Personal Finance

Please, help me to pull the plug!

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 28th, 2016 3:48 pm
[OP]
Banned
Jul 18, 2016
2014 posts
784 upvotes

Please, help me to pull the plug!

For the last four years, after some serious financial issues, I've been going through a process of repairing my credit. I have achieved my goal, however my credit score still remains moderate at 672 due to a fantastic amount of credit activity in that period of time ( about 10 new accounts), and I carry a pile of debt due to balance transfers that I am investing.

For that period of time, I have been watching my credit like a hawk, paying monthly, with Transunion and Equifax, and I KNOW this is a waste of money. Equifax's service has been horrible recently. Their site seems to be down 50% of the time and this seems to be a kick I need to stop this nonsense.

Help me guys! I am addicted. I need to stop this BS. The scary part about this addiction is that I actually fear something is going to go wrong the moment I stop watching. No more watching stupid credit scores!!!

Am I the only one guilty of this stupidity?

:facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm:
63 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Aug 24, 2016
8910 posts
9939 upvotes
The Prairies
bewiseman wrote:
Am I the only one guilty of this stupidity?

:facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm:
No, you're not. But you are the first to admit it.
I've never seen so many threads/posts about credit scores, including endless questions "is this gonna affect my credit score" "is that gonna affect my credit score" people panicking when their score shifts down a few points, having a stroke over a bank doing a hard check unauthorized. The list goes on.
While I agree it's great to be concerned about having a good credit score, I don't think it's cool at all to be obsessed with it like many people here are.
Like I said in other threads.

Pay your bills on time
Keep utilization/debts to a minimum
Don't app spree

All this will ensure a good credit score without having to stalk it.
[OP]
Banned
Jul 18, 2016
2014 posts
784 upvotes
coolintheshade wrote: No, you're not. But you are the first to admit it.
I've never seen so many threads/posts about credit scores, including endless questions "is this gonna affect my credit score" "is that gonna affect my credit score" people panicking when their score shifts down a few points, having a stroke over a bank doing a hard check unauthorized. The list goes on.
While I agree it's great to be concerned about having a good credit score, I don't think it's cool at all to be obsessed with it like many people here are.
Like I said in other threads.

Pay your bills on time
Keep utilization/debts to a minimum
Don't app spree

All this will ensure a good credit score without having to stalk it.

I just went online to try and cancel the account. The buggers have set it up so I have to call them. What a pain!
Newbie
Jun 14, 2016
42 posts
33 upvotes
bewiseman wrote: Am I the only one guilty of this stupidity?
I've checked Equifax almost every day for the past 10 months. I was checking TransUnion every day too until I finally cancelled a couple of weeks ago. I'm also checking Mogo.ca monthly.

Addicted? Yes probably
Jr. Member
User avatar
Apr 24, 2016
131 posts
43 upvotes
bewiseman wrote: For the last four years, after some serious financial issues, I've been going through a process of repairing my credit. I have achieved my goal, however my credit score still remains moderate at 672 due to a fantastic amount of credit activity in that period of time ( about 10 new accounts), and I carry a pile of debt due to balance transfers that I am investing.

For that period of time, I have been watching my credit like a hawk, paying monthly, with Transunion and Equifax, and I KNOW this is a waste of money. Equifax's service has been horrible recently. Their site seems to be down 50% of the time and this seems to be a kick I need to stop this nonsense.

Help me guys! I am addicted. I need to stop this BS. The scary part about this addiction is that I actually fear something is going to go wrong the moment I stop watching. No more watching stupid credit scores!!!

Am I the only one guilty of this stupidity?

:facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm:
Stupidity? Must be another word for learning. :-)
Anyone that tells you not to give it it’s due is clearly in a different situation than many of us and hasn’t been denied access to money at fair market rates. If I had 20 years of clean A+ history I wouldn’t worry about my score either but like you I don’t.

I found myself without a credit score (yes it was 0) after living within my means 15+ years. Only after my wife losing her job forced me to seek credit at Mortgage renewal time and that’s a little late to make quick changes. We now have a 3-year Mortgage with a B lender while I create a new credit history to ensure access going forward.

Many here have made poor decisions in the past not being fully aware of the impact. By stalking our reports over a period, we learn in real time the effect of utilization, hard hits etc.

