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Archive for July, 2015

Balance Transfer Update and Other Musings...

July 21st, 2015 at 12:26 pm

My new Cap One card came yesterday in the mail. I activated it immediately and hopped online to see if I could complete the balance transfer, because I am impatient like that. No dice. I got a message saying balance transfer offers weren't available online, but that I could call. So today, call I did. Turns out an account has to be open for 10 days before balance transfers are available. Oh well. I made a note in my Outlook calendar to complete the transfer on Monday. I'll be transferring the Verve balance after all. You cannot transfer between Cap One accounts. Makes sense - why would they want to lose out on all that yummy interest? Not a big deal....I will transfer the Verve balance, and then apply aggressive payoff plan to the Cap One secured card, while making a modest payment to Cap One QS. Once secured is paid off, then I will turn my attention to QS. Found it funny that as soon as the card was activated, they charged the annual fee. Guess they're impatient too Smile

I decided to keep the Verve card for a little while, even though it will cost me money. As my CC balances get paid down, my utilization will go down as well, which is the biggest thing hurting my credit score at the moment. Once I get through moving, I will re-assess and decide if I want to keep it open. By then, I'd like to have also replaced the Cap One secured card with a non-secured card of a similar credit line. Hopefully I can close the Verve by the end of the year, and then close the Cap One secured by March or so (it'll be paid off before that, just trying to stagger the age of my current accounts so it doesn't look like all of my credit is new).

In non-financial news...my workouts have been going great. I do CrossFit 3-4x a week, and have gained a lot of strength. I'm doing an eating plan that focuses on fueling your body for your workouts, and it's helped me immensely. The by product of fueling your workouts properly is fat loss. I don't know how much tangible loss I've seen so far (in fact, the scale is definitely up about 8 pounds but I would guess some of that is muscle!), but I've been getting a ton of comments that I look like I've lost a lot of weight. Nope, I've gained a little and in fact am eating between 2500-2900 calories a day! But thanks anyway haha. I'm more concerned with how I look and feel than with the number on the scale right now. A recent body fat test informed me that the scale goals I've had for the last 5 years, even though they were conservative, are also impossible based on the amount of lean body mass I have. Soooo, that goal is gone. If I continue on this path, it'll come.

That's about it for me for now...looking very much forward to Thursday (parking account resets!), and Friday (payday!)...hope everyone is having a good week!

New Credit Card!

July 16th, 2015 at 09:14 am

I applied, and was approved, for the Capital One Quicksilver Card. It should be arriving shortly.

I've been looking to add a credit card to my "portfolio" for a few weeks. The Verve card is one of those designed for folks with bad credit (boo), and carries a fairly sizable annual fee ($96), plus a monthly maintenance fee ($6). Obviously, I don't want to pay these fees, which means this card will not be sticking around long-term. So I decided to try to find another card to replace it, so that I can maintain my credit limit/utilization.

The Quicksilver card is 0% until March 2016, with no balance transfer fees. Plus 1.5% back on all purchases. That's pretty exciting, I thought I was a ways away from being approved for anything with those kind of offers. $39 annual fee, which I am fine with. $500 credit limit.

Originally, I was going to transfer the balance from the Verve card onto this new card. I then realized that I have it scheduled to be paid off in 2 months anyway. I'm going to keep that plan, and transfer as much as I can from the Capital one Secured card to the QuickSilver. I have a fairly aggressive plan to pay that off as well, but if I can avoid accruing interest, why not.

I'm not sure if I should keep the Verve card open for another year, and suck up the fees. I'm very much in a credit re-building phase.
Option A: If I keep it open, I can keep utilization lower, have a higher available credit line, and the average age of my (now) 3 credit card accounts will be longer. I will pay $168 for this privilege in fees.
Option B: close it as soon as it is paid off (Sept), reduce available credit line by $500, and this will increase the utilization percent. This will also decrease the average age of my accounts. Would now be down to two cards. This will cost me nothing, but might not help my credit as much as I would like it to.

Thoughts? What would you do?

Any ever transferred a balance from one Cap One card to another that can give me some insight into the process?

Once the Cap One secured card is paid off (by the end of the year), I'll also be looking to replace that with a non-secured card so I can close that account and get my deposit back. Hopefully by that time, credit score will have gone up enough to get a non-crappy card (ha!) with a decent enough credit limit that I can maintain available credit/utilization, etc. I'm sure I'll be looking for thoughts on the who average age of accounts then too.

Good Progress!

July 11th, 2015 at 06:20 pm

Here I am, only writing after payday again. Been busy at work so haven't had much time!

Yesterday was payday. This check went fully into the Key account, not into one of my primary accounts, so I paid the car payment (wanted to get it sent out since the bank has to generate a manual check and mail it thanks to my crappy lender), and then transferred the rest to a primary account. Thankfully, this is a 1 business day thing, so it was all in my main account this morning.

Paid about $400 worth of current/outstanding debt. I have 1 payment left on 3 collections accounts that I've been paying for almost 2 years! Can't wait to re-direct that money every month. The balance on one of those accounts is way incorrect according to their site, so I decided to just go ahead and update it on my spreadsheet, to the tune of almost $300. That'll be a fun phone call on Monday - I have the original payment agreement, and all of my payments as per their site, so they really have no choice. Outstanding debt is under $12k (potentially under $10k based on settlement offers I've received, oping to be able to capitalize on some of those.)

I sent another $250 to the M&T account, so my little baby EF is funded! Of course, if you recall from a previous entry, I'm building it up only to use it for a tax bill, but still, the concept of saving it up to make the payment feels good. As soon as the tax bill is paid, I hope to replenish it quickly, and not go much below the $500 while I'm paying off the big stuff.

Mom has officially taken over the car payment. The payment I sent yesterday will be my last. I upped my 401k contribution to 10% (should take effect next paycheck or the following). Before I make another jump up, I want to research IRAs. I do like that the 401k reduces my taxable income, but I like the flexibility of the IRA, along with it being tax-free in retirement. We'll see - not planning to increase again before the end of the year.

Still spending too much, but better this pay period. I had a lot of extra money on hold in my bank account this week for various things, and it didn't help that it was there. I usually bring my lunch to work, but wasn't in the mood for meal prep last weekend (I had a 4.5 day weekend) so I just bought it and spent more than I'd like to. Back to my Sunday meal prep tomorrow!

That's all I've got for now...hope everyone is having a great summer so far!