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About Matthias

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  1. I haven't gotten around to making anything out of it yet, but bought this book and some of the stuff in it looks amazing: Put this thread up 5 years ago. Made it a few times since then. Amazing every time.
  2. Anyone mention yet that the last few years the leading Republicans have been saying to keep the pre-existing conditions bit and just drop the mandate? Which, of course, would make this stone fall even faster.
  3. Just a phone call. You call to cancel the card and tell them it's because of the fee and they'll sometimes suggest it themselves. But if you ask for it, they'll almost certainly do it.
  4. Sometimes. Nowadays I've gotten into just asking them to transfer my available credit line onto one of their no-fee cards. Keep the available credit line and length of relationship. The Citi card was the first one I outright cancelled in a while and that was just because they pissed me off.
  5. Gotcha. I was looking at the fine print on the bottom.
  6. Sarge's is also legit. Upstate is a great raw bar that's right around where you'll be. Highly recommended.
  7. Globally, July shattered the previous record high. May have to start getting used to it. Including cockroaches that fly.
  8. $95. Waived the first year. Crap. Already have 1, 2? Chase cards. Applied last week for another one that has 1.5% cash back. Got, "further review" for the first time in years. Probably the no more than 5 new cards in 2 years. Crap crap.
  9. Looked it up. Got this one wrong. For utilization rates the number that matters is your balance at the end of the period. So if you want to keep it low make some payments during the cycle. But apparently using under 20% of the limit is better than using zero so don't finish the month with $0 on it.
  10. I'm not sure on the business card question but guess it would help if you're the authorized signer. Every year you're allowed to pull your own credit report for free. It won't give you your credit score for free but it will show you all the credit information that companies look at. So you can see both what credit lines are being considered for you personally and any negative history that shows up. If you do see negative history, you can try to contact the creditor and ask them to remove it. There's no downside; worst thing they can say is no. Sure. Paying the minimum is fine. It shows that you have credit and pay it on time. It's a bad idea from a personal finance perspective as their interest rates are ghastly but from a credit perspective it's perfectly ok. The only negative on it would be the utilization rate so I wouldn't carry a significant amount of the available credit. But less than 20% of the available won't hurt. And no need to pay after every transaction. It doesn't matter. If you want to be diligent about it just set it up to give you a reminder once the monthly statement is ready and then pay it then. As mentioned above I use the Mint app to keep me abreast of my various accounts. In addition to giving you heads up when a payment is ready and due, you can also pay it directly from the app once you link your bank account. Only thing to be careful of is that once you start relying on it you have to make sure it is up to date if you change any online account passwords. Because once it can't access your account it won't give you notices. Happened to me a couple of times. And as said above, I wouldn't consider asking for or getting a mortgage until you have your house in order. You're less likely to get approved and will face higher rates if you do. Which can be incredibly expensive over the life of the loan. And every time you apply for a mortgage you would get the short-term credit request ding. Which isn't a big deal in the scheme of things; it goes away shortly. But you'll want a robust score so it's not a short-term issue especially if you want to comparison shop various lenders. So for now I'd just go out and get 3 or 4 or 5 cards, whatever you qualify for. You just want to establish a history. So if you go to a clothing store and they ask you if you want to get one, say sure. If you have to take a secured card, do that. If you have to do a crappy annual fee card, do that. The $39 or whatever is inconsequential compared to the money delta in a mortgage. In the scheme of things the whole thing is a bit of a monkey show. But it is the way the system works so just maximize within it.
  11. They also make a per transaction fee every time you use them which they charge the merchant. Which is why they may like you even if you pay your bill in full and on time every month.
