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Everything posted by MB82x

  1. It sounds like a dumb question - but there seems to be a lot of chicken and egg stuff going on here. Or maybe it's cart before the horse? I've never owned a vehicle before, and still don't. But that's going to change in the next week or two. Because I've never owned a car, I've never had auto insurance. But when I ask questions about buying a vehicle, people tell me to get insurance first. Makes zero sense to me. What vehicle am I going to insure, the one I think I might buy? What if I don't buy it? There's test drives. There's inspections. There's negotiation. What I do have in order, I have a tidy sum set aside as a ~20% down payment, and more than enough in financing approval from my credit union to cover the balance. I'm confident I can go in, and make an offer for the vehicle I want, and afford the monthly payment. Of course, I still want to lowball and shave $10-20/mo off the monthly if I can. The confusion for me comes on the order in which things need to happen. My credit union wants a copy of the title, purchase agreement, insurance binder, title application with CU listed as lien holder, and insurance binder. So far I've done a lot of research on vehicles, built up some pretty strong brand biases, test drove a couple, and ran approximately 972 insurance quotes though GEICO. Figured out which cars were cheapest to insure, and which ones met my needs. I have a rough idea of what insurance will wind up costing me. I'm thinking my next steps are this: 1: Choose a vehicle I like, negotiate on the price/conditions, and reach an agreement I'm happy with. 2: Sign purchase agreement, and ask for both a physical copy, and a copy sent to my email. Also get a copy of title application. Leave the check for my downpayment. 3: Contact my insurance agent with the VIN, and start coverage ASAP. Get copy of insurance binder. 4: Forward all the information/documentation to my credit union. They, in turn, send the financed portion of the purchase to the dealership via UPS overnight. 5: Once that's all done, and the cars are plated, I'm ready to drive off in my vehicle. Right? I'm worried about a few things... 1: writing a $5000ish check for downpayment, then having something go wrong with the insurance or financing, and not being able to get my money back once I signed the agreement 2: the amount of time it takes to get the insurance going and the financing to the dealership might kill any current end-of-month/end-of-quarter negotiating leverage I might have 3: while I've researched prices a good deal and know the value of things and what to look for on cars, I haven't found much information on the actual closing process - I don't want my naivete to wind up costing me money, or to make me come off as a sucker to the car salesmen. 4: At any point during the closing, looking/sounding like I'm not sure what comes next - and losing control of the situation. Anyone willing to help a rookie out?
  2. I’m a bit late to this thread, but the topic does hold some personal significance to my current situation. I’m 38 and never drove outside of a few hours here and there when I was 17 or 18. Tremendous fear and anxiety kept me from getting behind the wheel. Some 20 years later, I’ve decided it’s far too detrimental to my life goals/happiness to NOT drive, and as such I’m working on getting my license. The license getting seems like small potatoes next to the whole car buying process. I mean, I’ve never done this before - so I’m trying to research financing, insurance, vehicles, safety features, all while trying to conquer one of my greatest fears. But Insurance? That’s one of the big mysteries for me. Being a new driver, I know my premiums are going to be high. I can handle high. Fair is fair. But some of the quotes I got are not just high, but absolutely ludicrous. $600, $700, $800 a month? I make a respectable salary, but I can’t justify that. These quotes are from companies like Progressive, Geico and Liberty Mutual. AllState gave me a quote for $200/mo - which is doable, but the agent also noted that quote would have to be “approved by someone higher up”, because she was “giving me a break”. I can keep shopping around, but it’s hard to determine what I’ll actually have to pay for insurance. What if the $200/mo for AllState falls through, and I can’t get anything under $500/mo? It’s pretty confusing on how to go about this, because: 1: I can’t have a car without insurance. 2: I can’t buy insurance without a car. 3: I could conceivably be priced out of driving because the insurance is just going to be too high. It’s not that I have a bad driving record. It’s that I have NO driving record. For me, going to the dealer and having options for insurance on the table would be immensely helpful, because it’s super daunting if you’ve never dealt with it before.
