Posts Tagged ‘fico’

Kinda fell off the wagon

March 26, 2008

I haven’t been here lately because I’ve been increasing my debt (over $18K now) and am starting to feel guilty.  My credit score went from 720, to 630, and it’s up to 656 now.  I knew that was going to happen in order for me to not pay 21% in finance charges.   However, gave up on the blog idea (one of the reasons why I’m not writing here as frequently) and put all that energy towards learning about real estate.  I found some good books at the library.  Also I had some careless penalty fees: two parking tickets at $37 a pop; signed up for a background casting site which is useless and it charged $19 and possibly another $45.

I apologize to all the people who commented, but I didn’t approve it for a while.  Thanks for reading.

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Fico 800?

February 13, 2008

My goal is to get a Fico score of 770 (which seems to be the lowest “A+” by an article on bankrate.com).  I went to a used car dealership yesterday which had the best price on cars.com.  I had to get my wife into a safe car.  I don’t think I can put a dollar amount on her safety.  So, yes we bought an 11K used car.

FICO AUTO 2  – WTF?

The dealer asked what my fico was. Proudly, I stated, “720 on Experian and 710 from Fico.”  Then when he ran the report a 670 came out.  HUH! I knew I opened up a few account recently, but couldn’t imagine that dropping it by 40-50 points.  Then he told me that they use an Auto-2 Fico score which is about 30-40 points lower than your regular fico.  The reason for this he stated was that you can’t run off with a house on your shoulder.  However, you could take off with a car to a chop shop.  So the number for ‘Auto-2’ is more conservative.  Whew!  I’m glad I knew that.

I also in passing who recently came in with the highest fico score.  He stated that some guy came in with an auto-2 of 800 which meant his regular fico is about 840.  He said that he had about 50 accounts all open and paid on time.  Plus, he was young – mid-to-late 30s.  Very impressive.

Today I applied for a loan as I was not happy with what the dealer stated that he could get us – 12.99% for 60 months with no prepayment penalty.  The best Bofa could do for me was 20%.  I turned him down – felt good, kinda like that lendingtree.com commercial.  I told him that I’d be back later with a better fico score.  Also, I asked him what it takes to get an 850 fico and he said that he’s been doing this for a long time and he made it seem like there was a better chance of spotting the lochness monster than a “perfect” fico person.  He said that you have to have more than just credit card accounts as debt.  You need auto and mortgage and very old accounts to get the score up there.  So, I’m not sure that I’ll be able to get it up there this year.

Nearing the end of the Card-hopping game

January 25, 2008

NEVER TOO LATE TO LEARN
I spent 10 days at home with my folks so there were no expenses.  I lectured my parents about how they can avoid their fights regarding money and marriage if they separate it.  I told them that my wife and I keep it completely separate so we don’t have to answer to each other, but we will advice one another if we think the other is doing something foolish or non-productive.  They took heed.

CARD HOPPING 

I’m trying to do the last of my high interest credit card which is the $1.3K on my BofA account.  I just transferred it to the chase card. it has cool options like:

6.99% Fixed APR until full balance paid and no fee (Respond by: 1/31/08)
0% Fixed APR until the first day of your billing cycle that includes 7/1/08 (Respond by: 1/31/08)
4.99% Fixed APR until full balance paid (Respond by: 1/31/08)

I chose the 0% and the 3% balance transfer fee will be about $40.  then I was planning on putting it all on the BofA at 4.99% for the life of the debt, but now I see that they no longer have that option.  They only have that rate til Jan 2009.  So I guess if I wait I out for a few months they might give me the ‘4.99% for the life of the debt’.  But with all the bank crisis, it might not be around.  We’ll see.

Also I was denied the second chase account which I applied for a  month ago.  They said that it was because I had just opened a previous account with them recently.

I have a Household Bank offer for a 0% APR for 12months then a go to rate of 14%.  I might get it so my wife can use it.  Another hesitation I have with putting my wife’s $3.65K debt on my account is that it will lower my fico score.   She’s currently paying about $550/yr which would lower it to $182/yr if at 5%….  I just logged into hbaccept.com and it is an hsbc account.  So I don’t think I’ll go through with it.

Coming out of Avoiding Negative to Gaining Positive mode

January 5, 2008

I was hesistant the other day to put purchases on my SWA credit card because I didn’t want to go back into a credit card debt.  So I put a few things on there (gas, groceries,etc) and immediately paid it from my checking account.  Now that I got a lot of the 16% debt down (see previous blog), I am aggressively putting all my bills on there and including my wife’s bills so I can get free airline tickets.  Basically, I gotta spend $16K/year to a free ticket.  Which is basically a 2.5% return on purchases.  I valued the ticket at $400 because of the flexibility.

This is in essense passive income because I’m spending the same amount as I would have otherwise, but now I’m getting something back.

Let me know if you find a better cash back card.