  12. I don't see it especially if all you're looking for is things that up your score. With his score and 1 card he wants to build some history. So get a card from Chase and US Bank and from Banana Republic (I have one of those b/c I saved $20 for applying when buying some jeans) and whoever else you can get the better deals once your number rises. And you could call Chase and say, "Look, I have this card but am thinking of cancelling. Could you instead transfer me to card X?" They're happy to do that because you're still the same credit risk; they have the same $X potential liability with you. Eight or nine years ago my credit was in the absolute toilet. Owed about $80,000 on my student loans; had late payments on them; and hadn't had a credit card for years after I got into debt on the one I had and started exclusively using a debit card. I started putting my house into order. Got one of the terrible Capital One cards with a $500 limit and $39-$79 annual fee which was the only one which I could qualify for. Paid off the student debt. Got them to agree to remove the negative history in exchange for paying them off (you'd be surprised how willing creditors are to do this if you ask and don't owe them any money). Started going through cards to get the sign-up bonuses. Nowadays my score is 815 which is ridiculously good. You want to do all this before you try to get a mortgage. Probably at least a year in advance. Generally speaking once you get your score to a respectable range you probably will not see a difference but you might and it's a big difference between bad credit and pretty good. Would save thousands and thousands over the life of your mortgage.And the start to that is just getting some credit and establishing history and reliability. The factors that go into your score: People can talk about min-max'ing the rewards from different cards. On the whole I'd say there's not a world of difference among the better ones and you can always just look at nerdwallet to see which ones are the best. Mostly they vary on who they're with and what they're for. The rewards are going to be generally better if you use the brand that it's from. Airline or hotel rewards cards become really good if you use them a lot. You start getting freebies and upgrades and what not. And you get little bumps like free bag at check-in. Only $25 but whatever. Free money is free money. But the normal straight return is about 1% in value, sometimes 3-5% with rotating categories and bonuses for using it there. The Amazon card gets you 5% for using it there. The Best Buy card gets you 5% for store credit. Etc. Really more of a matter of matching up the rewards with what you want. And looking for things like Discover that gives you 1% cash back and then for new accounts double that at the end of the year. You won't do better than 2% for straight cash back on everything you use it for. And you get big perks for sign-up bonuses, generally about $300 - $500 in value. They'll let you do those every couple of years generally. British Airways have one they do every once in a while where you end up with 120,000ish miles for spending up to $20,000, maybe $15,000 I forget, over the course of a calendar year. Use those on their American Airlines partner domestically and you can get up to 4 round trips on that. So maybe $1,200 or so. Pretty good. But I wouldn't even start thinking about that if you have ####ty credit. Then you just want to do the stuff you can to get your score up. And that means taking worse offers and ideally with a spread of cards and types of accounts. Credit cards vs merchant cards vs straight loans all give you bumps for having a variety. If your credit is really bad, if you look on nerdwallet, it recommends the CapitalOne Secured Mastercard. You deposit $ with them so it's functionally a debit card but it creates credit history. And it has no annual fee.
  13. Nothing. Just hoping you use it and reflects you being a better credit risk. But as you keep a credit card in good standing, they'll often bump your credit line for no real reason. From your perspective there's no downside. One of the biggest parts of a credit score is your utilization rate which is measured both by individual cards and overall. The less you use of what you have available the better off you are. If you have a $5,000 credit line and are using $4,000 they figure you're hard up for money and may be a risk to start defaulting. But if you have $80,000 in available credit and are only using $0 - $2,000 of it they figure you have no money problems. So all it does is help. Rule of general thumb is the less you need someone's money the more willing they are to lend it to you.
  14. Take it. It doesn't hurt you.
  15. Quick things. Your credit score takes a small ding every time you apply for a credit card. It's not a big deal and goes away after 6 months or so. But if you're going to be looking at buying a house you want to take those dings now so they're gone by the time you're looking for a loan. I would focus on building credit history rather than which 1-3% rewards card benefit you get. Try getting some store merchant cards. Your score is based off of your amount of credit, amount you use, and what varieties. And take some crappy ones. Who cares. Just have 4 or 5 lines open. Then 6-12 months down the road look at what you might get that's better.