Author Topic: Does focusing on one (of several) credit cards affect score?  (Read 3155 times)

sloof70

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 100
Does focusing on one (of several) credit cards affect score?
« on: October 08, 2013, 10:41:02 AM »
I have three credit cards.  One has a $4300 limit, the other $4000, and another $2000.  I barely touch the first two because I prefer the rewards of the $2000 limit card.  On that card, I probably have a running balance of around $1400-1600 at any given time, because of the payment timing (always pay it off).  I know they say keep you credit usage around 20-30%, but will it affect your score if you focus that in one card?

simonsez

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 756
  • Age: 32
Re: Does focusing on one (of several) credit cards affect score?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2013, 02:06:49 PM »
Define "barely touch".  If you NEVER use it, then of course they could cancel the account which would affect your debt utilization ceteris paribus (w/o any credit limit bumps on your primary or anything).

RobertBirnie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 77
  • Age: 32
  • Location: San Jose, CA
Re: Does focusing on one (of several) credit cards affect score?
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2013, 02:26:09 PM »
simonsez has it. It doesn't matter as long as they don't close the others from inactivity.

sloof70

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 100
Re: Does focusing on one (of several) credit cards affect score?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2013, 03:29:10 PM »
Define "barely touch".  If you NEVER use it, then of course they could cancel the account which would affect your debt utilization ceteris paribus (w/o any credit limit bumps on your primary or anything).
The $4300 one is my oldest card (BoA Visa), which I stopped using about 9 months ago because the rewards weren't as useful.  The the $4000 one (US Bank REI Visa) I use probably less than $100/month.  The main one (Chase Amazon Visa) gets all the love.  Yes, I buy a lot of stuff on Amazon.

RobertBirnie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 77
  • Age: 32
  • Location: San Jose, CA
Re: Does focusing on one (of several) credit cards affect score?
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2013, 01:16:23 AM »
I setup all my small regular bills to each go to a different card. Electricity to one, cell phone to another, etc. That way I can focus on the card with the best bonus and really forget the others. You might do the same, as 9 months inactive on the BoA Visa might have them cancel the card which would be especially bad as its your oldest card.

sloof70

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 100
Re: Does focusing on one (of several) credit cards affect score?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2013, 11:37:35 AM »
I setup all my small regular bills to each go to a different card. Electricity to one, cell phone to another, etc. That way I can focus on the card with the best bonus and really forget the others. You might do the same, as 9 months inactive on the BoA Visa might have them cancel the card which would be especially bad as its your oldest card.
Very true.  Looks like they're going to get my Netflix bill.

simonsez

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 756
  • Age: 32
Re: Does focusing on one (of several) credit cards affect score?
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2013, 02:22:43 PM »
If you are putting four figures or thereabouts on a card (or the sum across all your accounts) every billing cycle, I would think you should be in line for some credit limit increases for that particular account regardless of what happens with the card(s) that you don't use.*  Meaning, who cares if they close an account for a card you don't use as long as you get an equivalent (at least) credit limit bump on the cards you do utilize.

*-provided you make, on-time payments of course

RobertBirnie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 77
  • Age: 32
  • Location: San Jose, CA
Re: Does focusing on one (of several) credit cards affect score?
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2013, 07:47:09 PM »
If you are putting four figures or thereabouts on a card (or the sum across all your accounts) every billing cycle, I would think you should be in line for some credit limit increases for that particular account regardless of what happens with the card(s) that you don't use.*  Meaning, who cares if they close an account for a card you don't use as long as you get an equivalent (at least) credit limit bump on the cards you do utilize.

*-provided you make, on-time payments of course

The top 3 categories used to calculate the credit score are on time payments, utilization (ie, under ~20-30%), and length of credit history. If he lost his oldest account his score would go down, likely substantially.

http://www.myfico.com/crediteducation/whatsinyourscore.aspx

Quote
Your FICO Score takes into account:

how long your credit accounts have been established, including the age of your oldest account, the age of your newest account and an average age of all your accounts
how long specific credit accounts have been established
how long it has been since you used certain accounts

Its actually a good long term strategy to open a larger number of credit cards if you are younger to help boost your average age of all accounts. Say you open just one account at 25, then another account when you turn 50. Your account average age would go from 25 years to 12. But if you had 5 or 6 accounts, you would go 25 to 20.