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do we get a hard hit when applying for a new credit card on credit report?

- Asked Mar 3 , 2018


When applying for a credit card, your score does recieve a hard hit, however this does not always have a large negative affect on your score. 10% of a credit score is determined by "new credit", meaning how many new lines of credit have been applied for and approved. This is important, as a large amount of recent inquiries into a persons credit often indicate an increased risk in loaning to this person. This being said, there are many excellent credit cards to apply for!


When applying for a credit card & the required credit says good to excellent, I have a 765 score-is that considered ok to apply for good to excellent cards?

- Asked Jan 23 , 2018


A credit score of 765 is considered excellent, and most, but not all cards will accept people with good-excellent credit, which means that your credit scores gives you a good chance of being accepted for a credit card for excellent credit!


I had a credit score of 737 & 729, and decided to open an account with Home Depot. My credit doesn't have a lot of history, but have never paid late and I always keep my spending below 30% of available credit. They didn't even pull a hard inquiry on my credit report, but as soon as Home Depot opened my account, my score went from 727 TU & 717 EXP to losing approximately 39 points! Needless to say, I basically freaked out. Has that dramatic of a drop in score happened to anyone else out there? Thank you

- Asked Nov 24 , 2017


Everyone's credit profile is different and there could be a number of factors impacting your credit score, but it is not unusual to see a temporary dip in your credit score after opening a new account. If you don't have a lengthy credit history, this dip can be bigger because opening a new account will decrease the average age of your accounts. Overall, I would not be terribly concerned – as long as you make all of your payments on time and don't carry too much debt, your credit score should bounce back relatively quickly!


I have a 739 FICO score. I also have 1 hard inquiry on one credit reporting agency and 2 on another. I only have one credit card Capital One Journey Student Card. People recommend I get another card for a little variety to spread my credit out a little more. I want another card but I don't want a hit on my report. I will then have 3 inquiries which is too high right?

- Asked Oct 22 , 2017


While it's true that too many credit inquires can have a negative impact on your credit, it's also important to remember that this only account for 10-15% of your FICO score. Your credit score is already in the "good" credit range and getting close to being considered "excellent" credit. Adding another credit card will likely help you get and maintain a higher credit score in the long run because it will increase the overall amount of credit you have been lent. Opening another credit card may also help be decreasing your credit utilization rate. Credit inquires only stay on your credit report for two years before they disappear. In your situation, it might be beneficial in the long run to take a small, temporary hit by adding one more credit card to your portfolio. 


My credit card limit was increased by 1,000 dollars just the other day. The limit increased automatically after about 6 months of on time payments. How soon can I see this credit increase affect my credit score? Does an automatic raise have an instant effect? Or do I usually have to wait a few weeks for my score to increase?

- Asked Sep 23 , 2017


Increasing your line of credit will is likely to give a relatively quick boost to your credit score. Increasing the line of credit on your credit cards helps your credit score because it decreases your overall credit utilization rate. When you check your credit score, the utilization rate is calculated from the most recent time your creditors reported your account activity to the credit bureaus. It may not be an immediate change, but a decreased utilization rate is likely to have a quick positive impact on your credit score.


Is it better to have a couple cards (2) with large available credit: $12000, & $10000. One was open in 1998 the other 2017 or (4) cards one open in 2003 $6000 and 2016 $3500. I'm thinking of just keeping the larger cards and closing the smaller ones. The larger cards are from Bank Of America and City National Bank (california). Smaller cards are capitol one, citicards.

- Asked Aug 10 , 2017


It is better to keep all four cards (as long as you are keeping up with payments) unless you are not using a card and are paying an annual fee to have it. The two main factors that might affect your credit score here are your credit history and your credit utilization rate, or the outstanding balance you have in comparison to your credit limit. Canceling old credit cards diminishes your credit history and will temporarily lower your score, but canceling cards with large credit limits will increase your utilization rate and could also drop your score. Therefore, if you are paying fees on the cards with lower credit limits, it would be smarter in the long run to cancel these cards and stick with the two cards with larger credit limits - one of these cards has a long history anyways, so your score should not temporarily drop by more than a couple points. Be sure not to cancel any cards before applying for any type of loan or mortgage, becasue you want your score to be as high as possible for those applications.


I have 579 credit score and My Wife has a 609 credit score I am an authorized user for card she is primary user and she is authorized on card I'm the primary user. we are both at 100% utilization. Will it effect anything if I remove myself from her cards and she removed herself from my cards? will my or her credit score become worse?

- Asked Aug 10 , 2017


Removing each other may have an effect on your scores, depending on whether your credit card issuers report the cards that you are authorized users on to the three major credit bureaus. Some issuers do and some do not, so the best idea is to contact your issuer and ask before removing each other. Basically, if you are an authorized user on a card, that credit card may be reported on your credit report, so removing that credit card will affect your score. If that credit card helped your score before it was removed, then your score will drop - however, if that credit card was full of late payments, then removing it from your account can actually improve your score. Contacting your issuer is a good first step before deciding what to do.


About a year ago I took out my first credit card and began building my credit. Right now i have two cards one with a limit of $500 and another with a limit of $600. I want to close/cancel the $600 credit card to avoid paying the annual fee but I'm concerned it will impact my credit score which is currently at $680. What can I do to avoid any impact? Should I open another card before cancelling? I also haven't made any new inquiries for about a year now. Thank you!

- Asked May 18 , 2017


Closing one of your credit cards may have a negative impact on your credit score, but the significance will depend on your situation. Opening another credit card account will likely help offset the negative impact of closing an existing one. By closing one of your two accounts, you may significantly increase your overall credit utilization rate. But by opening a new account, you can help offset this impact. 


I have a credit score of 655 is that considered fair or good?

- Asked Apr 25 , 2017


A credit score in the mid 600s is generally considered fair, but you are approaching the "Good" credit range. Good credit is generally considered to be from around 680-740.


We have 711 credit score. Does that meet the excellent credit score requirement stated on certain cards?

- Asked Mar 21 , 2017


Excellent credit is typically considered to be in the mid 700s and higher. With a score of 711, your credit is considered good, but not quite excellent. However, while credit scores are certainly an important factor for credit card approvals, many other factors like your income also play a role. 


I've been rebuilding my credit and it is now in the 680-690 range. Several of my credit cards have high interest rates; 21 - 23%. Some of the credit cards have small balances, and am looking at getting a new card, that would have a better % rate, and balance transfer those smaller cards. How much of a 'ding' will my score be impacted by getting a new card, transferring balances, and closing out the old card? Do you recommend closing out the old cards? Thank you in advance!

- Asked Mar 8 , 2017


Whenever you open a new credit card, there is a very slight ding to your score from the credit inquiry but it is usually less than 10 points. However, if you use this card to pay down your balance, it should help you raise your credit score in the long run because it will help your overall credit utilzation rate. If the credit cards you want to close don't charge an annual fee, you should consider leaving them open and simply not using them any longer. If you close a credit card account that you has been open for a number of years, you may bring your credit score down by lowering the average age of your accounts.


I am considering opening a new credit card to make $3600 purchase with a period of 0% interest to allow me to pay it off over 0% interest period. Would this hurt my credit score of 740?

- Asked Feb 12 , 2017


It's hard to say exactly what impact this would have on your credit score without knowing the full details of your credit report. Chances are that if you have a good history of on time payments, and don't carry much other credit card debt, then this would not have a significant impact. If anything, your credit score take a slight dip for the length of time you carry a balance, but once you pay off the purchase in full it should bounce right back to where it was or higher.


If I add my brother as an authorize user and he goes out apply for credit card in his own name,spend it and fail to make payments,will it have any effect on my credit?

- Asked Jan 11 , 2017


No; when you add someone as an authorized user on your credit card account, you will be responsible for paying for any purchases they make with that card, but their other credit activity will not come back you at all.


