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One card said that my score has dropped due to no info from recurring payments (No mortgage payments, no car payments, etc)

That's the 'mix' of credit types issued. You can provide that mix by getting store cards and other types of accounts, not just mortgages or car loans.

Therefore, to get 'credit' I'll have to pay interest?

Not necessarily, it's possible to get 0% car loans, for instance.

Have I ever said that I believe the FICO should be spelled SCAM.

Why is it a scam? There's lots of documentation on how the scoring is done, and how to improve your score. With scores above 800, I'm not sure why you're so worried about your score.

The same card also said 'due to payments made in a non-agreed manner'. Since I've been traveling, I've paid some expenses up front - I knew that I'd be charging $2000 so I paid that in advance. I also paid some in the middle of the pay period (again, in advance). I'm ASSUMING that this is the 'non agreed manner'?.

I don't know if your assumption is correct - you'd have to ask the credit card issuer. That said, in your credit card agreement, there is probably a prohibition on paying more than you actually owe on your credit card at the time you make the payment. If your credit card agreement has that prohibition, and you paid anything before the charges were actually posted to your card, then, yes, you probably breached the agreement, and would be considered to have paid in a non-agreed manner.

Here's the back story on why paying more than you owe on your credit cards is prohibited: Credit card issuers have found that scammers were pre-paying credit cards with payments that bounced after they were given credit for the payment. Before the payment bounced, but after they were given the additional credit over and above their credit limit, the scammers were using their cards for amounts higher than their credit line (often for cash advances) because they had the additional credit that was given for the payment that would bounce. The scammers were then walking away from the card. Credit card issuers decided that they didn't want liability over and above the credit limit that they had approved for the borrower. Therefore, many credit card issuers prohibit paying more on your credit card than the currently posted balance, and some issuers are also more aggressive about declining charges that will put you over your credit limit, rather than approving them and charging you a fee.

AJ, you suggested paying weekly as a means to prevent the percentage from going over 7%? That MAY not work, since the user 'agrees to pay during the payment period'?

Yes, I am suggesting paying your current balance weekly, where 'current balance' means that you have made charges to the card, and that those charges have actually posted to the card - not that the charges are just 'pending'. If the charge has already posted to the card, it's part of the current balance, so you aren't paying 'in advance'. It's only if you are paying before charges have posted to the card - when they are pending, or before you actually make the charge, that it's considered paying 'in advance' and likely would be a breach of your credit card agreement. I

The credit agencies can 'see' my bank account info, they KNOW the liquid assets I have.

Sorry, that's just flat out wrong. Credit bureaus do not have access to your bank account info. They only get reports from your creditors on your credit accounts, NOT on your deposit/brokerage accounts. Contrary to another somewhat popular belief, credit bureaus also don't have any information on your income. While you may fill out asset and income information on credit applications, that information DOES NOT go to the credit bureau. It goes to the lender to whom you are applying for credit with. The lender DOES NOT share that information with the credit bureau - they only use the information to determine if you are qualified to get the loan. If you are approved for the loan, the lender will likely start sharing information about the loan with the credit bureaus, but it may take up to 3 months before the new loan will appear on your credit report. If the lender pulls your credit, the inquiry is likely to show up within a few days.

I requested a credit limit increase from the two CCs. One denied it out right, perhaps because I don't actively use that card? The other said 'we'll get back to you in 24 hours'...

Why did you ask for the credit increase? Did you ask why it was denied? And please remember, if you allowed them to pull your credit, your score will probably take another hit. That's why I specifically said:

If you need to use more than 10% of your credit limit on a monthly basis, but you still pay off your cards every month, you can get into the habit of paying off your credit card balances each week, instead of each month. That way, the maximum balance that will be reported will be lower, so it will appear that you are using less of your credit limit. From a credit scoring perspective, that's probably a better option than asking for a credit limit increase, since the inquiry to increase your credit limit will negatively impact your score for up to 2 years.

Again - note that 'credit card balances' means that the charges have actually posted to your account - not that you are pre-paying before charges have posted.

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