Kudos to you for taking the initiative in learning how these actions are perceived by lenders and securing access to less expensive money and hopefully new positive habits!

Having said all that my daily need to check is less and less as i near 700 and I can reasonably predict the changes to my file and I will be canceling my 24/7 access to both bureaus but will continue to monitor monthly through the free online access points to ensure nothing is out of the ordinary.
Good luck!
[OP]
Banned
Jul 18, 2016
2014 posts
784 upvotes
Glad I'm not the only one with this issue. I've learned a lot because of this, but I know now that its a bit of an addiction. Equifax seems to be sending me a quiet message to cancel their service. Their access to my report has been down for 3 days now, and they've always been very very slow on their website.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Aug 24, 2016
8910 posts
9939 upvotes
The Prairies
OttawaOldtimer wrote:

Kudos to you for taking the initiative in learning how these actions are perceived by lenders
How are you learning how these actions are perceived by lenders, when the score they provide you isn't even used by any lenders?
People have noted huge differences in the scores presented by Equifax directly, and the scores presented by Mogo, Borrowell and now RateHub, all of which deliver a score provided by Equifax, but one they claim is used by many lenders.
A 650 directly from Equifax, compared to a 725 delivered by the other 3 is quite the difference don't you think?
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
37042 posts
23015 upvotes
Center of Universe
While I can't say I'm addicted, I was nearly a victim of ID theft (inside job from an employee at a big company that I won't name) and was paying monthly sub fees with Equifax; until I got the free service (going into my 3rd free year) via the HD breach (in which my card was also comprimised and automatically canceled by the FI).
Now that I'm churning cards, I'm just monitoring the score to ensure it doesn't drop too low, before rinsing and repeating,
Jr. Member
User avatar
Apr 24, 2016
131 posts
43 upvotes
coolintheshade wrote: How are you learning how these actions are perceived by lenders, when the score they provide you isn't even used by any lenders?
People have noted huge differences in the scores presented by Equifax directly, and the scores presented by Mogo, Borrowell and now RateHub, all of which deliver a score provided by Equifax, but one they claim is used by many lenders.
A 650 directly from Equifax, compared to a 725 delivered by the other 3 is quite the difference don't you think?
I do. What your saying isn’t wrong and to some degree it backs up my point.
Since so many scoring models exist to be purchased by lenders and the ability for lenders to customize weighting of factors they see as more or less important it’s impossible to pick the right one.
What I’ve never seen is a score reported lower then the educational score. Therefore, if you can find out the factors needed (score income history) to get a product you can be reasonably confident regardless of what model they use you will be approved if you meet it with the educational score.
Again, this is more of a concern to those of us on the bubble.
[OP]
Banned
Jul 18, 2016
2014 posts
784 upvotes
OttawaOldtimer wrote:
What I’ve never seen is a score reported lower then the educational score. Therefore, if you can find out the factors needed (score income history) to get a product you can be reasonably confident regardless of what model they use you will be approved if you meet it with the educational score.
Again, this is more of a concern to those of us on the bubble.
I actually have. My Borrowell score plunges considerably lower than the Equifax score when utilization ratio get too high ( I haven't figured out the exact threshold yet). I've said before in other threads, that these scores from Borrowell and I think Mogo, weight utilization ratio much higher than the educational score from Equifax. Transunion score seems largely useless to me since it never really changes and has remained within a 15 point range for almost 3.5 years, whereas Equifax has ranged more than 130points.

Still, this makes Coolintheshade's point that at this stage for me, paying everything on time and keeping my balances low, will leave me with a decent score.

I just counted all of my new accounts again. Its actually 15 new accounts since November 2013. No wonder my score, on average, remains below 700!
[OP]
Banned
Jul 18, 2016
2014 posts
784 upvotes
vkizzle wrote: While I can't say I'm addicted, I was nearly a victim of ID theft (inside job from an employee at a big company that I won't name) and was paying monthly sub fees with Equifax; until I got the free service (going into my 3rd free year) via the HD breach (in which my card was also comprimised and automatically canceled by the FI).
Now that I'm churning cards, I'm just monitoring the score to ensure it doesn't drop too low, before rinsing and repeating,
Once your score gets above a key level, you don't need to worry so much, I guess. I guess that's where you and other RFDers are who tease those of us who watch so carefully. Still, I look at all the fees I've paid in the last 4 years and realize that I could have paid off my current charge card balance instead of todays $1500 bill payment. However, I guess I'd also be less informed. Perhaps, I should just consider this tuition.

