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Registered: ‎02-04-2013
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26yo grad student; never had a credit card, denied for preapproved and secured cards--what to do?

Hi everyone,

 

I'm a 26 year-old graduate student who has been trying to establish credit.  I have been denied for three cards--two US Bank Visa cards I had been preapproved for and one US Bank Secured card.

 

I have about 20k in student debt and was 3 months delinquent four years ago.  I have either been a student or working (for cheap) at academic institutes my entire life.  Except for those three months, I have been in a state of deferment for my education loans.  I have no other credit history whatsoever.

 

I'm super-overwhelmed by all the info out there and have no idea what I can do to begin building credit.  I've been reading the posts from this forum (which is where I got the idea to apply for the secured card), but as of now am entirely clueless on how to move forward.

 

I would deeply appreciate a shove in the right direction.

Established Member
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Registered: ‎08-11-2011
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Re: 26yo grad student; never had a credit card, denied for preapproved and secured cards--what to do

Have you pulled your credit report? What is your score?

 

Also, I completely understand the situation you are in. I had limited credity history and a plethora of Sallie Mae dings in my credit but you can overcome these challenges!

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Registered: ‎07-30-2011
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Re: 26yo grad student; never had a credit card, denied for preapproved and secured cards--what to do

I would recommend joining a credit union.  They will be much more likely to approve you for a secured card (unless they are one of the very, very conservative credit unions like DCU or PenFed).  Since your loans are deferred, you don't qualify to rehab your loans, so you'll probably have to tough it out for 3 more years until the baddies drop off your report.

 

(Also, if you join a credit union, you will be able to get better rates on savings accounts, possibly get interest-bearing checking, and in time qualify for low-rate loan products.)

 

It's not the end of the world.  I defaulted on my loans many years ago, but I was able to get back on track.  I would highly recommend that you stick with secured credit cards for the time being, since you won't qualify for any good unsecured cards until you have built some history and cleaned your report.  Don't give up!  All your hard work will pay off.


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Registered: ‎11-10-2012
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Re: 26yo grad student; never had a credit card, denied for preapproved and secured cards--what to do

You were right in thinking that a secured card is the next step. BofA has one that graduates to unsecured, or there are many secured card companies that approve everyone. I recommend getting at least two. A few months later, Wal Mart..... Then, you will be on your way.



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Re: 26yo grad student; never had a credit card, denied for preapproved and secured cards--what to do

Thanks for the response.

 

Experian and Equifax report "no score available," but my Transunion "PLUS" score is 609.

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Re: 26yo grad student; never had a credit card, denied for preapproved and secured cards--what to do

Hi sanc0174

 

I'd recommend you to apply for a Cap 1 secured card, the annual fee is only $29 and they evaluate your situation and if they feel confortable with your credit profile they'll ask you to pay a deposit of $49 for a credit line of $200 

 

The only bad thing about this card is that it will never become insecure which means if you want to get your secured deposit back you will need to close the account

 

One great feature about this card is Cap 1 report it as "credit card" not "secured card" in your credit report which looks better in your report...

 

Additionally i've heard some people applying for a Cap 1 insecured card three months after they've gotten this secured card... just make sure to apply for a credit card that meets your credit profile which would be "average" 

 

 

 

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Re: 26yo grad student; never had a credit card, denied for preapproved and secured cards--what to do

Thank you so much for your responses, everybody.  I have a few more questions now.

 

- I have 3 hard inquiries from within the last two months.  Could applying for more credit cards hurt me?  How can I be "sure" that I can use my next inquiry to get approved?

 

- I'm naturally wary of annual fees.  Am I just going to have to suck it up?  Isn't it bad to cancel credit cards--will I be paying a fee for the rest of my life?

 

 

Again, thank you everyone for the advice.  In particular, I've never heard the thing about credit unions.  I'll have to read up on that.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 496
Registered: ‎11-13-2012
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Re: 26yo grad student; never had a credit card, denied for preapproved and secured cards--what to do

Isn't it odd you have old student loans but "no report available"?  


GangnamFICO wrote:

Because the chicks dig it when I throw down the card to the waiter and...it comes in handy if I'm short on cash until payday and need a short spot. AMEX gets the booty, and that's important when you're a Pirate.


Minor vulgarity edit --Rev



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Re: 26yo grad student; never had a credit card, denied for preapproved and secured cards--what to do


jake619 wrote:

Isn't it odd you have old student loans but "no report available"?  


My report is totally available.  I have a report from each of the three organizations.  However, my score is not available.

 

Is that weird?

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Registered: ‎11-13-2012
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Re: 26yo grad student; never had a credit card, denied for preapproved and secured cards--what to do


sanc0174 wrote:

jake619 wrote:

Isn't it odd you have old student loans but "no report available"?  


My report is totally available.  I have a report from each of the three organizations.  However, my score is not available.

 

Is that weird?


Grrr, report, score... misquoted youSmiley Sad.  I meant score.  Yea I think it is odd.  I don't see how there were lates from years ago yet no score.  The lates would indicate data was reported so that's why I find it odd.  if you didn't have six months of reported info then OK but that seems to not be your case.

 

I'm sure somebody smarter than me will chime in.  I'm curious.


GangnamFICO wrote:

Because the chicks dig it when I throw down the card to the waiter and...it comes in handy if I'm short on cash until payday and need a short spot. AMEX gets the booty, and that's important when you're a Pirate.


Minor vulgarity edit --Rev



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