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Personal Finances / Credit Cards and Consumer Debt


Subject:  Re: New here! Have questions! Date:  5/6/2013  12:23 PM
Author:  aj485 Number:  306971 of 312293

Now I am more informed, THANK you. This is the kind of information I needed.

You might also want to go look at the myFICO site about credit scoring to get additional information: (Just don't sign up for any of the 'free' credit scores being offered, unless you are really diligent about cancelling free trials and/or you really want to pay for the product that they are offering to get the 'free' score.)

So, going forward, should I wait until my score increases and add a card, or request a credit limit increase on an existing card, to help boost my score? Credit Karma website shows I could increase my score by 35pts or so, by getting a credit limit increase of just $200-$300. Also, the same boost for adding a card with a $500 limit. Either/or??

Well, there are credit score hits for each inquiry for new credit, either opening a new card, or increasing a current line, and there are hits to your credit for having new accounts. And you didn't provide us with what CreditKarma said your increase would be if you just paid off your current balances. I suspect that the increase in your credit score from adding the new credit is due to lower the overall % of credit used, not from actually adding the new credit.

So, I would suggest that first you pay your current balances off and start using the cards for no more than 10% - 15% of the available credit. Then confirm that those new lower balances are what's being reported, and see if there is a credit score improvement. After that, check to see if the advice from CreditKarma is still that you could increase your score by adding new accounts and/or getting credit limit increases.

It's a process that will take time, especially since you have a recent BK. Some things on your credit report that impact your score are only improved by increasing the number of months that you continue to pay as agreed, or by increasing the number of months since the derogatory event (like your BK discharge) occurred. So don't try to do too many things at once, without confirming what the impacts to your score actually are, if your score is what you are worried about.

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