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Is the $2 trick only good for bank cards?


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I paid off all my wife's credit cards down to zero except for her Amazon Prime card (left a few bucks on it).

 

When I checked her FICO score it said one factor affecting her score was that she had no revolving balances on "bank/national" accounts. 

 

If you do the $2 trick, does it have to be with a major bank credit card?

 

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5 hours ago, ivymike said:

I think the bigger question is why you are playing the AZEO game with a FICO 8 score of 801 but I wouldn't do it with a store card like the Synchrony-issued Amazon. 

He's doing it for science. Without that there would be no gaming FICO and no $2 trick. We'd still be relying on superstition like Ramsey & MyFico.

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Are you absolutely sure the Synchrony card showed a balance on 12/25/18? Try to confirm her score & report from a different source. I've occasionally seen re-used & re-dated scores (although not from Synchrony). Maybe take a look at EX?

 

Lack of an open, paid down installment is probably costing her ~30pts or so, but certainly not 49.

 

So ~20pts are missing somewhere. It's hard to imagine what else could add up to ~20pts and not show as reasons.

 

Occam's Razor says you've probably found something new. Can you test next month with a different card?

 

If not I'll try it in the spring. Right now I'm running amok with SUBs so my scores will fluctuate for a few months.

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1 hour ago, Occam said:

Are you absolutely sure the Synchrony card showed a balance on 12/25/18? Try to confirm her score & report from a different source. I've occasionally seen re-used & re-dated scores (although not from Synchrony). Maybe take a look at EX?

 

Lack of an open, paid down installment is probably costing her ~30pts or so, but certainly not 49.

 

So ~20pts are missing somewhere. It's hard to imagine what else could add up to ~20pts and not show as reasons.

 

Occam's Razor says you've probably found something new. Can you test next month with a different card?

 

If not I'll try it in the spring. Right now I'm running amok with SUBs so my scores will fluctuate for a few months.

Yes, the Amazon card had a balance. I've been paying off her cards before the statement date, but for the last two months Amazon shipped an item on the statement date and charged the card. She wasn't trying to do the $2 trick, it just worked out that way.

 

I subscribe to CCT, but she doesn't so the only FICO scores I can get for her are from credit cards that offer the service.  I did use the free Discover scorecard and it showed 799 for EX.

 

I would wait a month and test it with a bank card, but she was waiting until her scores hit 800 to app some new cards. So she may have some hits by the time her Amazon card shows a zero balance.

 

As for the no installment loans, our house and cars are paid off, so there's no need.  We're looking at a vacation cabin, so a mortgage may be in our future.

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3 hours ago, ClaimJumper said:

Yes, the Amazon card had a balance.

 

But you don't know if that account balance was reporting unless you pulled a TU report (or maybe CreditKarma) ON THE 25th. Here's why:

 

Synchrony reports don't show up on TU until about a week after the closing date. After they do, the CRA shows the closing date as the (fictitious) "reporting date".

 

So, for example, if that card closed with a new $2 balance on 12/20, it would still report a $0 balance on 12/25. Then, if you checked again a week later, it would show a balance of $2 "reported as of 12/20". But FICO would have seen it as $0 on 12/25. This may be what happened.

 

I did use the free Discover scorecard and it showed 799 for EX.

 

You can get a free report and FICO08 directly from EX 

 

As for the no installment loans, our house and cars are paid off, so there's no need.

 

I wasn't saying she needs an installment. What I meant was, that is a known factor and it can only account for ~30pts. So her score should be around 820 or so unless there is another factor. No balances would do it, so I think either that balance was not reporting yet, or you've found something new and Synchrony balances no longer work.

 

One last thought, does she have at least 5 open revolvers?

 

 

Edited by Occam
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OK, I see what you are saying.

 

Yes, she does have a Credit Karma login.  A $24 balance was showing for Amazon before and after the 25th.

 

She also has a EX login, but she's lost her password.  She doesn't keep up with her scores like I do, but then I apply for a lot more cards than she does.

 

She has 7 revolving accounts.  All with fairly low limits ($1,300 to $4,600).  She likes to wait for her statements to arrive then pay her cards off, so she always has very high utilization, which I'm guessing is the reason why she never gets automatic CLIs. That and the fact that she doesn't keep her income updated on her accounts.

 

I've taken over her payments and now pay them all off before her cards cut.  I had her hit the LUV button for Amazon and ask for $10K. It was an immediate approval (should have asked for more).  Now I'm going to get her to get CLI's for all accounts that don't use a HP and apply for some better cards with larger limits once her older cards report the higher limits.

 

In a few months, once her scores stabilize I'll start playing around to see the difference between leaving a small balance on her Amazon card vs. a real bank card and report back.

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The Amazon luv button may still max out at $10k anyway. Some Synchrony luv buttons go to $35k but a few are still stuck at $10k.

 

She can call the SrUnderwriters and ask for $35k though; they may only cough up $25k but it's better to shoot high. There's no HP.

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