• Your Credit Score

    Your credit score is the most important thing to keep in mind when applying for credit cards.

    Review your Credit Scores. Two free sites to get a ballpark figure are:

    1) www.CreditSesame.Com
    2) www.CreditKarma.Com

    If you are planning to make any purchases that will require loans (cars, houses, etc…), you will not want to apply for a credit card for 6-12 months, as inquiries negatively affect your credit score; however, they do so in only a minor way.

    Each credit inquiry will affect your score by 2-5 points for 1 year, and then affect it by only 1-2 points for the next year. After 2 years, the inquiries completely fall off of your credit report. Do not do this if your score is below 700.

    Each time you get a new credit line, your utilization rate will decrease, INCREASING your credit score. This is how my score has increased over the past year despite applying for almost a dozen new cards.

    INTERMEDIATE SECTION

    This knowledge is not necessary, but if you are interested in some other items about your credit, read on.

    There are 3 credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and Transunion. Most credit cards will on make an inquiry with one bureau (note that Capital One is infamously known for inquiring all three bureaus). What does this mean to you? If Chase pulls from Transunion (like it does in Ohio – it differs by state) and Citi pulls from Experian, while you have 2 inquiries, each credit report will only show one!

    ADVANCED SECTION

    3-Browser Method: If you are applying for multiple credit cards from a single bank (i.e. Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase British Airways and Chase United Mileage Explorer), if you fill out each application in different browsers: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome – and then hit submit on all three browsers within a few seconds, the bank will only make 1 inquiry on your credit!