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Established Member
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎06-15-2012
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Capital One Secured to Unsecured



Card History:

Hi, am I on the right track?  I had BK7 discharged in February 2010.  In December 2011, I applied and got approved by putting $49 down on secured credit card application with $200 line of credit.  Since then, i have added deposits to the account and increased it to $1,300.  Then in June 2012, I got a $300 unsecured line of credit increase bringing total to $1,600.  Also in June 2012, I just sent $1,400 to add to my deposit to take it to $3,000 maximum credit line.  So the analysis is that I have $450 unsecured with $2,550 secured for total of $3,000 maximum credit line …. only had the card now 7 months … am I doing things right?  


My formula:

> pay 2x a month (keep utilization below 20%) and pay off card in full every month

> save $150/month or more to credit line increase

> only have 1 credit card 

> 1 car loan

> several student loans 


Secured Card analysis:  12/11 - 2/15 = 39 months (I rounded to 40)

> requirements:  bankruptcy must be discharged

>> savings rate for $3,000 credit line in 40 months = $75/month savings

>> savings rate for $5,000 credit line in 40 months = $125/month savings

>> current savings rate = $350/month


Average Card analysis:  

> requirements:  must be 5 years from bankruptcy


Excellent Card analysis:  

> requirements:  must be 11 years from bankruptcy so the bankruptcy is removed from the bureau.  Giving 1 extra year so that the bureau will remove it and IF they don't, I can dispute it or take legal action.  


Timeline Formula:

> year 01 - bankruptcy - waiting period

> year 02 - secured card (year 1)

> year 03 - secured card (year 2)

> year 04 - secured card (year 3) 

> year 05 - secured card (year 4) - Note:  $3K limit to graduate to average card.  IF not approved for World Card, will get Platinum Card.  minimum credit line is $3,000 (*)

> year 06 - average card (year 1) 

> year 07 - average card (year 2)

> year 08 - average card (year 3)- Note:  $5K limit as average user to qualify for excellent card on year 11.  Must increase CD deposit to $5,000 to get unsecured advance.

> year 09 - average card (year 4)

> year 10 - average card (year 5) 

> year 11 - excellent card (year 1) - $5k limit for 3 years prior and no BK on bureau required to qualify


Card Interest Rate Pattern:

Secured Card - 22.9%

Average Card - 22.9%, 19.9%, 17.9%

Excellent Card - 20.9%, 16.9%, 12.9%


I suspect sequence will be secured 22.9%, average 19.9% then 17.9%, then excellent at 16.9% then 12.9% … could be wrong but this is my guess?  Thoughts?  


To See how Capital One defines credit levels

Please select link below then on the left see "Credit Level (What's this?) -- click link and it will have a popup that defines each group.



> $150 x 40 = $5,400 = yes I know I don't get the larger line of credit but when it goes unsecured OR I qualify for an unsecured card, I can roll the secured deposit to a CD using the "asset-based" lending formula … they see my payment history = 100% perfect, they see assets = $5,000+ in Capital One CD and Capital One savings account so they know I can pay the bill, and the volume that I charge is in excess of $30,000 a year ($2,500/month) or more so they will want to keep me.  


(*) see the Capital One World Card


(*) How Do You Determine My Credit Line? (Capital One World Card versus Capital One Platinum Card)

We will determine your credit line after a review of your application. The minimum credit line is $3,000.


(*) How Do You Determine Whether I Will Receive The World MasterCard Or Platinum MasterCard?

Your credit history and application will be reviewed to determine your credit line. If you are approved for a credit line less than $5,000, you will receive a Platinum MasterCard. Some terms and benefits are not available with the Platinum MasterCard. See our Complete Guide to Credit Card Benefits for Platinum MasterCard benefit information.


Personal profile:

I want a card that has "status" yet functionality … meaning I can use it everywhere unlike American Express.  Yes, I like AMEX too --  I would love an American Express Centurion Card; however, I am not a billionaire so that option is not available for me. I need a card that I can use anywhere without having to carry a second card with the exception of my VISA debit card and yet loaded with benefits like the AMEX Platinum card with the stellar customer service.  Sadly, AMEX is no longer accepted at as many places as before and they want approve me for another card either, so I went card shopping so to speak.  The card that fits my long-term profile is the Ameriprise World Elite MasterCard.  Please see  The Ameriprise World Elite card is practical (accepted everywhere) … low annual fee (factoring the benefits) is $150 but they are basically the American Express Platinum card for 1/3 the annual fee with stellar customer service.  


