First off, I´m a student like you are
The first card I got on my own was my Discover More and I can tell you, I´ve tried several times to get a CLI buy they won´t raise it.
I could suggest you to try to get CLI with the store cards to help your utilization and total CLs.
Since you have amex already, applying for a Zync in january 2013 would get you backdated to 01/11 and help your AAoA.
I´m going to apply for Citi Forward and Divident for College Students. Maybe you should consider those two as well.
Cap One Journey also gave me $500 back when I had no credit history, but beware because they pull from all 3 CRs.
Edit: as explained by cmthomas06 amex can´t backdate you.
Thank you for your reply! I have read about the Citi Forward and Dividend for CS on this forum so yes, I have considered it in my list. Please let me know how it goes with you. I'm not sure how they would take my income though becuase the Discover CLI reps kept saying, "Do you mean $50,000 as your income?" and I'm thinking, "No! I'm a college student. It is the number I said."
Do you still have your Cap1 Journey? Are you happy with the card?
Regarding the store cards, I was actually even declined from stores like Kohls and Macys when I applied back in 2009-2010. My recent WFNNB store card was a surprise when the store's website gave me a pop-up that I had been pre-approved and I took the jump. I'm glad that I did b/c now I have 1 store card.
My advice: Garden.
Apply for Zync in 2013.
What you need is time, more than anything else.
You're young enough, you have time.
Follow my financial journey: http://www.frugalrican.com
Since you are an AU on the AMEX account, your membership date will not be backdated - only applies to accounts that you opened yourself. I think you would be ok applying for a Visa card now, seeing as you have a couple years of good payment history. Look into Cap1 visa cards. They wont grow with you that much but they are nice for getting started with. As for the CLI, credit lines are based on the minimum payment the lender feels you can handle. Having that low of an income justifies the low limit you are receiving. If you apply for a student card, you can also count your scholarships as income.
Youre on the right track; keep up the good work =)
I am also a student so I understand the "credit blues" lol
Thanks FrugalRican. I also thought I may just need to wait and there isn't a time issue that I need a card immediately. It seems that sometimes people can get approved for student cards so easily, especially some other college students with either no history or an income similar to mine. I'll look into the Zync.
Thanks cmthomas06. About including scholarships as income, did you hear that from a CSR? I've been wondering about that as well and trying to google it. Please share if you've been able to do that with any of your apps and for which card.
When it comes to financial aid, any money that you have to pay back (e.g. student loans) is not considered income for tax purposes. Grants and scholarships are also not considered income as long as they are used strictly to pay a school for tuition, fees, books, and supplies. Any portion of grants or scholarships used for another purpose (including room, board, and living expenses) is considered personal use and thus counts as taxable income. Generally if you receive both grants/scholarships and loans, you are safe from counting them as income as long as the grants/scholarships are less than the total amount of your tuition and fees.
Any money your parents give you directly (not money that they simply pay on your behalf) is also taxable income and can be used in reporting your income.
The IRS provides tax information for students which should help you in understanding what you can report to the creditors.
EDIT: If your parents are providing you with a significant amount of money to pay for your schooling and expenses, note that this is absolutely income (as long as you are the one receiving the money and making the payments, as opposed to them being paid on your behalf) and could make the difference in obtaining more credit. Note that this also means that money is probably taxable.
Hrm, open question, can you backdate to a Macy's store card?
I wouldn't think so, in which case, apply for the Zync now (if you want an Amex ever) to get your membership date set rather than 2013 as FR suggests. This is especially true if the new store card you just opened hasn't started reporting yet. 2012 > 2013 with the way Amex backdating works, so you're better off getting your own opened now, or becoming an AU on a real Amex if the store card doesn't qualify.
Cmthomas: you can backdate to Amex-issued cards as an AU, but it's the date which you were added as an AU which sets the membership date on.