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  1. VantageScores are products of VantageScore Solutions. FICO scores are products of Fair Isaac Corporation. Going to CK, Mint or a CRA isn't going to get you the answer you're looking for. Going to FICO to ask about your VantageScores isn't either. Even going to the company that produces the scoring model won't. They're not going to explain exactly why you got the score you got. Any model is evaluating the report data as designed. Whether or not that design is relevant is an entirely separate matter. It's really up to you to carefully review report data from before and after the scoring change to determine the cause(s). For FICO you'd probably find plenty of help here to determine report data changes that led to a score change but most will consider worrying over VantageScores to be a waste of time and effort for reasons already stated.
  2. Here's another thread on page 2 of this subforum as of my reply and this is just one of many examples: https://creditboards.com/forums/index.php?/topic/616378-um19-point-tranunion-drop-from-a-pull/
  3. I avoid letting stuff like that accumulate. For Kroger and other stores that require a card "for low prices" I use an alternate method like punching in a phone number as plan B. Plan A is to just avoid such stores to begin with and hit stores that offer low prices without requiring a silly card. For the punch cards, every shop I've hit that uses them will consider 10 cards with 1 punch each the same as 1 card with 10 punches (or any other permutation that gets you to 10 punches total). No need to carry such cards all the time. Even when traveling internationally I only carry ~3 credit cards. If you want to carry everything you're going to end up with a lot of bulk no matter what you can do. The least bulky option would be an elastic band.
  4. You don't have just one real score. There are many scoring models used by creditors. It's not fake/real that matters but relevance. If you intend to apply with Creditor A who uses CRA 1/model X then only the CRA 1/model X score will be relevant in the credit decision for that product. Other "real" scores aren't going to be relevant. Even with FICO there isn't just one scoring model. IIRC FICO 8 is still the most commonly used model but it is definitely not the only FICO model used by creditors. You cannot use a score generated by one model to determine a score generated by a different model. Same applies with CRA. You cannot assume that a score generated based on data from one CRA is going to be the same as a score generated based on another CRA's data even if the model is the same. If you want to know what your TransUnion FICO 8 is then you have to pull your TransUnion FICO 8. You cannot use a TranUnion FICO 9, an Experian FICO 8, a TransUnion VantageScore 3.0, or any other permutation of CRA/model. Different models evaluate report data differently and they're not designed to mimic each other. Even if they are you can't use them that way as the algorithms aren't going to be the same. For rebuilding purposes you don't necessarily need scores but if you don't have a good grasp of how the data on your reports impacts your scores then you may want to track your scores. If you have derogatory information then it's pretty obvious that the derogs need to be addressed where possible. If you have high revolving utilization it's obvious that you need to get that utilization down. That doesn't cover everything but even if you have a good understanding of the impact of report data it can be handy to know exactly where you stand with specific scores. How often you get your scores is for you to determine. If you're learning then seeing how your score changes with your report data changes and aging could be informative. If you're applying for credit and you aren't able to make an educated guess at where you stand based solely on report data then seeing the score a creditor would pull for you could be helpful. I get FICO's from my creditors and I look at them each time they are updated even though I have a fairly good understanding, am not rebuilding and am not seeking new credit. If I was applying for a mortgage I'd probably want to pull my mortgage scores. However, I haven't pulled scores for auto loans or credit cards. Again, your call to make based on your needs and preferences as there isn't a single answer that best suits every person out there.
  5. In addition to the above, you can look at your reports to see how your cards are reporting. Scores can be generated at any point in time. The score on a given date will reflect whatever is on the report at that point in time. Your scores will never reflect current balances as reports don't have access to current balance. They can only reflect reported balance. Creditors report to CRA's. CRA's do not access your account information such as current balance.
  6. IMO people tend to fixate too much on usage a bit like they tend to fixate on inquiries. Usage can play a part in some cases but it won't overrule one's credit. A creditor's decision isn't made solely on potential usage. The primary consideration is risk of default. That's why derogatory information weighs so heavily and why utilization also plays a significant role. Those are considered to be major risk factors.
  7. I don't have a link or anything but any time a site's search feature doesn't work for me I use a site restricted Google search. For this particular case I'd use these keywords: alliant hack site:creditboards.com
  8. Not if you leave (i.e. carry) a balance. Be aware of the difference between having a balance report and carrying a balance. You don't have to carry a balance to have one report. If you pay the statement balance in full after statement date & by the due date then a balance will have reported on the statement date as indicated above.
  9. Income verification is standard industry practice even though it is not performed on every credit card customer. AmEx is not unique in verifying income by a very long shot. The difference with them is they have typically used the 4605-T for income verification.
  10. You don't get the CRA's to update. You get your creditors to report. Contact your creditors and see if they will perform a midcycle update.
  11. Yeah, there is not high likelihood of getting approved for all of them. You definitely want to read up much more before assuming approval likelihood. Credit seeking activity and new credit certainly matter, though, as others have said, it sounds like you're wanting approval instead of information. If you're just going to do what you're going to do then by all means go ahead and see for yourself.
  12. A month is no time at all. You definitely need patience when it comes to building credit. Stop applying for now as it's not helping your situation.
  13. The hype doesn't matter. Whether it suits you or not is what matters. Look at your spend versus the bonus earning categories. Do the math. Figure out what sort of redemption value you can get per MR point. Consider whether the benefits would be of use to you. Some find it worth it. Some do not. Just as with any other card, it's not a one-size-fits-all matter. We can't get much per MR point (whereas we can get much more per UR point) so it wasn't worth it to us past the first year. Your results may differ. You may want to do your research on an actual computer versus your phone.

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