  3. Depending on your spending habits, it may behoove you to change your Amex Blue into a Blue Preferred, which carries a $95 annual fee. 6% back on groceries 3% back on transit, gas, and ride shares 6% back on streaming services Also, when I made the switch, they almost immediately gave me a massive CLI, and have given me a handful more since then. Currently, I have a FICO in the 700-730 range, and my credit limit is $8000. It was only $1000 when I first got the card, in 2018.
  4. Not at all. But from a practicality standpoint, I don't really know of a card I have a pressing need for. I already barely use my Discover and CapOne cards. Barclays covers Uber & Restaurants, Amex covers groceries and some streaming services. Chase covers Amazon and Drug Stores. I haven't come across another card that would be used for anything other than buying a bottle of water once a month or so. I definitely did it within the past few months. It wasn't a simple button push though - you had to send them a secured message, requesting your limit increase.
  5. Hmm, that's too bad - not really sure it makes sense for me to have another CC at the moment. The rewards on Barclays and Amex cover like 90% of my spending outside of rent/utilities. The process is made worse now that I can't seem to request CLI online anymore, and have to call and talk to a person. "Why do you want a CLI?" "Uh, because I make a respectable salary, always PIF and on time, have a 740ish credit score, and compared to my other cards, $1000 is laughable?" I don't think that would fly though.
  6. I've recently become keenly aware of something regarding my credit, and thought it might make a good discussion. Simply put, I have five credit cards - and some of the issuers seem to be in love with me, while one seems to hate me. Others seem indifferent. Going back about two years ago, I had no active credit cards. At some point in 2017, I started applying for cards - and got the following over the subsequent year and a half. Capital One: $1000 (sometime in 2017) -> 1100 (3 months later) -> 1600 (Feb 2018) -> 4600 (July 2018) -> 5600 (May 2019) Usage: I tend to use this card to make larger purchases that I need sooner rather than later, but might want to gradually pay down. As such, this card will typically have my highest utilization. Overall, I swipe/use it pretty infrequently. Oddly enough, I got turned down for a CLI right before the most recent increase for having my average monthly payment be "too low". Then I made an $800 purchase, paid off $600 of it, and got a CLI shortly after. At first, this was my everyday "default" card - but right now I seldom have a reason to use it, as Barclays, Chase, and Amex get 95% of my action due to better cash back perks. Chase: $1000 (Oct 2017) Usage: This is the weird one for me. I'm pretty sure they hate me over at Chase. Like they're convinced I killed their dog. When I first got the card, I was using it almost everyday because I worked in a chain pharmacy that shared a building with a Whole Foods. So I had 2% cash back at work, and 5% cash back on the market next door. It was basically my meal ticket. And my snack ticket. And my bottle of water ticket. Sometimes I hit high utilization on the card, but always paid it down. Then I quit my job, went to greener pastures, and stopped using the card so much. Maybe 5-10 times a month on average. I've never paid late. I've periodically have asked them for a CLI, always when utilization is low, and each and every time the answer has been a "no". Discover: $1200 (Nov 2017) -> 1700 (Feb 2018) -> 2100 (Aug 2018) -> 2400 (Feb 2019) Usage: Ah, Discover... the card I have because... well... because. The rotating 5% categories are nice, when I remember about them. All in all, I seldom use this card. Mostly, I just use it to keep it active when I remember it's tucked in the back of my wallet. I'm guessing I might get an auto CLI in August, based on what they've done so far, but who knows. American Express: ??? (1000, summer 2018) -> $2500 (by end of 2018) -> $6500 (Feb. 2019 - coincides with me upgrading card to "Preferred") Usage: I can't remember all of the early details on this one, despite it being my newest card. I went from using it regularly for the 3% cash back on groceries, to almost every day when I started working in a grocery store. Shortly after I started taking advantage of the 3% cash back more frequently, they offered me the Preferred card for $95/yr, but with a 6% bonus. Did the math, and it made sense. Once I upgraded, they more than doubled my credit limit. Barclays: $1000 (spring 2018) -> 2800 (Aug 2018) -> 5800 (Jan 2019) -> 8800 (Jul 2019) Usage: I typically use this card at least twice per day, as it pays for my trips to and from work. Initially, it was very tough getting this card. I got denied my first attempt, and recon failed. Second attempt was another denial, but I got in on recon. Since getting in, they seem in love with me, giving me three substantial CLIs in just over a year - none of which I asked for. So some if this is bewildering to me. Barclays and CapOne seem to like me very much. Amex too - though I'm curious to see if the recent $4000 CLI was because of my product upgrade, my sudden uptick in usage, or something that was going to happen anyway. Wondering if I should expect another Amex CLI next month. Discover and I seem equally indifferent towards each other, as if we're just going through the motions, kind of like a dead marriage. No major reason to stay together, but not worth the inconvenience of breaking it off. But Chase. Chase just seems to hate me. And I'm not really sure why. I've been a frequent user. I've been a responsible user. But they don't trust me with what seems to be more than the bare minimum. Is it possible that I'm doing something that Barclays, Amex, and CapOne all love - but Chase looks at and says "yeah, no... hard pass"?
