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Established Contributor
grinlikechelsea
Posts: 743
Registered: ‎04-28-2013
0

Advice Needed for Credit Gardening

Hello all!
I want to sincerely thank this community for the wealth of information on these forums. I lurked and learned many things from these forums while I was establishing my credit. As an 18 year old student with 9 months of credit history, I now have a Capital One Journey (sockdrawered), Chase Freedom, and a BoA Accelerated Rewards Amex. Granted, I had to recon the Freedom and the Amex used to be secured, but in the end, it all worked out. :smileyhappy:

My current plan is to garden these cards (Freedom and the Amex) for about two years and wait for my inquiries to fall off before I apply for credit. Is that a solid plan? I feel like I have two prime cards and I can manage them right now.

Also, what cards should I shoot for next? I like the Citi Forward since I live downtown and practically live off Amazon, but the TY point system isn't great. I would like the Sapphire, but I would need to get some CLIs and I don't know if $30 k is enough to get it. Thoughts?

Moderator
09Lexie
Posts: 26,592
Registered: ‎09-13-2012
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Re: Advice Needed for Credit Gardening

Welcome to the forum. Gardening is an excellent idea. I would say at a minimum 1 yr. CLIs for BoA and Chase will be HPs. Keep that in mind when planning your escape from the garden.

Regular Contributor
kayvee_
Posts: 160
Registered: ‎06-29-2013
0

Re: Advice Needed for Credit Gardening

Have you thought about Discover IT or Amazon Store card? You can use the cash back from Discover on Amazon.

 

The Amazon store card has promos for 0% if you spend over certain thresholds. 

 

 

Established Contributor
grinlikechelsea
Posts: 743
Registered: ‎04-28-2013
0

Re: Advice Needed for Credit Gardening

I've thought about the Discover IT. It seems like a great card to alternate with the Freedom and the customer service has a reputation of being stellar. So far, the cards I plan on applying for upon my escape from the garden are:
-Chase Sapphire Preferred (after I get CLIs)
-Discover IT
-Amex Blue Cash Everyday

I'm a bit bummed about the HPs for Chase. I knew BoA pulled when you requested, but I thought Chase pulled soft. Should I bank on auto-CLIs or just bite the bullet when I'm ready to request it?

Valued Contributor
parakleet
Posts: 1,145
Registered: ‎04-13-2013
0

Re: Advice Needed for Credit Gardening

For most customer initiated CLIs, you should expect a HP. Amex is the only CCC that's particularly known for their SP clis. For chase, expect a HP unless it's an auto-cli.


Gardening since 7/16/14
Current: EQ 711 7/13/14; EX 724 TU 721 6/19/14
Goal: 760+
Frequent Contributor
TheConductor
Posts: 492
Registered: ‎07-24-2012
0

Re: Advice Needed for Credit Gardening

Chase will likely give you an auto-CLI after 3-6 months.

 

Given the limited value and utility of ThankYou points, I'd recommend you apply for the Blue Cash Preferred instead of the Everyday version, and use its 6% cash back at supermarkets to buy Amazon gift cards. Especially if you can get a lot of your textbooks and other school needs on Amazon, you could probably make the most of that.  (Also, I think the Forward becomes somewhat more useful once you're 21 because their "entertainment" category includes many bars)

 

Also, since you're an online shopping maven, don't miss the deals in the Ultimate Rewards Mall.  You can really rack up the UR points at many online retailers that way. Some of them will get you as many as 10 or 15 UR points on the dollar.   And UR points are way more useful than TY points, if you eventually get the CSP and unlock the ability to transfer them to travel partners.

 

A good year of gardening is in order for you - 2 is probably too conservative, but with a short file like yours I'd give it a good year of perfect payments on the cards you have. Then I'd app the cards you want, but you may end up needing to do some mid-tier cards before going for the big ones like BCP and CSP.  Chase Freedom is more welcoming to short history than CSP.  And Amex is more welcoming to higher incomes than student-sized ones.  I'm not saying you won't be able to get at least one of the two a year from now, just that it may be a stretch.

 

If I were prioritizing, I'd make getting the Amex BCP, or any Amex (the BoA one you have doesn't count because it's not issued by Amex, just on their network) my top goal for a year from now.  Then, for the rest of your life, any new Amex card will backdate to 2014.  I only wish I'd had my first Amex that early in my life.

 

 

 

Starting: EQ 622 (myFICO 7/7/12), EX 696 (TU FAKO 8/14/12), TU 621 (CK TransRisk 7/24/12)
Current: EQ 670 (myFICO 9/8/14), EX 694 (Prosper 7/17/14) , TU 693 (WalMart 9/2/14) Goal: 700+ x3
My Wallet: Amex BCP $30k, Chase CSP VS $12.2k, Amex Zync NPSL (> 10k), C1 Venture VS $5k, Amex SPG $4.5k, Walmart (Store) $2.5k, Barclaycard Apple V $2k, Chase Freedom V $1100, BoA Cash Rewards V $500, Best Buy Rewards MC $500
My Loans: Prosper $25k/36mo
My Business: Chase Ink VS $5k
Established Contributor
grinlikechelsea
Posts: 743
Registered: ‎04-28-2013
0

Re: Advice Needed for Credit Gardening

Thanks for the advice! The BCP looks quite attractive, but I know Amex is more geared toward high income. I make $30 k annually as a pharmacy technician, and I do buy my own groceries so the BCP is good.

Realistically, how likely am I to get approved for the CSP and BCP? I would like them once I'm done gardening :smileyhappy:

Frequent Contributor
TheConductor
Posts: 492
Registered: ‎07-24-2012
0

Re: Advice Needed for Credit Gardening

It's really too soon to speculate in detail on your likelihood of approval.  You have a great starting portfolio for someone brand new to credit, so your scores can grow significantly over the next year if you just use the cards regularly and pay them timely every month.

 

When it gets close to that anniversary, post up your scores and and tradelines with limits and we can give you some idea of your chances.

 

For now just use the BoA and Freedom cards frequently, and dig the Cap1 out of the sock drawer now and then to keep the account active.

 

You might also want to get a parent to add you as an authorized user on an older account that has a larger limit.  

Starting: EQ 622 (myFICO 7/7/12), EX 696 (TU FAKO 8/14/12), TU 621 (CK TransRisk 7/24/12)
Current: EQ 670 (myFICO 9/8/14), EX 694 (Prosper 7/17/14) , TU 693 (WalMart 9/2/14) Goal: 700+ x3
My Wallet: Amex BCP $30k, Chase CSP VS $12.2k, Amex Zync NPSL (> 10k), C1 Venture VS $5k, Amex SPG $4.5k, Walmart (Store) $2.5k, Barclaycard Apple V $2k, Chase Freedom V $1100, BoA Cash Rewards V $500, Best Buy Rewards MC $500
My Loans: Prosper $25k/36mo
My Business: Chase Ink VS $5k
Established Contributor
grinlikechelsea
Posts: 743
Registered: ‎04-28-2013
0

Re: Advice Needed for Credit Gardening

Sounds like a plan. I can't get an AU because my parents 1) have awful credit 2) disowned me so I've been on my own since 17. But anyways, I really appreciate everyone's help!

I'm running on CC's exclusively right now. I got a full-ride academic scholarship to college. So obviously, I don't have loans that ate reporting (not that I'm complaining!) I may take some out for law school.


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