I have about 8 credit cards that are maxed out. I need to increase my score within the next 30 days. Is it better to pay down a few cards with the highest balance, or almost pay off three cards with small balances? Thank you

- Asked Jan 10 , 2017


Paying down your credit card balances should always help raise your credit score over time. When choosing which credit card balance to pay off first, many experts say that it's best to pay off the cards with the highest interest rates first regardless of the amounts of the balances. This method may help you save the most money because it will allow less time for interest to acrue on the credit cards with the highest rate.


My credit score is in the high 770s and I decided to use my credit to my advantage to try and boost my score to the 800s. I applied for 6 cards in 6 months; 1 of them 6 months ago and the other 5 this month alone. I've been approved for all of them except 1 which is pending approval. The idea was to use these various cards to pay for my expenses exclusively and then pay them off each month rather than swipe my debit card. Am I able to get a loan for a car or house or did I screw myself for the next year or so?

- Asked Dec 20 , 2016


As long as you use your cards responsibly, this should have a positive impact on your credit over the long run. Because you applied for numerous credit cards within a short period of time, your credit might take a small dip temporarily, but it should bounce back relatively quickly once you start to establish a consistent payment history on all of your cards. Getting approved for a mortgage or an auto loan will vary from lender to lender, but one thing you can do is to make sure your pay off all of your credit card balances a few days before applying. If you have high credit card balances when a lender pulls your credit, that may reflect negatively on your application, even if you intent to pay your balances off in full before the due date.


I want to close out a high interest card. Will that affect my credit score in a negative way?

- Asked Nov 17 , 2016


The impact that closing a credit card account will have on your credit will vary greatly depending on your situation. Two factors to consider when closing a credit card account are the age of the account and the line of credit for that card. If you close your oldest account or an account with a high line of credit, this could have more of a negative impact on your credit score. But closing a recently opened account or one with a low line of credit will not have as much of an impact. 


Hello, I am trying to increase my credit score and wanted to know which credit card would be best for me.

- Asked Nov 5 , 2016


Any credit card when used responsibly will help raise your credit score over time. Every month that you make on time payments on your credit card, a positive payment history increase on your credit report and your credit score should rise over time. When selecting a credit card, the best place to start is to look at cards based on your credit score range. Depending on what your credit score is, be sure to check out our pages for credit cards for excellent credit, good credit, fair credit, poor credit, and no credit.


I'm thinking of applying for two credit cards at once. Is this a good idea? And also how soon does an inquiry show on your credit report? Thanks.

- Asked Oct 25 , 2016


The only potential downside to applying for two credit cards at once is that you will have two credit inquiries show up on your credit report within a short period of time. But since credit inquiries only account for about 10% of your overall credit score, this should not have too much of a negative impact as long as you have a solid payment history. Credit inquires can potentially show up on your credit report within minutes of submitting a credit card application, but they may take as long as a week to show up depending on the credit card issuer and the credit report you are checking.


My credit score is in 670 something. When I go to sites I am ask if my credit score s good, bad or fair. How do I find out what my rating is. I would think it's fair but I have no clue how to find out. Thank You

- Asked Oct 15 , 2016


You can check your credit score for free with our Credit Concierge service! If your credit score is in the 670s, that is generally considered to be "fair credit ", but you are getting close to the "good credit" range.


I have paid off most of my credit debt recently, still about 3k to go, on the credit union card. I several card accounts : classic green Amex, Chase Freedom visa, USAA MC, and Discover, besides the the CU bank cards (debit/credit), and a couple Home depot accts. Each of these cards have a (not Home Depot) healthy credit limit, around the 10k mark. I have been thinking I should close out one or more of the accounts, but am wondering how that affects the credit report. In addition, several of these accounts I have had for over 5 years, is there something to say about the stability, history with a card company?

- Asked Aug 14 , 2016


As long as they are not charging you a high annual fee, it is generally not a good idea to close your old credit card accounts. This is esspecially true for the credit cards you have had open the longest and for those with the highest credit limits. Closing your old credit cards will decrease the average age of your accounts which makes up 15% of your credit score. Furthermore, closing credit cards that have a high line of credit could significantly increase your credit utilization rate which makes up 30% of your credit score. With so many accounts, it probably would not have much of a negative impact if you were to close the accounts with low credit limits. But generally speaking, it's always a good idea to keep your oldest and highest credit line cards open.


If you have many credit card that you do not use with high credit limit, is it good to cancel it out for new card that want to use for bonus points or cash back.

- Asked Aug 2 , 2016


Typically, if your credit cards don't charge an annual fee, it is best to leave them open indefinitely even if you don't use them often. Closing a credit card with a high line of credit could harm your credit score because it would significantly lower your credit utilization rate.


I have $9,000.00 credit limit on my VISA card...If I spend over 25% of $9,000.00 or $2,250, my credit score will take a this true?

- Asked Jul 31 , 2016


To keep your credit score as high as possible, it's best not to let yout credit utilization rate go over 25% or 30%. However, there is no history of your credit utilization on your credit report; it is only assessed at the time your credit is pulled. This means that if your credit card is maxed and you check your credit score, it might be very low, but if you then pay off your credit card in full and check your credit score again the next day, your score could shoot up significantly. 


I had to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2008. My credit score is now 720. How long will the bankruptcy haunt me on my credit reports, and cause me to be denied by some credit card companies?

- Asked Jul 4 , 2016


Bankruptcies will remain on your credit report for 7-10 years depending on your situation. Since you're bankruptcy was in 2008, it should be falling off your credit report within the next few years. There is a chance that if you contact the credit reporting agencies you may be able to get it removed from your credit report sooner.


I Have a Bankamerican power rewards card. I wish to cancel and apply for the Citi diamond card. My Fico score is over 800. How wil cancelling Boa and applying for Citi affect the FICO score/

- Asked Jun 4 , 2016


If the BankAmericard Credit Card that you cancel is your oldest account, it may make your credit score drop a few points when you cancel it because it will bring down the average age of your accounts. If you already have other credit accounts open then the impact of cancelling your BankAmericard credit card will be less severe. Similarly, applying for a new credit card will drop your score 2-5 points because of the credit inquiry. However, since your score is over 800, you don't have much to be concerned about. It is extremely unlikely that canceling your BankAmericard and opening a Citi credit card will drop you out of the excellent credit range.


If I close credit cards with low credit value that I don't use will that hurt my credit score

- Asked May 24 , 2016


Closing an account can hurt your score, however the impact will depend on your particular situation. The effect will usually be very small unless you're closing a card with a very high line of credit that is also your oldest account. In your situation, you shouldn't have much to worry about unless this is your oldest credit card account. Even then, the effect will be small as long as you have other credit card accounts with lengthy payment histories. 


For various reasons, construction loans have been either totally difficult to receive or are just not available. My adult son has an "excellent" credit rating; he is a property owner and intends to build his own house; now he desires to have a credit card to "purchase construction materials". As a credit expert, will you please consider son's situation & his excellent credit so that he may be eligible for either a zero% or very low% for a so that he may pursue his dream. (It's tough for young people these days to get ahead without getting into huge debt.) Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Pamela Bartels

- Asked May 20 , 2016


A credit card with an introductory APR on purchases would be a good way to finance construction materials. However if he carries a balance past the introductory period, credit card interest will be very costly and much more than a bank loan. Since he has excellent credit, the Citi Simplicity card would be a great option. Offering an introductory purchase APR of 0% for the first 21 months, this will give your son 21 months to pay off his purchases with 0% interest and if he's still carrying a balance the variable APR will be 13.24% - 23.24%. In addition, Citi Simplicity has no annual fees and there's $0 libability on unauthorized charges. Another option to consider in the Citi Diamond Preferred card. Similar to the Citi Simplicity card, the Citi Diamond Preferred card also offers an introductory purchase APR of 0% for the first 21 months. Citi Diamond Preferred has a better variable APR of 12.24% - 22.24%, so if you're son plans to carry a balance past the 21 months introductory period the Citi Diamond Preferred might be the better option. This card also has no annual fee and $0 liability on unauthorized purchases. 


I have a "thin" credit score, due to not using credit. How can I establish credit quickly?