Profile of Ameriprise Card user:

> one card

> charges excess of $30,000 annually and pays in full every month

> assets:  savings, house

> benefits:  like reward points and things like airport lounges and quicker entry on international travel


summary:  high-volume spender, likes a good card image and perks such as restaurants or hard to get tickets, and one card for everything, plus they have stellar payment history (paid off monthly)  



> save $50,000 and get the Ameriprise World Elite Card 

Posts: 17,443
Registered: ‎12-30-2011
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Re: Capital One Secured to Unsecured

[ Edited ]

Whoa you put way too much thought into that dude Smiley Wink.  You're doing fine so far.


Couple points: 

- You should get more than one rebuilder card right now: a second is much better, a third may even be better than that.  Number of tradelines is more important than size of CL on tradelines from a FICO score perpsective (assuming your utilization isn't out of whack).


- Your terminology is a little unclear, "graduation" with secured cards means one very specific thing: that you get your deposit back and the formerly secured card becomes unsecured... Capital One doesn't do this at all, and I think you meant simply being able to apply and get approval on an unsecured card.


- Your timelines look off, you can get good credit cards (and possibly excellent, we have no idea how underwriting is going to look at things in the future for any lender) sooner than having your BK fully off the record.  It's not 5 years on secured cards either, this is probably the best time ever to have a BK with it's being more commonplace than any time before I suspect, and even here on the forum I'm seeing reasonable unsecured cards even 2-3 years post BK and it'll probably get looser rather than tighter as time goes on.


While I don't disagree with your overall analysis, and I absolutely salute anyone who can stick to an 11 year plan... well, a BK sucks to have on your record, no doubt about that, but I think you're ovestimating the damage and the resulting impact.  Plus that pretty card that you so want now, will likely not be there in 11 years though it'll be some other one.  I'd recommend focusing on smaller time chunks, and point out that not all BK's were created equally, and the path back to "righteousness" (not quite the right word here) isn't the same for everyone.


Starting Score: EQ 5 561, TU 98 567, EX 2 599 (12/30/11)
Current Score: EQ 5 771, TU 4 758, EX 2 758, EQ 8 795, TU 8 762, EX 8 786 (7/28/17)
Goal Score:    EQ 5 750, TU 4 750, EX 2 750, EQ 8 800, TU 8 Blah, EX 8 800 (01/01/18)

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Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,197
Registered: ‎01-24-2010
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Re: Capital One Secured to Unsecured

An excellent start.    I suggest that you apply for a unsecured card with Capital One in about a year from now.    You will likely get a rewards card with a CL similar to your secured card. You could keep the secured open for thicker porfolio or close it if you need the money. 


I doubt you want low CL starter cards, so I would not apply for any of them.   But rebuilding is better with 2 to 3 cards, so you might consider a 2nd secured card with someone you like or a store card where you frequently shop.  


IMO, having 1 card that you can always depend on for everything is fantasy.  


I have long term plan as well, it constantly changes.


New Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-02-2013
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Capital One Secured to Unsecured

I opened a secured account with Capital One 8/2011 for $200 and now it's $450.  My credit has improved, I'm a little over 600 now.  Is it time to attempt an unsecured or should I increase my secured funds to $1,000?


Epic Contributor
Posts: 29,430
Registered: ‎10-23-2007
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Re: Capital One Secured to Unsecured

1. OP you are off to a great start but might be overthinking this just a bit as other member stated.

2. You should get 3 cards in total to do some building.

3. Ameriprise is backed by Barclay, you may be able to get that card right now! (Backdoor right after you apply, they are great about recon)

4. I would also look at an unsecured Capital One Card.. check the pre-qual through the website and apply if you get an offer.. not a recommended!

5. maybe a store card (macy's = apply in store) a gas card (chevron or something) to round out your 3rd or 4th card.

Epic Contributor
Posts: 29,430
Registered: ‎10-23-2007
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Re: Capital One Secured to Unsecured

ladyinmidlo wrote:

I opened a secured account with Capital One 8/2011 for $200 and now it's $450.  My credit has improved, I'm a little over 600 now.  Is it time to attempt an unsecured or should I increase my secured funds to $1,000?


is it your only credit card?

you should check the pre-qual on capital one and see if you get offers for a regular card.

you should also look at adding 1-2 other cards in addition and then you could close your secured card once you add those... 

check pre-qual for chase,discover, barclay.

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Posts: 27,204
Registered: ‎09-13-2012
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Re: Capital One Secured to Unsecured


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