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  1. Okay, so at one point a few years back I had $110,000 of credit card debt. This was all from me being stupid since 18 when I was thrown a 30k credit line with no job and never learned from my mistakes. I'm now 32, have two awesome businesses that are profitable, but have never known what it's like to be debt free not even close to it. My problem is that I also have bad spending habits. I've never bought junk I don't need. But I do make my own hours and have sometimes put stuff on credit cards "in lieu of working a full week that week" thinking I'll just make it up another week. Never works. Long story short, I don't trust musket with revolving credit. If I sock drawer something, something always "comes up" and the easy thing for me to do is throw it on the card. I've brought my debt down to 80k and today qualified for 3 personal loans at decent interest rates (my score was a 670 because I have never ever missed a payment, it would have been way higher than that without utilization!). So as of tomorrow almost all of my credit cards will have $0 balances and I'll simply be making three affordable monthly payments each month to get myself out of debt in 3 years. I'm looking for some advice from you guys. My gut reaction is to close all of the cards except maybe one so that there's zero chance I make this mistake again. Or keep the cards open but ask for significantly reduced lines (30,000 down to 1500). I realize it will hurt my score but the alternative is me somehow wracking up debt again and not making good decisions. I'm 32 and would eventually like to get married some day and buying a house is up there on interests - I realize having a good credit score will help then, and I don't want to have any regrets three years from now when I've closed all these cards or no longer have a ton of outstanding credit available. Another option: ship the cards in a box to my parents house and tell them not to open it? Keep the credit, be unable to use it unless I really need it. Another thing I would like to figure out is monthly expenses. Swiping a credit card and getting a bill is never as painful as paying cash for something. Am I really going to have that $80 dinner if I'm going to have to drop 4 green bills on the table instead? So I've thought about going to debit card for everything, but I realize that's dangerous. Another option is to maybe keep my Amex blue cash plus but lower the limit to something like $1000 and make that my monthly "swipe card", and then use another card for auto charges which I keep sock drawered. Either way, I would like to avoid having more than $5000 of available credit unless dropping from $100,000 in lines down to $5000 would really hurt me. The cards I have right now, in case it matters: Amex blue cash plus Amex clear Amex Jetblue Capital one no hassle rewards Discover card REI US Bank Bank of America Platinum Chase Freedom Chase Southwest Barclay Card Ring So I'm debating closing them all or making some serious changes. Really want to be debt free in 3 years! Can anyone help with ideas? Thanks!
  2. Had a credit card with a huge balance. PIF today! I'd like to start using the card for daily expenses but PIF each month. Do I need to wait a full month before I can use it, or will the grace period kick in since I paid the balance in full? What's the best way to get it back to a "new card", where I'm not paying interest immediately on charges?
  3. The weird part pbarnes is that I got my statement for this month already and even though it shows my balance is $12,000 ($2000 over my limit), the minimum payment is only $196. You'd think they would have made it $2000.
  4. But that doesn't necessarily mean I would be approved for higher CL if I tried, right?
  5. I've been running close to my credit line on Amex for quite some time now. Credit line of $10k, each month I pay $1k to bring it down to $9k, and it goes right back up to $10k. Things have been a bit tight lately, but the interest rate is good and I'm happy with how my business is doing - so I'm not worried in the long run. However, this month I noticed that I was at $13k and climbing. Amex has been approving transactions even though I'm now $3000 over my credit line. Luckily, we're getting a huge payment this month so I'll be able to pay it back to under $10k without issue. However, what's up? Just for fun, I went into the "check spending ability" and typed in $3000 and it said it would be approved. They would really let me hit $16k when my credit line is $10k?
  6. Frankly, I'm addicted to gambling, and always have been. It's what got me in trouble in the first place. I'm good for years and then it comes back to haunt me. I've paid down a lot of my credit cards but I still have 3-4 with balances. Many of them are at $0 now. If I could do anything, it would be to close and cancel all but one card, and keep that card with a very low balance (preferably my American Express Blue card). This way, I don't have any open credit and I can just keep paying the cards off. I know it would hit my score but I don't care. Is this possible? Can I just close all of my old cards so I can't get myself into trouble during those "haunting" spurts? If American Express noticed I had closed all of my other cards, many with balances, what would they do?
  7. I've had risky credit for a while, but have been recently paying my balances down. Still, my $500 limit on my Blue Card was getting annoying, as *all* my other cards were sockdrawered. I thought I had paid down the balance enough so I requested a re-allocation from my clear card which had about $10k available on it. Denied. My "risk factor" was too high. So then I applied for a CLI online a few minutes later and was approved..... Quite confused. No to transfer as I'm too risky, but yes to CLI?