- Asked May 18 , 2016


The best way to establish credit quickly is with a secured card. Secured cards are geared to those with no credit to limited credit and bad credit. With a secured card, a security deposit is required to get approved and that opens a line of credit. By using your secured card responsibly meaning always paying the bill on time and not carrying a balance, you'll have the ability to establish credit and then apply for a credit card with better terms and conditions that will help further establish better credit. The Capital One Secured MasterCard has no annual fee and is a great option for beginning to build credit. 


Once all negative/collection info is removed from credit reports (one 35+ year Amex is still showing as open for some reason) how can I best rebuild my credit?

- Asked May 16 , 2016


The best way to start rebuilding credit is with a secured credit card. With secured cards you submit in a security deposit in order to be approved and that deposit is opens up a line of credit available for use. As long as you always pay on time and try not to carry a balance, you'll have to ability to reestablish solid credit. Check out our offers of secured cards to see which secured cards best fits your needs. 


My credit score is 540 and its all due to medical bills. I closed all bank accounts recently and want to know if there are any cards that will approve me with no bank accounts.

- Asked May 14 , 2016


Unfortunately you will not be approved for a credit card without a bank account because you are required to provide your bank account information when applying for a credit card. However, you still have options! You can apply for a secured credit card which would provide an oppotunity to rebuild credit and you won't need a bank account to apply. The Capital One Secured MasterCard is one of the few secured cards that offers no annual fee and with responsible use can improve your credit score. 


I have a 641 credit score-I am told that it would be better if I had revolving credit.I own my home and my income is over 100,000$ what would be the best card for me?

- Asked May 13 , 2016


Your credit score is not tied to your income. Revolving credit will help improve your credit score as debts are paid off. Any credit card with average/fair credit needed will do. The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great rewards card with 1.5% cash back on every purchase. It does have a $39 annual fee however with an improved credit score you could upgrade to the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card which has no annual fee. The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is another option that offers no annual fee and with responsible use gives you an opportunity to build a better credit score.


I have excellent credit and pay my balance every month on a Discover and Visa. I have another Visa that I keep for emergencies, but have not used it in several years. The bank sent me a letter saying they were cancelling that card. I have called them & they will not reconsider. I'm really worried what this will do to my credit rating. Should I apply for another credit card to replace it before this one is cancelled? Will this help my credit rating to not be affected adversely?

- Asked May 10 , 2016


The age of your credit accounts for 15% of your credit score, so if the account that is closing is your oldest account, then it will have a negative impact on your credit, but it should not be detrimental. Opening another credit card account to replace the one that is closing is a good idea because it will soften the blow to your credit utilization, which accounts for 30% of your credit score. If you're other two credit card accounts have also been open for several years, then the effect of the one closing will be small. Overall, if have been making all of your payments on time and don't carry too much debt, then the effect of the account being closed shouldn't hurt you too much, but it may still be a good idea to open another account to replace it.


if I ask for credit line increase will it be a hard inquire ??

- Asked May 10 , 2016


That varies depending on the issuer of your card, so you will need to ask your issuer. For example, Capital One lets you check your availability for credit line increases online without an inquiry, but Chase will perform a hard inquiry to determine if you are eligible for a credit line increase.


(1) I have my Gold American Express card since 1974, and have, at all times, paid every balance in full, from low to 4-digit balances, and have never been late with any of my payments. (2) Only 6 weeks ago, I opened an Amex Every Day Card with 0% APR for 15 months, and (3) for an approximate 1 year, I have a Delta Amex Card, no annual fee for the 1st year. Here I have paid every month the full balance excluding the last month (this happened for the 1st time where I paid only 50% of my outstanding balance of $800)--total Balance was $,1600. My questions are: (a) Why did my Fico score go down from 752 to 741 after I opened my Amex Every Day Card 6 weeks ago? and (b) Will my Fico score go down even further should I discontinue my Delta Amex Card after the 1 year is up in order to prevent paying the annual fee of $95 annually? Many thanks for your answer.

- Asked Apr 26 , 2016


The reason your FICO score made a small drop is because of the recent credit inquiry for opening the Amex Everyday Card. Recent inquiries or "new credit" accounts for 10% of your credit score, so opening a new account will cause your score to temporarily fall a few points. The good news is that your score should bounce back up to where it was or high after a few months. Because you have a lengthy payment history with no missed payments and don't carry much debt, you score shouldn't ever drop any lower than the mid 700s as long as you maintain these good habits. Your score may take another small drop if you close your Delta Amex, but the effect, if there is any at all, should be very minimal and it won't take long to bounce back from.


I have an excellent credit score (above 780) and just closed on a house. I was thinking of opening a new credit card to utilize the 0% introductory APR for the first year to furnish my new house. Then over the course of the first year pay off the entire balance so i don't accrue any interest. Essentially, using the new card as an interest free loan so I don't have to use all my savings to furnish my new home. How great of an impact will opening a new card and closing it after a year or so have on my credit score? Are you able to determine a total point change or at least ballpark amount?

- Asked Apr 25 , 2016


The strategy you have laid out will work is a good plan and will work as you said as long as you pay the balance off in full before the intro period is up. If you already have an excellent credit score, the opening a new credit card account and closing it after the first year will not have much of an impact. Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure what the number of points would be, but it will not be much. FICO states that a credit inquire will drop your score only 2-5 points, but if you are paying all of your bills on time and not carrying much debt, your score should bounce back from this within a few weeks. Closing the account will be a similar situation. If you have one or two other existing credit card accounts then the impact will be very small, but if this will be your only credit card, you may see your score shoot up once you're approved, and then drop back down when you cancel it.


Hello. I currently have 3 credit cards, 1 of which is my Chase Sapphire card which I have only had for about 1 year. I pay my balance off every month for all 3 cards. My only current on-going bill is my mortgage. My credit score ranges from 790-805. My goal is to RAISE MY CREDIT SCORE. Will applying for a new credit card which requires an EXCELLENT credit score to be approved HELP or HURT my credit score. If so, I will then have 4 credit cards. Thank you for your time and advice in helping my reach a higher credit score. Yours truly, John.

- Asked Apr 21 , 2016


With a credit score in the 800s, your credit is considered excellent and you will be able to get approved for any credit offering you desire with the lowest interest rates. It's important to note that the benefits of having a high credit score begin to plateau once your score gets above 760. This means that having a 760 is like getting an A+ in school, and haveing an 850 is like having an A+++. Either way, you will get approved for the lowest rates. That said, opening a 4th credit card account does have the potential to help you increase your credit score even more, assuming of course that you are using it responsibly. If you open a new account, it is likely that your score will take a very small dip because of the credit inquiry, but over time it will rise even higher than it was before because adding a new credit line will increase the amount of credit available to you and lower your credit utilization.


Hi dear sir/madam, Is closing a credit card account affected my credit in the future ? I have two credit cards now which are Bank of America and US Bank. I am thinking to close the US bank because they charged annual fees too much . I'd like to request my credit reports as well. How can I request free credit report ? thank you

- Asked Apr 19 , 2016


Closing a credit card account will have some effect on your credit score, but the amount that it impacts your score will depend on your situation. Closing your oldest credit card account could bring your score down significantly because it will lower the average age of your accounts. Another reason closing an account could negatively impact your score is if removing that available credit will increase your credit utilization rate. A way to avoid this is to ask for a credit line increase on your other credit cards. However, if the account is charging you a high annual fee that you don't think is worth paying, it's probably still a good move to close the account. The impact on your score will probably be small, and it shouldn't take long to build it back up, but you'll never get that money back if you keep paying the annual fee. You can get a free credit score and report from Transunion on our website with our Credit Concierge service.


I had a credit score of 754, I was paying for a car and a loan. After paying both items off my score dropped to 719. I do have a credit card with a high balance of approx $7700. Is this why it dropped so drastically?

- Asked Apr 8 , 2016


If you recently charged up the $7700 credit card balance then that is likely the reason for the drop in your credit score. Revolving debt (credit cards) is weighed more heavily against your credit score than installment loans, so if you paid off your auto loan but accumulated credit card debt at the same time, it would make sense that your credit score would drop. Since credit card interest rates are notoriously high, I would focus on paying off your credit card debt as quickly as possible. With a score of 719, you can still get approved for the Chase Slate, which is an excellent balance transfer credit card. It comes with 0% APR for 15 months, and no fee for balance transfers made within the first 60 days.


