Thanks for everyone who shares experiences, and advice here. I've learned a lot. I've been lurking, but decided to register and I'd really appreciate some advice regarding how to proceed with my credit future.
I'm a 19 year old college student. I live on the east coast, and go to college in California. I'm looking to get a card that can help me with travel/rewards. Trying to get in early with AMEX as well as another prime company. My credit score via creditsesame was 723, and the myFico estimate was 715 - 765. Not sure where I can get a free official one without doing a hard inquiry.
I've had a Wells Fargo College Cash Back card for a year now. I always pay on time and more than the minimum, but I've mostly carried a balance. Should have been PIF, which I now do. I had a $500 CL, but got an increase to $1100. I work part time year round and make about $8,000.
My plan now is to try for AMEX Blue Sky/Chase Freedom, and if I get denied, then try for AMEX Zync/Citi Forward.
Is this a solid plan? Thank you!
i would def apply for citi forward student version. fyi its not a hard pull to get your credit reports. your better off pulling your true fico scores from this site instead of wasting your money on fako scores
To echo what rootpooty said, I would recommend the citi forward student. I applied for the citi forward student and the discover more student after having a Bank of America student card for 6 months. I was approved for both cards after verifying my student status which was pretty painless. The Discover customer service was very nice so I would recommend them too if the More card appeals to you.
Question: why blue sky? Amex revolvers are amongst the harder to get cards, reward structure designed for frequent flyers. Since you plan to pif, why not the zync? No preset limit, restaurant pack means double points on food, the thing college students typically spend the most on, great Amex purchase protection, use doesn't count towards your utility on fico. Like others above, I think the student forward is a great student card. Citi is very good about credit limit increases over time. My wife started with them in college and is now at 40k credit limit with zero interest offers all the time.
I agree with applying for Zync, but don't be surprised if you're declined or approved with a hard limit. They are fairly sensitive to income.
The best advice? Forget about any kind of prime card like Blue sky or chase freedom. No matter your score you will be denied most likely so don't waste the inquiry.
Go for the AMEX Zync, and one student card of the Citi Forward or Discover More. Then 6 months later try for a second student card to round out your credit profile.
Don't apply for any more cards after that until you graduate. You will still take inquiries for cell phone plans, apartments, utilities maybe but otherwise garden credit card wise until you graduate and have a steady job. Then with a steady job plus the history of your cards you get now you will have a great credit score and be able to get prime travel rewards cards right then.
Rewards are nice, sure, but at this point in your life you should be best concerned with building a positive history so you can get prime rewards cards after you graduate. Above all never be late on a payment and build a positive history now so you are set up nicely later.
Chase Checking Account.
I'd just do that. Forget the Sky and Freedom for now. You have time to go for that in a year or two or three.
I'd open the Chase checking just to establish some sort of relationship with them. It DOES help, or at least has with me, to do that. They can let you know eventually if you are pre-approved for a Freedom.
The problem with apping the Freedom now is you MIGHT get approved.... for $500 and then be stuck at $500 forever unless you want to eat HP's for CLI's.
Follow my financial journey: http://www.frugalrican.com
Thanks for all the advice. I'm going to hold off on the Blue Sky, but will give the Freedom a try with a little more history. I'll also try the Forward, and Zync.