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  1. Thank you for directly responding to the question I asked. It indeed MAY require a real estate loan to qualify me to be dropped into whatever the next highest bucket happens to be. Because my history is otherwise spotless, my CU is diddly, my AAOA is 8+ years and I have only one hard pull on one report within the past 12 months (and equal-or-better scores on the histories that have reflect any other inquiries within the past 2 years), I'll just have to determine an opportune time to do so.
  2. With respect to cards showing a balance, whether or not all or none of the accounts have shown a zero balance at any particular time, my score according to both each bureau's own public scoring schemes and FICO haven't changed. Only when I've accrued a disproportionate balance on a single card or a substantial aggregate amount each month has it ever influenced any of the aforementioned. Having compared my most recent Experian summary to one from six months ago, what I see is entirely different from what you describe. Not only does the "Average Age" directly correlate to the active revolving accounts only, but two positive tradelines (a prior installment loan and a closed credit card) have since "aged-off" after their ten year duration without affecting the AAOA whatsoever - and both were considerably shorter in overall term of existence than my AAOA. Go figure.
  3. I had one inquiry from the prior year on TU - and 2 and 3 on EX and EQ respectively due to brokerage accounts that didn't do soft pulls. TU was hit the hardest, but there was no new inquiry made of TU, only EX for this loan. Ironically, EQ was always my weakest by a few points as it doesn't reflect all of the tradelines of the others, but it was affected the least. None of the 5 CC's show any appreciable balance each month. We deliberately use them to sustain activity - and reported balances can vary depending upon when they're reported versus when they're paid, but they're usually at or near zero. Never more than 1%, with an aggregate CL of $130K (50/50 to spouse and I as joint account holders). The closed accounts do not reflect in any of the computed AAOA terms I've seen from any of the bureaus. Conversely, each corresponds exactly to the ages of the open/active credit card accounts ONLY. The AAOA computations do not include installment (car) loans. Why would paying-off a car loan in full have any effect whatsoever upon utilization? Because a great many people who were oh-so-fat, dumb and happy in 2008 woke-up to find themselves and their 700 scores with their life choices abruptly and drastically reduced when the financial marketplace rewrote rules and standards without first bothering to seek their permission. It didn't just affect "wants". It hit a lot of people squarely in the “needs”. Many who believed a particular credit score to be a guaranteed assurance of on-demand cash or credit enjoyed a rude effing awakening. And it would be stupid of me to assume that just because I happen to own my home that I can automatically convert it into liquid cash if I ever needed to – or that I’d want to sell it if I couldn’t. It’s the same reason a college education and saving money are so valuable – whether a body has any particular field or something to buy in mind. It preserves life options which not even the most financially independent or secure people can be certain of freely determining for themselves all the time – and being able to do so matters most when they're suddenly and arbitrarily limited by others or circumstances beyond their control. Running a 4-minute mile doesn’t matter if there's only 25 seconds to flee the center of a ½-mile blast radius. Some people slide through life just fine on the 80/20 rule, but it’s the 20% who have options remaining when the other 80% suddenly don’t who have their ducks in row. Usually, that’s the lion’s share of the difference that distinguishes the people most others aspire to be from those who think, “I wish I were so lucky too.” Noah built the ark BEFORE the flood.
  4. I've got a real poser on my hands. I can't get beyond the 750 "hump", and every time I try I mouse slap myself down a bunch of points. I have 12 tradelines, 5 active credit cards, 3 closed cards, 1 active auto loan and 1 paid in full. I know a mortgage would help, but we own our home and don't need one. I hosed myself last year by paying-off a new car loan that was only 6 months old. It actually UPPED my AAOA, but it apparently hit the number of active positive tradelines and my score dropped by several points across the board. So, the opportunity to buy another new car last week (at 0%), so I figured I'd finance it for 3 years, deal with what it did to my AAOA for as long as it was open (my AAOA is about 8 years without it), and use the additional positive tradeline and amount ($18K) to boost my overall profile. I even managed to get the financing done with a single pull from a single bureau - and I was approved as a prime borrower, but my score took a HUGE hit across the board with the new loan. What gives?
