Credit Card Center Advertiser Disclosure†
08-24-2012 01:11 PM - edited 08-24-2012 01:20 PM
I've always had spotty credit. Over the last 12 months, I really worked on my credit, taking care of late payments, collections, etc. Mainly, this was to ensure I could get a mortgage for a house for my growing family. Sure enough it worked. However, my credit score is still low at 650-696 depending on the bureau (this is up from 480 since November 2011).
In the past, when I've tried, I've been denied or got a puny limit. My last card I received is from Barclays and they gave me $500 limit. I've had a Capital One card for at least a decade, but they charge me an annual fee of $29 bucks for which I receive no extra benefits from. My Capital One only has a limit of $1300 - they've never raised it in all of these years. In fact the limit is because in the past, I had 3 CapOne cards and I called in one day to combine them to one card.
My goal now is to get better credit cards. My income is good making good money of $82k a year. My goals:
AMEX Blue Cash
AMEX charge card
Capital One Ventures
Obviously I don't want all of these cards; I'll be happy with a Chase Freedom and the AMEX Blue Cash. The AMEX is high on my list and frankly my top priority.
The 2 cards I mentioned before are paid off. When I do charge them, I pay them off when the bill comes in and no more than 30% of the limit - good for charging my monthly recurring bills like the cable bill, etc. I'm a ton more responbile now that I was a year ago and budget properly and I don't overspend. I've a nice savings cushion, but would like to get up to 6 months of expenses. I'm current on everything for a year now. My record shows I've never been late with a card payment or car loan payment, and now I have a mortgage to boost my credit profile.
I'm thinking about this time next year, I'll apply as all of my late payments will be 2 years old (student loans as much as 120 days late). I took several inquiry hits due to the mortgage, but those will be a year old by next September. I'm hoping my credit score will be boosted to 720+ by then. What do I need to do to ensure I can obtain on these cards when I do apply for them?
08-24-2012 01:26 PM
I think by the time your mortgage hits your report you'll see a boost in your scores, im sure somebody will correct me if im wrong. When is the last time you applied for a CC? I recently applied for Chase Freedom and was approved after recon. At the time i applied i had a collection on my TU and EX since then i got it removed. Lately Chase has been very good with recons for people with not the best credit. i say once the mortgage hits your report apply for the Freedom. Amex on the other hand im not sure about, ive always been to scared to apply. If you do apply, people on these boards have been applying for the Zync charge card first because its easier to get and then waiting until January of the following year to try for a revolver, for backdating purposes.
Good Luck! and congrats on your home purchase!
08-24-2012 01:27 PM
Another thing is why dont you try a GW letter to the company's you have lates with? Its worth a shot i think.
08-24-2012 01:33 PM
I have to no avail. 6 months straight until I gave up and starting applying for a mortgage (because i didn't want any "in dispute" showing up on my reports). They are all because of my darn student loans.
08-24-2012 01:38 PM
The last time I applied for a credit card was with Barclays about 2 years ago. I'm also denied (rightfully so) so I don't bother with this much. I guess the limits are enough so that I can make online purchases and bill paying. But things have changed for me. Capital One made me think about "What's IS in my wallet?"
I thought about trying for the Zync AMEX card (to charge my recurring bills), but I'm so scare to apply for any card, especially an AMEX since they are hard to get.
I just want to get into "prime" CC territory. Most of my friends have AMEX and I feel "sub prime" with my CapOne "Platinum" card. Not that I should be comparing, but I know it's time for me to step up my game, so to speak.
I may try the Chase Freedom after my scores hit 700.
Also, what do you mean by "recon"?
08-24-2012 01:48 PM
The Zync is fairly easy to get and your credit scores are in the "zync" range. You will never know where you stand with them unless you make the jump and apply.
08-24-2012 01:53 PM
I would suggest applying for the AMEX Zync now. Your scores should be more than high enough for approval. When the Zync is a year old you can then apply for an AMEX revolver. AMEX will cut you a little slack in approving other cards because you are already a customer of theirs.
I think part of the problem you are having with your scores concerns utilization. You need to start paying your credit card bills online BEFORE you get a bill. Having 30% report is way too much. To maximize your scores you need to have 1 card report less than 9% and all other cards report zero. The way to accomplish this is to pay your credit cards off or down 2 to 3 times a month online. You don't have to wait for a paper statement in the mail.
Make sure you keep your existing cards open until you have their replacements in hand and they are aged a bit.
08-24-2012 02:05 PM - edited 08-24-2012 02:11 PM
Well my utliization is 0%. I pay them when the bill comes in, and the receive the payment right before they report so my credit profile shows $0 due. Sometimes a little more, but still. When I do charge, I make sure it's no more than 30% of the credit line. One of the cards, I charge my gas on it weekly, but the payment is sent the following week, that one usually shows up on my credit report as $60-70 due, about 5% of my credit line.
And yes, I plan on keeping these useless CapOne, Barclay cards until I get me some 'real' cards and have held them at least a year. I'm for sure going to cancel and cutup the CapOne and Barclay cards. Won't have much have an impact on my credit rating since the new cards will be over a year old AND have a much high credit limit (I hope). I just need to get these credit cards over this next hurdle.
08-24-2012 02:09 PM
I say apply for the Zync and Freedom today. I feel your scores are good enough for the Zync and Freedom. When i apped for the Freedom my scores were mid 600's. recon is when you ask them to reconsider your application after explaining your negatives on your credit report.
08-24-2012 02:13 PM - edited 08-24-2012 02:14 PM
Good suggestion. I'm hoping once the 1 year of late pays are up (October 1), I get a nice boost to the score. I just don't want to apply until I know I've gone the full 12 months with no late pays on anything. Being a low score of 653 bothers me, so I'm hesitant to app for a card. It'd be better if were 675. I'd be comfortable not to apply for anything until I know I'm in the low 700's. There would be no excuse for denial then. My goal is to stay in the mid-700's. Life is MUCH easier that way I find.