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Member
garrett24
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎01-22-2013
0

Wrapping up my App Spree, do I have a good combination of cards?

Alright, so coming into 2013 one of my new year's resolutions was to improve my credit and manage my money well. Just wanted to share with you guys my app spree from January and was wondering if I have a good selection of cards.

 

I'm 19, currently work full time as a manager at a grocery store, work part time at a doctor's office and go to university full time as well.

 

The only thing before 2013 I had was:

- Two education loans, deferred until I graduate -- should be around $10,500 total after this school year

- Wells Fargo Student Cash Back CC, started back in 12/2011 with $1000 CL, auto CLI to $1500 last summer 

- Credit Score was ~730 before the app spree

 

No late payments, just some bad utilization at times (books+other things sometimes rack up hundreds of bucks which I pay as much as I can at end of the month, but I finally paid everything in full last month).

 

My App Spree (sent all on the same day, the inquiries didn't show up until 2 or 3 days later):

- Chase Slate, approved for a $1000CL, just needed verification of my address because I recently moved

- Chase Sapphire Preferred, asked for more information via letter/mail, sent it back in, took another week and a half and was approved for a $5000CL!

- AMEX BCE, approved for a $1000CL, just needed verification of my address as well otherwise it would have been instant

- Chevron and Texaco Gas Card, instantly approved for a $500CL

- Discover IT, declined at this time saying they were unable to extend an offer - I didn't really bother after being approved for AmexBCE, Slate and Chevron and didn't want to push my luck. Wish they didn't give me a hard pull for no reason though.


Credit score is around 690s-710s after the HPs, not sure how they will look after all the accounts open (they aren't reporting on CreditSesame, CK or myFICO yet)

 

So do I have a good mixture of cards or is there anything else I should consider. Looking back, I should have considered going the BCP instead of the BCE because I work at a grocery store and make daily purchases for lunch/dinner there, but I was more fearful of not getting an Amex card altogether. I also should have gone for something other then the Chase, but I just was fearful of once again, not getting accepted and I just wanted to start building my credit, the slate might act as the card I carry a balance from month to month with.

 

I think once I get my shiny new CSP in the mail and wrap up with this app spree it's time to garden for the next few years until I graduate college :smileyhappy:

Valued Contributor
SnackTrader
Posts: 1,566
Registered: ‎09-15-2012
0

Re: Wrapping up my App Spree, do I have a good combination of cards?

Your arsenal looks good. Congrats!

One thing I highly advise against is carrying a balance, even with a low APR card. If you can avoid it, do so. It costs you money in the long run and has the ability to really set you behind financially. Think about it this way - when you graduate college you will hopefully have the income you need to make fancy purchases and start living a more comfortable lifestyle. In the meantime, you should live like a broke college student, and not put on credit card debt just to live differently. I left college with $60,000+ in student debt, and I'm having a tough enough time paying for that. If I had left with credit card debt too, I would be a mess. Pay in full whenever you can.

In My Wallet: Amex BCP (12/12) $22.200, Cap1 Quicksilver (6/12) $14,000, Chase CSP (4/14) $12,000, Barclaycard Rewards (5/13) $10,500, Citi Forward (12/12) $9,600, Chase Freedom (12/12) $5,000

Last App: April 2, 2014
Valued Contributor
kevinjjc
Posts: 1,331
Registered: ‎01-14-2009
0

Re: Wrapping up my App Spree, do I have a good combination of cards?

Congrats!!! I think you should have got a Chase Freedom instead of the Chase Slate.

Member
garrett24
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎01-22-2013
0

Re: Wrapping up my App Spree, do I have a good combination of cards?

[ Edited ]

@SnackTrader

Is it better to have credit util of 1% - 9% ish or is better not to have util at all.

I'm really confused on that aspect.

 

And, how do the credit companies report my balances and how much I pay each month to the credit companies, one mistake I did with the WF company is that I always paid my balance in full before it reported to my credit report and there were some months where the report said I didn't have any credit usage at all when I did indeed have some, I just paid the balance off before the end of the month.

 

@kevinjjc

I would have gone for the Freedom but I was nervous about getting accepted at all and went for the Slate.

It's not the end of the world though, but I'm also not a fan of rotating categories and the 3% CB on groceries with amex BCE and with wells fargo offering me 1% CB on everything else I should be fine.

Valued Contributor
thom02099
Posts: 1,326
Registered: ‎08-30-2011
0

Re: Wrapping up my App Spree, do I have a good combination of cards?


garrett24 wrote:

@SnackTrader

Is it better to have credit util of 1% - 9% ish or is better not to have util at all.

I'm really confused on that aspect.

 

And, how do the credit companies report my balances and how much I pay each month to the credit companies, one mistake I did with the WF company is that I always paid my balance in full before it reported to my credit report and there were some months where the report said I didn't have any credit usage at all when I did indeed have some, I just paid the balance off before the end of the month.

 

@kevinjjc

I would have gone for the Freedom but I was nervous about getting accepted at all and went for the Slate.

It's not the end of the world though, but I'm also not a fan of rotating categories and the 3% CB on groceries with amex BCE and with wells fargo offering me 1% CB on everything else I should be fine.