  5. You know, it's not the cost of procedures that's so ridiculous. It's the entire nature of the healthcare system - the unconscionable presumptions and liberties it takes. I went to an ER when out-of-town because I was afraid I was experiencing DVT after an 11-hour flight. I specifically asked the clerk who collected all of my information and obtained my consent about the billing costs and what each item would cost - both as a general estimate and each item BEFORE it was administered. The clerk offered to me a pay on-site program whereby "everything but E.R. doctor's fee" would be covered for a mere $175.00. "SOLD" I says, after asking what the E.R. Physician's fee would likely be. I was told "about $100 or so," and that I'd receive a separate bill for the doctor later. Again, fine by me. Fortunately, everything was negative and I was discharged in 1/2 hour with no further treatment required - except for the coronary I had when I received the $364.00 E.R. doctor's bill. I cried "foul" but as told by the E.R. doctor's billing service that they're not responsible for promises the hospital makes - and the hospital denies ever having made any representations as to what the doctor's fee might have been, and that it's up to the doctors anyway if even they did. In what other parallel universe would this kind of rationale be tolerated by anybody anywhere - while either party reserves the right to ruin my credit if I don't just pay-up. It was only after discovering that the E.R. physician's group was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the hospital itself (and contacting the doctor directly through Facebook) that the doctor's office suddenly had a similar "in cash" discount to offer. Now, almost 2 months later, I receive ANOTHER bill from a Radiologist I never saw - who never saw me. It's for $70. I'm afraid I'm going to receive another bill from the janitor some day because I took a dump in the E.R. men's room. Of course, the radiologist wants "his", and whatever the hospital promised me isn't his problem - and he's not the hospital's problem - nor is what the hospital originally told me. And again, I have to pay up - either in dollars or FICO points. In what other place is such open-ended charging permitted, even when a patient seeks to establish the charges in advance - so he can make the simple and informed choice to say "no thank you" if they prove to be too excessive? It's not the price of healthcare that's the problem - it's the nimrods who run it. It's like car salesman who spin all manner of absolutely senseless horsesh*t and expect it to be accepted as gospel
  6. I'm buying a vehicle in the next day or so, and I'll be buying another in about 2 months. I don't NEED to finance, but given the access to free money in an economy ripe for inflation and a devalued currency, I'd be foolish to not borrow as MUCH as I can, whenever I can. Here's the deal (or deals). I'm a "Tier 0" borrower (in Fordspeak), meaning I'm eligible for their most favorable rates and terms. On the other hand, my wife and I will be looking to buy a new home next year, and we want to be sure we're as well-positioned mortgagewise as possible. I'm self employed and do well, but my wife's would have to be considered our primary income. Our theory is to segregate our debt oblgiations whereby I will borrow on behalf of our vehicles, and she will borrow with respect to the mortgage. (My income isn't relevant to qualifying for a mortgage, and my wife's income isn't necessary to qualify for auto lending). The challenge for me is that the first vehicle I'm buying has NO promotional financing terms or rebates. (It's a high performance specialty car). Therefore, while I'd like to use the opportunity to establish another positive trade line and would benefit from additional cash flow, I'm likely pay market rate for auto financing (figure 6%, because I'm a shareholder in the automaker and loyal to it - and that's their prevailing rate). The second vehicle will likely have some form of promotional financing terms offered at the time, so I'm more inclined to borrow more. BUT, what I don't want to do is have the FIRST loan compromise my qualification for the SECOND. Again, qualifying for neither wouldn't affect my ability to purchase, but it's certainly something I want to take advantage of if I can. At present, I'm in the high 700's with virtually zero CU (of approximately $60K in credit card capacity). I have NO other debt obligations, period - and I've managed to reduce the number of hard inquiries to 2-2-3 on my TU, EX, and EQ (by virtue of a car loan taken last year that's since been repaid and hard inquiries from brokerage firms who haven't yet converted to soft inquiries for account verification). While I'm a strong qualifier, the second borrowing opportunity is clearly the more important to me - and while I want to make the most of BOTH, I don't want the first to disqualify me from the second. Am I better-off borrowing a nominal amount for my first loan (monthly payments of less than $300) and presuming I'll be able to finance the second as is most advantageous, or should I forgo the first loan altogether and ONLY borrow for the second? I know this may all seem convoluted, but it's a shame we have to actually figure-out ways tactical ways to borrow money to strategically maintain our credit rating - lest we ever find ourselves in a position of "not qualifying" due to the prevailing criteria of the day. In fact, having so little debt and borrowing so infrequently is our single-largest credit profile challenge (and may it always be so). Nevertheless, I'd appreciate any insight from experienced F&I personnel who may be able to guide me - or at least offer some perspective as to if and how I might be affected or anything I can do to best prepare. Thanks.
  7. Well, I finally figured-out the cause. I apparently dropped from 1% CU to 0% which, in the eyes of TransUnion's FAKO scoring algorithms, actually downgrades the scoring for that particular aspect of the account. It's apparently the fourth-best classification behind those whose CU falls in the 1-20%, 21-40%, and even 41-60% range. Go figure. I s'pose I'd better get off my backside and start running up a small balance for absolutely no reason whatsoever, just to prove I'm creditworthy.
