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Best way to improve scores.. help

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I am 6 monhs Ch7 discharge and have 3 credit cards, capitol1, hooters, and HSBC.

Would another card help my credit or hurt it?

Someone metioned about going for a installemnt loan first, but another poster on another board said go for 1 more card.

Any Ideas?

Thanks

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Which score are you trying to improve?

Your FICO Bank Card score would improve if you had more CCs and carried around a 10-20% balance on each.

Your FICO Mortgage score would improve if you had NO CCs at all.

Your FICO new car score doesn't care much one way or the other.

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"...Your FICO Mortgage score would improve if you had NO CC's at all..."

I disagree. Where did you get this info?

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"...Your FICO Mortgage score would improve if you had NO CC's at all..."

I disagree. Where did you get this info?

The post BK7 plays into this. And, from personal experience. 2 years post BK7, our mortgage scores were in the 680 range, with no CCs. 3 years post BK7 with one sub-prime CC, or mortgage scores are in the 660 range. Scores pulled by same broker. Only difference between each set is CC and mortgage on second set.
I am try to improve my score when I pull my Fico score.
The scores you can see are closest to the FICO Bank Card score (what I call the "sucker" score). If you're getting your scores from any of the "credit puller" sites, then those are FAKO scores....again...closest to the sucker score.

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The post BK7 plays into this. And, from personal experience. 2 years post BK7, our mortgage scores were in the 680 range, with no CCs. 3 years post BK7 with one sub-prime CC, or mortgage scores are in the 660 range. Scores pulled by same broker. Only difference between each set is CC and mortgage on second set.

If all one cared about was the mortgage score (like me...), should one cancel all of the CCs one has? Would that cause a significant boost?

I know one of the lender requirements would be to see a number of tradelines that have been open at minimum 6 months, but generally 2 years.

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If all one cared about was the mortgage score (like me...), should one cancel all of the CCs one has? Would that cause a significant boost?
Its really tough to predict. If it were me, I'd cancel all but the "prime" cards with CL's in the thousands...pay them down to $0, and see what happens.

(Our mortgage broker said the underwriters she deals with prefer the borrower have little or no access to unsecured debt. They recognize that $2-4000 available for emergencies is a wise thing, but "store cards" and other sub prime cards imply "impulse" buying).

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Its really tough to predict. If it were me, I'd cancel all but the "prime" cards with CL's in the thousands...pay them down to $0, and see what happens.

(Our mortgage broker said the underwriters she deals with prefer the borrower have little or no access to unsecured debt. They recognize that $2-4000 available for emergencies is a wise thing, but "store cards" and other sub prime cards imply "impulse" buying).

That makes sense. I guess it pretty much depends on lender requirements.

Personally, I plan on going for "prime" cards after my BOA unsecures and replacing primes one to one with the low limits. I won't care about history at that point cause it'll be buoyed with the BOA, CJ and Macys. By that time the "credit crunch" will (hopefully) be well over. Which is why, right now, app sprees will be a waste of INQs.

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By that time the "credit crunch" will (hopefully) be well over. Which is why, right now, app sprees will be a waste of INQs.

AA, I wish you could knock that through the heads of many people on these forums who are STILL going on app sprees despite what is going on with the economy. People just don't get it. You're one of the smart ones. :)

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FICO itself publishes that the 'target' range of revolving accounts is between 2 - 4, for maximum points. Remember that this includes all revolving accounts, not just CC's. That advice, combined with wise usage/utilization (balances between 1% - 9% of the highest credit listed) provides the highest scores. This confirms my own research and industry experience.

AA: Closing accounts is strongly discouraged, especially prior to a major transaction.

"...And, from personal experience..."

Not to bust your chops WTG, but...emphirical evidence is very valuble but doesn't equate to absolute rules that apply across the board. Just because you didn't get a score bump WITH CC's doesn't mean someone else wouldn't. Since the scoring software is secret and so complex, it's best to follow the published data. A mix of account types, including some revolving accounts, is a known part of the scoring equation(s).

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Ahntara: I certainly agree that trying to predict FICO scores given either personal experience or published guidelines is questionable. The FICO scoring algorithms are, afterall, secret. The best us poor debtors can do is try to draw conclusions based on "black box" investigations...."push this thingy, and that whatsit pops out".

Personally, I suspect the published FICO "guidelines" are intended to be mis-informing. They generalize. They're directed at the "Consumer Score" (what I call the "sucker" score). They seem to be encouraging debt as opposed to managing credit.

