how much open (credit lines that I am not using)credit should i have?

Question by bgfuzz: how much open (credit lines that I am not using)credit should i have?
I would like to improve my credit score and will need to finance a car purchase in 3 months (Jan lease expires). To get the best finance option I want to have better than current 726 CS. I have multiple lines of credit some only a few thousand and a couple over 10 thousand that are open and not being used.

Best answer:

Answer by
Do NOT, NOT open new accounts.

From what you wrote, you are in fine shape, except that score is not 740+ for best financing or lease terms, so here’s what I suggest:

1. Pay any balances to 48% of credit limit.

2. Immediately used every card you have for a small purchase and pay it as soon as it hits the account, a couple/three days. This moves “date of last activity” to this month, improving scores BUT…
3. Adding 25% to a balance lowers scores, thus…
4. A zero balance credit card that suddenly has $ 5 on it from a gas purchase lowers scores at that time, which is why you must immediately pay them. Reporting is behind by 1-90 days.

5. CLOSE any “merchant card” accounts (and pay off) UNLESS a merchant card is your oldest account–in which case do NOT close that one. A merchant card is a store card like Best Buy, Sears, Macy’s, gasoline cards that aren’t also VISA/Mastercard. Basically, if they are not VISA, MC, AMEX or Discover, they are a store card and should be paid off and closed except the oldest account.

6. If you opened a new account in the last (say) 9 months, pay it off and close it.

You have little time to do these. Credit changes take up to 90 days to show up in scores and on reports. GO!!!

What do you think? Answer below!

One comment

  1. bdancer222 says:

    You won’t be able to do much in only 3 months to improve your score. If you have open credit cards that you are not using, they are not doing a thing to help your score. Having the line of credit doesn’t improve your score. It’s using those cards and paying them that build the credit history.

    Start charging small items on your major credit cards and pay the balance in full every month. You need payment activity. But probably won’t gain more than a few points in only 3 months.

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