I am 19 nearly 20. I am employed with plans for college later. I have a good job making about $4,000.00 per month. I live with my grandparents and own my vehicle, so I have no bills. I have a debit card but I need to start building my credit. What is the best way and card do you recommend?

- Asked Mar 4 , 2016


I would apply for a basic card with no rewards, such as the Capital One Platinum card. Although this card has a high interest rate, you should do you best to avoid interest by paying your entire statement balance in full, each month. After a year of on-time payments, you may want to find a rewards card from Capital One or another credit card issuer.


How does cancelling a card affect my credit?

- Asked Mar 3 , 2016


When you cancel a credit card, you will reduce your debt to credit ratio, provided that you debt remains the same. The effect can be significant if you have a large amount of debt and few credit cards, but it is minor for most people. And if you have a limited credit history, closing an account means that you aren't building a history as fast as you could have. But if you replace your closed account with a new account, you can mitigate this effect. 


I have four cards and I want badly to boost my credit. Everyone tells me to pay off the balance every month, but now I'm told I don't have enough debt. So what do I do?

- Asked Feb 15 , 2016


If you have the ability to pay your balance off in full each month, then you should definitely do it. It is a common misconception that carrying a balance on your credit card will help you build credit, but is ultimately not true and it could cause you to pay more money in interest charges.


Even though my credit score is 728 I still get denied many credit cards. would it be right to assume it is because of a chapter 7 bankruptcy that is 5 years old.

- Asked Feb 7 , 2016


Your credit score is good, but it is not excellent. That, combined with your bankruptcy will mean that you will occasionally be denied some premium rewards credit cards. In addition, there are other possible explanations including too many recent applications for credit, or possibly a high debt to credit ratio. Your bankruptcy is likely to drop off of your credit report in 2 years, and your credit should become excellent (740+) at that time, provided you continue to make payments on time and keep a low level of debt.


I have had a Costco American Express card for 6 years. The card is being closed in a few months because the two companies are dissolving their partnership. Will this card closure adversely affect my credit?

- Asked Feb 2 , 2016


While Costco has chosen to end its relationship with American Express, you are unlikely to have any problems with your credit as a result. American Express will try to retain you as a customer, and you are likely to be offered a different product. And even if you don't accept a new product from American Express, closing a single account will have a very little, if any effect on your credit, unless it is your only card. If that is the case, it would wise to keep multiple card account open and in good standing.


i have a 658 credit score and filed bankruptcy last year. I need to raise my credit score to someday eventually buy a home. How do i raise my score?

- Asked Feb 2 , 2016


To raise your credit score you need to have multiple accounts open and in good standing, carry very little debt, and make every payment on time. If you have just come out of bankruptcy, then you will need to apply for a secured credit card, which works just like normal credit cards but requires a refundable deposit before your account can be opened. 


I am repairing 653 credit to plus 700. What are your recommendations for unsecured cc, personal loans, bank, to improve score, or other.

- Asked Jan 31 , 2016


With a credit score in the mid-600s you can qualify for unsecured cards like the Discover It or the Capital One Platinum Credit Card. If you pay your bills on time, your credit score will improve quickly. Other loans such as personal loans and bank loans will help your score, but they are more expensive. 


I paid off Capital One and American Express credit cards, I would like to close the accounts. Would closing these accounts lower my credit score?

- Asked Jan 28 , 2016


How this affects your credit will be based on what other accounts you have. If you have several other accounts open and in good standing with little debt, then the effect will be minimal. If you don't have many other accounts, or you have large balances on ones you have, then you should leave these accounts open. What you want to avoid is a high debt to credit ratio, which is the amount of debt relative to the available credit you have. By closing these accounts you will reduce your available credit and increase your debt to credit ratio.


I have 748 credit score how can I turn it to 800

- Asked Jan 16 , 2016


A credit score of 748 is already considered excellent, and there is no real advantage to having a score of 800. However, it's always nice to have a little margin of error. To improve your score, you should have a perfect record of on-time payments, and carry as little debt as possible. In fact, you could be paying off your credit cards before their statement closing date, so that the statement reflects little if any balance. It's also important to have several accounts open and in good standing at all times.


I have always had excellent credit until a stroke hit hubby and things got rough. Our score is decent but we have high balances. Why cant we get a transfer balance card without going through heck? It only takes one trouble to ruin you and they love you when times are good and when you have a heartache they treat you like a second class citizen. Why is that?

- Asked Jan 8 , 2016


Balance transfer cards exist so that card issuers can acquire new customers with excellent credit scores. Since you have had problems with your credit, you no longer have an excellent credit score, and card issuers see you as more of a risk. Therefore, you are now only able to qualify for some credit cards, and not the most attractive offers with interest free promotional financing. Keep working on paying down your debt, and maintain a perfect payment history, and your credit score will return to excellent before too long.


Does it affect your credit score when you voluntary close a credit card?

- Asked Jan 4 , 2016


It can effect your score, but only by a little. Each line of credit that you have adds to your credit history and affects your debt to credit ratio. When you close a line of credit, you can increase your debt to credit ratio for a given amount of debt. Both of these effects are greater when you have a very limited credit history or very few credit cards. If you have several credit card accounts open and in good standing, and a lengthy credit history, the effect of closing a single card will be negligible. 


My credit scores were once 785. I had a clean credit report of all 3 reports in 2002. Do to past job layoffs and my home being vandalized in 2008, ( $40,000.00 in damage). I was forced to file bankruptcy in spite of filing Police reports, letters to States Attorney and Mortgage Lender, supplying 3 notarized letters from reputable Realtor's, and because of all this my credit report started going down hill, was homeless and no one would hire me because of vandals. I been trying to clean up my reports raise my scores. I can't get any help from any one. My scores now are in the mid 500's. Would a prepaid card that reports payments help along with written letters to those I owe or have derogatory remarks on my reports to remove them after full payments is made? Thanks for your help.

- Asked Jan 2 , 2016


A prepaid card will not help you to rebuild your credit, but a secured credit card will. A secured card works much like a standard credit card, except you must pay refundable security deposit before you can open an account. Then you have to pay each month's statement balance, and you will incur interest charges if you choose to extend payment. 

As for the negative information on your credit report, you can request to have it removed after you have paid your debt. In addition, you can have the credit bureaus add remarks to your credit file explaining the problem, which might help you to get a job from an employer who looks at your credit report as part of a pre-employment background check.


how many credit cards is good to have? 1 or two?

- Asked Jan 1 , 2016


In order to have the best possible credit score, you will need to have multiple credit card accounts open and in good standing. Doing so increases your credit history while reducing your debt to credit ratio. But if having multiple credit card accounts becomes difficult to manage, and is a factor in having late or missed payments, then it's better to have fewer cards. 


Through a service with AMEX I have my credit monitored monthly. I pay for this and I think it's Experian anyways. I get what they call the 3 Plus scores and they are 770 to higher. I pay on time, yet I don't understand why my credit score is not over 800? Yes, I am the father of 4 and putting them through private universities, unfortunately I had 2 in school during and after the 2008/09 disaster and every year after that. Which increased my debt. This debt maybe paid off in 2016 for two reasons I could go over at another time. But everything is paid on time, I have a history going back to 1980 when I was buying two family homes, once again never a late payment. But I do not know enough about credit like I do about investing, so I can't figure why my credit score isn't over 800. Thank you, Mark

- Asked Dec 23 , 2015


Your score of 770 is considered excellent, so there is no reason to worry about it not being at 800. There are many reasons that you may not have a credit score of 800, including your outstanding debt, or even if you don't have enough accounts. But really, you should be satisfied that your score is above 740 by a healthy margin, and all scores beyond that are considered to be equal for the purpose of applying for new lines of credit.


