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New Member
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎09-07-2011
0

Establishing my own credit history - finally!

This is a bit embarrassing.  I'm in my late 30's and I just learned about the importance of establishing my own credit history.  I started as an AU on my parents' card when I was in college, and I eventually got my own AmEx Green card and Citi MC.  All my bills went straight to my parents, who took care of my monthly payment to my bank account.  Thankfully, my parents drilled into my about making payment on time to maintain good credit score.

 

I became an investment banker and still didn't care about my credit score.  All I knew was I made my payment on time and in-full every month.  Fast forward to 2000, I got engaged and my now DH and I decided to consolidate our credit card spending into only a couple of cards to maximize earning FF miles.  So, I stopped using my card and didn't even notice that my cards were closed for inactivity.

 

I found this forum and another forum while looking for a way to dispute a mistake on my EQ, which still hasn't been fixed BTW.:smileymad:  It's only been a month since I've started learning about establishing my own credit.  I had 7 cards (all AU on 4 AmEx, 1 MC & 2 Visa).  So, I decided to get my own credit cards to start building my credit history and this is what I was able to get on my own since the beginning of August:

 

Merrill Accolades (AF waived)

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa ($15k CL)

AmEx Blue Sky Preferred ($12k CL & backdated to 1989)

JP Morgan Selec Visa ($20k CL)

 

Unfortunately, I won't be using these cards much at all since DH and I only use a couple of cards exclusively and a few more for travel related benefits.  I'll just let them age and make sure to charge something here & there. 

 

I'm tempted to apply for Citi AAdvantage AmEx and Visa for 75k AA miles per card.  Yay or nay?  I know I have 3 hard inquiries spread evenly.  Will Citi get worried about my application spree?  Only two started reporting.

 

Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,413
Registered: ‎01-20-2008
0

Re: Establishing my own credit history - finally!

Welcome to forums!   You are not alone to start ... add me too.  I start it 8 yrs a go and I'm older than you.

 

Congratulations!   Those are vry nice CLs.  

Yes, make sure to use those cards once in 4~6 month with small charges to keep those in active status to avoid it gets close by the lenders.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's very tough with small income ~ The Rewards are big little helper to me.
Valued Member
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎07-03-2008
0

Re: Establishing my own credit history - finally!

Congratulations! Like you, I did not start to learn about the importance of building my own good credit until I hit my 30s. Unlike you, I trashed my credit in my late teens/early twenties. I had a repo and a string of lates 30/60/90120 on my CR by the time I was 23. At that point I did not qualify for any 'good cards' (read, cards that didn't require an AF) and I refused to apply for a card with an AF. I was too stubborn to pay a bank for the privilege of having them charge me outrageous APR rates. I also did not get any loans (auto or otherwise) because I refused to pay multiple digit APRs. Yes I was stubborn and ignorant to the credit game. Looking back; being in the military, and being single actually helped out as I had no immediate need to obtain credit or get a new loan. I simply bought an old beater for `$2000 every couple of years until I PCSed; I then sold the beater and repeated the process at my next duty station. I did get approved for the Military Star card in 1997 (then the DPP card) and remained in fairly good standing with them (one or two 30 day lates) throughout my military career.

 

Anyhoo, in 2008, I discovered this forum (and soon after; other forums) that taught me how the credit game was played. I was prompted to search for credit information because I was tired of being (increasingly) hassled for trying to use my debit card when renting vehicles and buying airline tickets. Now here I am; thanks to MyFico (and others); proud to say that I have fairly decent credit scores (730 EX [PSECU] and 713 EQ [Credit Watch via NFCU/Equifax]). I never PFDed or GWed any of my derog accounts. (didn't know any better) and some are still there (should be falling off around the end of 2013).

 

Just thought I'd give you a little inspiration. IMO you already have an excellent head start (thanks to your AU accounts no doubt)) and you have some excellent cards now. The road will seem loooooong and drawn out, but due to my experience, I believe that there is no better way to repair/establish good credit than by simply waiting it out (and paying on time).

 

P.S. IMHO, since you will not be using these cards much, I would PC the Blue Cash Preferred to the regular BC to avoid the AF. Good Luck



Frequent Contributor
Posts: 387
Registered: ‎08-25-2011
0

Re: Establishing my own credit history - finally!

Only apply for credit that you need. I would not get another card IMO.

I would also PC to BCE, unless you plan on using the AMEX on a regular basis for the 6% grocery/3% gas reward on a regular basis. If you use it enough, you will offset the $75 AF. Otherwise, it is money out of your pocket.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,486
Registered: ‎08-14-2011
0

Re: Establishing my own credit history - finally!


raenys wrote:

Only apply for credit that you need. I would not get another card IMO.

I would also PC to BCE, unless you plan on using the AMEX on a regular basis for the 6% grocery/3% gas reward on a regular basis. If you use it enough, you will offset the $75 AF. Otherwise, it is money out of your pocket.



Agreed.  Avoid getting cards you don't need.  On the topic of BCE vs BCP:  Do the math.  Find out how much cash you'll get back based on your spending and the cash back rewards on each card so you can decide which is better.  For instance, if you gross $150 back on the BCE and $210 back on the BCP, you're better off with the BCE because there is no AF (BCP $210-$75 < $150!).

In My Wallet:
AMEX BCE, Citi Forward, Chase Freedom

In My Sockdrawer:
AMEX Clear, Citi Platinum Select, US Bank Platinum, J.Crew
New Member
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎09-07-2011
0

Re: Establishing my own credit history - finally!

Thank you for your suggestion.  I looked into the cost benefit of having Blue Sky Preferred vs. Blue Sky, and I think BSP actually makes more sense to me.  The AF is $75 but it also comes with $100 airline incidental fee rebate, and DH and I travel a lot so we will certainly use the benefit. 

 

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