totally agree with you!A few years ago, I was floating my house on credit cards. Then as the free money was drying up, I decided to get a real mortgage. My CC FICO was in the 740s, but the model my mortgage lender used was in the 730s and I needed a 740 for the best rate. So I bought over $20k of Visa gift cards on my AMEX, bought money orders at Walmart with the gift cards, paid down a couple of credit cards that were closing their statement periods that week, had the lender rerun my credit score, and paid off the AMEX bill with the check from the mortgage.
Then AMEX, pissed at me for running up (and paying off) a $22k balance on a $30k card, canceled all my accounts.
Now my utilization is high because over $90k in unused (and apparently unusable, but I didn't know that until I used them) credit lines are gone for good, and my average age of open accounts took a hit too.
EDIT: Full disclosure, AMEX didn't exactly fire me for paying off a balance. They put me in Financial Review for running up a balance, and fired me for not giving an outside agency (one of the Credit Reporting Bureaus, for crying out loud) my tax returns in the Financial Review process. But they did fire me after I paid off the balance.
I was shocked when they sent me a 4506-T and instead of having AMEX's name on it, by signing it I was authorizing the IRS to send my transcripts to either Equifax or Experian, I forget which. Yeah, I'll get right on that, handing my tax returns to a company that specializes in selling peoples' personal financial information for profit.
I told the woman handling my Financial Review exactly why I'd never consider signing the 4506-T. Since then, I've learned that AMEX started sending out blank 4506-Ts (instructions from the IRS, right on the form, say not to sign it if any line is blank) so they can put Equifax's name on it after you sign it.
In the past year I have obtained a Discover Card, an Amex Card, and a Bank of the West card. I have heard this new scoring model will benefit those like myself with low 700 scores, clearly in the good range. What gets me is how your Credit score is based on the current month when you haven't even had the opportunity to pay back current charges. I view that as a flaw in determining your credit worth as I am paying off my balances in full, the only exception being the Zero interest promotions on the AMEX & BW cardThis is actually good news - the new FICO algorithms are going to use trend data to see if you're falling behind and penalize you for this. Hopefully they also use previous balance and payment to detect those of us who pay off our cards each month, regardless of balance.
The scores like to see lots of history. One credit card is not much history even if you have had it for the full 7 years.I have a card that I use exclusively and it is automatically paid off at the end of the month. My card issuer even posts that I have an exceptional payment history, month after month. Experian has been consistently dropping my credit score while at the same time hawking credit cards to me with high interest rates due to my dropping credit score. I see a possible conflict of interest (no pun intended).
The thing is, most of my stuff is paid off and I really don't need the credit. I only use the card for security reasons and secondly to garner points.The scores like to see lots of history. One credit card is not much history even if you have had it for the full 7 years.