Congrats on your success!  Looks like a really good beginning for you, should be proud of what you've accomplished at a young age! 

Always best to keep util under 9%.  Anecdotally there's stories about 7% or 6% being optimum, but I think it's a YMMV type thing. 

AMEX Gold NPSL / AMEX Zync NPSL / AMEX Blue Cash Preferred $14K / Bank of America Cash Rewards Signature Visa $15K / Merrill Lynch Plus Signature Visa $15K / Wells Fargo Propel 365 $15K / Chase Sapphire Preferred Signature Visa $10K / J P Morgan Select Signature Visa $10K / Chase Slate Visa $6K / CITI Diamond Preferred MasterCard $13.2K / Discover IT $10.5K / IberiaBank Select Visa $8K / 1st Command Bank Platinum Visa $7.5K // Home Depot $9.7K / Lowes $10K

EX = 768 EQ = 828 TU = 834 - June/2014
Valued Contributor
SnackTrader
Posts: 1,566
Registered: ‎09-15-2012
0

Re: Wrapping up my App Spree, do I have a good combination of cards?


garrett24 wrote:

@SnackTrader

Is it better to have credit util of 1% - 9% ish or is better not to have util at all.

I'm really confused on that aspect.

 

And, how do the credit companies report my balances and how much I pay each month to the credit companies, one mistake I did with the WF company is that I always paid my balance in full before it reported to my credit report and there were some months where the report said I didn't have any credit usage at all when I did indeed have some, I just paid the balance off before the end of the month.

 

@kevinjjc

I would have gone for the Freedom but I was nervous about getting accepted at all and went for the Slate.

It's not the end of the world though, but I'm also not a fan of rotating categories and the 3% CB on groceries with amex BCE and with wells fargo offering me 1% CB on everything else I should be fine.


Great questions. This goes back to the difference between "carrying balances" and "reporting balances", and you are very right that some months your usage reports as $0 if you pay before the reporting date. But that's generally a good thing if you are looking to optimize your score. However, the only time I optimize my score is when I am applying for new cards, and every other time I just pay before the due date. Carrying a balance is when you do not pay all charges before your due date and are subsequently charged interest for not doing so. 

 

Here is the optimal strategy pitched on these forums:

- Charge whatever you want on your cards

- Pay all your balances down to $0 before the reporting date (which for most lenders is the statement end date), except for one card. Let that card report between 1% and 9% balance. 

- Pay the rest of that balance off before your due date so that you don't carry a balance. 

 

Just to repeat, you don't have to do that every month, just those months where you want to optimize your score.   And so you know, the lenders may be looking for card activity, but they are also looking for financially responsible customers, so reporting a $0 balance shows responsible card usage and isn't typically frowned upon. I think there is a mentality in the credit card world where all lenders think their card will want to make customers spend money, so they just want to get their card into your hands and will easily look past $0 usage. Just a personal opinion, so you can take it or leave it. 


In My Wallet: Amex BCP (12/12) $22.200, Cap1 Quicksilver (6/12) $14,000, Chase CSP (4/14) $12,000, Barclaycard Rewards (5/13) $10,500, Citi Forward (12/12) $9,600, Chase Freedom (12/12) $5,000

Last App: April 2, 2014
Established Contributor
distantarray
Posts: 2,112
Registered: ‎09-25-2011
0

Re: Wrapping up my App Spree, do I have a good combination of cards?


kevinjjc wrote:

Congrats!!! I think you should have got a Chase Freedom instead of the Chase Slate.


this could work out better actually, Keep the Slate, then get the Freedom, then PC the Slate later on for a Freedom yes you can have 2, I seen people have 4 :smileywink:


total credit limits $108,400 Credit scores Ex 728 EQ 738 TU 758
Contributor
BlueHusky
Posts: 193
Registered: ‎04-01-2012
0

Re: Wrapping up my App Spree, do I have a good combination of cards?

Does a 19 yr old college student need a CSP? It's mainly a card for travelers...do you travel enough to justify the annual fee?

 

Everything you have is great, similar to my cards.




Starting Score: 583 (CreditKarma, 2009)
Current Score: 783 (Walmart Free FICO, March 20, 2012), 774 (Equifax, BoA Pull, 2/20/13)
Goal Score: 800+


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Senior Contributor
BearsAndTurtlesRtheBest
Posts: 3,625
Registered: ‎10-02-2012
0

Re: Wrapping up my App Spree, do I have a good combination of cards?

WOW thats awesome!! Im helping my sister be in the same shoes as you. Shes one year older than me she just turned 19 as well and is going to 1 yr aoaa in April this year. Your story gives us hope that anything is possible. May you succeed in your life!!!


***$990/$1000*******$588/$600***
EX FICO 627, EQ FICO 609, TU FICO 617, No Delinquencies of any Sort, Gardening Since 10-14-14
Member
garrett24
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎01-22-2013
0

Re: Wrapping up my App Spree, do I have a good combination of cards?

@Bluehusky:

I take a plane from home to college around 4-5 times a year, not including plane trips to Vegas and Dallas with friends every halfyear or so


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