Orchard Bank Secured Mastercard, to build credit history early at the age of 18. $200 --> $400 --> $1000 --> $1500, which is what it's currently still at.
Also found out that I was an AU on my parent's Nordstrom card, reporting since 2004 but with a high utilization of 70%! Forgot what the limit was...may have been a late or two on that, cannot recall.
JCPenney Credit Card: Due to my orchard reporting in 6/10 and this authorized user account on Nordstrom's giving me an AAoA of a little over 4 years, pulled the trigger since I work there and had another promotion going on where I could combine the promotion, the card opening discount, and my associate discount. $500 --> $1000 --> $1800
In August of 2010, I filed to have the Nordstrom card removed since my parents planned to CO. Successfully removed from all reports.
Sat on my hands ever since then, student loan added 9/10 and each semester as subsequently added more loans. Every so often I pay down the principle which results in an interest refund, then every summer I pay off the accrued interest from the academic year.
In August 2011, mom wanted me to open a Sallie Mae student loan since she had the savings account that could help with payments. This was done really close to the Treasury potentially running out of money fiasco, so the financial powerhouses were likely holding back from nearly everybody. I was denied, and my mother was also denied (she had a score in the 670s and mine was in the 700/710s).
After the Treasury fiasco, decided to go for Shell Drive for Five to expand my portfolio. Approved with $400.
Kept watching my CK like a hawk every single day, and I promised myself once I hit into the 700s I would app for another card. Lo and behold, on December 1st, I got out of the 600s and hit a 701 CK! App'd immediately for the Chase Freedom when they were running the get $300 back after spending $500. Approved for a $7000 limit.
Continued to garden since getting the Freedom. Got bored in August 2012 when I wasn't receiving the periodic increases from Penney's (usually received one at least every 6 months, but it was already a year since the last time I got one!). After learning it was an internal and/or soft pull, went for it to double my $1800. Went up to $3600 no problem! Not even a soft! Also requested a CLI on my measly $400 Shell card. Requested to double it on the online form. Entered some financial info, took a day to process and a hard pull. Approved to increase to $800.
For a while, I considered applying for my main bank's (TD Bank) credit cards. Really want the cash back one and of course accidentally clicked the application for the easy rewards...oh well, I already had a cash back card (Freedom), so have points towards merchandise, gift cards, travel, etc. couldn't be too bad! 1st 6 months was 5x points on gas, groceries, dining, and utilities, then 1x on everything after that. Pulled the trigger, $5000 limit.
Accidentally jumped the gun on a CLI from Penney's after learning that 3 months is the absolute minimum for requesting CLI from a CSR. Tried to double my limit again and of course denied due to not having enough history with the current limit. Decided that I would give them a chance to auto CLI for a year, and if not, request it on my own.
Then, my most recent acquisition was the Chase Sapphire. It was choosing between this, Chase Sapphire Preferred, or Capital One's VentureOne. As a college student, figured I wasn't quite ready for the Preferred since I wouldn't utilize it to it's full potential, and the extra $100 in bonus points from the Sapphire I thought I would use for a trip to Ohio. After 5 long days, got the official approval for a $10,000 limit!!
Garden, garden, garden! Looking for no more cards for a longgg time since I want to achieve the elusive 850 (or perfect score on SOME scale) one day. Auto loan no sooner than May 2014, and eventually a mortgage sometime in the distant future. Really just want to age and have my inquiries drop off (1 on Transunion and 5 on Experian), but may splurge on a hard CLI no more than once a year once I have less than 3 inquiries total on Experian. Will definitely hope for some auto CLI love or satisfy the app urge with some SP CLI from JCP
Also, looking to see what Cap One does with my Orchard Bank Secured! Should be a very interesting process considering my money is tied up in an HSBC bank savings account...hmmm...
Any guesses to what they will do? Move my money to a Cap One savings and keep it secured? Keep the money in HSBC and just honor it yet still keeping it secured? HSBC will send me my money back, and the card will become an unsecured line through Cap One? What card you think they'll turn it into? The physical card does expire 6/13, so I wonder!
FICO Fitness Challenge!
Wait wrong board . We probably do need to figure out how to better promote updates there.
Flowfaster: adding to the significant changes in the space: BOFA adding their secured rewards (or making it more widely available) to their secured products, and sweeping underwriting changes at both Chase, Amex, and possibly everyone else around the same time as BOFA's change in June '12.
Well, here’s my year in review…
Discovered the forum in 11/11, and joined PenFed (I was convinced that I’d be approved on a refi of my car). Membership approved, but instant decline on the auto refi. Browsed the forums more and realized that my primary problem was high utilization. I had no negatives at all, but tons of inquiries along with the high util.
January - joined the forum, and as a first step was added to a relative’s Amex as an ACM to help with utilization. I also made a plan to begin paying off revolving debt, with a goal of getting one account paid off each month. I used the snowball method here, not worrying about interest – I needed to see my balances come down quickly to keep me motivated.
March - found out about GE and their SP CLI, and was approved with CLIs on my Walmart, PayPal SC, and Amazon cards.
May – after six months of gardening, I applied for an Amex Green (NPSL, instant approval, got backdating to 2006), and also tried for the BCP ($5200) – approved for both with one HP. I also applied and was approved for a Discover More. And, I got a CLI (SP) on my Citi Diamond Preferred.
July – approved by PenFed for the auto refi (interest dropped from 9.2% to 1.9%). Had myself removed as ACM from the Amex.
August – applied and was approved for a USAA Mastercard. I’m a partial member so the rate was crap, but it was my highest ever instant approval at $12,000. I also joined DCU for the free EQ Fico score, and was approved for their Visa ($7500).
September – had two BankAm cards; closed one and combined the credit limits for a total $7200 CL. I also applied for a CSP (instant approval, $7500), and joined a local credit union and was approved for their Visa ($10,000).
I’ve been in the garden ever since, and I will pick up my silver spade on 12/16. Overall utilization has gone from over 70% to 8% through a combination of SP CLIs and debt payoff, and my Fico scores have jumped by around 100 points over the past year (scores are in signature below). I still have two cards that I’m paying on, but I’ve paid off over $20,000 in revolving debt this year and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Continue to garden and let new accounts age/inquiries fall off
Ask for SP CLI when appropriate
Finish grad school 4/13
Pay off remaining revolving debt by 6/13
Mortgage app (thought this would not happen until 2014, but with the score increases may get there by late Summer/Fall of 2013)