Finally time to move forward - what is the best plan?

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The 6 long years of misery has finally come to an end and my credit report now contains no defaults, the last one has dropped off and I have a clean file:j

So now my plan is to move forward, get rid of bad credit, credit cards and hopefully move into the prime card market, I hope. I would appreciate some opinions of the best way to approach this?

I currently have the following cards, all of which are paid off in full every month and always have been;

Granite - 31 green ticks - limit £1000 APR 59%:eek:
Barclaycard Initial - 19 green ticks - limit £1250 APR 29.9%
Barclaycard Freedom Rewards - 6 green ticks - limit £2000 APR 18%
Capital One Classic - 29 green ticks - limit £1550 APR 29.9%
Capital One Progress - 8 green ticks - limit £1500 APR 26.9%
Aqua Classic - 30 green ticks - limit £1925 APR 34.5%

I also have a Halifax Current Account with £300 OD limit (never been overdrawn) 26 green ticks
Halifax Easycash account doesn't show on my file but had it for 6 years and use it for keeping bill money in
T Mobile Contract - 24 green ticks
British Gas - settled in 2009 with 36 green ticks

My summary reads;

3 searches in last 3 months (applied for Luma Cashback card 04/11/13 didn't get it due to already holding 2 Cap One cards) I didn't realise it was Cap One until after applying! That cost me me 2 searches!
The other 1 was a Nationwide Quotation from 24/11/13 - so I don't think that shows up to lenders?

22 searches in previous 12 months - 18 of those are credit report requests/insurance quotations/generic ID checks.

0 public information records

0 missed or late payments

Available Credit £9225

Outstanding £590

Total Income £23500

Basically I want to get rid of most of the bad credit credit cards and replace them with decent prime cards. I will keep the Freedom Rewards as that is a prime card (I think) and would like to have no more than another 2 or 3 decent limit cards. Perhaps a 0% purchase card and a cashback card.

I know not to go applying for them all at once and to spread the applications, so my target is to achieve this by the end of this year, which I hope is realistic?

What I am not sure about is the best place to start, the Granite card is the worst but it has the best record as I have had longest, so should I look to bin that first or keep it ticking over?

This is all new territory for me now and I have waited a very long time to get to this point, so any advice on how to take things forward would be appreciated.

:TThe long winding road to a clean file has finally come to the end:T

Comments

  • Tixy
    Tixy Posts: 31,455 Forumite
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    I'd keep the card you actually want - the Freedom one - and one of the 3 that has been open for more than 2 years (I don't think it matter which in terms of length of credit history).
    I'd close all the other credit cards and wait until these show as closed on your credit files, which may take a couple of months.

    Then you could look to apply for a new card. Personally I'd go for a cashback card first, unless you particularly need to make a large purchase that you intend to pay over several months.

    Just as an aside - have you checked all 3 credit ref agencies files? - I'd try to ensure that of the cards you keep open at least 1 is on each of your credit files.
    A smile enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give
    or "It costs nowt to be nice"
  • Simon7685
    Simon7685 Posts: 1,116 Forumite
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    I have just done a Nationwide soft search application which has indicated a 17.9% APR and a limit of £1200 with 0% on purchases for 15 months. Is this a good quote or probable rejection?

    The last time I did a soft search with them it was 24.9% and limit of £500 with no 0%, so I guess this is at least an improvement.
  • Simon7685
    Simon7685 Posts: 1,116 Forumite
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    Thanks for the info Tixy I appreciate it. I have checked all files and they are all clear. The Noddle one has shown clear for over 12 months now and the Equifax showed clear from around 6 months ago, I have just been waiting for the Experian to clear.

    So you recommend closing some of the others before applying for new ones?
  • Tixy
    Tixy Posts: 31,455 Forumite
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    Simon7685 wrote: »
    So you recommend closing some of the others before applying for new ones?

    I would.
    It doesn't sounds like you are getting any benefits from those cards and once you have a couple of cards I don't think you get any extra benefit in terms of building a credit history by having any more.
    A smile enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give
    or "It costs nowt to be nice"
  • Ant.Evs
    Ant.Evs Posts: 102 Forumite
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    Simon7685 wrote: »
    I have just done a Nationwide soft search application which has indicated a 17.9% APR and a limit of £1200 with 0% on purchases for 15 months. Is this a good quote or probable rejection?

    The last time I did a soft search with them it was 24.9% and limit of £500 with no 0%, so I guess this is at least an improvement.

    That is more than likely an acceptance. I recently applied and got the same and was accepted.

    Hope this helps
  • CherlokHomes
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    i think you should go to the bank and tell them how big your thing is!!!!!!!!

    I take it you were the class clown at school.
    "You know when it's cold outside when you go outside and it's cold"
  • Maestro.
    Maestro. Posts: 1,518 Forumite
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    I would close all but two, depending on:

    Is the capital one classic the MasterCard that offers no forex fees? If so, KEEP it open. If it is the old Visa card that offers nothing (afaik) then close it and KEEP instead the aqua classic.

    Then CLOSE all the rest except your only other prime card, the barclaycard freedom rewards.

    My reasoning for the proposed changes above is this: you'll reduce your available credit by a large factor, you'll get rid of the vanquis (which as I went on turned out to be an annoying company), still leaving yourself with one decent card and another that has no forex fees (the aqua has this too doesn't it?) and also has been open one of the longest - helping keep your AAoA (average age of accounts) high.

    The amount of enquiries on your file doesn't sound like a big problem, I have had a few searches on mine in the last 12 months and in that time I've been accepted for mbna, barclaycard, Amex charge card. I think when you earn what you do (I'm similar) and you have good behaviour then lenders are more willing to overlook sporadic searches. As well as the cards I did get, I also applied for some in the last year that I didn't get, so to put it into perspective, and assuming they're all recorded, that's about 5 or 6 searches.

    Apparently lenders also like to see settled accounts, which you'll have.

    So I say do that and then when things have settled, get fired into some decent rewards cards. Rumour has it barclaycard will relaunch their recently pulled cashback card (poss as an Amex or Amex/visa duo - I just hope they leave MINE alone!!) the Santander 123 is pretty good if you have a fair amount of savings to stash in there too.

    I don't know about you but I don't mind annual fee products if you know it's paying to look after you when the poopy hits the fan.
    Oh, you wee bazza!
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