Free Credit Report from is a Useful Tool to Improve FICO Credit Score

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About two months ago, there was a need to refinance my home mortgage. I was not sure if my credit score would be high enough to fit into the excellent credit score category to be qualified for best mortgage rate, as I had been actively signing up for new credit card bonuses.

  1. A call to my mortgage broker revealed that FICO score minimum 720 instead of 740 is required.
  2. My credit report on which is free to join showed that my estimated credit score was about 734.   (I had been using which uses soft check, instead of hard inquiry, to monitor my credit score level, because refinance mortgage was known to be coming)
  3. Paid mortgage broker USD $25 to pull a real FICO credit report, as it is the first requirement for home mortgage refinance.
My real FICO credit report

It was a surprise that my real FICO score was about 770, 30 points above the credit score shown in my account. estimated credit report
After looking at my FICO credit report page by page, I would draw the following observation.
  1. credit score is not accurate, yet is a good estimate.
  2. Applying Comcast internet service generated one hard credit inquiry based on my FICO score report. Hard credit inquiry lowers FICO credit score. 
  3. New American Express credit card uses your oldest American Express credit card history.  I applied for a new American Express cash-rebate card (no annual fee) in late May to boost up credit score from 734 to 760.
  4. There were many credit card inquiries.  I would refrain from applying to no more than 14 credit cards, whether approved or rejected, within 2 years.  Mid-2014 is the end of my 2-year cycle.  Maybe at most 1 or 2 more if a new card sign-up bonus is very attractive like Chase Business Ink 60,000 bonus points.  (Is Chase going to have this promotion every June?) Considering cancelling some credit cards in the next 6 months, because they require annual fee, adding a no-fee long-history American Express cash-back should help to keep my FICO score and revolving credits intact.
Meanwhile, taking my time to learn and experiment about how to maximize opportunities to earn points using Chase Business Ink 5x and Chase Freedom 5x.

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