On another note:

Weren't you the one with the AMEX gold business charge card? I've never had a charge card before and would like to understand what to expect when it reports to the credit bureau for the first time. In two weeks, I've already charged $2700. Max balance appearing in that time will be $1700, however the statement balance will be about $200 since I have already made $2500 of payments.

How will this reflect on my credit report? Will it show a high limit (credit limit) of only $200 since that is the statement balance, or will it show $2700 since that is my total charge for the statement period?
Jr. Member
User avatar
Apr 24, 2016
131 posts
43 upvotes
bewiseman wrote: I actually have. My Borrowell score plunges considerably lower than the Equifax score when utilization ratio get too high ( I haven't figured out the exact threshold yet). I've said before in other threads, that these scores from Borrowell and I think Mogo, weight utilization ratio much higher than the educational score from Equifax. Transunion score seems largely useless to me since it never really changes and has remained within a 15 point range for almost 3.5 years, whereas Equifax has ranged more than 130points.
How messed up is that!
I let my utilization get to about 40% in the fall when had new windows installed in the house and my EQ score dropped 30 points and Borrowell only dropped 10.

I just got off the phone with TU. The sales pitch is on when you try and cancel! Free months etc. EQ is next! :-)
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Aug 24, 2016
8910 posts
9939 upvotes
The Prairies
OttawaOldtimer wrote: How messed up is that!
I let my utilization get to about 40% in the fall when had new windows installed in the house and my EQ score dropped 30 points and Borrowell only dropped 10.
Actually it's not messed up. That just shows the weight of factors are very different between the scoring models.
In your case, there was probably another factor weighing favorably, keeping the plunge from utilization to a minimum.
[OP]
Banned
Jul 18, 2016
2014 posts
784 upvotes
coolintheshade wrote: Actually it's not messed up. That just shows the weight of factors are very different between the scoring models.
In your case, there was probably another factor weighing favorably, keeping the plunge from utilization to a minimum.
Well, it IS messed up if we're being asked to pay for a score which isn't commonly being used. Selling us a meaningless score, educational or not, is of questionable ethics. Really, Equifax should be selling us the most commonly used score, or not selling it at all. In fact, at this stage I wish they'd offer a product that simply allows me to check the details of my report once a month so that I can be certain that my creditors are correctly reporting everything. I no longer care about the score.

I called them to fix my issue with the report. It looks like there was 20 pending order bottle neck in their system. Something went very wrong at their end, and if anybody else is having difficulty logging in and viewing their report, they should give Equifax a call and mention that the agent needs to check and clear your pending orders. I was going to cancel it, but decide to wait for now. I want to first confirm that Grow Financial correctly reports that I have fully paid of my loan to them - this after waiting for them to correctly report my loan ( nothing showed up for 16 months).
Deal Guru
User avatar
Aug 8, 2012
10198 posts
4015 upvotes
BC
bewiseman wrote: I've never had a charge card before and would like to understand what to expect when it reports to the credit bureau for the first time. In two weeks, I've already charged $2700. Max balance appearing in that time will be $1700, however the statement balance will be about $200 since I have already made $2500 of payments.

How will this reflect on my credit report? Will it show a high limit (credit limit) of only $200 since that is the statement balance, or will it show $2700 since that is my total charge for the statement period?
Only $200. Why did you pay it off before the statement?

I'm not sure how utilization factors in for a charge card but for lack of any other numbers ... if you charge $100 on a future statement that would look like 50% of your high usage to me (as opposed to under 4% of $2700 high usage). Again, not sure how that factors into score and if it's identical to a credit card or not, but ... why risk it if you are concerned about score?
POLL: How frequent is your RRSP-matching?
Plastiq: Pay any bill with credit card for 0-2.5% fee (help meet min spending and keep old cards active!)
Rewards program transfer times (e.g. SPG->Aeroplan, Marriott->SPG, Amex MR->SPG...)
[OP]
Banned
Jul 18, 2016
2014 posts
784 upvotes
ace604 wrote: Only $200. Why did you pay it off before the statement?
Charge cards don't have a strict credit limit, instead they have a spending limit. I charged $1060, and promptly sent them $1000 when the balance on my online account was still showing 0. The result of this was a significant jump in my spending limit. At the moment I am actually not certain what my spending limit is. I only know that when I try the "check spending power" link, what was previously rejected is now being accepted. I suppose I could click that link 5 or 6 times and figure it out exactly, but the spending limit is constantly changing due to a variety of factors, so that effort is likely not helpful to me since my current known spending power is more than what I currently need.