The two scores with the highest scores are: 727 for Equifax, 723 for Experian and 653 for Transunion. Which of the three scores are the credit cards based on for credit cards with low fees?

- Asked Dec 19 , 2015


Each of your credit scores reflects the information in each of your credit reports at the three major consumer credit bureaus. A credit card issuer can use one or more of these scores to make its decision, and it doesn't disclose in advance which one(s) it will use. I would get your credit report from Transunion to see if there is anything unusual or inaccurate in it that is hurting your score. 


Does the PayPal Business Debit Card affect my credit?

- Asked Nov 24 , 2015


A debit card doesn't constitute a loan, so the use of PaylPal or any other debit card will not affect your credit in any way. 


I am not sure what is considered an "excellent" credit score. Please advise the threshold for entering that status.

- Asked Nov 15 , 2015


An excellent credit score is generally considered to be a score of 740 or above using the standard, FICO scoring model. Unfortunately, this is only an approximate number, and there are several different scoring models from FICO and other companies that vary slightly. But once you reach the "excellent" range, you should qualify for nearly every credit card that you apply for, and receive the lowest interest rates offered.


I have a credit score of 621 and I am looking for a credit card to help build my credit. Do you have any suggestions for young adults who don't have many credit factors?

- Asked Nov 12 , 2015


While your credit is considered to be fair, there are still many cards available to you. One example would be the Capital One QuicksilverOne cash rewards card. It offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases, and has a $39 annual fee. you also receive a 20% statement credit on all Uber rides purchased with this card through April 2016. If you are a in school, I would recommend the Discover It card for Students, which offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter at select merchants, and 1% cash back on all other charges, with no annual fee. For more options, please check out our selection of cards for those with fair or average credit.


Does a personal line of credit affect my score the same way a credit card does? If I utilize the full amount available will that hurt my score? Or should I just get a personal loan? Say I needed $15,000 and had to use it over 6 months.

- Asked Nov 9 , 2015


For the most part, different types of credit will affect your credit score in the same way. The credit scoring formulas will look at the total amount of credit you are extended and the total amount of credit you have used to determine your debt to credit ratio, and a credit card, personal line of credit, and a personal loan are all treated equally. However, a line of credit that is larger than what you need will lower your debt to credit ratio. That said, keep in mind that your payment history will be even more important to your credit score than your debt to credit ratio.


How do I get my credit reports from all three agencies?

- Asked Nov 8 , 2015


By law, the consumer credit bureaus must provide you with a free copy of your credit report each year. You can obtain this copy by going to, or by using one of the services we offer at CompareCards.


How do you choose a credit card based on your credit score?

- Asked Nov 7 , 2015


Each credit card is designed to for customers with a particular credit profile, and it would not make sense for applicants to apply for a card that requires a higher credit score than theirs. So first, you can use free credit score to determine where you credit profile currently stands. Then, you can search for cards by credit score, and focus on the cards that best meet your needs that you can be approved for. If you would like more information, check out our recent blog post about choosing a credit card based on your credit score.


How can I get a credit history established since I have just turned 21, live at home with family and have always paid cash for everything?

- Asked Nov 6 , 2015


You should start by applying for a basic credit card and make sure to make all of your payments on-time. A basic credit card will offer no rewards and little, if any annual fee. For example, the Capital One Platinum credit card has no annual fee, and offers cardholders access to a higher credit line by making their first five monthly payments on time. Living at home, or being a young adult will not hurt your application, but they will take your income into account.


Because of length of time that my account was inactive Citi closed the account. How does affect my credit rating?

- Asked Oct 14 , 2015


It will likely have very little effect on your credit, but that depends on your situation. Someone with a very limited credit history will benefit from having multiple accounts open and in good standing. In addition, closing an account can increase your debt to credit ration for a given amount of debt. But if you have an established credit history, pay your bills on time, and carry very little debt, than the effect of this account closure is probably negligible. 


I have rebuilt my credit, and now want to cancel my worst credit card. Does canceling a line of credit (no balance) damage your credit score?

- Asked Oct 12 , 2015


Congratulations on rebuilding your credit! Cancelling a credit card has very little effect on your credit score. If you have a large balance elsewhere, then cancelling a card can elevate your debt to credit ratio, for a given amount of debt. Thankfully, this effect is small relative to much more important factors such as your payment history and your total amount of debt. One option is to apply for a better card, and then cancel the other card afterwards, which should preseve your debt to credit ratio.


I have a credit score of 740 but I have not had a credit card in many years. I would like to apply for one but want to make the right choice the first time so that I don't lower my credit score with multiple applications. Can you give me any advice?

- Asked Sep 29 , 2015


A credit score of 740 is considered to be excellent, and you will be approved for any credit card that you apply for. In fact, having a credit card will add to your credit history and improve your credit score, so there is little need to worry about your score being lowered. Instead, pick the card that offers the most valuable rewards, or the most attractive financing terms for your needs.



Hello, I have recently reached a good credit score(760). Right now I have a car loan with a very high interest rate (7%) which I am paying for more than 2 years and still have more than 2 years to pay off. I am thinking of refinancing my loan. But I'm not sure if it's better to do it or not considering following condition. 1- I want to sell my car in 4 months and lease a new one. As my car loan is the first loan in my credit history, I don't know if it is better to pay it off by refinancing to have a record of full payment or it's better to have an old good standing loan record on my report? 2- I need to use my credit to get a credit card for a new business in the near future ( let's say this month) so this credit run will affect the lease offer I am getting anyway and I don't know how much it would be worse if I have a record of refinancing car loan as well! I would appreciate if you let me know what is the best to do? Refinancing the car loan now? Or pay it another 4-5 months and pay it off at the time of leasing? Thanks for your help

- Asked Sep 23 , 2015


A credit score of 760 is not good, it's excellent. Furthermore, your credit should not be affected if you continue to pay your car off over two years, or if you pay it off in full in four months when you sell it. From the lender's point of view, you are paying your debt in full and early, which is not a bad thing at all. I might not even bother refinancing the card if you are only going to sell it in four months, but it would be a good idea if you intend to keep it for another two year.s And when you apply for a credit this month, you will have already benefited from your history of on-time car payments, and you shouldn't have a problem being approved any credit card you choose. 


I just finished paying off a judgement (public record) through garnishment. Now that it is paid can I have it removed from my credit report? If so, how? If not, can they at least update this as paid? Thanks.

- Asked Sep 23 , 2015


A public record is just that, public. So unfortunately you will not be able to remove it from your credit report. Instead, you can concentrate on rebuilding your credit as quickly as possible. In addition you can also have a statement added to your credit report explaining the judgment and any mitigating factors that caused you to have trouble paying off your debt. This will not affect your credit score, but may help you if a credit report is run for the purpose of a pre-employment background check, a rental agreement, or any other time that an individual is actually reading your entire credit report.


I have a public record on my report. It is for $1200. This is also in collections for $3800. Received a letter from collection agency stating if I pay $1600 to them by next week they will remove it from my report. Question is do I pay the collection agency and have it removed. If so, will this remove the collection account and the public record? OR would I be better off going the cheaper route and paying the amount of the judgement straight to the company I owe?

- Asked Sep 23 , 2015


If you are able to directly pay off the debt for $1,200, or pay a collections agency $1,600 and have the negative information removed from your credit, then you must ask yourself if having a cleaner credit report is worth $400. You also have to see if the original company will still place negative information on your credit report as well. Either way, whatever you can do to reduce the negative information on your report is probably the best choice, and it will involve paying your debt as soon as possible.


Hi. I just created an account and it gives this as a recommendation: Number of installment accounts is too high in proportion to total number of accounts I have 2 mortgage accounts (a first and then a small second), then an auto loan that was paid off 2/2013. There's also an old auto loan on there that was last reported 8/2007. It was paid, not delinquent or anything. How long should that normally stay on there?

- Asked Sep 16 , 2015


Most information will remain on your credit for seven years, but I wouldn't worry too hard about the recommendation you received. If you pay all of your bills on time, and carry very little debt, you will almost certainly maintain excellent credit. Nevertheless, credit score analyzers like this will need to offer you some recommendation as to how to improve your score. But another way to turn this around will be to open up additional credit card accounts, which will make the percentage of installment accounts lower. So long as you manage these accounts responsibly, and avoid debt, having them will offer you additional credit history and improve your score.