  7. Thanks - I found the Amex answer - didn't see anything for Chase. Looks like I probably should have asked Amex for 3k, not too huge a deal. But I guess I need to wait another 180 days before asking again. Oh well!
  8. I didn't find an answer in that thread.
  9. I got auto-increased on the following cards within the past couple of weeks: CapOne: from 1700 to 4600 Discover: from 1800 to 2100 Barclays: from 1000 to 2800 Feeling good about myself, I asked Amex to increase me from 1000 to 2500, which they did instantly... should I have asked for more? If so, how long should I wait before asking again? I also have a Chase Amazon Card with a 1000 limit, which I would like to increase. How much should I ask them for? Income is approx. 50k/yr - FICOs are all 690-710 - account was opened October 2017
  10. Hi all. I have a general question regarding requesting credit limit increases. When requesting an increase, is there a guideline to know how much we should request? Logically, the lower the increase you request, it should be more likely you're approved. But you risk leaving potential credit on the table. On the flipside, if you ask for too much, you're more likely to be denied. Would the CCC counter with a lower increase? I recently had several limits automatically increased, CapOne from 1800 to 4600, Discover from 1700 to 2100, and Barclays from 1000 to 2800. I decided to poke Amex, and ask them to increase me from 1000 to 2500 - and it was instantly approved. Getting the instant bump sure was nice, but made me wonder if I should have asked for more. I also have a Chase Amazon Prime Card which has yet to get any love, and it's one I swipe almost every day (I work in a pharmacy, near a Whole Foods... 2% back at the Pharmacy, 5% back at Whole Foods), so I regularly make heavy use of my $1000 limit, and pay it down every month. I'd definitely like a CLI on this card, but from what I can tell I'd have to call and talk to a person. How should I know what I should ask for?
  11. In the past two weeks, friendly letters from a few of my CCCs, stating they're upping my credit limits... CapOne: 1800 -> 4600 Discover: 1700 -> 2200 Barclays: 1000 -> 2800 Amex/Chase still at 1000...
  12. Are the bad accounts completely gone, as in removed entirely from the credit report, or are they just cleaned up to appear as good accounts? If the items are merely cleaned up, you might need to look at the details - sometimes things get overlooked. I had EQ reporting a charge-off a few months ago, but also had a letter from the OC saying the account was in good standing and not charged off. TU and EX fixed the issue very quickly - but it took EQ like 3 or 4 times to get it right. They kept leaving little hints that the account was once delinquent/CO'd in the details. Some discrepancy in scores is normal between CRAs - but there could also be differences in credit limits, utilization, payment history, etc, hidden in the details. Congrats on the removals!
  13. congrats!!!! recom with barclays is always worth a shot. FWIW, barclays has been very liberal with me. PIF is preferred by many issuers and your own long term financial strength Thanks! I'm still learning how to maximize/perfect my payment timing/method in order to maximize FICO and minimize interest paid. Typically I try to almost PIF a couple of days before the statement cuts, then pay the balance off once the statement cuts. Read somewhere, probably here, that I don't want $0 balances reporting, as it's not optimal. So if my statement cuts on the 16th, and I have a balance of $820 on the 14th, I'll pay $800 on the 14th, and $20 on the 17th or 18th. As far as Barclays goes - should I wait maybe six months?
