After much thought and deliberation I've decided to ask the opinion of the myFico community. I have been rebuilding my credit for a number of years now, and I am finally in the home stretch. My EQ and EQ reports are free of baddies, however my TU is still reporting 3 120 day lates from Mar-May of 2005. For some reason this same data has already fallen off of EQ/EX. I have a couple of goals as it pertains to credit cards, and I'm curious as to what you all think is the best strategy in which to reach them.
1. Increase the amount of available credit, and have at least one card with a "good" credit limit.
2. Obtain 1-2 "Everyday" use cards to run my expenses through instead of my debit card (Since the USAA debit rewards have gone away)
Chase Auto Loan - Opened 12/2009 Never late
Wells Fargo Mortgage - Opened 7/2009 Never late
Ashley Furniture (GECRB) - $5000 CL ($0 Balance)
Military Star Card (Non MC/Visa) - $8200 CL ($0 Balance)
Capital One Platinum - $3250 CL ($0 Balance)
HSBC Platinum - $700 CL ($40 Balance / $40 Annual Fee)
AAOA: Just over 5 years
Inquiries: EX - 1 (From 5/2010) EQ/TU - 0
AMEX (Undecided between Charge/BCP for everyday card or perhaps get both?)
"Pre-Selected Offers" include Gold, Blue Sky, Delta, and Blue
Chase Freedom (For bonus cash back + when I can't use AMEX)
Credit Union CC (Probably USAA since I bank there, and hoping for a high CL)
I would really like to make the move from using my debit card for routine purchases/bills and start getting at least a little something back however I'm afraid of those 120 day lates from 2005 impacting me during the application process. I'd also really like to dump my HSBC card with the crappy CL and annual fee ASAP.
All that said, the question that remains is how should I proceed? Apply for all three goal cards at once, stagger them, wait for last baddies to dissappear...what say you all?
I'd probably apply to USAA now because they pull EQ and occasionally soft Ex (based upon experience and what I've read here).
Amex is a tough one, they pretty much pull Ex. Obviously your chances would be better with waiting until the last negatives fall off TU.
Chase pulled EQ, for me.
A patient person would wait until the final 120 day late fell off, though. It's only 5 months and a totally clean record will likely yield better credit limits.
I think drkaje is right...just wait out the 5 months to optimize your chances. In the meantime, I would get you real, FICO EQ and TU scores to get a more accurate idea of your score.
Those are my real FICO EQ and TU scores, only the EX is Fako (obviously).
I will tell you what I would do. It's highly unlikely that Amex will pull TU so I would apply for them now. Your scores are fantastic and you don't have cc balances so why not start earning those rewards/dollars today? If you app for a cc you can request a CLI after 60 days and then every 6 months thereafter up to 3x your CL. Amex is usually good with the CLs so there's the high limit cc you're looking for. If you app for the charge card then you don't have to worry about a limit.
USAA pulls EX? I would call them and find out since you bank with them. I've read how people will bring in their own printed credit reports, to show a real person, to see what they may qualify for (before the bank does the actual HP). If they tell you they pull EX or EQ, then I would apply for them as well.
I applied for the Chase Freedom and they pulled TU. I know this varies all over the nation but I would still be wary and wait for those lates to fall off. They also denied me but I requested a recon and succeeded. Chase is decent with recons.
This is just what I would do. Please let us know what you decide!
You look like you're in great shape to me. You have really good scores and only one late pmt from 2005 on TU.
I'd definitely app for the USAA. You already have a relationship with them and w/your history and scores, it seems like you'd be approved. For me, they pulled EQ when I apped for a CC in the summer.
Amex rarely pulls TU. They mostly pull EX. So, again, I think you're in good shape. And your one baddie on TU is only a late pmt. It's not a collection or CO, which Amex doesn't like. I think your chances of being approved are really good.
Chase I don't know a lot about. Keep in mind that if you get too many CCs at once, your AAoA will drop and your FICO will follow. Mine just droped a chunk from 3 new CCs in November. You might want to go for the USAA and Amex, and then add Chase in 6 mos. (tho I doubt the late pmt would deter them.)
Pen fed membership, (pentagon federal credit union, free for military) use same pull for membership to get a promise visa, very low apr for balances, or the 5% gas. Pen fed also has the lowest car loan rates, so youll have foot in the door for that. first 6 month your limit will be 5k, then prob 25k on cc.
store card, like amazon. 0% TVs, big ticket items
Rewards card, I prefer Amex Gold PR for this role, i can spend without worrying about utilization. BCP is great too, and safer for paycheck to paycheck folks.