Best way to improve FICO score?

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Best way to improve FICO score?

Postby wootwoot » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:48 pm

Through credit karma I have a 768 FICO score. Low credit utilization on 2 cards with an average age of 10 years each. All of my payments have been on-time and I have no derogatory marks. One thing that credit karma dings me for is the number of total accounts being low. I would like to open a no interest card later this year to pay for grad school but I wasn't sure if I should open a 4th card for rewards as well or if a 4th would bring my score down more by lowering the average card age by too much. If I shouldn't open a 4th card what is an easy way to get more total accounts without having any hard pulls of my credit? I also recently got a raise at work and was thinking of going to my current credit card companies and asking for higher limits but wasn't sure if that was a good idea or not at this time. What are your thoughts?
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Re: Best way to improve FICO score?

Postby Greg17 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:19 pm

wootwoot wrote:Through credit karma I have a 768 FICO score. Low credit utilization on 2 cards with an average age of 10 years each. All of my payments have been on-time and I have no derogatory marks. One thing that credit karma dings me for is the number of total accounts being low. I would like to open a no interest card later this year to pay for grad school but I wasn't sure if I should open a 4th card for rewards as well or if a 4th would bring my score down more by lowering the average card age by too much. If I shouldn't open a 4th card what is an easy way to get more total accounts without having any hard pulls of my credit? I also recently got a raise at work and was thinking of going to my current credit card companies and asking for higher limits but wasn't sure if that was a good idea or not at this time. What are your thoughts?


Is there a particular reason you are wanting the highest score? Are you applying for a mortgage soon?

The first thing to know is that the score you get from Credit Karma is a FAKO score and not a FICO. They can vary, so you might have a lower or higher FICO.
If you are eventually going to get a rewards card anyway, it makes sense to open it sooner than later, unless you are applying for financing in the near future.
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Re: Best way to improve FICO score?

Postby crowd79 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:24 pm

Mid 700's is definitely a high enough score to open some of the top Rewards cards on the market. Look at Amex Blue Cash for 3% or 6% back ($75 annual fee) on groceries.

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Re: Best way to improve FICO score?

Postby Tortoise » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:39 pm

Just for fun, I recently asked to have my Fidelity AmEx credit limit doubled. A couple months later, with no other changes, my CreditKarma score jumped from 750 to 777.
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Re: Best way to improve FICO score?

Postby grabiner » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:51 am

wootwoot wrote:Through credit karma I have a 768 FICO score.


If you have a 768 Credit Karma score (TransRisk), that is excellent and there is no need for improvement. Credit Karma says that 22% of scores are above 750.

One thing that credit karma dings me for is the number of total accounts being low.


The Credit Report Card on Credit Karma has oversimplified criteria. The factors on the Credit Report Card are considered in your credit score, but not as single numbers. For example, the number of accounts you have matters, but so does whether they are open or closed, and what type of accounts they are. You can have an excellent score with only three accounts if they are one open mortgage and two open credit cards, or a poor score if they are three credit cards and only one of them is open.

I would like to open a no interest card later this year to pay for grad school but I wasn't sure if I should open a 4th card for rewards as well or if a 4th would bring my score down more by lowering the average card age by too much.


Your goal shouldn't be to improve your score, but to make the most use of it. If you use your good score to open two accounts with desirable terms, your score will decline temporarily, but that won't matter if you aren't applying for credit (or insurance if your state allows credit scoring for insurance) at the time. And after a year or two, the new accounts will no longer be new, the inquiries used to open the accounts will not be counted against you, and the added number of accounts will improve your score.
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Re: Best way to improve FICO score?

Postby MathWizard » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:48 am

wootwoot wrote:Through credit karma I have a 768 FICO score. Low credit utilization on 2 cards with an average age of 10 years each. All of my payments have been on-time and I have no derogatory marks. One thing that credit karma dings me for is the number of total accounts being low. I would like to open a no interest card later this year to pay for grad school but I wasn't sure if I should open a 4th card for rewards as well or if a 4th would bring my score down more by lowering the average card age by too much. If I shouldn't open a 4th card what is an easy way to get more total accounts without having any hard pulls of my credit? I also recently got a raise at work and was thinking of going to my current credit card companies and asking for higher limits but wasn't sure if that was a good idea or not at this time. What are your thoughts?


CreditKarma also estimated my score in the 700's.

CreditKarma dinged me for not having enough credit cards, then helpfully provided me with links
to get more credit cards. I assume that this is the way that they make money, getting people to sign
up for more credit cards. So if that is the only thing holding your CK score down, I would not worry about it.
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