About 8 years ago, I had a financial disaster, and all my credit accounts were charged off. This includes Amex ($15K), Discover ($3K), and a pile of collection agencies. I waited out the charge-offs, and opened a capitol one secured account in 1994. I got in trouble with this account in 1996, including some very late payments, and they closed the account. There was still a balance of $1,500 on it. I left the balance there figuring that stretching the reported payments out would at least show something good. In 1999 I cleaned off what was left on my report from the earlier disaster, and lucked out with Capitol One. The first dispute with all three bureaus re-affirmed the late payment info that was on my report before, but the second time I disputed it, it came back perfect. The account was now listed as Open with the previous delinquencies deleted. In the meantime I had opened up accounts with every card issuer that sent me a pre-approved application. I was basically buying credit cards, and keeping a balance on them to show a payment history. All were un-secured. I currently have the following accounts on my report: (Limit, High, Balance) Date Opened Capitol One - (NA/$2150/$300) 4/94 Providian Gold - ($2650/$2400/$2300) 6/98 Capitol One Gold ($500/$400/$400) 1/00 Cross Country VS($1250/$1150/$750) 6/98 Orchard Bank MC ($900/$750/$650) 6/99 United Trust MC($350/$300/$0) 4/99 United Trust VS ($350/$300/$200) 5/99 Car Loan ($17900/$17900/$0) 12/99 Car Loan ($20500/$20500/$19500) 2/00 One comment: I opened a car loan in 9/99 with Superior Bank at a high interest rate just to get the card hawked, and then refinanced with a small local bank in 12/99. Superior Bank does NOT report ANYTHING to the credit bureaus. I suppose they would if you were late, but the account never even shows up. I make $80K/year. All accounts show perfect payments. There is not a single negative item in any of the three bureaus. I am refused for any card I apply for. That includes most recently Nextcard, Aria, Wingspan, and AMEX. I have a Discover "pre-selected" that I am considering sending in. Every pre-approved offer I've received (all sub-prime except Capitol One Gold) has been issued, usually with a low ($500) limit. Question 1: Even though my original Capitol 1 card shows an N/A limit on my report, does the high credit get used as a factor in figuring my credit score? Question 2: I am planning to pay off most of these accounts over the next month. Am I better off closing them or leaving them open for the better available credit percentage? Question 3: At what point should I expect a prime lender pre-approved offer? What are their typical score requirements? I'm assuming my lack of real-estate on my report is the main reason I don't get them. Question 4: How much does the new car loan count against me? Question 5: What does pre-selected mean? Is that the same as pre-qualified? Ideally, I'd like get one $20K Platinum card and close the rest of these. Even though these show high balances, I can easily pay them off within 60 days if I wanted to. The money simply makes more when I use it to finance my business concerns. Any ideas on how to proceed? I'm planning to pay off and close the United Trust and CCB accounts over the next few months (as soon as they send a bill for the new membership fee). What will give me the best score in this scenario?