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Everything posted by mpacuk

  1. I would plan for something else to do after the museum... Cooperstown is a pretty boring place. They do have Brewery Ommegang which does tours and sometimes has concerts, so depending on when you're planning your trip you should see if they've got anything going on.
  2. Bob (and others), Since you like making Master threads, and you probably have most of this information lying around anyway, I was wondering if something could be compiled regarding: "What it takes to keep dormant Credit Union accounts happy" Many members on this board have accounts at many credit unions. I can't imagine every account at every institution is being actively used, and they all seem to have different requirements to keep from being charged inactivity fees. I was recently given the opportunity to join NFCU, and I only set up a Share Savings. I do not have any immediate use for the account, but you never know. In an effort to keep them happy, I've combed the documentation that they mailed to me. It looks like they impose an "Inactive Member Fee" each quarter after 12 months of inactivity and less than $50 in the account. In this regard, I was hoping we could put together a simple list, like this: NFCU Dormant Account Fee: $3 How to Avoid: Maintain $50 in the account, or have an additional Navy Product. Alliant Dormant Account Fee: $10 How to Avoid: Have any activity other than dividend payments within 36 months.
  3. Just got my summary for my mortgage App, and here's the reported ranges: Transunion (Classic 04) [309-839] Equifax (BEACON 5) [334-818] Experian (Fair Isaac V2) [320-844]
  4. The PenFed Platinum Rewards also does 3 points for groceries.
  5. I've noticed several times now that you refer to the 4 major credit reporting agencies. So... Who's the fourth? Is it Innovis? I recently joined a credit union (SEFCU in Albany, NY) and they pulled my Equifax report upon joining, despite the fact that I was told they would not. A month later, I noticed the hard pull and was quite irritated. Luckily, I had a record of the online specialist confirming that it would not be a hard pull, so I went into a branch and asked them to remove it. A few days later, I received copies of the 4 letters sent out- one each to Experian, Equifax, TransUnion and Innovis. A few weeks later, CCMP confirmed the hard was removed from Equifax. So back to my question. Who is the 4th, and, more importantly, does anyone care about them?
  6. Simple Question, hopefully there's a simple answer. Is there any way to tell when you're due for your free annualcreditreport.com report from each bureau? I honestly just don't recall when I pulled each last year, and I'm not sure if there's an easy way to check. Thanks!
  7. If I'm reading this correctly: January's guess is 15-20 NY would be Friday (the 20th) To verify c* I would need to check on the 22nd? I'm still miffed by the backdoor, every time I try EQ they tell me to call... I'm not even sure when my annual report will be ready. I just signed up for USAA monitoring today. If I want to be agressive and do this in a month, should I go with C$ and MPM (or does anyone suggest others?) And should I wait to do those until the 20th?
  8. The old structure was something like, "earn 5% on gas/groceries/drug stores AFTER spending $6500/yr" You'd have to run some numbers based on what you expect to spend. The new Blue Cards are much easier to understand, if nothing else. If you do decide to do the switch, you should be able to get the same CSR to do the conversion, and move some of your Clear credit limit over.
  9. I'm pretty sure they won't let you convert the clear to anything anymore... It's stuck that way. If you end up going with the Blue/BCE/BCP, you can ask that they transfer some of your credit line from the clear over to the blue, making it easier to keep your util down on the card. Figure out how much you spend on groceries a year. The break even point (for groceries alone) on the Blue Cash Preferred vs the Everyday is $2500/yr (BCP = $150-$75AF vs BCE = $75). It might be worthwhile to use the Amex just for that, and the Discover for everything else. If you shop on Amazon a lot, the Discover has the benefit of letting you use any rewards points right at checkout, for any amount. Let's say you have $5.12 rewards cash, and you buy something from amazon for $10. If you use your discover, you can credit your rewards and only pay the remaining $4.88. The Discover More is also doing 2% back on utilities this year (Cable, Satellite TV and Radio, Phone and Internet) if you auto-pay with the Discover. Not sure if this helps or makes it more confusing, but there you go!