  8. I've been a TrueCredit subscriber for a couple of years now, and my FAKO scores have always moved reasonably and proportionately to the actual credit activity on my account. Suddenly, with no rhyme nor reason, and with NO negative activity, my TU FAKO dropped by 59 points. In fact, the ONLY difference from the previous day's report is that a department store card which normally has a zero balance reported a $53 balance due, but the account is on-time and reports as such. My CU is < 1%, and there are no other factors to which I can attribute the sudden change in score. There have been no new inquiries, tradelines, or any other changes than the $53 of revolving debt (with about $600 being reported as used of about $60K available). Might this be a one-time anomaly? I'm only SO concerned because this is TU's scoring of its own data. Before I pull a myFICO to see what my scoring of the same data reads through another lens, I'd appreciate knowing if anybody else has experienced something similar, with no apparent cause. Thanks.
  9. You might be correct if your presumptions based upon whatever you've experienced or heard were universally so. They're not. I signed no carte blanche conset, and given that this particular dealership doesn't have a discrete F&I office to which wall would the disclosure have been affixed, none was implied. And on the off-chance that I hadn't already mentioned this previously, credit was never to be part of the original transaction - and it the deal had been done without it. It was ONLY when I noticed on the dealership's available incentive report (which is generated for each customer and verifies any model, region, and person-specific incentives for which a buyer is qualified) that Ford Credit was offering 0% financing did I specifically state that I would like to finance the vehicle under those terms. The only credit-related document I signed was the Ford Motor Credit Loan Application, which I happen to have in-hand. It's relevant ONLY to financing applied for or obtained through Ford Motor Credit and gives nobody ANY authorization to anything else. I've also reread every other document I signed (which I ALSO happen to have in-hand), none of which included any such consent. Why not? Because that consent would be obtained on a document that exists solely for that purpose - and it was NOT included in the paperwork because the transaction had reached the point of completion on a cash basis. WHY did the dealer proceed to submit loan applications en masse to all the lenders they do business with? I can't say with certainty. For the one of the same reasons I'm not going to sign Chase's Affidavit of Fraud, I'm chalking it up to procedural error. What are some common reasons OTHER dealers might have done the same? There are many - including perhaps what may have been larger incentives or commissions payable to themselves for originating the loan. Instead, I'm choosing to believe whoever processed the loan applications simply took it as one of a stack of many he may have been processing and presumed because I had applied to Ford Credit, the dealer had also obtained my consent to apply to them all. After all, it wouldn't be at-all uncommon in a dealership where these things happen behind a massive raised area staffed by 6 or 7 "managers" whom I never spoke with and who never spoke with me. So, while I appreciate your well-meaning interest, there's really no need to try to explain to me the car buying or financing processes - or to hypothetically debate how the dealer might have had authorization they didn't to seek loans on my behalf they weren't authorized to apply for. Having qualified as a "Tier 0" (Ford Credit's most favorable credit classification) as would have been necessary to obtain the terms of the loan I've since repaid, I was not and would not have been denied. How could the dealer been trying to look out for my best interests when the only terms I would borrow under - and the loan I had qualified for - were at 0%? I don't know and I don't care at this point as neither are relevant to removing the inquiries at which I've partially successful thus far precisely BECAUSE the dealership hasn't had a carte blanche authorization with my signature on it or a sign on the wall to point to.
  10. As the obvious remedy, that was my first course of action - and they were non-responsive. I then contacted the chief executive and received a reply from their counsel, sent to all of the lenders and CRAs, requesting the inquiries' deletion on my behalf. Unfortunately, for some lenders and CRAs, it's just not that simple - as some have their own additional procedural requirements (like this baloney affidavit) they like to follow, which don't change their obligations under the FCRA one iota. Chase and Citizens seem to be the only hold-outs - but I'm far from done with them.
  11. For those who may be interested, here's the document in question. (And thanks to the previous respondent for the heads up).
  12. My motives aren't entirely altruistic, but you're welcome. I must have missed something in the translation. "B*"? At the end of the day, I expect to have 8 of 9 - and perhaps even 9 if I manage to push the right button at Chase and circumvent their horsesh*t affidavit - which I suspect has as much to do with clerical fear and apathy as immovable obstacle.