How long does a paid collection and judgment remain on your credit? And how can I get it removed?

- Asked Sep 14 , 2015


Negative information typically stays on your credit report for seven years. If the information is accurate, then you will be unable to successfuly dispute. But if the information is inaccurate, your only hope is to write a letter to the company that submitted it asking for a good will gesture. Since you have paid off the debt, they might agree, but since you indicated that they had to go through the time and expense of securing a judgement, then it would be unlikely that they would do so.


I recently paid off an auto loan and was always in good standings. Made extra payments on time and paid off in 8 months instead of three. I recently checked my report and this account was closed, in good standings, no late payments, but at the end of report it said paid by dealer charge off. I called and asked them to fix this and they agreed. I pulled another report recently, and this account is now deleted off my report, should I dispute and keep on report with account details as paid as agreed or should I let them delete it? Also, how is this going to affect my score? Will it hurt it? Or will it improve?

- Asked Aug 28 , 2015


If you have a very limited credit history, then it may be worth the trouble to contact the dealer and have them re-add the account, but correctly. But if you have an extensive credit history, then another single good account on your credit history is unlikely to make much of a difference. Also, you probably want to check all of your credit reports to insure that they all have accurate information, or at least no records that are inaccurate. 


What is the best way to get a medical account and/or something medical sent to collections that was paid removed? I have one that I've sent an official "I don't know what this is" and another one I paid in collections. I sent payment to hospital, but it was already in collections and they said they couldn't pull it from officially being in collections.

- Asked Aug 26 , 2015


There are two ways to remove negative information from your credit report, one is to dispute it with the credit bureau, and the other is to request its removal from the company that reported you. Credit bureaus are required to review disputed information, and your success will depend on how well you are able to document the facts. You can also request the removal of the negative information by the creditor, either as a factual issue because the information they reported was inaccurate, or as goodwill gesture. To get the negative information removed as a goodwill gesture, typically you would have to write what is called a forbearance letter to the president of the company, and they have no obligation to grant your request.


Does paying off you full balance on a credit card help you in any way?

- Asked Aug 22 , 2015


By paying off your statement balance in full each month you avoid all interest charges. As a result, you are essentially given an interest free loan for between 15 and 55 days, which is the length of time between you make a charge and payment is due on the next statement. In addition, not carrying any debt will help your credit score, as the amount you owe is one of the most important factors in your credit score.


I only have $4,000 in credit card debt, and my income is $ 30,000. Why is my credit score so low, it's 622?

- Asked Aug 19 , 2015


There are several factors that can be hurting your credit score, but the only way to know is to request copies of your credit reports. You could have a very high debt to credit ratio, which is the total amount of debt divided by the total amount of credit you have been extended. Missing payments can also hurt your score dramatically. Finally, you may also have a very limited credit history. The two most important things that you can do is to make each month's payment on-time, and reduce your total debt level as much as possible. Finally, you should make sure that you have several accounts open and in good standing, in order to produce a strong credit history.


I have 688 credit score. What can I do to increase my credit score?

- Asked Aug 16 , 2015


The most important factors in your credit score are your payment history and your amount of debt. So you would be best off by paying all of your bills on-time, and by paying off as much of your debt as possible. Beyond this, its important to have a strong credit history, so if you have few accounts open, it can help to apply for one or two more. On the other hand, you should avoid applying for many new accounts in a short period of time. Finally, you will want to order copies of your credit reports so that you can see what negative information has been recorded and check for any errors that you can correct. 


Over the past number of years I have had the worst luck with medical bills and misdiagnosis from doctors and specialists which has cost me a fortune. How can I resolve these bad debt inquiries?

- Asked Aug 16 , 2015


Medical bills are a major source of negative information on many people's credit histories. First, you need to obtain copies of your credit reports to find out what is on there. Where negative information exists that is false, you can challenge the validity of the debt directly with the reporting company, as well as with the credit bureaus. When the information accurately reflects a debt that you owe, you need to contact the reporting company and arrange payment as soon as possible. Once payment is made, you can request that the information be removed as a one time courtesy. These requests are often called forbearance letters. Thankfully, the latest credit scoring models do not weigh medical debt very heavily, a recognition of the fact that people can incur medical debt due to factors outside of their control.


I am trying to improve my credit by opening another credit card line with a higher credit limit. Is there any way to know what my credit line would be before applying for the credit card?

- Asked Aug 15 , 2015


Unfortunately, there is no way to know how big your credit limit will be if you are approved for a new account. Nevertheless, any increase in your available credit will lower your debt to credit ratio, for a given amount of debt. In addition, having additional lines of credit will increase your credit history, which is especially important for those who have a limited credit history. Another tactic would be to ask for increased lines of credit from the accounts that you already have open. Finally, the credit scoring formulas also look favorably at having different types of credit, so consider store cards as well. 


Can I apply for a Citi Double Cash card without it affecting my credit score?

- Asked Aug 12 , 2015


Unfortunately, any time you apply for a new credit card, there will be a record of it placed on your credit file. By itself, this will not have any significant effect on your credit score, but it can when you apply for many cards within a short period of time. The credit scoring formulas interpret multiple new applications for credit as a sign of possible financial trouble. Thankfully, even this effect on your credit is temporary, and relatively minor. On the other hand, opening up a new credit card account can help your score by increasing your credit history and reducing debt to credit ratio, for a given amount of debt.


How do I find my FICO credit score?

- Asked Aug 8 , 2015


There are several ways to obtain your credit score. While you could pay one of the credit bureaus to receive this information, it's also available for free from Compare Card's Credit Concierge service. In addition, many credit card issuers are now offering cardholders monthly access to their credit scores for no charge. Just keep in mind that your credit score will vary slightly depending on which credit bureau it uses data from. In addition, there are several different scoring models offered that use different formulas. Finally, your credit score will be based on information from your last statements, so it could take a month or more for new information to be reflected.


My husband just moved to the US and is trying to build credit, he has no credit in the US and perfect credit in Ireland. If I add him to my credit card as an authorized user will this help him to start to build credit?

- Asked Aug 7 , 2015


Since American credit bureaus will not recognize credit histories from other countries, you husband is essentially starting from scratch since he arrived in the United States. Adding him as an authorized user will help to establish his credit, but the effect is not as great as having an account in his own name. He can start by applying for a secured credit card, which are issued to nearly anyone who can verify their identity and does not have a pending bankruptcy. Another place to start would be a basic store credit card. So long as he makes regular, on-time payments, he will quickly build a strong credit history and will have a rising credit score.


On your site CREDIT CONCIERGE my credit report is showing a balance due on credit I have paid in full. How do I correct that issue? I have a letter from lender saying account is paid in full.

- Asked Aug 4 , 2015


First, you need to contact the three major consumer credit bureaus and request a copy of your credit history. Then, you will need to file a dispute with each one of them, including a copy of the letter. Unfortunately, errors are common in credit reports, but there are laws requiring the credit bureaus to investigate and correct these errors.


I have 4 credit cards (all major) acquired from 20 years ago to within the last 3 years. My FICO is over 700. Does it lower my credit score to drop a few of the credit cards I no longer use as there are better offers out there and I would like to "upgrade" to different banks or cards.

- Asked Jul 20 , 2015


Since you have an extensive credit history, and an excellent credit score, cancelling some of your credit cards will likely have little effect on your credit score. The exception would be if you have significant debt and closing some of your accounts will raise your debt to credit ratio. The credit card market is extremely competitive, and new cards are constantly being introduced with generous rewards and more favorable terms. By holding on to credit cards for many years, you may be using less competitive cards, so by all means, feel free to adjust your portfolio to reflect the best cards for your needs. 


My wife and i recently started a food catering business and would like to finance a food truck for a price of $20,000.The finance company agrees to approve us for an unsecured line of credit but not until my wife's credit score is at 680 minimum but it is right now at 638. We really need to close this deal for this food truck opportunity but we do not know how. Could you please guide us to success?

