07-15-2010 02:03 AM
Did my undergrad in Tokyo, moved back to the states for masters in architecture last summer and (thought) I had no credit history.
Kept getting turned down for cell phones, housing apps, credit cards, etc. Ended up buying a used volvo(married with a daughter) for 5k with cash out of pocket, and also finding out I had an unpaid dorm bill from a semester of university in the states prior to Japan. $2000 room fee had been sold to a collection agency, ballooned to $8k, and I paid $5k to them. Stupidly, I did this all by calling the collection agency and verbally confirming they would remove everything, however this never happened and on my Exp. report it says "account: settled" and " Election of remedy. Account paid in full for less than the full balance". TU says the same thing except "Settled less than full balance".
I also had a bunch of hard inquiries from the summer of '09 (2-3 rental applications, 4-5 cell phone, 3-4 credit card) sprinkled evenly through the 3 agencies.
In the end I was able to go to the umich credit union where we had a savings/checkings account and appeal to them for a student visa (unsecured) with a $1k CL in nov '09. Been PIF on that and my scores have risen from low 500's going up close to a month or two ago before dipping back down because utilization went up to 30% (had a hospital visit in Japan and used the UMCU visa to pay until traveler's insurance reimbursed... usually PIF every month) I think my scores should go back up as the next reporting date should show a <10% utilization on the visa card.
Anyways, right now my credit score at IDPNC shows:
Experian - 599
Equifax - 668
TransUnion - 672
And creditkarma's TU estimate was at 682 before diving to 620 this month
Then in May of this year, I app'ed and got accepted for an AMEX zync card which has been pretty heavily used:
July: probably only $500
Was testing their "check my spending ability" online, starting at 3k, got up to 4k and next try was 5k before I got a "too many inquiries/can't approve this purchase" message, so it seems like I have a fairly good limit with them, but this isn't helping my credit score/utilization at all. On my report it doesn't list any limit, or even max balance as I've been having to pay online twice/three times a month given the new status on the card.
Racked up 8k points in addition to the 10k bonus, but am now disappointed in the membership rewards express program, can't transfer to FF miles and gift cards are 0.5% rewards....
Hoping to switch to a "blue cash" card but thinking I'll get shot down, wondering what people think chances are.
Thinking of applying after the zync card has been open for 6 months(and my scores go back up from having my normal low utilization) and then giving them a call to try to switch.
Also wondering if there's any hope for getting that CA record totally deleted, but figure it's a he said/she said kinda deal...
Income wise it's all scholarships/grants/fed loans, really just use CC to PIF to build credit so I'm not in the same situation again, and got tired of spending 2-3k a month w/a debit card and not getting anything for it...
07-15-2010 04:20 AM
Amex doesn't do PC from charge to revolving card.
07-15-2010 05:27 AM
I have heard that you have a better chance at applying for a revolving card with Am Ex after having Zync...certainly wont hurt your chances.
Can I ask you how long it took for your bonus 10K point to post to your account?
07-15-2010 07:41 AM
Thanks for the tips.
Bonus points took forever... now they seem to be on about a 1 month lag, but the first time to get the points posted took like 2-3 months iirc. Looking at the statement details tab of the amex online site, it says they were posted April 1st, but my first charge on the card was April 4th so that's obviously changed retroactively.
07-15-2010 07:53 AM
Wow thats a long time. I was hoping to be able to use them in August, but I guess not. Good luck, let us know if you decide to apply for Blue Cash!!
07-15-2010 08:58 AM
Amex won't do a product change from a charge card to a revolving account, as has been previously stated here.
While you would have to apply for a new account, I wouldn't with your current FICO scores. Wait at least until you are 700+ before applying for a revolving account with Amex.
07-15-2010 01:26 PM
Dont really "want" to. Just was curious. Maybe thought about getting the Platinum Charge down the road sometime. I have the Delta Gold right now.