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Valued Member
SYale2010
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎01-27-2009
0

Credit Card Advice as a Student

I posted a few times in this forum, but I never sought advice for myself. I just wanted some advice on what I could do to further increase my score. My EQ score was around 685 1 1/2 months ago.

 

My current credit information is:

Citibank Dividend = 250/2500

Chevron Credit Card = 25/700 

Discover More = 0/500

Macy's = 4/300

Paypal Buyer Credit = 100/600

Bank of America Platinum Plus = 25/500.

 

For a student, I know I have plenty of credit cards, if not too many. Strangely, I feel that my final goal is an American Express card, of which I have been denied I think twice now, one for a student card and one for a regular Blue card.

 

I am planning, when the statement posts, getting rid of balances on the BOA, the PPBC, Macy's, and Chevron. I will also whittle down the Citibank to probably around 50-80, to keep at least one balance. The EQ score of 685 was a score that included in the past 320 on PPBC, 200 on  Discover, and at least 500 on Citibank, and around 50 on BOA. I guess I am just rambling, but what sort of increase should I have seen since the 685, and what is a good ballpark prediction after I make all the new payments? I don't want to really pay for scores yet, until I make the payments and wait at least another month for those balances to report to the credit bureaus. Thanks to anyone who could help!

Valued Contributor
Uborrow-Upay
Posts: 2,708
Registered: ‎10-16-2008
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Re: Credit Card Advice as a Student

SYale2010 wrote:  "I am planning, when the statement posts, getting rid of balances on the BOA, the PPBC, Macy's, and Chevron. I will also whittle down the Citibank to probably around 50-80, to keep at least one balance."

 

From what you've written, I think you've already figured out the plan for yourself.  I'd only suggest that you lay off applying for any other cards for the next six to eight months, and keep a small balance each month on just one card (alternate among them, if possible).  As graduation nears, you're going to get all kinds of offers in your mailbox!

 

Your recent paydowns probably kicked up your score 50 points (my opinion only).  Keep up the good work! 

 

 

Frequent Contributor
dizbuster
Posts: 289
Registered: ‎12-01-2008
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Re: Credit Card Advice as a Student

While I am truly no expert I would suggest letting only one card report a balance and keep it at less than 10% utilization. This seems to be the overall opinion of most on this board. You seem to have a very good handle on the cards you do have. Good Job! I'm sure an expert will chim in shortly to help explain timing your payments and knowing when your cards report so as to show minimum util.
A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
7/6/2009 Equ 664 TU 680 (15 and 19 point jump respectively this week, over 100 point increase in 6 months)
Frequent Contributor
dizbuster
Posts: 289
Registered: ‎12-01-2008
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Re: Credit Card Advice as a Student

Uborrow is a faster typer :smileyhappy:
A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
7/6/2009 Equ 664 TU 680 (15 and 19 point jump respectively this week, over 100 point increase in 6 months)
Valued Contributor
Uborrow-Upay
Posts: 2,708
Registered: ‎10-16-2008
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Re: Credit Card Advice as a Student


dizbuster wrote:
Uborrow is a faster typer :smileyhappy:

Great minds think alike, diz!

Valued Member
SYale2010
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎01-27-2009
0

Re: Credit Card Advice as a Student

Thank you for the quick responses! It is much appreciated. I guess the only plan now is to let my credit grow on its own with responsibility. I can't wait to allow 2 months to pass and then check my scores. How long usually is it ok to leave a card inactive? Because I guess I can do the charge, wait 3 days, and pay it online so that it doesn't keep a balance, but at least they know I used it?

 

I will try to calm any app cravings I have for at least 8 months. The reason why I get denied is because of Experian anyway. I don't see why I always have the luck of CCs pulling from EXP, and not the other two. The other two are probably spot clean of inquiries.

 

It's kind of funny, even to myself, that I'm a 3rd year in college, and I am already thinking about credit. Since I got into it, it's addictive fun to me, though I'm starting to see the importance of it for the future. 

Frequent Contributor
dizbuster
Posts: 289
Registered: ‎12-01-2008
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Re: Credit Card Advice as a Student

Sounds like you have a great attitude about credit. Just remember to be responsible and you will see you scores increase over time. Try using each card at least every two to three months and PIF. This will keep your cards active and your scores up.

Try using www.whogavemecredit.com to see who pulls what CRA in your state. You can also see who was approved for what and with what score. Good info on that site. Research the heck out of each card before you app. will save you lots of wasted inqu.'s.

A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
7/6/2009 Equ 664 TU 680 (15 and 19 point jump respectively this week, over 100 point increase in 6 months)
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Epic Contributor
haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: Credit Card Advice as a Student

Ideally, a bank card (MC, Visa, Discover, AmEx) should be used every other month, even every month with HSBC cards. You have more wiggle room on store cards. That's another good reason to stop for now --it can be a PITA to keep all your plastic exercised. If you have any recurring bills (cell phone, Internet, etc.), that's a good use for a couple of your cards, especially if you can get rewards from them. Otherwise, a tank of gas once a month, a hot date at McDonald's, that sort of thing is all it takes.

My kids did the same thing as you in college with their credit. My older daughter's scores were well into the 760's when she graduated, which definitely helped on getting her humongous med school loans. And my son had no trouble at all getting an apartment, furniture, utilities, cell phone, etc., because he already had good scores and a mostly-clean credit history. And I'm pretty sure that his credit was softed for his first job, as he works for a federal contractor.
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Valued Member
SYale2010
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎01-27-2009
0

Re: Credit Card Advice as a Student

Thank you for the great advice and real life example! My main card is my Citibank, since that is the one that is generously growing with me. The rewards are not outstanding, but it's something than nothing. My Discover I only like using during the 5% periodic cashback bonuses, but this quarter, it's something I would never use. But I guess I'll keep it active by lunch during my job.

 

Macy's is my student job, so that's why I use my card. The only one I see a problem keeping active is my Paypal Buyer Credit, because I normally don't like to just buy something just to do it.

 

As of right now, I just made a payment for 200 dollars to Citibank, because I hate seeing anything like a high number. 

Regular Contributor
jacred
Posts: 104
Registered: ‎09-21-2008
0

Re: Credit Card Advice as a Student


SYale2010 wrote:

I am planning, when the statement posts, getting rid of balances on the BOA, the PPBC, Macy's, and Chevron. I will also whittle down the Citibank to probably around 50-80, to keep at least one balance.


 

Just wanted to clarify - it's good to have one card REPORT a balance (i.e. allowing some charges to post on the statement rather than paying the full balance before the statement posts), but ideally you don't want any card to CARRY a balance (i.e. you DO want to pay the statement charges in full before the due date to avoid interest charges!).

 

 


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