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Mortgage App Prep - Util % Advice -Amex pulled rug from under me


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Had 2 Amex cards years ago, one for 13k and one for 7k. Built up some debt last year for a business and you can bet they were paying attention. All the sudden they reduced my limits on each card to $1,000 which killed my utilization.


Just paid off quite a bit of debt getting my utilization down from about 90% to 30%. Going for a mortgage app soon so looking for simple ways to boost scores. My new FICO 8s after getting my utilization down are in my sig. No baddies currently


For the record my FICO mortgage mid score is 759. Since Amex kneecapped me, should I try to get another good limit card to knock that utilization down to 15-20% before I apply for the mortgage?



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have you asked Amex for a CLI? Adding a new tradelines will impact your AAoA which, depending on how thick or thin your file is, may do more score harm than utilization good. A CLI on your extant accounts may be a better option. Of course you'll have to wait for any new limit to report to see the utilization effect. Chase just doubled my Amazon visa limit with a simple phone call and a hard so don't believe the hype that banks aren't extending limits.


Note that if you do incur new hard inquiries you may be asked to write a memo explaining them to the underwriter.


I would get utilization to as close to zero as you can before applying for a mortgage not so much for score but for DTI.

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I agree with the CLI approach. Opening a new card will trigger a new hard inquiry and lower your average account age, lowering your score.  The CLI approach avoids this. Another option is to see if you can pay a few hundred of your debt down and push your FICO above 760. For a small number of lenders it may make a small difference in rate, but I think you should already be at prime. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
4 hours ago, Headwaters44 said:

Citi nailed me with a hard on TU, darn it. Oh well. I have a 2nd citi card. Any advice on getting them to pull soft... smaller CLI amount, call in to do it, etc?

whenever I've asked for a CLI via the online LUV button with CITI there is a clear indication if CITI will pull a "hard." I just asked for a CLI on both of my citi cards; I don't recall there being an option to state what I wanted my limit to be.


Besides, inquiries do not matter.

Edited by hegemony
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