I am not really worried about my score anymore. I'm more concerned about ensuring that everything is getting reported correctly.
Last edited by bewiseman on Dec 7th, 2016 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
37042 posts
23015 upvotes
Center of Universe
bewiseman wrote: Once your score gets above a key level, you don't need to worry so much, I guess. I guess that's where you and other RFDers are who tease those of us who watch so carefully. Still, I look at all the fees I've paid in the last 4 years and realize that I could have paid off my current charge card balance instead of todays $1500 bill payment. However, I guess I'd also be less informed. Perhaps, I should just consider this tuition.

On another note:

Weren't you the one with the AMEX gold business charge card? I've never had a charge card before and would like to understand what to expect when it reports to the credit bureau for the first time. In two weeks, I've already charged $2700. Max balance appearing in that time will be $1700, however the statement balance will be about $200 since I have already made $2500 of payments.

How will this reflect on my credit report? Will it show a high limit (credit limit) of only $200 since that is the statement balance, or will it show $2700 since that is my total charge for the statement period?
I actually just got this card and good timing, being it's holdiay season+Christmas to help me get to the $5K spending.
From what I understand, there is no limit reported to the bureaus (AMEX reports to TransUnuion, so I can't confirm myself with Equifax) and does not affect your overall utilization.
[OP]
Banned
Jul 18, 2016
2014 posts
784 upvotes
vkizzle wrote: I actually just got this card and good timing, being it's holdiay season+Christmas to help me get to the $5K spending.
From what I understand, there is no limit reported to the bureaus (AMEX reports to TransUnuion, so I can't confirm myself with Equifax) and does not affect your overall utilization.
As I understand it, it reports your highest balance as the limit. However, I asked the question because I was trying to understand whether the highest balance is based on the statement date or at ANY time. Anyhow, I guess i'll answer my own question in the next week or two.

I shouldn't have any difficult hitting the 5K in time. Wonder if they'll reward me in time for Christmas if I put another $2300 on right away? Can I use the rewards towards a ski trip for my family in the New Year? Smiling Face With Open Mouth

Is AMEX only reporting to Transunion for you? My personal ( non-business) reported to both for over a year until I cancelled it.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
37042 posts
23015 upvotes
Center of Universe
bewiseman wrote: As I understand it, it reports your highest balance as the limit. However, I asked the question because I was trying to understand whether the highest balance is based on the statement date or at ANY time. Anyhow, I guess i'll answer my own question in the next week or two.

I shouldn't have any difficult hitting the 5K in time. Wonder if they'll reward me in time for Christmas if I put another $2300 on right away? Can I use the rewards towards a ski trip for my family in the New Year? Smiling Face With Open Mouth

Is AMEX only reporting to Transunion for you? My personal ( non-business) reported to both for over a year until I cancelled it.
Spoke too soon, the "credit check" was with TransUnion, in which it is also part of my reported tradeline in Equifax.
Below is what I see right now (which is exactly what you stated)

High Credit/Credit Limit: $1900.00
Payment Amount: Not Available
Balance: $1900.00
Type of Account: Open
Past Due: $0.00
[OP]
Banned
Jul 18, 2016
2014 posts
784 upvotes
vkizzle wrote: Spoke too soon, the "credit check" was with TransUnion, in which it is also part of my reported tradeline in Equifax.
Below is what I see right now (which is exactly what you stated)

High Credit/Credit Limit: $1900.00
Payment Amount: Not Available
Balance: $1900.00
Type of Account: Open
Past Due: $0.00
Did you make any payments before the statement was issued?

Top

Thread Information

There is currently 1 user viewing this thread. (0 members and 1 guest)