I’m glad to report my scores are higher now than before my last binge. I’ve been a credit card applicant for years, but last year tried a different tactic for cash and sign up bonuses.
I have mentioned to many of you in August of last year (2007) I applied for 16 credit cards in one day for not only the sign up bonuses but the 0% interest rate on balance transfers that were available with these particular cards. Between Katy and I we were able to generate almost $15,000 in interest income in a 15 month period. Katy actually had more 0% cards than I did.
All the cards have now posted as paid off and my scores are showing a nice pop from before the App O Rama. Before the App O Rama I had scores of 691, 731 and 718 ( yep, I kept the info for tracking purposes). Yesterday I checked and they were 708, 769 and 722 from Transunion, Experian and Equifax. All three scores rate more card applications and approvals.
Since August of 2007 I never stopped applying for credit cards or new bank accounts for bonuses, I just didn’t go crazy with new applications. I got a new Northwest Worldperks Visa as they were looking for customers (I think they still are) with the merger upcoming, I picked up two more balance transfer cards for the flexibility of moving credit lines around and one other sign up bonus card. I have a full compliment of Thank You Point cards, both personal and business.
Ah but now, with all the numbers back in the 700′s and my shifting addresses to South Carolina, I can go on a binge again. I have tentatively identified 6 cards that fit my needs and I still need to double check Katy’s scores and card portfolio. With interest rates so low, this round will be for sign up bonuses only, and if I don’t go crazy with applications, I can get back on the regular applicant bandwagon with Citi and maybe pick up a few cards with B of A for US Scareways as well. And I may have missed some of the available Chase cards through the years. I’m like a kid at a candy store when I “go applyin’ again”
Depending on where you live, the lenders use different credit reporting agencies to check your credit. In Michigan, where I did my last App O Rama it appears everybody pulls from Transunion. I had 28 credit inquiries with them which has now fallen to 23. They disappear when they are two years old. In South Carolina, almost everybody pulls your credit from Experian. I have a grand total of 9 inquiries at present on Experian and 4 of those will disappear in October, so I’m really good to go.
Many of you ask me about credit inquiries on your credit reports when you are considering applying for more credit cards for sign up bonuses. I gave you my current credit scores 708, 769 and 722. My corresponding number of inquiries still showing on my credit report and thereby negatively effecting my credit are 23, 9 and 18.
Inquiries are a negative, but not that severe. I guesstimate it is about 2 points per inquiry. If you pay your bills on time, keep your outstanding balances low in relation to your credit limit and have a decent mix of installment and revolving credit, you are capable of generating sign up bonuses. The number one reason people screw up their credit is LATE PAYMENTS and over extending themselves. If you can’t make your current payments on time and have to carry balances, credit card sign ups are probably not for you.
The credit scoring system used by this company for their free 7 day trial is a little different than what most of you may be used to. (I’ve always checked mine with Truecredit which uses the older system and a top score of 850). It is a recently devoloped system that is being tried by all three competing credit reporting agencies to alleviate the sometimes vast differences in credit scoring. The tops scores go into the 900′s where the FICO scores most of you are used to top out at 850. If you decide to try to maximize your credit card applications and are providing me with a free credit score from gofreecredit.com, let me know that is where your score came from.
And remember, it is free if you cancel within 7 days. Past that, it is $12.95 per month.