  10. I am debating taking advantage of the 1.99%APR car refinance with Alliant, and that will obviously affect my score with the new inq and loan. If I decide I want to app for a mortgage with them in the fall, and B* my inquiry off... do you think they will notice when they pull for the mortgage? Will that even matter? Also, is 6 months a reasonable amount of time to expect the score to recover? The loan officer said 740+ for the best auto rate, My EQ is in the 760's now.
  11. Discover will let you convert an existing single account to a full joint account (not just AU).
  12. I got mine at the end of sept. They didn't charge the AF and my welcome bonus was $100. My third statement just posted, so I have the points for the first two statements (due to the lag) and have already earned $75 in rewards.
  13. If you plan on getting a mortgage in 2012, the AAof A won't make any difference to the underwriter! NEW inquiries wil make a difference. Work on reducing debt, saving money prior to a mortgage application. PenFed will still be there for you after you get your mortgage FUINDED! In that case, is it possible just to apply to PenFed when I start mortgage shopping? I wasn't sure if there was a benefit to becoming a member earlier. I can always put off this card, like you said. I just figured if I was going to join, it would be nice to have something to show for the hard pull. It's my understanding that for a mortgage, lenders pull all 3 bureaus. I wasn't sure if joining PenFed and apping for a mortgage right away would hit 2 EQ inquiries, or if they would just use the same pull.
  14. My total DTI (im assuming it's based on pre-tax income) is 3%. As for the util, I PIF, I've just been lazy about letting the ideal balances post. I can shoot for that in January, it's a little late for this month. Opening a new card will cause my AAOA will drop about 7 months (from 3y9m to 3y2m). If I want to apply for a mortgage some time in 2012, will the AAOA hit be a big deal? Also, is there a certain length of time I should let the new card report before applying? I know "new credit" can throw a red flag, and I don't know when it is no longer considered new. If it's too risky, I can always put it off. I just want to get in with PenFed now, and it seems silly to not make the most of the inquiry.
  15. I've just heard a lot of people saying they have issue with new accounts (less than 6 months old). The Amex was opened in Sept, but backdated to 2008, so I'm not sure if they will view it as new or not. I don't want to take another hit later just to get the card, so i'm just hesitating on that point.
  16. Ok, so from what I read, PenFed will use the same membership pull towards credit products within 90 days. I was wondering if I should bother applying now, or hold out a bit. I'd like to have membership, just so down the line if I decide to app for a mortgage with them, I'm already in. The 5% gas card is pretty nice looking too. Basically, if I app for membership and burn an inq, I'd like something to show for it. Here is where I am: EQ Inq: 1, Alliant from July Last new Card: BCP from Sept, backdated to 2008 AAOA: 3 yrs, 9 months Reported Util: 13% EQ Score: 766 in August (checked myFico after Alliant inq posted) I know they don't like recent apps/new lines when applying for a card. However, the only line i've added in the last 2 years was the Amex BCP back in September, but it's backdated to 2008. My only INQ on EQ is Alliant (savings only) from July. 1) Do I stand a reasonable chance of getting the card now, or should i wait/do anything to increase my odds? 2) Does a backdated Amex "look" like new credit, especially if the INQ is not on the report being pulled?
  17. The rewards lag, but you can see a running total of what you've spent. My 3rd statement will cut in a few days, so i'll finally get the big points i spent before thanksgiving. They do give you a breakdown for your running totals of past statements though (even if they haven't given you the cash back for it yet). Click on the arrow next to your account to expand the window. Then select the "See How Much You've Earned / Track My Rewards" box. You get a nice little graph with category breakdowns.
  18. We don't take kindly to... er.. We don't take kindly to top posters 'round here.
  19. Bob, I feel a lovely little inverse relationship brewing here. When I'm alone with my spreadsheets, I feel like quite a nerd. Then I come to these boards, and I start to feel better.
  20. Mixed credit accounts for 10% of your score. Adding an installment account to your credit file will almost always increase the score if you don't have one. I wouldn't say it rarely impacts score. Yeah, that's where I was getting the "you should get an installment loan" from. So the other part of the question is- does it make much difference in score/manual review to just have a small loan, or to have a larger loan with a big chunk paid off?
  21. Interesting. I didn't realize they had such a small impact on scores. Would it still make sense to get the installment loan simply for some "proof of ability to pay an installment loan" when he does eventually apply for a mortgage?