Can you point to a public reference that specifically states how to maximize the FICO Mortgage score?

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AA, I wish you could knock that through the heads of many people on these forums who are STILL going on app sprees despite what is going on with the economy. People just don't get it. You're one of the smart ones. :)

You honor and flatter me, LB. Thank you, hon. :)

AA: Closing accounts is strongly discouraged, especially prior to a major transaction.

Well, I guess I can just permanently sock drawer those cards I'm not going to use and concentrate on my future PRIME cards. The history can only help me at that point.

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"...public reference..."

Off the cuff, for example:

The info on myfico.com, especially the information links.

The credit info at www.ftc.gov

www.msn.com. Liz Pullman Weston's column on msn.money (I think that's her name)

Methuss posted one of her articles not too long ago in the 'Credit Article of the Week' section of this forum.

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Have you ever heard of the "Waterfall" method of systems design? Its a technique often used by major corporations to develop a new computerized system. Its based on book written by an "authority" on such things back in the late 90's. The technique gets its name from the way a waterfall operates...you start at the top and everything falls down to the bottom. Because its a watefall, you can't go back up. So...systems are designed by doing "Concept Definition", "Systems Analysis", "Database design", "Program Design", "Unit Testing", "System Testing" and then "User Acceptance".

Viola. You get a new computer system.

The problem is....the author of that book was describing a methodology that was always doomed to failure. The waterfall method of systems design doesn't work.

Unforturately, some folks (most notably Cheif Information Offices if some government organizations) didn't bother to read the whole book. They in turn wrote "directives" for their staff to follow that said "Use the Waterfall Method".

In my opinion, the "public references" you mention suffer from the same misunderstanding. The myFico site does indeed imply that for certain types of credit approval, having open, balance carrying credit cards may improve your score. Lots of other "authorities" have latched onto that (including the FTC) and intrepreted it to mean "utilization" helps your score.

I, for one, don't beleive it.

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Okay. You're entitled.

And no, I haven't heard of the waterfall method but can agree that much of American corporate policy/SOP is (extremely) flawed.

My experience differs from yours. I did the research at those sites and many others for many years. (I did qualify that those were off the cuff. Actually, they were off the top of my head)

I've found through over 3 decades of experience that the advice is accurate and applies in a general way to most consumers & situations. I also (very much) value emphirical evidence and have added oposing data to my own knowledge. I have no problem saying, "THIS is what is recommended, but some consumers have found THAT to be the case...". What I have a problem with is someone saying, "THIS is my experience, THEREFORE - THIS is an absolute rule..." and, by implication, that "...You will definitely experience THIS also...".

An example of this can be found in answers to questions like "which score is closest to the one that mortgage lenders use?" Someone posted that they had purchased their myfico.com score on the same day that their broker pulled a mortgage-skewed score wholesaled only to professionals, like BEACON 5.0, and that the two matched exactly. They went on to post that their experience 'meant' or 'proved' that the two are the same, as in - use of the same software to calculate the score. That's not true. The fact that it's not true is absolute. That doesn't discount the consumer's emphirical data about his experience, but it's not proof of a principle. It was only his experience, YMMV. The same applies even if several people have the same experience. In general, most consumers would see a difference in scores, but some MAY get the same #'s. It's the old math rule, prove an equation false one time and you can declare it false. But to prove it true, you have to prove it over and over and over.

Just to sum up...I believe that carrying the FICO-recommended target range of revolving accounts, with appropriate Age, positive History and proper Utilization will yield maximum points to the score used by the mortgage industry. I back that belief up with research from easily available data and my own personal & professional experiences. YMMV, but, generally, it's best to go with that advice.

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Just to sum up...I believe that carrying the FICO-recommended target range of revolving accounts, with appropriate Age, positive History and proper Utilization will yield maximum points to the score used by the mortgage industry. I back that belief up with research from easily available data and my own personal & professional experiences. YMMV, but, generally, it's best to go with that advice.
Okay, I'll agree with that. And, I too have been arguing that coincidences happen when scores are pulled, and, it is therefore impossible to generalize.

As a general rule, the guidelines published at http://www.myfico.com/CreditEducation/ImproveYourScore.aspx are good for most people. Those of us post BK may want to consider having NO unsecured credit when applying for a mortgage.

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My question still is I have 3 credit cards an no house mortgage I rent. What would be the next type of credit I could obtain to increase my scores. By scores I mean my Faco or general Fico scores.

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