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How to get to 800


Swan
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1st time poster. All the info on this site is fantastic!!!

I am curious what it takes to get up close to 800. First of all, does any lender differentiate between 720+ and closer to 800 for rates? I noticed on MyFico that the mortgage calculator has one category for 720 and above.

There are many posts that talk about how to improve low or mediocre credit scores, but how do you improve good credit scores?

My history (in case anyone cares):

sucked at paying all bills when I was in school and soon after. Did not pay credit cards, did not pay student loans, nothing.

This obviously put my credit rating in the toilet. No idea what score was because never checked. For over 10 years after that I used only debit cards, paid cash for used cars, and only rented apts so never needed credit.

Along the way I paid off some of the student debt. Morally this is good, but credit-wise in retrospect I should have ignored it all as it is all now expired.

A year ago, I decided I would like to buy a house and so went about learning what credit scores are, what mine was, etc... I think I had a few utility reportings and such but it was pretty much empty. There were a few minor derogatory reportings which I got removed. I applied and got Orchard secured card, then months later a Shell Gas Card.

Now my score has come from 500's up to about 730. Just got my first unsecured card: Bank One's Marriott Rewards card!! Also, wife is in mid 600's due to past debt consolidation/repayment. Somehow, she was recently able to get Gold Amex so she put me on that as well and it is reporting positively to my credit.

Unfortunately, I ended up buying a house when the score was in the mid-600's so I didn't get the lowest possible rate. Looking into re-financing now. Hence the reason for this post. Should I try to get higher score? What can I do to get higher?

Have no bad marks on credit history now

Some inquiries

six figure income

About $10K in total limits

$280K mortgage

credit card lines are obviously fairly new

Pay off total every month on every card

Use cards a lot: several thousand per month.

I am assuming that keeping the lines open will over time bring the score higher. Anything else I can do?

Cheers,

Swan

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Welcome aboard!

730 (if I'm reading your post correctly is a good score). Congrats!

FICO places a ton of weight on positive history. Once your accounts age, you'll see a gradual increase in score.

Keep your balances to below 30% of the credit limit. It seems you're doing this now by paying off your balances each month, but if it's not reporting that way to the CRA's (ie: they report the balance, then you pay it down), your utilization may still be showing a high balance to credit limit.

Don't apply for any new credit - hard inquiries will lower your score. Aparently FICO likes 2 revolving accounts, so it seems you have that taken care of. Your mortgage adds a nice mix into the equation as well.

You were correct in paying off your student loan. Only in rare cases are SL's 'forgiven'. They'll follow you forever in most cases.

If you have family members with good strong credit history, and low balances, see if they'll put you on as an authorized user. Find a company that reports an AU to the major CRA's, and make sure you're being put on as an AU - some companies will try to make you joint on the account - meaning you are now financially responsible for the debt. You do not need to be issued a credit card as an AU.

Keep up the great work!

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Hmmmm.....

Starting to think that the scores I got from non-MyFico source (can't remember who I got them from) a month or so ago might be wrong. As stated in original post on this thread, thought that I had about 730.

However, was just turned down last night for the Citi Platinum preferred that PFblog talks about http://www.pfblog.com/archives/000460.shtml. Well, not turned down, but got the online "we are not able to approve at this time" msg, which in my experience means "your rejection letter will be sent within 30 days".

Might have to splurge the $35 (after discount) for MyFico scores just to be sure. Anyone know what the FICO requirements are for that credit card? My household income is high enough not to be a negative.

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"Platinum" status is not just about score - it's about your entire credit picture. That's why legitimate Platinum issuers only go for the cream of the crop.

At the very least (from my past experiences with CITI), you can request reconsideration, and if still not approved ask what will get you approved, in which case they will again reconsider within 30 days of the rejection.

Unless they made a policy change within the last 1 1/2 years....

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