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  1. I've wondered for a while how mortgage brokers make money when purportedly refinancing mortgages without charging any fees. Or they charge a fee and then waive it. I presume they get some arbitrage by borrowing wholesale at a lower rate and then lending to me at a slightly higher rate. But here's another. Just recently I read in the fine print in my refi documents that the default Title search / insurance company and some other company was owned by a trust, set up for the benefit of the brokerage's owner's children. 👯‍♂️
  2. Strange. I make less than you, have similar credit scores and until recently higher utilization and I've got $19k credit limit on my citi DCB. They've given me one or maybe two increases over the years without me even requesting it.
  3. sounds like you figured out the strategy here
  4. To save you a click, The #1 reason from the article is not having a Certificate of Eligibility certifying you are eligible for a VA mortgage.
  5. I'm thinking about refinancing if interest rates get down a bit lower. Currently I'm at 4.75% and hoping for 3.75%, so I'm trying to be ready for if/when that is possible. My current Equifax FICO® Bankcard Score 8 is 765 according to my Citibank Costco card which provides this score. It says my "Proportion of balances to credit limits on bank/national revolving or other revolving accounts is too high " and "amount owed on revolving accounts too high." I have two cards running about $20k in balances on 0% balance transfers which is why it says this. 1. I could take a 401k loan and pay off all of these cards, and then I'd be paying interest to myself. If I did that, would it improve my credit score and get me a better interest rate? Would this likely mean I'd end up getting a better mortgage refinance rate? Do 401k loans count towards your credit card utilization? Would it even help me at all to have a higher credit score than 765? 2. I'd like to apply to three different places to see who can get me the best rate. I have maybe 25% equity. Where should I apply? I'm thinking about Costco Home Finance and my local credit union. Any other places I should look?
  6. My family was expecting to stay in our house for a long time, so I wasn't overly concerned about my credit score and I have ~$20k on credit card 0% balance transfers, because hey, it was zero percent. Well, things have rapidly changed and we are now looking to move. My FICO score as reported by Amex and Citibank is in the 760 range, and they say it isn't higher mostly because of my utilization (and having opened a few store cards lately, because hey, I didn't care about my credit score.) Now we are looking to get a significantly bigger mortgage. I can sell some stuff and get around that $20k. Should I use this money to a) pay off the credit card balances, and increase my credit score?, or increase the down payment on the mortgage? I would likely not have 20% without this extra money and would have to pay PMI. So, restated, which is better when getting a mortgage - a bigger downpayment or a credit score moving from 760 to near 800? Some have told me a better credit score doesn't matter if you are already over 750. Is this accurate?
  7. Are there any credit cards that will get me better than 2% cash back on doctor, hospital, dental, or orthodontist bills? What's the best way to maximize return on these kind of expenses?
  8. I'm looking to buy a refrigerator and the one-year warranties kind of stink. My Costco Citibank Visa adds two years to the warranty, which is a bit better. Are there any cards that give better than 2 years additional warranty? Also, how does it work if your manufacturer's warranty expires, but you want to use the credit card extended warranty - does the CC company pay for the original manufacturer's service? Or do they contract it out to some no-name company?
  9. What card do you use at Costco instead? I don't know of anything that beats Costco purchases 2% back and Costco gasoline with 4% cash back.
  10. If you applied online and were approved, you can go into a Costco warehouse and go to their temporary credit card kiosk, and the guy there can print you out a temporary number to buy stuff at Costco warehouses until your card comes in. You don't have to wait for the card to come in the mail.
  11. False alarm - I got an email today saying I was approved, $9200. I had originally applied on the website using my phone, which didn't function so well (slow and buggy), and when I finished applying it told me it would take some time to get my response, but I didn't get any email acknowledging that I had applied. So I applied again when I got home, and I got an email saying they were considering me. Then I got the rejection email, which I'm guessing was for my second application but not my first application. So lesson learned, only apply once and don't do it on your phone.
  12. I was also declined, and I have, according to Citibank, a FICO score of 803. What??? I already have a Citi Double Cash Back which I use a lot, and a ThankYou Preferred that I hardly ever use. Creditkarma says they pulled Equifax. Citi won't tell me the reason I was rejected until I receive a snail-mail letter explaining why. Any tips? Any bk? Burned them in the past? Utils? What other tl Citi do you have? Never a BK. Only have the two Citi cards, DCB and TYP. Never burned them unless you count getting a $500 signup bonus and then never using the card after that. The balances on my Citi cards are very low, but I have other bank cards with balances, all in all about 30% of my limits.
  13. I was also declined, and I have, according to Citibank, a FICO score of 803. What??? I already have a Citi Double Cash Back which I use a lot, and a ThankYou Preferred that I hardly ever use. Creditkarma says they pulled Equifax. Citi won't tell me the reason I was rejected until I receive a snail-mail letter explaining why. Any tips?
  14. I have been thinking about this lately. As long as they have fixed rules, reverse engineering can be done. You just track score changes as single variables are changed (Science!). Its a big project, but a community like this could get it done. They might not have fixed rules. I'm not saying they do this, but it is conceivable that they partially randomize the effects of changes on your credit score to foil people such as ourselves trying to figure out their algorithms.
  15. Ohhh. I knew the CreditKarma credit score was fake, but I didn't know that the insurance scores on CreditKarma are also fake (not the ones they give to insurers.) Thanks for clearing this up. Does anyone know if there's anything you should do to increase your insurance score that is different from your credit score? I assume there's something calculated differently because they are different scores. edit: The article says: "For example, payment history makes up 35 percent of FICO's credit score; amount owed is 30 percent; length of credit history is 15 percent; and new credit and mix of credit are each 10 percent. That pie is sliced another way for insurance scores. Payment history accounts for 40 percent of the score, while mix of credit is reduced to 5 percent. The rest is the same."

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