  14. I got denied for the Barclays Uber Card w/ a 713 TU score, and ~15% total utilization. Some of my accounts are relatively new - approx six months old, and I had some lates on my oldest open account. Nothing very recent though. Called for recon, got a $1000 limit, not great, but better than nothing. I feel like it took every ounce of sweet talk I could muster to get what I got. They put me on hold a couple of times, and asked a few questions. When they finally agreed to issue me an account, it sounded almost like a reluctant "okay, what we can do is this..." They wanted to know: - Why the lates on the older account, I explained why - told them what I've done to ensure it won't happen again - Why so many accounts (three) opened in past six months or so - explained I'm trying to build credit, would have held off a bit longer if I knew the Uber card was coming ahead of time - Used that lead-in to explain exactly what I'll use the card for - dining, Uber, streaming services, cell bill, emphasized the card's benefits seem tailored to my needs So with Barclays, is it absolutely essential to never carry a balance, ever? Sometimes I'll pay like $250 exact if the balance is like $258.21 or whatever. The $1000 limit should be sufficient for what I'd use it for, but getting an unexpected decrease would make things tight/inconvenient each cycle. I feel like Barclays is probably not very liberal with issuing CLIs. Any advice on when (if) I should ask?
  15. Thanks! Just wanted to post an update. My EX and EQ scores both just update on all three statements. Discover actually posted at the $20 balance despite the statement cutting at $320, so there does seem to be a small window of leeway to address large purchases. YMMV of course, and I wouldnt call this reliable. It may not work for all cards, and the time it takes for payments to post seems wildly inconsistent in my experience.... Now if only TU would update to reflect these changes. Theyre the bureau I want pulled...
  16. The card I'm after is the Uber Barclays card. I don't "need" the card so to speak - but their perks and rewards system would save me a decent chunk of change each month, which is nice. I haven't asked Discover for a CLI yet, but they did just bump me from $1200 to $1700 without me asking, because I'm "so responsible" or something. I've only had the card since October. Go figure. I requested a CLI with CapOne a month or two ago, and they bumped me from 1000 to 1100, and just this week they bumped me from 1100 to 1600 - but I didn't ask for that one. Chase, I haven't looked into yet, beyond visiting their webpage and being led to a page that said "there's no current offers for a CLI" for me. Maybe if I call them, but it might be best to wait a bit longer. Thanks for the advice! I'll keep working on trying for more CLIs as time passes. Do you find cards that start small tend to cap out small? At some point, should I expect my CLIs on these cards to be more than $100-500 a pop, or will I need to explore bigger and better cards?
  17. Aside from the obvious "pay in full each month", what are some best practices to prevent high balances from reporting. Even paying in full isn't fool proof, as large purchases may need to be made at the wrong time. ​Case in point, I paid one card down to about a $20 balance, let it sit a few days, had to make a $300 purchase - which I quickly submitted a payment for (back down to $20 balance), but just saw in the app my statement cut at $320, despite my balance now being $20. ​Is that $320 going to be what's reported to the CRAs this month?​ That's a 18.9% utilization rate on that specific card, versus what could have been 1.2% by a matter of hours. I'm hoping there's some sort of delay here that benefits me, since it seems I made the purchase at the worst possible time. I realize this is typically not a big deal as long as you're able to make your payments and not out of control with your debt, but there are of course times when you want to have your utilization reporting at a nice, shiny 3% or whatever. In my case, there's a CC I want to apply for, and it's a little tougher to get than what I already have. With a good utilization, I think my scores may finally be over 700, and I just got some healthy credit limit increases this month (1200 -> 1700, 1100 -> 1600), which should help. ​Experian is (currently accurately) reporting one card at 65/1600. TransUnion is showing 941/1100 (last month's news). When should I expect TU to catch up? ​TU is the bureau I want to make sure is up to snuff. Right now it's showing: CapOne: 941/1100 (EX shows 65/1600, as per statement from 1-2 days ago) Chase: 451/1000 (is actually 19/1000 now, as per statement from 1-2 days ago) Discover: 351/1200 (is actually 20/1700 now, but statement cut at 320/1700 today... so we'll see?) CU Card: 906/4000 (is actually 867/4000 now, but they update erratically it seems...) Even with that high (36%) utilization, my TU FICO is 675. Looks at worst I can hopefully expect my utilization to drop down to 15.7% at worst, and 12.1% if I beat the buzzer with Discover (if maybe they cut statements, then later that day post to CRAs?), so I think I should expect a healthy jump in my score regardless. Hopefully to 700+. Going forward - is there a "best way" to manage this? Should I try to bump my statement dates up to the 20th for instance? I get paid bi-weekly, and typically do the following: Paycheck closest to the start of the month: pay rent, pay utilities, pay student loan. Rest goes to savings. Paycheck closest to the 15th of the month: pay down credit cards to a negligible balance, wait for statement to cut, then pay in full. (I obviously wasn't as on top of things last month, but please not that I was not "late" on payments, as those balances were accumulated after paying in full the previous statements). Mostly just looking for any good methods/habits people have, or insights into when exactly is the best time to pay down those balances. Thanks!