- Asked Jul 11 , 2015


There are few quick fixes to improving your credit score, but here are a few places to start. First, order a copy of her credit report from Look for any outstanding balances and try to pay off as many as possible. In fact, you should pay off her credit card balances before her statements close, so these accounts report a zero balance. You should also be looking for any negative information on her credit report. If the information is inaccurate, then you should dispute it immediately. But if the negative information is accurate, you can try sending a letter to the reporting company requesting a one-time removal of the negative information. While you don't want to make excuses, you will want to offer some explanation for a late payment or whatever problem resulted in that item in the report. Finally, you will want to continue to be extra careful to avoid debt and make all payments on-time. By taking these steps, her credit should rise the small amount necessary for you to receive this loan.


Hello Jason, I have a lot of credit cards that I don't want to use. Is that affecting my credit score? Thanks

- Asked Jul 11 , 2015


Having many open credit card accounts will affect your credit score, but the result will usually be positive. So long as the accounts are in good standing, with little or no debt, and you are not making late payments, then these accounts are helping you to build a strong credit history, which will result in a high credit score. In addition, having many open accounts will help you to have a large amount of credit extended, and low debt to credit ratio for a given amount of debt.

On the other hand, if having too many accounts contributes to you incurring debt or making missed payments, it will make sense to close some of these accounts.


I have a collection item on my report that has a 51 month term. I never had had a term with the original credit, because it was a utility bill. I never sign any term agreement with the collection company either. What should I do? I have disputed it twice, but both times it was verified.

- Asked Jul 8 , 2015


I would try to contact the utility company and sort this out from that standpoint. If the utility bill was paid in full, you need to ask them to take the bill out of collections and update your credit report. If it was in collections because you paid it late, then you should still obtain documentation that it was not a revolving loan, just a utility payment. Hopefully, you should be able to use this documentation to successfully dispute this incorrect information once and for all. 


I have a 700 credit score and I know I can get it higher. What are the easiest ways to make it higher?

- Asked Jun 17 , 2015


The two most important factors in your credit score are your record of payments and your amount of debt. Without knowing more about your situation, I would recommend you focus on always paying every bill on time, and carrying as little debt as possible. Beyond that, it is important to build your credit history by having several open accounts such as credit cards, a car loan, or a home mortgage. Certainly, you shouldn't borrow money just to build credit, but many people are able to build credit by having several credit card accounts open and in good standing. 


Also, it is important to request a copy of your credit report, which you can do for free at Make sure you check for errors and dispute any inaccurate information. Finally, a key factor in your credit score is time. If you had a negative item on your report, it can take several years before its effect is diminished.


I have a 700 Equifax score and I have 5 credit cards now. I just opened 2 new ones because Capital One will not up my limit. I pay off cards each month and make 10 plus payments on each card. I have worked hard to get my credit back. What am I doing wrong? I also have Nissan financing me with a low rate. Capital one keeps turning me down and I average 4% available credit. I have not missed a payment ever and I am lost and want to close both accounts. I dont want to lose what I have worked for now for over 3 yrs.

- Asked Jun 13 , 2015


A credit score of 700 is good, but not great. I would start by ordering a copy of your credit report from and checking for any errors. Next, I would stop asking Capital One for a larger line of credit, as they may be making hard inquiries to your credit report. 

That said, I wonder why you are making "10 plus payments on each card"? The best way to manage your cards is to make a single payment on each card, for your entire statement balance, on or before your due date. In addition, I would also consider paying down some or all of your balance before your statement cycle closes, so that you have a very small statement balance. Unfortunately, your statement balance will be reported as "debt" even if you eventually avoid interest charges by paying it off in full. So long as your credit report is free of errors, and you continue to make on-time payments in full, it is only a matter of time until your credit score rises. 


Can a credit score be attained for free? And how?

- Asked Jun 8 , 2015


CompareCards offers a free credit score with our Credit Concierge service. You can sign up here: Credit Concierge. In addition, many credit card issuers now offer free credit scores each month. Some, like the Discover card, offer this service to all cardholders, while others, like Chase only offer it to holders of particular credit cards, like the Chase Slate.


Will using your free Credit Concierge service cause any soft or hard hits to my credit?

- Asked Jun 6 , 2015


This service results in a soft pull on your credit report, which means it will not affect your credit score in any way. Soft credit inquires, often called pulls, are done when credit card issuers select consumers to target them for offers, and it also happens when you request a credit report or credit score for yourself. While there is a record created of the credit inquiry, it has no effect on your credit score.

In contrast, a hard pull is performed when you make an application for new credit, and having many hard pulls within a few months can impact your credit score. Fortunately, the impact of hard pulls is minor and temporary.


If I dispute late payments on a closed credit card account that is current, can they delete that account off of my credit reports? I just finished a debt management plan, and the account was closed when I entered into the program. The account has been open for 12 years, and I have nine accounts on my history with that one being one of three oldest for credit cards. If they delete it, I don't know how much it would affect my score.

- Asked May 12 , 2015


Disputing a late payment will not delete an account from your credit score, so you have nothing to worry about there. In fact, removing the negative information related to a late payment would help your credit score far more than removing an old account would hurt it.


Consumers who have many credit accounts over a long period of time worry too much about how their average length of credit history will affect their credit score. Your length of credit history makes up only 15% of your total FICO credit score, which is far less than your payment history (35%) or your amounts owned (30%). Just continue to pay your bills on-time and carry very little debt, and someone like yourself with over a decade of credit history is unlikely to be affected by the addition or subtraction of a single credit account.


What is the maximum amount of inquires one should have before it begins to negatively impact his or her credit score? Also when inquires are removed, does the credit score increase?

- Asked May 10 , 2015


According to FICO, which often provides the scoring formula for many credit scores, "FICO's research shows that opening several credit accounts in a short period of time represents greater credit risk. When the information on your credit report indicates that you have been applying for multiple new credit lines in a short period of time...your FICO Scores can be lower as a result."


FICO says that a single inquiry may sometimes hurt your score, but typically only by less than five points. As you make more inquiries, the impact becomes greater, but at most, it only hurts the 10% of your score that consists of "new credit." Inquiries can appear on your credit report for up to two years, but only the most recent inquiries will have the greatest impact. After 3-6 months, the impact appears to be negligible. Furthermore, the more recent the inquiry, the higher the impact will be on your credit score. 


Someone used my personal information to apply for credit cards. How do I clear that?

- Asked May 5 , 2015


You have likely been the victim of identity theft and need to take immediate action. Contact all three major consumer credit bureaus and have them place a freeze on your accounts. This will prevent anyone from applying for new credit in your name. Then, you will need to request a copy of your credit reports and dispute any accounts that were opened against your authorization as fraud. You should also contact all of your current, valid bank and credit card accounts and inform them that you have been the victim of identity theft. They should then have you set up new passwords and security information to replace what was stolen.


Identity theft is very difficult to recover from, but if you take the right steps now, you can prevent more damage from occurring.


I have a 727 Transunion score according to my Capital One credit card app. I also know that scores vary depending on who the lender is, but I would like to know if this is considered Good or Excellent on the scale. Thank you.

- Asked Apr 23 , 2015


Unfortunately, this can be a very complicated subject. Transunion is one of the three major consumer credit bureaus (Equifax and Experian are the others). Each of these three major bureaus will have a slightly different file on each person, so your credit score will vary somewhat based on the bureau's credit history that is being pulled. In addition, there are many different credit scoring formulas, and each formula can use data from each credit bureau, depending on the company offering the score. The most popular credit scoring formula is from FICO; however, there are actually multiple FICO credit scores available (see why this is so complicated?).


Nevertheless, having a 727 score from Transunion would be considered good, and is very close to being considered excellent. In general, a FICO score of about 740 or above is considered excellent. To improve your score, I would recommend eliminating all debt and continuing to pay all of your bills on time. You are really close, and it will just take a little effort to get your score to "excellent." 


