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Questions to credit vets from a credit noob
My late aunt took pride in not borrowing from anyone and paid everything with cash. Long story short, **** hit the fan and when she needed to borrow for her medical expenses, she had no credit. That was a wake-up call for me, a couple of years out of college and thinking I didn't need to borrow.

I had zero credit history and was denied on all my credit card applications, so I got a secured credit card a little over a year ago. I don't know what my credit score was back then (I joined CK just a couple of months ago and my annual credit report was blank) but I'm guessing it wasn't that horrible since Capital One gave me something like $350 limit when I deposited $200. I used it for gas once a month and paid it off a couple of days before the due date. When I joined CK, my credit score was around 710 so I was tempted to apply for a real card, but decided to wait a bit to see how CK works and see if I could trust their recommendations. For the last couple months, I learned a lot about how credit works through articles and comments here. Last weekend, I pulled the trigger and went full Kamikaze.

I just received my Chase Freedom, Diamond, AmEx Blue Cash, Discover, and waiting for a few more. Highest limit is $10K and lowest is $1K(It was Discover, and I had to call to get approved so I stopped applying figuring the inquiries were catching up to my credit spree). I don't need to finance anything for the near foreseeable future so taking a score hit for the next year or two isn't an issue: I figured having a bunch of cards with low balances and paying them off right before the due dates would improve my score in the long run. CK has me at 713 right now(down from 723) but it only reports 4 inquiries so far and I should have 8 total when they're all updated. I have a few questions for credit veterans:

1. Was that a good move, or did I screw up by missing something? (yeah, I should have asked first before applying)

2. Is it worth keeping the secured card with no benefit and $70something annual fee? (I don't really care about the limit or the APR). It's only a little over a year old, but it's still my oldest account.

3. There's a conflict of info here, but should I keep a small balance on the cards or pay them off after the bill generates but before the due date? A few of those cards have 0% introductory APR so keeping a small balance wouldn't be a big deal, but I'd rather not if it's not necessary (I don't want to develop a debt habit).

4. Should I call the card companies to increase my limit after several months of good payment history? Again, I don't care about the inquiry hit for a couple years, but I'm not sure if future lenders will see a high total limit as a good thing or a potential risk.

5. Discover gave me a Equifax FICO score of 746 and it's dated on the day when I applied. That was the last card I applied to so I was wondering if that included the barrage of hard inquires I accumulated on the same day or not.

6. Any other nugget of wisdom for a credit noob?

Thanks in advance for any info/advice.

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I agree with "trying"'s suggestions.

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Just one point I'd like to make.  The only reason to Not Pay off your card every month is when you are trying to increase your score because you intend to apply for new credit.  (creditors like to see a balance due because that eans they will make money)  if you do not intend on opening new accounts in the near future the go ahead and pay them off.  I use my online banking and ebills to do this and set up automatic payment to pay off the balance 5 days prior to the due date.

Given that you went on a "new account spree" you shouldn't need to apply for anything any time soon.

When you are ready to try for that loan or new card in the future, Then pay off 75% of the account balances each month and let it carry over. Do this for about 3 or 4 months prior to applying. Then once the new account is aquired, then go back to your old habit of paying off the balance each month.  

Good luck

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Thanks and a follow up question about paying off 75%.  Does the amount matter?  As in, does it matter if I pay off 75% of $100 or $1000?

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