  13. As an update, I've just received notice that one more inquiry has been removed from TU, leaving Chase as the only unauthorized inquirer left on the my TU. 2 have been removed from my EQ, and I've received notice from EX that they cannot process any of the deletions without a specific letter of authorization from me permitting them to do so. Gotta love bureaucracies, right? I've already sent my authorization to them and have my fingers crossed for further good things from them. That leave 5 of 9 unauthorized inquiries that formally gone, and hopefully 2 more once EX receives my "authorization". Chase is really making me mad. They're insisting I sign a very ominously-worded affidavit that speaks of the matter in terms of "fraud" and "forgery", neither of which I allege. I provided them with a notarized alternative - that paralleled their affidavit and stated the facts of the matter rather than making conclusions or allegations, but they won't accept it. They claim the affidavit is only for their internal use and would never be disclosed to anyone to which I called "bullsh*t" - no organization retains ANY notarized document EXCEPT for the EXPRESS expectation of eventual disclosure. They further claim that my signature on the Ford Motor Credit application authorized the dealer to seek credit on my behalf elsewhere - something it doesn't do in either spirit or fact. And when I shifted the burden to Chase and demanded that they proffer to me my express authorization, their response was, "That's something we capture electronically that the dealer provides FOR you." So, theirs is the convenient position that I must prove God DOESN'T exist. I countered that absent my signature, and that their "policies" don't supersede the FCRA, but I'm talking to a brick wall, only slightly less smart. I'm going to continue to fight, but 2 years may pass before I bring Chase to its knees. The other recalcitrant lender is Citizens Auto Finance. A well-meaning representative was kind enough to give me near-daily, "Just letting you know we're still working on it" calls and emails. Unfortunately, 2 weeks later, the word came down from on-high that "Credit bureaus NEVER remove inquiries...". I countered that I would have been notified by Citizens within 20 seconds (rather than 20 days) if such a thing were so unheard-of, and I provided them with copies of daily change snapshots of my credit summary depicting the other inquiries being rescinded as they happened. The Citizens representative seems to genuinely WANT to help, and without knowing whether I'm being "good cop/bad copped", I'm going to give her (and her supervisor) a chance to make good. After all, if they're claiming willingness - and trying to blame the CRA, what harm would a little letter do? I even mailed to them a pre-addressed postage prepaid envelope to the CRA as to not give them any further excuse for noncompliance. At the end of the day, and as a matter of principle, I'm not willing to libel the car dealer just to get one inquiry removed (or get myself sued over it) just to satisfy Chase. I'll let the requisite agencies know of its non-compliance (as everybody has a responsibility to do - lest the conduct be indulged any further), but I'm hopeful that I will have 7 of 9 removed without much further effort, and perhaps even 8 if I happen shame the right Citizens' rep appropriately. So, having crossed the half-way point, I just wanted to touch base for the benefit of anyone who may be following along and wondering whether or not they're likely to be successful in trying to remedy a similar problem. Even if it doesn't yield a point jump to every score, it could be invaluable in helping to PREVENT one if I should find myself in need of new credit in the near future. P.S. For what it's worth, various scoring models DO seem to take into account multiple installment loans that may be sought in the same day - understanding that rate shopping is an inherent part of the process. Of course, this depends on the scoring model, relevant facts of the circumstances, and - as always - YMMV.
  14. Not yet. Doing some more potential due diligence before firing-off what's likely to be the one and only salvo I'll be able to launch - including weighing whether or not it's likely to ever be relevant to me given its age and unenforceability. Like some moles, it may simple be benign and worth living with rather than paying to have removed. In particular, I'm also waiting to see the effects of some MyFico predictive modeling upon my Equifax score MyFico's simualtor is predicting - which would be a HUGE jump to my EQ score by virtue of 3 months more of on-time payments. It's strange because it doesn't make the same predictions of my TU FICO score, which is marginally higher at present. Perhaps it's either anticipating older, shorter-term accounts falling-off, inquiries fading into irrelevance, or my AAOA increasing to a critical threshhold, or other combination of factors that may be meaningful. The only reason I lend any particular credence (for the time being) to the predictive modeling is that MyFico actually has access to its own formulae to run them against. What's odd is that both list "Short Account History" as a negative consideration despite my oldest tradeline being 21 years 11 months and my AAOA being 8 years (for both reports). An interesting note is that MyFico's scoring actually takes into account same-day installment loan inquiries attributable to interest rate comparisons when buying a car, for example. Despite having 3 inquiries on my TU, all were pursuant to the same car purchase and were factored as a single inquiry for scoring purposes, whereas I have 2 inquiries on my EQ - but since one was from an auto lender and one from a brokerage firm, they're being counted as 2 inquiries with a resulting penalty (and perhaps being scored using a different scorecard). Although I don't attribute the lack of transparency in scoring models to anything malevolent, it's still maddeningly frustrating that there's no way to predict the precise effect of certain credit decisions, particularly if you happen to be at or near any particular scorecard or bin threshold. The one additional step I will be taking is asking the brokerage to rescind its inquiry given that it made a hard inquiry when merely verifying my identity rather than evaluating an application for credit. The worst they can say is "no", right?
  15. Thank you for your perspective. I do appreciate that certain lenders may perceive them differently - if at all - although they are beyond enforceability, I don't understand what impression I made that my FICO scores don't matter to me or that I don't know them with precision. However, because many lenders use custom scoring products derived by the same folks who bring us FAKO, that may already bias aged leins or ignore them, FICO is not the end-all-be-all either, despite being unable to derive whether or not the lien is affection them, because the only bureau that self-limits unpaid lien reporting is unavailabe via FICO. Thank you.

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