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Wednesday, October 19, 2022

FICO Realities

Since early September (2022) I have been experimenting with online surveys to determine whether they are a viable source of income. In my case, I have decided they take up a little more time than I can afford, however will help out with gift purchases for the upcoming holiday season.

That said, the following chart shows the Amazon Gift Cards I have claimed since September...

That said, this post really is not about surveys and gift cards. This post is about my dalliance with my credit scores. The following graphic provides my Equifax credit score as of September 27, 2022.

I have always noticed that all credit reporting agencies show the reason for any negative information is because I do not have enough credit cards. I liked having one Mastercard and the many debit cards associated with my checking, savings, money market, and PayPal business accounts. In my case, only the Mastercard credit card counts insofar as credit reporting.

The other problem? I do not carry debt. I have no mortgages, personal, business, nor education loans. That said, 806 is not a bad score. As a matter of fact it is excellent. So why mess with it? Because I did not know what would happen.

On October 6, 2022, I was online shopping, debating whether to hurry and purchase the gift with a discount coupon I wanted to take advantage of- before the coupon expired.

As I was reviewing my Amazon cart, I noticed a message- apply for an Amazon Store Card and get a 100 dollar gift card. So that is what I did. If I had not been getting Amazon Gift cards from different sources, since mid September- mostly because of online surveys, I am sure I would have ignored the message as I always do. I also knew I had a 10 dollar gift card coming from Synchrony because I opened a new CD on September 9, 2022. It was not emailed, until October 11, 2022.

I applied and was approved for an Amazon Store Card on October 6, 2022.

On Friday, October 7, 2022, when I checked my Mint account, I noticed my FICO score as reported by TransUnion had dropped from 786 to 776. Part of the reason there is a difference from the Citi Bank report which uses Equifax versus the TransUnion report used by Mint, are the ranges used by each of the reporting agencies. Equifax uses a range from 250 to 900 while TransUnion uses a range from 300 to 850.

Yes, I was a little annoyed, however ordered my gift with the gift card and the new Amazon Store Card set as my new primary payment method with Amazon, even though the actual card did not arrive until Monday, October 17, 2022. The illustration below shows the invoice for the purchase which was an early birthday gift for a relative.

Hope you can use my lessons learned to make informed decisions about credit card applications and use.

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