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About hdporter

  • Birthday July 16

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    Marietta, GA


  • Member Title
    They Call Me "HD"

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  1. You now have my mind toying with the possibility that the hologram serves "double duty" ... in addition to being a security device, it might serve as a bit of a personality test; with classifications of those who see an eagle vs. those who see a dove! 😎
  2. Well, Bev and I are in a bit of a pissy mood Tuesday ... had to call and cancel this cruise, which departs Friday. Bev has experienced Covid/flu symptoms since the 17th. Based upon past infection experience (vax's not withstanding, we're both 3x losers on the Covid front) we fully anticipated the illness would run its course and she would be sufficiently hale for embarkation on the 29th. Unfortunately, as of today, she's still suffering modest fever/chills, as well as continuing nausea, and sharply reduced appetite. Troubling is that she's also suffering lightheadedness when on her feet for more than 5 minutes, to the extent of starting to black out if she doesn't immediately sit. She's been in bed about 18-20 hrs a day, sleeping through about 14 hrs of that. As an after-thought, ran a Covid antigen test yesterday, which was negative .. likely too much time passed since the symptom onset. Thinking about going in for a PCR test, but that an issue logistically given her condition. And, in any case, I'm not sure it matters whether this is a Covid or flu episode.
  3. I'm chiming in belatedly. I'll give you some overall feedback. Some is consistent with that of others; some different. Take this primarily as added food for thought. Ultimately, your gut will guide you in the manner that best works for you. (Of course, please follow with any questions.) It's very encouraging that PenFed is willing to providing financing, at whatever terms they were willing to extend. It means that you have at least a viable alternative and aren't starting that search with a "dead battery". Because I fear that the addition of a new auto loan payment is going to squeeze your ability to further pay down your credit cards, I suggest that you defer that purchase/finance transaction as long as reasonably possible and work to reduce your utilization across the board. Here's what I propose: -- First, minimum payments to all debt except those with fees. The total effective APR's (incl fees) on these cards are obscene. Prioritize they're payoff and closure ASAP! Closing these accounts will reduce your available credit by about $8k-$9k. The impact on your utilization is significant, but isn't likely to make a real difference in how lenders view your credit. Hypothetically, if you achieve 75% with these lines intact, after they're removal you'll be around 82%. (As I said, not an insignificant difference, but unlikely to make or break a lending decision on its own.) -- After the fee cards are "handled", target any payments in excess of minimums to getting each individual account utilization under 70% (target 69%). You can apply payments as you judge best suits you. -- Once you have your balances capped at 69% of your credit limits, I would suggest it's an appropriate time to move forward with that auto loan app. I'll stress that on manual review, your repayment activity will put a positive spin on whatever FICO you're currently at. This won't get you a better rate than your FICO alone qualifies you for. But if upon application, your lender has any marginal concerns about the loan, getting your utilization from above 90%+ to 70% in a relatively short period of time (say, a year) is a "feather in your cap" that I wouldn't hesitate to tout as evidence of your conviction to get your finances in hand. -- Assuming you're successful with the auto acquisition, I'll suggest that 70% revolving utilization might be a reasonable point at which to reduce that utilization to under 50% by seeking a debt consolidation loan. I have in mind a loan of $16k-$20k, a term of 3-5 years, with proceeds spread amongst all your balances, which should realize a significant FICO bump. You may be challenged in the approval of this second loan, as a consequence of the debt load of the new auto loan. But it's well worth the stab; if you're successful, this could significantly accelerate your path to a prime FICO score in time. As I suggest, this is merely a little spitballing to throw some possibilities up on the board for further thought. However you proceed, best regards! --
  4. There is such a wide diversity in the CLI practices of issuers that I'm not inclined to alter my natural use of a card in order to curry "CLI" favor, without direct demonstration that the action would help. My experience is that creditors like to see some recent activity (as little as a single transaction) in the 6 months preceding a CLI request, but few require monthly or semi-monthly use to consider a request. However, whereas some like to see at least 5% of the current credit line having been used, others are much more lax in their usage requirements. My advice is to simply use your accounts in the manner that is most advantageous to you. Perhaps mindful of a preference for some use in the prior six months, I advise requesting a CLI when it makes sense for you. If you're denied for a stated reason that references insufficient card use, you can take 2-3 months to establish the missing use and ask again. Bear in mind, cards that you're not inclined to use in the course of a year aren't likely ones that will grow appreciably with time and you may be best off focusing your efforts on enhancing portfolio quality vs quantity. (Mind you, it's beneficial to keep any card around once approved; you may want to relegate your management of the account to a small annual purchase to keep the account active.) No hard and fast rules here; YMMV; just sharing a little common sense credit management tips; other's credit mgt will differ.
  5. That's an impressive amount of retained age. While I never went the bankruptcy route, restrained finances nerfed most of my accounts 1997-1999. I managed to retain a 1986 Macy's, and we held onto my wife's 1989 Citi (earning them some undying love in my heart, inasmuch as they were willing to keep us on an extended hardship payment arrangement, suspending the credit line, but not closing the account). Amex proved to ultimately be the rock that anchored the boat, benefiting from "*Datage" to 1982 on two accounts that were subsequently opened. Rehabbing of my credit, beginning in 2004, has seen my avg account age resurrected to 11+ years. Those 4 "1980-era" tradelines pack a punch. My first opened account was a Sears card in 1981. I've sheepishly related here that I closed it around 2002 when they bumped the APR from 18% to 21.6%, striking back with my "claws" in response to my perception of having been singled out for unwarranted "adverse action". Of course, every single account was targeted with this rate action at that time. I've repeatedly kicked my ass for that blunder. (Unfortunately, I didn't discover CB until 2006).
