10-30-2008 11:14 PM - edited 10-30-2008 11:18 PM
I'm pretty new at building credit.
I have a Capital One Standard Platinum with a $750 CL. I've had it since July. I always pay my balance in full at the end of the month (and will always do so) and my average daily balance should be about 30 - 40 % of that amount I guess. I haven't pulled my credit report but I guess you guys must have an idea about where my score stands (low).
I'm making $56,000 and have virtually no debt (although apparently it doesn't seem to matter). I've applied for other credit card in September and got denied (Bank of America and Chase Amazon) so I'm a little careful now.
I have a Costco membership and people there tried to get me into signing up for the Amex True Earnings.. stating that I was pre approved as a Costco member (which I doubt). What do you think of that? Any other idea for a non secured credit card or charge card?
10-31-2008 09:22 AM - edited 10-31-2008 11:02 AM
1. I'm making $56,000 and have virtually no debt (although apparently it doesn't seem to matter).
2. I've applied for other credit card in September and got denied (Bank of America and Chase Amazon).
3. I have a Costco membership and people there tried to get me into signing up for the Amex True Earnings.. stating that I was pre approved as a Costco member (which I doubt). What do you think of that? Any other idea for a non secured credit card or charge card?
1. Your income matters more for determining your credit limits once you qualify for a credit card. You must however have a minimum income to qualify. An income of $56,000 is well above the minimum income for most cards.
Once you start getting approved for cards you will find that your income will help you to eventually obtain $10,000 - $25,000 and even higher limits.
2. What were the reasons given for the denials?
3. Costco might be worth a shot. Costco would have a record of your purchases there. If you have spent a lot it could help somewhat in the approval process if you otherwise have a thin credit file. It is hard to guess what your chances are without knowing more about your credit history and FICO scores.
* Please note that some people might hesitate to purchase their FICO scores to save some money. Notice that this forum is uncluttered with advertisements. Whenever I pull my FICO scores I feel that I am supporting this forum and helping to improve the financial well being of its readers (members and lurkers alike). A small investment to obtain FICO scores pays big dividends, especially since the majority of the discussion and advice in this forum is based upon knowing one's current FICO scores.
10-31-2008 04:12 PM - edited 10-31-2008 04:23 PM
You might consider applying for the True Rewards (or any) AMEX as soon as you can. If approved, don't be late on it and never close it. Just use it a couple of times a year to buy gas or a slurpee (or a tub of mayo at Costco).
AMEX back dates any new accounts you open with them in the future, to the date of your oldest account.
For example: You open an AMEX now, in 2008.
Five years from now, in 2013, you open an AMEX Delta Skymiles credit account. This new account will be backdated to appear to have been opened in 2008, helping your credit score by increasing your Established History (specifically average age of accounts).
This benefit comes in handy as the years roll by.
10-31-2008 04:45 PM
Since you have new credit, i would apply for bofa if they deny you(they should offer you a secured or semi secured ) i would try talk to them and if they wont approve take the secured card. In 9-12 months it will unsecure and you will have a card from a prime bank. In febuary you will have 6 months history with cap1 and i would think you could try other banks like chase for a card.
the the magic number for capital one if you havent (800-889-9939 ) and see if they will increase your limit
10-31-2008 04:56 PM
11-01-2008 01:19 AM
thanks for everyone's comment.
I've already tried getting a credit card at bank of america (where I have my checking account and direct deposit) and got denied. Their reason: no revolving credit.
I'm gonna call Capital One to try to get a credit limit increase (thx for the phone number!). Asking for one will not affect my credit score, right?
Then I'll try to get the Amex/Costco True Earnings. Who knows.. If it doesn't work I'll wait for another 6 months before applying anywhere.
11-01-2008 07:00 AM
Capital One doesn't do a hard inquiry for CLIs, so just asking can't hurt. It's your only card and you've been giving it a lot of use and paying in full, so even though they're not usually very generous with the CLIs, you might be in luck. I got my limit increased from $750 to $1050 a while ago and I rarely use the card at all.
Is this Cap1 card the first credit you've ever had? If so, you probably don't even have a credit score for creditors to pull, which could explain the denials! However, if you've had any kind of loan etc that would show up on your credit reports, then it should be possible for them to pull your credit files & scores, and without knowing what kind of shape those are in, it's not going to be easy to have a good idea of what you may or may not likely be approved for. If you don't have any 'baddies' in your credit history and this card is the only trade line you have, there's no reason to think your scores wouldn't be fairly decent - but they will definitely be affected by the utilization that's getting reported to the CRAs.
You say you pay the card off in full 'at the end of the month' - when is that in your statement cycle? If you pay the full balance after receiving the statement, then whatever the balance is on that statement is going to be the balance that's reported to the CRAs each month, and if it's a high percentage of your credit limit, your scores will be (negatively) affected by that. You'd want to have only a very tiny amount - ideally $35 or less reporting, which would mean paying the card balance down BEFORE the statement date each month. Score-wise, it's best to have half or more of your accounts reporting a zero balance - but you also get penalized if you have NO cards reporting a balance, so with only one card, you can't really win, it's all or nothing! But the one thing you can do is make sure that if a balance does report, it's only a very small one so it doesn't make it look like you're using almost all your available credit (your score will definitely take a hit for that).
If you take a look at the statements for the card and see what the balances are on each of them, you'll get some idea of what your % utilization has been reporting at - if it's a high percentage, that could explain the denials you've been getting. But then again (if the card is the first and only credit line you've ever had), then it's likely the companies you've been applying to haven't been able to pull any credit file for you at all - which again, would explain it. If the latter is the problem, maybe a local credit union would be the way to go, if you could establish a (banking) relationship with them - or try the card I got with no credit at all (2 days after I moved to the US, therefore no credit file, I didn't even have an SSN at the time) - Macy's. Macy's is great as a credit builder as they may approve with initial low limits but will be VERY generous with the credit line increases if treated right, they also don't mind if you only use the card every now and again, and lastly, having a store card will improve your mix of credit and thus improve your scores a little bit.
Any idea about what I asked above - whether you're likely to have no credit score yet at all, or whether you DO have one? And if so, how your utilization might be affecting your scores? That could give you some clues as to what to 'fix' before applying again. If your Capital One card really is the first credit you've ever had, you'll need to wait until you've had it six months, I think, before it'll be possible for lenders to actually pull a credit report/score on you when you apply for a card. You'd probably want to make sure YOU can pull it before you apply anywhere, just to be sure you're not wasting your time (and a credit inquiry).
11-01-2008 10:49 AM
In my experience the Amex True Earnings card is surprisingly easy to get if you already have Costco membership. I had no credit history (a recent recruit from another country) and the only thing I had was a Costco membership for ~1-2months. Like you, I was denied a credit card at most other places due to my lack of credit history. I was surprised when I was approved for this card and all they required was a call to my employers to check my status.
11-01-2008 01:20 PM
It's my first credit card, yes. Basically I've been establishing credit since July. I've had an SSN since late of may (I'm a new immigrant) .
I pay my bills 2 or 3 days before the "payment due date" . I thought that that the average daily balance was reported so that it didn't matter. Now looking at my statements, I see that I paid the statements 25 days after the end of my statement cycle. Looking at each of my 3 statements, I can see that my "new balances" were 0 , 30 and 16 % percent of my credit limit, so it shouldn't be too bad, yet higher than what you recommended.
Basically, my statements start on the second of the month and ends on first of the next month. I pay in full at the 23rd of the month, 2 or 3 days before the "payment due date", but which is after the statement. So when should I pay in your opinion?
Thanks for the help.