  18. What was the reason for denial? The letter actually listed four reasons, some of which seemed odd to me: - Insufficent number of accounts (I have 3 Open CCs, and a student loan) - High number of CCs recently opened (fair, and I would have held off if I knew Uber CC was coming beforehand) - High number of recent inquiries on credit report (only two on TU, and one is for the Uber Card) - History of delinquency on credit report (fair, last late in June 2017, but there was a rough stretch of lates in 2014-2015 3x 60s, handful of 30s)
  19. Applied for Barclays Uber Card in Nov. with a 659 TU score and was declined. Didnt get any love on recon either. TU is up to 681 now. Open/Relevant accounts are: Kohls: Opened April 2014, now closed... reporting a 179/300 balance/limit, though its now paid to zero. Never late. Credit Union: Opened January 2010, late a LOT of times from 2014 to 2016, last late Jun. 2017. Reporting 1265/4000, now paid down to 900ish. This is the one thing really keeping my score down. CapOne: Opened August 2017, reporting 220/1000, now 50ish/1100. Never late. I PIF every month, but havent figured out the timing to have low balances report yet. Chase: Opened October 2017, reporting 8/1000, still in that same ballpark since I have some small purchases pending, but just paid the rest in full. Never late. Discover: Opened October 2017, reporting 0/1200, currently 65/1200. Never late. Annoyingly, on my TU report, all of the cards for some reason still have September and October as the last time payments were recorded, so perhaps my score should be higher if the information was current? I also have a student loan that recently entered repayment, never late, but the balance is high... approx $12,600... FICO simulator has my score reaching 691 relatively shortly, but taking almost another year to break 700. Id like to reapply for the Uber Credit Card, but dont want to waste inquiries and further hurt my chance in the future. Anyone have any idea or insight on when it would be a good idea to try again?
  20. I frequently use Apple Pay via my watch, mainly at grocery stores, where it seems to be accepted no matter what. I like it. But other than that, I usually reach for the plastic. Tapping my watch is easier than reaching for my wallet, but reaching for my wallet is less annoying than having to ask a cashier if they take Apple Pay, like Im a douche bag.
  21. Thanks for the replies! I contacted my bank, and they said they'll get back to me. I'm guessing the landlord's bank either lost the check after she cashed it, or mistyped my account or routing number. I want to be diligent and keep the money available as long as I should - but I also don't want to keep the money sitting in limbo longer than I have to... whether that's more than three months, six months, or even a year - if only for the annoyance of constantly needing to mentally recalculate my checking balance, which I'm pretty meticulous about managing.
  22. Hi all! I'm in a bit of an interesting situation regarding my rent for the month of January. I wrote a check and gave it to my landlord at the end of December, and she cashed it and received the money on January 11th. Around mid-January, I noticed the money had not been withdrawn from my account. I contacted the landlord, who assured me she cashed my check and received the cash without any issue. Since, I have written a check for February's rent, which was cashed and withdrawn in a timely fashion, and as of today, the January check has not been drawn from my account. I'm imagining the check was lost or misplaced by my landlord's bank, and is probably getting dusty under a counter somewhere. Or maybe a typo was made? I'm tempted to transfer the funds back into my savings account, as I typically only use my checking to hold enough funds for what I need, plus a few hundred extra in case I need it quickly - but I don't want to accidentally overdraw my account if the check suddenly turns up or whatever. Plus it's annoying constantly having to look at my checking balance and recalculate to know how much money I actually have or don't have. How long until I can assume the money is not going to be withdrawn, considering my landlord has assured me multiple times she received the money on January 11th?