My credit score is a 640. I have 5 credit cards that are high interest but they all have low balances. Example: $250 used of $1100, $200 used of $1000 and etc. What kind of advice can you offer to get myself to the point that I can get approved for a higher limit, lower interest credit card to transfer balances and not have so many cards. I am stuck with 5 cards, all within the past year and my credit score went from a 440 to 640, among other investments.

- Asked Apr 4 , 2015


The fact that your credit score is improving means that you are doing something right. The two most important factors in your credit score are your payment history and the ratio of credit limit to debt. So first, I would do everything possible to ensure that you make all of your payments on time. Unfortunately, it can be hard to remember five different payments, but you can enable email or text notifications. 


Another good step would be to pay off several of your small balances and stop using those cards. This will reduce the amount of your debt and interest costs, while also making it easier to make your payments on time. After you do so, keep the accounts open to increase your credit history, but just don't use the cards. Pretty soon, I am sure your credit score will rise to the high 600s or even the lower 700's, so you can qualify for a card with a competitive promotional financing offer for balance transfers


Can you please inform me why my Credit Karma score is different from your credit score as well as my Capital One score?

- Asked Mar 27 , 2015


With so many different credit scores available, it can be very confusing, but it helps to know how a score is created. Each credit score can be different because of two factors. First, is the consumer credit bureau that the data comes from. There are three major bueaus, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Next, is the credit scoring model used to create the score, such as FICO, Vantage, or Transrisk.


For the credit scores we offer, we use the data from TransUnion using the TransRisk score. Credit Karma uses the VantageScore from both TransUnion and Equifax. Captial One uses the TransUnion New Account Model. There should be very little difference between the results fo these scores.


What is best way to close a card, without harming your credit score?

- Asked Mar 26 , 2015


So long as you close your account yourself, and it is not closed by the card issuer, the impact on your credit score will be minimal. To assure that there is as little change as possible, you can take the following steps. First, do not close several cards at once, as this can quickly reduce your available credit and raise your debt to credit ratio. If you hold more than one card from the same issuer, you can ask to have a portion of your credit line transferred to another card before closing it. This will help you to maintain the greatest amount of credit extended. Finally, you can ask for credit limit increases among your remaining cards as another way to reduce the impact of closing an account.


However, if you have very little debt and a lengthy credit history, the closure of a single account will not have a negative effect on your credit score. Continue paying your bills on time and carrying very little debt, and it will actually be very hard not to have an excellent credit history and a high credit score.


Is it better to increase the a limit on a current card or apply for another one? I have a credit score of 740-760.

- Asked Mar 14 , 2015


Your current credit score is excellent, so you will be able to qualify for the lowest interest rates and be approved for any credit card you choose. So if your goal is to further increase your credit score, you could consider applying for an additional card, which will increase your credit history. This is especially important if you have a limited credit history and only have one or two current credit cards. Applying for another credit card may offer you valuble points, miles, or cash back as a sign-up bonus. Finally, you can't have a credit score that is better than "excellent," so even if you do manage to raise it slightly, there will be no real advantages to doing so.


But if your goal is simply to have a largerer line of credit available, you are more likely to be granted a large line of credit by applying for a new credit card, not by asking for a credit line increase from an existing line of credit, which are often modest. And when you do receive a larger line of credit, just be sure not to use all of it, which will hurt your credit score.


I have no credit cards and no credit period. In fact, all three of credit reporting agencies show a clear report. So what is the best way to start building credit?

- Asked Feb 26 , 2015


With a blank credit report, you have the perfect opportunity to build a strong credit history by paying your bills on time and carrying little debt. I would recommend starting with a secured credit card, as you can qualify with no credit history at all.  These cards will require that you place a small credit deposit first, but they are just like any other credit card. You will have to make a monthly payment, and you will incur interest charges if you fail to pay your balance in full. In addition to a secured credit card, you could also try applying for a store charge card, which are often granted to applicants with little credit history.


After about a year of making your payments on-time, you should be able to apply for a standard, unsecured credit from a major card issuer. By continuing to make all of your payments on-time and by carrying little debt, you will quickly build a strong credit history and have a high credit score.


If I apply for one of these cards and want to add an authorized user to the account (which means he also has to provide his SS and other information), is this person responsible on the account as the primary? Would this person build credit as the primary cardholder? Is the information shared with the credit bureaus the same as what's shared with the primary cardholders information? Thank you

- Asked Feb 10 , 2015


When you add someone as an authorized user to your account, that person is able to make charges to your account, but is not considered a primary account holder. You, as the applicant, will remain the primary account holder. This means that you alone will be responsible for the repayment of all charges, including any charges made by authorized cardholders. In addition, the primary account holder will be the only one to have the authority to make any changes to the account including disputing charges, redeeming rewards, adding authorized cardholders, or closing the account.


Nevertheless, the authorized cardholder will still build their credit as long as the primary account holder manages the account responsibly. The consumer credit bureaus attribute some of the payment history of the account to the authorized cardholders credit files, so the account activity will reflect on their credit profile. Read more about the difference between an authorized user and a co-signer by visiting our blog. 


Hey Jason. Between 1996 and 2008, my wife and I averaged an 815 score. I did it by going from 7 to 2 fixed CU cards.I cut the amount of credit by 60% on purpose. I found by doing so, credit reporters liked that we didn't have a large amount of credit which could be managed poorly. On average scores went up 60 points. My question is credit utilization conflicts with my plan. Did I unknowingly do something else to raise our scores?

- Asked Feb 7 , 2015


Credit scoring formulas are very complicated, and very secretive, so it can be very hard to pinpoint specifically what you did or didn't do to raise your score. But frankly, you shouldn’t worry about your credit score if it is about 815, or even if it’s above 750. The truth is that after 740, all scores are pretty much equal, and there is nothing to be gained by squeezing a few more points out of your score. Essentially, a 740 score is an A+, and there is no A+++++ rating. Make sense?


You likely have a great credit score by having very little debt and by paying your bills on time. Keep doing that and you can have as many credit cards as you like, and never have a problem. At the same time, I would be hesitant about cancelling several of your cards.


One of the componenets of your credit score is debt to credit ratio. This is the total of all of your unpaid balances, divided by the total of all of the lines of credit that you have been extended. And unfortuantly, each statement balance is considered to be "debt" on your credit history, even if you avoid interest by paying each statement balance in full. So cancelling credit cards will lower your total credit and increase your debt to credit ratio, for a given amount of debt. For that reason, you might as well keep your accounts active, especially if there is no annual fee and if they've been open for many years, helping your credit history.


I’m trying to build my credit, but don’t really know anything about credit reports. What do banks look for and what’s in my report?

- Asked Jan 7 , 2015


It sounds like you haven’t seen your credit report in recent years so I would first suggest requesting a free copy of all three credit reports from If you haven’t already, I would then suggest signing up for a credit monitoring service so you have access to your credit score and see how your actions can make your score rise and fall. Credit Concierge ( is a good service to use for credit monitoring and it’s 100% free.


The information available in your credit report includes personal identifying information such as name, DOB, past and present addresses, social security information, and some employment information. Trade lines (bankcard, credit card, auto loan, mortgage, etc) are reported that show you the information such as the date the account was open and closed (if applicable), your account balance, and payment history. Each time you apply for a new line of credit, whether you are denied or accepted, it will also show up on your credit report. Both soft and hard inquiries show up on your report, but only hard inquiries affect your credit score. The last bit of information that you can find in your credit report is from collection accounts such as medical bills, and also public information such as foreclosures, liens, bankruptcies, and judgments.


All of this information may be in your credit report, but not all of it contributes to your overall credit score. For example, your FICO credit score is a combination of five categories of information; payment history, amounts owed, new credit, types of credit used, and length of credit history. Each of those categories has a different weight on your overall credit score depending on the credit scoring model’s algorithm. If you are applying for a credit card, they won’t use your age, past addresses or current interest rates on your open accounts to determine your creditworthiness. They will, however, take into consideration things like your payment history, the total debt you have, and whether or not you have delinquent accounts or accounts in collection.