  22. My friend is extremely responsible with money, but is a ghost when it comes to his credit. He would like to buy a house in the next couple of years, and i told him he needs to build up his report a little. Up until last summer, his report contained one item. He opened a single credit card with his bank years ago, but hadn't touched it in at least a year. The limit was only $500. Since he had a new job and higher income from when he initially applied, I told him he should request a credit limit increase. They responded that he needed to show 6 months of use before they would do that. I then advised him to try for a new card. Chase Freedom was doing the $200 cashback at the time, and when he applied they gave him a 7-10 day notice. I told him to call in, and they approved him for a $3k limit on the spot. He has been using the card very responsibly for gas, or whatever shopping he would otherwise do in the rewards categories. PIF, the whole deal. As for the original card, he says he buys his dunkin donuts with it. (Sorry to those of you on the West Coast, you're missing out) Now, he is in the market for a new car. He said he has the money in the bank to buy a decent car outright, but I suggested he App for Penfed (as they had the lowest rates I could find) and pay cash for most of the car, but finance a small amount (something like 2k over 2 years... the APR at PENFED is 1.99 if he qualifies). He has no installment loan data, and I thought this was a perfect opportunity. Much better than an unsecured loan. Does this make sense? Will the amount of the financing have a dramatic impact on his score? Would a small loan over 2 years be better, or would financing the whole thing, then immediately paying off 80% of it be better, showing lower util? I know ultimately it's all 6 or half a dozen... but I don't want to give him bad advice. The other reason i suggested Penfed was that people report them using the same pull for multiple products. With one card several years old (I dont know exactly) and the other only 6 months or so... would adding another make sense as not to burn an extra inq? Or do you think the AAOA hit would be too much? Any input is appreciated. I have him convinced I know what I'm talking about
  23. Man, if only I had some of those in a reasonable distance to my house! I use Alliant primarily for everything as well, and the last time I tried to deposit cash, i got up to the ATM and it said I couldn't deposit the cash. I called Alliant and they weren't able to help. The next day, the ATM didn't show up on their search anymore! I guess the good thing is that they at least updated it real-time. Still, that's awesome that you were able to deposit it that way. Hopefully I get a convenient location nearby soon!
  24. mpacuk

    Secured Cards

    After donating $45 to KPBS, I decided not to go through with it. My sister is actually moving back to NY and SEFCU (local CU here) has their own really good deal. I posted about it here: http://creditboards....howtopic=204683 They do pull Equifax, but said they only deny secured cards if you have a tax lien. And they only ask for an extra 10% of your desired CL. It looks like joining the New York Library Association will get you access, and they only require you to have $1 in savings at any time to retain membership. I live in the area, so i can't confirm that as a way in, but it looks like others have had luck. As you can see below, USECU wants to tie up more money, and I wasn't willing to do that just to get my sister membership, Anyway, this is an email I got from USECU, In order to open an account with us or take advantage of any of our rates, you do need to qualify for membership. Click here: http://www.usecu.org/home/cns/rat for current deposit rates. Our membership is open to all who live, work, or worship in any of the five counties we serve, including Alameda, Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Clara, or Yolo County. All of which are within the state of California. All accounts must remain open for at least 30 days to avoid any early closure fees. Please visit our website at http://www.usecu.org to see if you fall under any of our other categories for membership as well. We will run Chexsystems (soft pull on credit) prior to opening your new membership. We do require that you open a checking, savings, and Ownership Share account. So, the requirements are: $100 minimum opening deposit for Checking $25 minimum opening deposit for savings $5 Ownership Share account ( will be returned upon closure of membership) $10 one time new membership fee Account funding must take place within 10 days. You will also need to provide two forms of identification, one being a government issued photo ID. If your address is different from your photo ID, please provide address verification as well. You can print out a new membership application from our website and mail it back to: USE Credit Union Attn: Virtual Branch 10120 Pacific Heights Blvd Ste. 100 San Diego, CA 92121 Upon completion of these things, it is at the Branch Managers discretion if a new membership will be opened. If you plan on opening your membership through the mail, you will need to have the New Membership Application notarized.

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