  23. Well, the CA hasn't reported it - but the OC has. I'd like to get it wrapped up before the CA reports and also get the OC to take it off. Looking for my best bet in order to achieve this.
  24. Hi all! I'm finding myself in a bit of a credit pickle, as a report pull and a collection letter have revealed a black eye on my credit report - and it's one I'd like to rectify. A while back (2014), I went into Kohl's with a wad of cash, and the intention of buying some new bedding and stuff for the apartment. At the register, the cashier somehow talked me into getting a Kohl's credit card. Turns out I spent a bit under $300 that day. Fast forward a month later, and I never received the card. Nor a statement. Nor a phone call, or any communication from Kohl's. Two months later, still nothing. Three months later, again nothing. At some point, probably the day after the purchase, the Kohl's CC crossed my mind, then never entered my thought-process again. Until 2016, when I received a collection bill from Qualia Collection Services for nearly double the amount (nearly $300 in fees)... I pulled my credit report and sure enough, there's a nearly $600 charge-off from late 2014 from Kohl's on it. Basically, the account sat open for about 8 months without me ever receiving a bill, letter, phone call or physical card from Kohl's before they closed it and charged it off. QCS has not reported anything to the CRA's, at least yet - and as I understand it, mailing a check to QCS today would not be the wisest course of action from a credit report stand point. I'd like to try and get this cleared up, and I'm able to pay it off - but would prefer to not pay the outlandish fees if possible. The most important thing to me though is getting my report cleared up. Would appreciate any advice on what would be a good first step, and if anyone has any similar experiences that they were able to rectify. Thank you!
  25. Without getting too political, everything I've been told over the years has indicated that unions are never the right answer, but sometimes you're better off having one formed to give the employees leverage and a voice, especially if the company starts getting heavy handed. The company I work for - a retail chain - has been pulling some stuff I feel is extremely shady and underhanded. Some of it almost sounds illegal (not sure if it is, but it's very harsh). - The state of Massachusetts had all public transportation systems shutdown at 3:30 pm on Friday. The announcement came on Thursday evening. When asked what inner-city stores should do, we were informed that all stores were required to stay open, and employees were required to take cabs or find a ride in the blizzard. - That backfired when the Governor ordered all non-essential vehicles off the roads by 4pm. This announcement came around 1pm. When corporate was informed, they said they'd let us know what to do. Around 2:30, we were finally allowed to close at 3pm. - Messages form corporate began to circulate Friday evening - basically saying, we sell healthcare items, thus our employees can be considered health care providers - all stores should be opened as usual tomorrow, we can ignore the traffic ban Apparently they have zero regard for the well being of their employees. There have also been changes to the insurance policy, taking effect both this year and next... 2013: Employees have a small window of time to get a physical and submit the results to corporate. Those who do so will save $600. Of course, they really mean those who DON'T will be charged $600 more than usual this year. 2014: Employees will be required, once again, to submit physical results to corporate, and this time they need to estimate their expected insurance costs. If they go over their estimation, it will all come out of the employee's pocket. Is that even legal? They've implemented a system where it's next to impossible for anyone with more than ~5 years experience to get a raise. Some people are "red flagged" so they cannot get even a nickel an hour raise, no matter what. Absurd policies in place where cashiers are rated by customers on a 1-5 scale, with 5 being the best. If a cashier gets a 1, it counts as a zero. If a cashier gets a four, it counts as a zero. Only fives count. If you get rated a four out of five, you can be written up. You can be fired after being written up twice. Every meeting held by management revolves around instituting ridiculous policies, and the solution to everything is threatening to fire everyone. Seems like the only alternative (other than quitting - but I still need a paycheck til I finish my degree) is to hope someone unionizes us, because we're basically having what little benefits we have stripped away and our jobs collectively threatened as a whole. Recently, a bunch of west coast stores were unionized, then this stuff happened. Seems like corporate is asking for the stores to revolt. Thoughts/experiences with unions and their effectiveness?

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