.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 6:11:46 AM EDT

Question:

My oldest (first) credit card account charges a yearly membership fee (because it was my first one). I don't use this card any more and would really like to eliminate this yearly fee, but would it be better to hold onto it since it will essentially hurt my credit a little and since we will be looking to buy another house at the end of the year?
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 6:13:28 AM EDT
You're both right.

There's a balance that has to be found. You don't want to close them all out, but you don't want to leave too much available credit. There's a happy medium that is ideal for your score.

How do you find that balance? You got me. I suppose you can experiment and run your score.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 7:12:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ArmedAggie:
I tend to disagree. Some lenders see those cards with no debt as "potential debt". In other words, they don't always view it as a zero balance because they know that you could go ut and max out every card you have in one day.

If you don't need the cards then get rid of them, if for no other reason than they are a temptation. Being responsible for your debts speaks for itself. You don't need open credit card accounts to prove you are worthy of credit.

Just my $.02.



Thats not going to be an issue for auto-financing.
If and when, you go see about a mortgage, they will tell you point blank, if you need to reduce your available credit, and doing so at that point, hurts little.

You go and close accounts now, mark my words, and watch your scores to prove i'm right, because they will plummet.

"Potential debt" is outweighed by a good credit history. You see, thats WHY there is such a thing.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 7:14:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/16/2006 7:23:10 AM EDT by gonzo_beyondo]

Originally Posted By BeetleBailey:
Question:

My oldest (first) credit card account charges a yearly membership fee (because it was my first one). I don't use this card any more and would really like to eliminate this yearly fee, but would it be better to hold onto it since it will essentially hurt my credit a little and since we will be looking to buy another house at the end of the year?



First thing I'd do is call the company.
Explain that you have no reason to pay a fee. Other cards with better rates in your pockets makes this card useless, so either remove the fee, or we *might* close the account. Chances are real good they'll remove the fee.

If you can't get anywhere with that company, you have to look at dates.
By how many years will closing that account shorten your history?
Might be worth it to dump it, but i'd call em on the fee first.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 7:19:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ORinTX:
You're both right.

There's a balance that has to be found. You don't want to close them all out, but you don't want to leave too much available credit. There's a happy medium that is ideal for your score.

How do you find that balance? You got me. I suppose you can experiment and run your score.



There is no way to find out, they don't publish that info.

Thats why I highly suggest the original poster stay with what he has and opens no more lines of credit. There is a balance, and you find out what it is when you go for a mortgage. Excessive credit is bad... having 5-8 cards maximum is usually fine. If each of those 5 cards is equal to your yearly income, then it's probably too much.

Point is, as long as your cards are kept active and balances low, as well as paid on time, they are not going to hurt you at all. When the issue of too much credit actually becomes an issue, you have the opportunity to correct it without penalty.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 7:21:14 AM EDT
And to back up my comments,
yes, I do practice what I preach...

My LOWEST FICO score is 730 as of last month.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 7:29:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:

There is no way to find out, they don't publish that info.




I believe there are only a couple of algorithms that the majority of creditors use. IOW, you can find out by running your own credit score.

Correct me if I'm wrong...
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 7:59:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ORinTX:

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:

There is no way to find out, they don't publish that info.




I believe there are only a couple of algorithms that the majority of creditors use. IOW, you can find out by running your own credit score.

Correct me if I'm wrong...



The part thats wrong is... (we're talking scores on credit reports, not judging credit worthiness)

Lets say Sears gives you a card application...
They go check your report.
What makes a good report though???

Facts are... you've got various factors considered, nobody knows which factor carries what weight... worse, this weighting system seems to vary, depending, but depending on what? Nobody knows! Like I said, they don't publish that info.

I'm not talking about CREDITORS... i'm talking about CREDIT SCORES, you know the former goes based upon the latter, right?

Run your own score all you want, you figure out nothing. Well, you can find out what your score actually is, and if its good, you can get favorable loan rates.

Find out its not so hot, and the guessing game begins! Sometimes people make a move that almost surely will increase score, and they get killed.

There is some rhyme and reason, most of which I've outlined in this thread... but people who collaborate to figure how this works over the years, still come up with only general methods of improving scores. The info is not foolproof, you gotta handle it quite carefully. Lots of people get bitten as a result, and people with great scores get denied credit cards... theres alot more to this than you see from the surface.

I've been lucky and my scores are damn near close to maxxed... I've just studied the system based on what info is out there. I cleaned up three really shitty credit reports to the point they are now spotless... but simply paying on time... over time... and actually HAVING credit accounts that you maintain well... is what gets your scores up there... I got that info straight from Fair Issac, the FICO people.

research - http://www.creditboards.com
facts from the horse itself - http://www.myfico.com

Dont close accounts.
Dont EVER pay late.

Got negatives on your report? You'd better do your homework before you make a single move to correct them.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 7:48:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BeetleBailey:
Question:

My oldest (first) credit card account charges a yearly membership fee (because it was my first one). I don't use this card any more and would really like to eliminate this yearly fee, but would it be better to hold onto it since it will essentially hurt my credit a little and since we will be looking to buy another house at the end of the year?





Beetle in your situation what I would do would be to call the credit card company and threaten to close the account if they don't take the member fee of and see what happens. How much older is that card than the rest of your cards? If it is less than 6 months olders, then I would, just say to hell with it and close the card.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 7:49:37 PM EDT
I killed about $12k worth of them in a day onetime, just called and canceled.

Now Im getting 3 offers a day, better then what I had
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 7:50:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/16/2006 7:52:08 PM EDT by www-glock19-com]
I had a whole deck of cards with $0 on them closed them all but 2 my FICO jumped about 30 points Im 805 right now
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 7:50:44 PM EDT
Who needs credit when you can have assets?


Net worth, the higher the number, the less you need a fico score.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 2:47:23 AM EDT
You gotta have 2 or 3 credit cards. Part of your score is credit history, if you dont have a history then you get a low score. Too many cards hurts cause you can flip out one day and get $100K in cash advances and skip the country. Also is the ratio of credit card balance to credit card limit. The higher the ratio the worse your score, e.g. almost maxed out is bad. This topic comes up frequently on one of my favorite talk radio shows clarkhoward.com/
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