  6. Time heals. You're well on the way to having a clean report; a huge reason to take comfort. Your situation points to why I insist on killing a small tree each year and have statements mailed to me. Receipt of a statement hits me squarely between the eyes and I ensure that I have an appropriate payment scheduled upon receipt. Technically, the same could be accomplished by email, but that involves far too much competing "static". I typically receive 5-20 USPS mail pieces daily; my inbox sees a daily volume of 50-100+. I periodically hit my inbox to scan back a week for emails that were "missed" in the clutter. (I'm astounded that AOL Mail has retained over 500k individual emails for me, at no added cost, going back to 2015. It's nice for when I'm feeling "nostalgic" ... or just feel like dredging up a little history )
  7. FWIW, I flagged this card's age as 1984 or before. I recall that my VISA was replaced with a card bearing the "flying dove" hologram about 6-mo to a year prior to a move in May 1985. (I was fascinated by that image when held under bright direct light.)
  8. I'm not thoroughly familiar with your current credit card portfolio. A card like this is good if you haven't established two or three cards, while starting out in your credit journey or re-building. But otherwise you should have your eye on higher quality fare and bumping up your existing CL's. I may simply have faulty memory. What advantage did you feel you gained by apping this card?
  9. I'm not about to argue that a "prybar" won't be useful in building credit limits. But I'll argue that it's just one aspect in the quest for higher limits. Over the long haul, the credit limits that will stick with you longest will be those that a increased through active card utilization. Such card use will typically make issuers amenable to CLI requests. This is particularly true if you predominantly PIF, or make substantial payments (say 5%-10%) toward revolved balances. Both signal that you can handle a higher limit and can incline an issuer to offer a higher limit so that you have greater capacity to use your card. I've stressed this as a reason that I'm disinclined toward "app sprees". I find it best to apply for a single card and focus use, to the extent rational, on that card over the first 6-mo to a year, seeking strong CLI's at permitted intervals. App sprees, on the other hand, risk accumulating cards with lower limits that go no where, pulling down your average credit line
  10. Just adding on to @MarvBear's sentiments ... @centex you are much missed! Know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.
  11. Now that's interesting because I haven't added the extension yet. I'm simply thrilled with the bonus point offers for card use that have come via email. After you log some time with it, please relate your experience with the browser extension. (My "go to" extensions are Honey and Capital One Shopping.)
  12. Makes sense: I took time to familiarize myself with the myFICO product you subscribe to. Yes, only the quarterly reports include the extended FICO score variations. All periodic alerts just cite your current standard FICO score. Only your quarterly report updates would give you an "apples to apples" comparison between score models. ------------ An added note: I don't recommend purchase OF ANY of the myFICO subscriptions: -- They're too expensive to justify a monthly, or even quarterly, report. Scores stay reasonably consistent over time and, absent a major credit event, tend to stay within a moderately close range over time (say, peak to low of about 40 pts). My advice is to manually purchase a score report when you either plan to apply for a major purchase loan (car/home), when you're aware of a major credit event (e.g. large credit repay or a new derogatory), or when a long period has elapsed since your last report (6 mo, or even a year). Consulting a report prepared in proximity to the event prompting it is more valuable then one received at pre-defined intervals) ... and typically cheaper too. You can get something like a $4 discount on a single bureau report (normally $19.95) by searching google with "myFICO discount").
  13. Here's the thread I recently updated ... see that last couple of posts: I'll note that the card has largely split away from its Sears/KMart origins. Of particular interest are targeted promotions (not everyone gets a particular offer) that are sent to your email. Many offers serve up point bonuses worth 5%, 10% or even higher against a specific spend. Points can be redeemed for gift cards, with my redemption favoring generic VISA gift cards. The point value seems like is must have been inspired by the Rwandan franc ... 1000 SYW pts = $1; I redeem 100,000 pts at a time for a $100 gift card). Similar to other Citi rewards programs, SYW points are managed on a separate website from the card account. The SYW program has piqued a bit of interest on the myFICO forum; it's worth perusing the thread there to read of people's experience and how they choose to best take advantage of the program.
  14. @TheVig: You impress as someone who will stoop down to pick up a stray promo buck on the sidewalk as you pass (admirable) ... so how is it you're not collecting SYW points? (Shop Your Way Citi card, Sears card related, but does not require Sears purchases or redemptions.) I'm cleaning up on $40-$100 in monthly VISA gift card credits on existing spend (as high as 20%+ "cashback"). If this is news to you, check my post on the subject.
  15. You may need to take another gander at these two credit scores: A difference of 100 pts is possible, but they usually are better correlated. I'm inclined to think that the cause of the difference between the two scores is that they reflect different CRA sourced data. (i.e. one is based on a Equifax pull, the other TransUnion). If that is the case, then you likely are more concerned with what CRA a prospective issuer pulls than what score they use. That said, both scores are respectable and you're unlikely to be denied by any issuer based on either of those scores. If an app is declined, it will be because of the creditor's own criteria and specific content on your report (e.g. Chase "5/24" rule).
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