Did I just hurt my credit score?

Well, I’m pretty sure I must have kind of hurt it, but I’m wondering if it would be anything significant.

What happened was that I applied for an Amazon credit card to get a discount on an order I was going to place. Card was to be issued by Chase. Problem was I forgot I had recently applied for (and received) a Chase card, so I was rejected becasue of that. I have no doubt I would have gotten the Amazon card if it hadn’t been for the other card I just got, my recent credit has been decent to good.

For the record, I’m not going out and applying for tons of credit cards or anything, as I know that can hurt a credit rating too. I’ve heard that having 3 cards is somehow ideal, and that’s my goal. I do have 4 right now, but that’s only because I plan on replacing one with the Chase card I just got, but I haven’t actually cancelled it yet. I only use 1 of my cards and that is only about 35% full at any time.

Any advice on this specific situation (getting rejected for a card I didn’t really care if I got), or building credit in general?

Thanks for the help.

There’s an answer to your question in the rejection form.
If they are going to report things negatively you must be notified of which credit bureau they used.
You can get a free report from each of the 3 credit reporters each year.

What you heard about 3 being some magic number is dead wrong. The more cards you have with high remaining balance the better, and the longer you’ve had them the better. But you shouldn’t try to get too many new ones at once, because that is a red flag that you have just lost all your money in Vegas.:wink:
Each of the 3 main credit service sites has many tips. Read them carefully.

To keep close track of your credit, I’d recommend you try for a PayPal credit card, which is sponsored by Providian. It gives you a free update every month on your credit score, plus has a simulator program to test “What ifs”. Like what if I closed one card, or tranferred one balance to another, etc.

This link may help, but watch out for anything with a price on it. http://www.cardreport.com/index.html
You don’t have to pay to get good advice, nor one free copy of your report from each of the services. Your “FICO” score costs extra, being an independent thing from your credit reports themselves. It’s somehow not included in the reports, but as I said, PayPal will give it to you free, if you qualify for their card.

Here’s a better link for free credit reports. It’s the secure site set up for this purpose by the credit agencies. https://www.annualcreditreport.com
Again, though, they will try to sell you things, like monitoring services, that you really won’t need.

Not only can you get one free report a year, you can get one on the specific reporting company used whenever your application is delcined (within 30 days of that event).

A word of warning: they give you the option of contesting wrong info. This you should do. But they also give you the option of putting a short explanation of someting into your file, which you should never do. It just calls attention to your problem and is usually worse than the problem itself.

I’m no expert, but you probably didn’t have any adverse affect on your credit score beyond the small ding you might take from having an inquiry.

Your credit report should have a list of accounts you have, their balances, and whether you are paying on them as agreed. It will also have a list of bankruptcies or other similar legal actions. It will also have a list of inquiries made on your credit within the last X days, but not the disposition of any action taken on those queries.

If you are denied credit, it shouldn’t show up any differently than if you applied for credit then turned down the loan because you didn’t like the terms.

Just for the sake of clarity, there is no need to use the annual report site to request a report pursuant to a rejection. You’re entitled to that report based on the rejection, and that report does not count as your free annual report from that bureau. Contact the bureau directly for that.

I believe that is correct. People tend to think that credit reports are more complicated than they really are. They are actually very simple and only use a few pieces of information. They only report on true credit accounts (utility bills and most other types of non-credit accounts aren’t on there at all). They merely list credit owed, available credit, and payment history in 30, 60, and greater than 90 days late buckets. You can pay every single bill late every month and it will never affect your credit score unless they aren’t 30 or more days late.

Inquiries are the only entry that would affect you in this case. There is no penalty for being denied. Other information like income and even employment status aren’t used at all.

There is no need to try to boost your credit score as high as possible. A relatively responsible person with a small set of credit cards and a reasonable debt to credit limit ratio should have a score over 700 and there are extremely few things that require a score of over, say, 720.

Point of Information:
My Alltel cellular account used to show up on my credit report.
As for the rest of Shagnasty’s info, spot on.

By the way, not all products from the same vendor have the same approval criteria.
The OP’s “other” Chase credit card quite likely has different criterion for approval versus the Amazon card he applied for. Some banks have crappy products, average products and elite products. Different terms, different rates, and different maximum credit limits, along with different acceptance criteria.

It was probably a contract right? You probably agreed to pay them a certain amount of money over time so it was like a other credit accounts. You probably couldn’t get out of the cellular contract without paying a large penalty.

Regular phone service and your normal utilities aren’t like that so they don’t show up on credit reports unless you are really late and they send it to a collection agency.

Always bear in mind that it doesn’t matter what your credit score is until you need additional credit. So, who cares.

That’s NOT to say that some credit cards won’t automatically put you into default if you’re late on a payment to another creditor, but that doesn’t have anything to do with your credit score per se. So, don’t worry about it. Little dings will fall off the counting-part rather quickly.

**Shagnasty **nailed it. A credit card rejection won’t show up. The inquiry will, so don’t go crazy with those. As for your plans to cancel that fourth card, don’t bother. http://www.fool.com/News/mft/2005/mft05040513.htm (registration required).

Right. Still made me mad as heck. They added a tradeline on my report where their competitors would not have. I didn’t need more recent “new credit” showing up at the time and lowering my average age of item on my report.

Not necessarily, if what you mean is a lot of available credit. If you try to qualify for a mortgage, having lots of available credit can be a negative, as it means you might fill it up! Then you might have trouble making your mortgage payment.

It is something they look at.

Too much available credit on your current cards could prevent you from getting more credit, especially if your salary/ability to pay is low. It makes you a bad risk.


http://www.myfico.com/Offers/myFICO_UYCS%20booklet.pdf (pdf) (from the inventors of the FICO credit score.)

  • Id.*


There is some debate about how many cards are too few or too many, but reliable sources say three or four is a good number of credit cards.

Not especially. This came up in another thread a few months back, btw. I am a lawyer working for a mortgage company. No mortgage company that I am aware of still looks at available credit. The FICO scoring model does, and mortgage companies usually look at the FICO score (they don’t for FHA lending, which is ratio-driven). But none of the programs that I have seen count available credit against you. In fact, this lender indicates just the opposite. http://www.carmel-mortgage.com/learning_center/credit_guidelines.rad

I am sure I misread you, but I wanted to clarify that the “FICO machine” only looks at your available credit relative to your account balances. It doesn’t look at the absolute amount of credit you have, nor does it compare it to income.



Right. Income information is not available on the credit report, and the credit report is the sole basis for the score.

There are many hundred local credit reporting services. They can and do keep track of late payments on non-credit bills (trust bills), including personal rent, commercial rent, evictions etc. And some will track income that the main ones don’t. Those who request such information are the ones that supply it in return. So a landlord will look at evictions and a utility will look at your utility history.

I never said that acting irresponsible with those things would never have a negative impact somewhere. It is just there are only certain things that go on your Big 3 credit reports and, therefore, on your FICO credit score. Regular utilities generally don’t go on your major credit reports unless there is some kind of contract or if they eventually get sent to a collection agency.

I hear this every now and again, but when I look for them . . . well I can’t find them. Could you post a few links to some of their websites, or an index of them. Thanks!