  8. I have a great credit score, as I've never missed a payment on any of my cards, but I've had a decent amount of debt for 10 years. It was well over $90k at one point, but I've been slowly paying it down and it currently lives at about $65k. I'm a responsible person and I've always planned on paying the cards down as best I could until they were at $0. Most of my credit card companies appreciate my hard work. Discover called me last month and offered a refund of a few months of interest and a lower APR if I increased my payments slightly. I did it. I have about $30k to put towards my debt at this point. Originally, I was going to simply pay down the highest card first and then move on to the next. However, an idea came to mind of negotiated payoff amounts. Now first of all, this is all debt that I created and I know it may be a dishonor to myself to pay less than I actually owe. However, I know that once I have less debt, I will be able to contribute more to my business and be a more productive member of society without the stress of making the minimum payments AND paying for business expenses. So plan and simple: should I follow my original plan, or should I ask if any of my creditors would be willing to (perhaps) knock off the last year of interest in exchange for a total payoff? I'm not asking for a reduction in principal... that I wish to pay in full. Any thoughts/experience? FYI, my FICO is a 700 because I've never missed a payment, even though I have a high DTI ratio.
  9. Hmmm. I don't mean keep the old blue cash. I mean keep my existing blue "regular" versus converting.
  10. Thanks for all of your help. Sounds like the two cards I should carry are Discover and Amex Blue. Clear and capital one look to be 1% cash back across the board no matter what, so I'll sock drawer those. So now the question remains: is there *any* reason why I would want to keep the regular Blue and not convert it to at least the everyday? Got my blue in 2002 - not sure if I'm grandfathered into anything - but it seems to only offer 1 point per dollar, and a $10 gift card costs 1000 points, so essentially 1% rewards...
  11. Okay, I could do that. I also have a capital one no hassle rewards card - I only want to carry two cards so it really is between amex blue / amex clear / discover / cap one rewards. Are you saying to carry the discover and one of the amex cards and sock drawer the other amex and the cap one rewards? I thought people liked capital one? Sorry for the side track.... Still interesting in hearing what the consensus is between amex blue / clear and if blue is the way to go, whether to convert my current blue card (about 10 years old) to blue cash.
  12. The Amex Blue is paid in full. The Clear card has a small balance that I will pay off in the next week. Discover is paid in full. So essentially, whatever card I pick, I'll be starting with a 0 dollar balance. You like the Amex better than the 5% cashback Discover? The thing I like about the Discover is that very often, the specials apply to restaurants/hotels. If I converted a card, it would likely be my Blue to Blue Cash preferred. It wouldn't be the best idea to convert the Clear to Blue Cash and have two blues.... Any argument for going with the Clear as my primary?
  13. Howdy, As mentioned in the past, I racked up a decent amount of debt in College for valid reasons I won't discuss. Last year, I noticed that it wasn't going down very quickly. I was making enough money to pay the balance down (over time) without issue, but also wasn't always saying "no" when I wanted to make a purchase. At the same time, I was starting a new business and really putting money into it to see it grow. So I cut up all of the cards so those spontaneous purchases would no longer be an issue. This way, I didn't cancel any accounts, but didn't run into trouble either by paying cash. Fast forward to now - things are more stable. Business is on track, and I've played a lot of catch up. I want to switch back to putting all of my monthly expenses on one of my cards. Problem is, as they've all been mostly sock-drawered, I don't know the benefits anymore and don't know which one is the best fit for me now. I can't decide between American Express Blue, American Express Clear, and Discover (the 5% cash back one). I have a great credit history, have never paid late, etc. so the Clear's benefits of no fees doesn't really interest me too much. However, I do like that you get the 1% cash back auto-card delivery... but don't you pretty much get 1% worth of points with the Blue? I've also thought about asking to convert my Blue (regular) to Blue Cash. Not sure if that's allowed. So in essence, should I make my primary card Discover or American Express, and if I choose the latter, should I go with a Clear or Blue? And if I choose Blue, should I ask to convert it to Blue Cash? Again, I already have all of these cards in my sock drawer, so it's just about picking the one I'll be carrying in my wallet from now on and using for every day purchases. For what it's worth, I do tend to travel a lot, buy plane tickets, stay in hotels, etc. I also do grocery store things. I don't own a car, so gas isn't helpful, though I do rent cars so perhaps additional protection would help there. Thanks for any insights. -Matt
  14. Saw that. So looks like I'm SOL. They said I could re-apply and try to get the better card, but what the heck will that do? Considering either closing the card without activating, or just activating it and sock drawing it to allow the AIRTRAN credits to have 2 year expirations versus one.... that's a nice benefit in itself, no? Mad I can't get the super good points though and $50 certificates. Now that I have the ding on my report, thinking about doing an app spree, but meh - don't need the credit - just a good card.

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