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New Member
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎03-03-2010
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What Is My Next Step?

I am new here, and have been reading pretty heavily on credit since before I even got my first card about 4 months ago. Growing up with charge-card parents who put excellent credit next to godliness, I have been trying to plan out a good strategy to get a score and keep it as high as possible.

 

I am about to cut my fourth statement on my first credit card, the Wells Cash Back College Visa. Every month I have PIF before the statement cut, although after looking into it I've realized that it may be smarter to leave a tiny balance so some utilization is reported. Because I had no credit previously, PIF before the statement cuts is actually keeping me from getting a credit score, correct? 

 

Basically, I am looking for advice on where to go from here. I have my sights set on my next card (although I realistically know that it can and should be a bit of a wait). AMEX is the ideal: I am not interested in credit cards for maintaining balances, only for convenience and establishing credit. My parents have been almost 30-year cardholders and have been really happy with MR, travel and purchase insurance, so I'm thinking I may as well try and start my relationship with AMEX as early as possible. My first question is, how long will it take before I actually have a credit score? If I applied with AMEX in a couple of months and got denied due to insufficient history, would I also get docked for a hard pull? How long would it be advisable to wait until applying with AMEX?

 

And that's where we get to the meat of it: which AMEX to choose. Charge card or credit card? If I went with a credit card, assuming they are easier to get, would it improve my ability to get a charge card in the future? If I went with a charge card on relatively new credit, would the fact that AMEX doesn't report credit limits end up hurting me more than helping me? The Zync seems really appealing at first glance, but is Membership Rewards Express too diluted v. MR? Can anyone speculate as to what kind of history and income is required for the Zync vs. Green vs. Credit cards?

 

Any other ideas?

 

Thanks for any and all comments! 

Epic Contributor
Posts: 20,294
Registered: ‎03-19-2007
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Re: What Is My Next Step?

Your first step is most encouraging.  You received a revolving card, and if you keep % util low, and never pay late, you are the ideal creditor, but the building process is slow, as you know.

 

But I know that is not your question.  You have only 4 months credit history.

 

If you are really looking for a quicker way to get an instant FICO score surge, and thus improve your eligibility for a major bank card in your own name (I would not start with AMEX), then......

 

Have a sit-down with your parents.  If they would agree to add you as an authorized user on any of their solid CCs, you would instantly pick up their total credit history on that card, including its full credit limit, and age of account history.  A major jump in your FICO score.

This requires a lot of trust on both sides.  To convince them that dong this for you wont possibly hurt them should you get into any financial pinches, they dont have let you use any CC issued on the AU account.  A huge win for you, and no threat to their credit.

That would be my advice.

 

Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,708
Registered: ‎10-16-2008
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Re: What Is My Next Step?


ct850 wrote: 

I am about to cut my fourth statement on my first credit card, the Wells Cash Back College Visa. Every month I have PIF before the statement cut, although after looking into it I've realized that it may be smarter to leave a tiny balance so some utilization is reported. Because I had no credit previously, PIF before the statement cuts is actually keeping me from getting a credit score, correct?


Welcome to the forums, ct850!

 

My understanding is that 6 months of credit history is needed before a credit score can be generated for you.  I'm not convinced that PIF before the statement cuts really affects that at all.  I think it's just the time element alone.

 

(As always, subject to confirmation/correction by other members). 

 

 

Moderator Emerita
Community Leader
Epic Contributor
Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: What Is My Next Step?

As long as your card is reporting to the CRA's, with or without a $0 balance, it's considered active, and activity is what is required to establish history. You can look on your credit reports to see the date of the most recent update. Depending on which report you pull, and when your card updates, it should show Jan 2010 or Feb 2010.

The others are right --once you have six months showing, a score will generate.

Great start on your credit future!
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