Op, dont feel too bad, youre not alone. I apped for a Barnes and Noble Barclay card and got denied due to recent open accounts, high util (30%) and low overall credit limits. I called for a recon the next day using a back door number and still got denied. The dude on the other end was nice enough but said they would want to see more established history out of me. I currently have about a year of open accounts with perfect pays and nothing prior due to medical collections hosing me for years.
It was really annoying given they pull TU which actually deleted every paid collections account I have so it sits at 690ish with only positive accounts. I thought it was my best chance to replace my $79 af $300 limit Orchard I just closed but I guess not.
The credit union thing really does seem to be the best option. I joined Bellco CU here in CO, apped for a card a few months ago and named my desired limit with them (1k) and got approved no problem. Meanwhile I cant get approved for a $500 Barclays? Ya, Im liking CUs more and more every day.
Chickenpotpie- I think having your partner add you as an AU will help tremendously.
I'll tell ya why.
Two years ago my husband added me to two of his cards. One Citi, the other Chase. He has prefect credit, no lates, FICO over 800 and very high credit limits.
Me? HA! no CC's of my own and depending on which CRA's report you look at, either 3 baddies, or 2.
I finally decied to rebuild my credit July of 09. FICO at the time, in the 600's. First card I apped for was Barclays B&N card. I got it with a 2.5k limit.
after reading everything here, and thinking back- I may not have got it if it wasn't for my AU status.
So being an AU on 2 cards with an excellent history, helped.. ALOT...
For someone who's rebuilding-if they have the option to become an AU on a perfect card, I say go for it.
eta: When I say "option to become an AU on a perfect card" I mean a spoue, or parent. Not a perfect stranger.