End of Debt Consolidation Tunnel Starting to Emit Light

January 4, 2008

Today was a breakthrough that gave me a little bit of piece of mind.  I was supposed to pay about $350 tomorrow for my Bofa CC which had about $9K on it.  I missed the payment last time and it knocked me back a bit mentally.  But they went from $135/mo to  nearly $400.  I paid $130 a few days back which they vollied back to me with a 5 extra day grace period, but was still insistent on the full amount.  I started my hsbc card a few days back along with my 2nd wamu and 2nd chase cards.  Then the hsbc card came in the mail approved (0% til 12/08)!  Then I logged onto the bofa acct and about $2400 was paid from my wamu 1 cc.  So the nervousness about that amount instantly vanished.  The balanced dropped down to about $6K.  Then transferred another $2.5K to my hsbc which should go through w/in a week or so.  So interest per year went from $1800 to $1400 (monthly: $156 to $121) on just the 16%.  I’ve got 2 more pending cards with 0% hopfully approving soon.  I’m assuming that together it’ll be about $5K.

So then I will transfer the remaining bofa debt to the $4.7K debt on the usaa (limit $13K) and then transfer all that back to the bofa at 5% for the life of the debt. Then that will be my highest interest rate.  Not bad eh.  It all happened within one month.  Well, not really, as I spent the whole year making sure I paid my cc’s on time which allowed my fico score to go up by 100 points.  That allowed me to get the 0%s.  My debt ratio is about 40%.  If my second wamu card comes through, then I’ll use it for my checking overdraft and not really put anything on there.

Also, I told my wife that I will transfer her 18% over to one of my 0% cards, but that doesn’t look possible right now.  I can put it on my 5% card in about a month.

I can’t believe that this is just a simple game of chess.  Not at all like playing Kasparov.

Why did I neglect this for over a decade?!?!?!?

Transfered balance to 0% card and saved!!!

December 28, 2007

Today I transferred $2330 of my bofa cc (credit card) with a rate of 16.24% which was costing me $115/mo ($1,390/yr) because the balance was around $8500.  So now after transferring to my wamu cc with 0% til 10/08, with a $70 transfer fee, my bofa payments dropped to $85/mo ($1010/yr) in finance charges.  I just applied for a second wamu card yesterday to get some more low balance transfer rates.  I’m kinda going crazy with it right now, and think I’ve gone over my 5-6 credit cards you should have.

Now, should I pay the minimum on these balance transfers and try and be a financial chess master and change it to another 0% offer in October or should I just try and pay it down? Hmmm….

I think I’m leaning towards keeping the balances and keeping the stocks in my trading account as they’re doing pretty good. Interest rate is my deciding factor.  I’m paying 0% in APR and I’m getting a higher interest rate.  Actually, just by leaving money in my wamu savings at 4.75% will be a better bet than paying off the cards as long as I don’t miss payments.

(Tips)

1) I have to set a reminder in my yahoo calendar for the 0% rate expiration in Oct ’08 – actually I set it for August 15th so it will give me some leeway as these applications take about a month to go through

2) I have to set up an autopayment of the minimum from  my checking account to this new card so I don’t lose the 0% rate as I have so frequently done so in the past.  I the $9K at 3.99% for the life of the debt, but had some overdrafts from my checking (read 1st blog).  Couldn’t find a due date or a minimum amount due in the wamu cc.

3) I set email reminders through the wamu cc site on the account itself for the following:
Payment Posted
Payment Due (sent 6 – 7 days prior)
Credit Limit Reached or Exceeded (your credit limit is $2,500.00)
Balance Exceeds ($2401.00)
FICO® Credit Score Changes by 20 points

However, I will have the autopayment going from the checking instead of it being pulled out through the cc site.  This way, all my auto payments are in one spot (my wamu checking).  So I have a much better idea if something is going to bounce.
Now I have to set up an overdraft protection for the checking account.  But make sure that it is ONLY for overdraft. Don’t have any 0% balances on there as I often do use the overdraft because I don’t make enough around bill time – namely, at the end of every month. I get my rent check around the 5th which is also after I have to pay rent.
The wamu cc gives you a free fico score. Mine is currently at 712 which is lower than my 725 experian score.  A little bummed, I feel like I got an A– instead of a A-.  C’est la vie.

Ok, what now?  well, I’m not sure when the money will transfer over and I believe $390 is due today.  I don’t have that much, but I sent in an autopayment of $130 a few days ago. I have to call to make sure they don’t charge me a late fee.  I’ll have to call when my wife comes back as I don’t have a phone right now.

I kinda reached one of my goals which was due today: change balances to 0%, but it’s not complete.  I’m going to apply for the HSBC 0% now.  Let’s see what happens to my FICO score with three applications going on at once. I’m sure it’ll dip, but after the balances are transfered and my minimum due per month goes down, I will have no late payments.

I’m going to keep working on my finances. I’ve been putting aside any sort of filmwork because  I can’t concentrate on my passion projects when these bills and late fees are looming over my head.

Fyguy