Over the years now I have created a strategy to follow for when it comes time to leave the garden and submit applications for new credit cards/tradelines and I call it “The Game Day Strategy”. This is the day that you have set aside to submit your new credit card applications after you have (hopefully) done a great amount of research using this site and other resources in order to figure out what banks/institutions you want to hit on that day.
I wanted to update this for 2023 and realized that I still do like this strategy, but it only applies to a certain demo of credit applicant, and there is a whole other group that doesn’t need nor want to try to push through so many apps in one sitting.
So here is the infamous simple 1 day credit app spree strategy:
- Do your research in advance and know what banks you want to app for in advance
- Have your credit file cleaned up and let those changes take effect (wait at least 1 statement cycle) and make sure you pull a fresh report on all 3 bureaus the day of or day before so you know exactly what’s on your file. If big changes or unknowns have hit your report, change the Game Day date and give yourself time to fix those issues.
- Give yourself 3-5hrs at least on the day of, in order to finish everything (some banks will want you to submit additional details, others will deny and you have to recon etc)
- Have all reconsideration (recon) numbers pulled and in front of you for all credit cards ( Capital One Back Door Phone Numbers, Bank Of American Back Door Phone Numbers, Chase Back Door Phone Numbers) you plan on submitting an app for
- Make sure your address is up to date on the credit bureaus, so when you submit your address on the applications, it matches what the credit bureaus have on file. (if address mismatches they will deny your application and this is a dumb reason to get denied for a credit card/tradeline)
- Don’t try to do more than 5 banks on your Game Day, its too many and it won’t have great results
- Have all your documents ready in a folder on your computer (external hard drive) so you can send via email or print/scan over to any banks that request them. This is your Proof of Income (POI), bank statements from last 6 months, W2s from 2019/2020, scan of drivers license (front and back)
- Open up all the credit card sites in one browser and have each opened up in its own tab, all opened at the same time
- Check if the bank offers a credit card pre-qualification first and see if you get soft-pull approval first.
- Make sure you submit banks at the same time that pull from same bureaus (check our master lender credit card list and Master Score Credit Card Lender List) to see what credit bureau each bank will hard pull from and for additional info on store credit cards.
- Pull the trigger and submit your apps in groups based on #9
- If you get denied on any apps, immediately call the reconsideration number and talk to someone, see why they deny you and ask them to reconsider. Be nice, they are used to people being assholes.
- Enjoy your new credit cards/tradelines and treat it responsibly!
Now if you if you have more of a personal credit foundation or you like to move one credit bureau at a time vs all at once approach, then this strategy is more suiting for you.
Same #1-7 essentially but don’t pull all this up at the same time in browser tabs and try to push it all through, instead work your app sprees bureau-by-bureau, so they last longer (seen some take months) and then let them cool off 2 years and then do again.
So Which Strategy Should You Follow?
If you are building your foundation still and sub $60k in credit there is a lot of value to trying to push through as many apps on the same day as possible (timing them so HPs on bureaus are trigging all at the same time)because you have a thinner file and so each HP ding matters more for you…
Or if you find that your profile is still filled up with new accounts (lower AAoA) and lots of recent inquires, this is a process you can follow to attempt to mask that so banks can’t really tell if your seeking credit or not.
For everyone else, a bureau-by-bureau approach, creating one long non-stop app spree over the years is probably a more calculated approach.