Only one credit card. Cap1 Secured. $200 limit. Opened March 2017.
Spent $65. Paid it off the same week before statement cut.
Spent $21 and let the statement cut with that balance.
Credit Karma and CreditWise show the new account reported with an 11% utitlization and my fake scores jumped from 633 to 715 so even though they are not real it looks like I am on the right track, right?
I was hoping to secure another card within the month before this showed on my credit reoports but I think BOA secured and Discover secured are out because I have judgements from them from back in 2008 that may fall off next year. I guess it's too late now that it shows a new account on my reports. I guess now I should just sit back and wait for the offers to come in the mail ? I know to ignore Credit One, lame banks, etc.
Second question: Credit Karma shows my odds as "good" for an Amex Blue and a Chase Freedom. Doesn't that sound too good to be true? I am trying not to get ahead of myself but it's tempting.
It's not that Credit Karma scores are "not real" it's just that they are not the FICO scoring model. CK scores a real. Real VantageScore 3.0 scores. It's just that VS 3.0 scores are far less meaningful than FICO scores since they are used much less often. The TU CK score would match your CreditWise score exactly if the scores are generated at the same time because both scores are generated using the VS 3.0 model and use TU data.
As for CK "approval odds" don't trust them. Do a search for "credit pulls database" and use that tool to search for any card you may be interested in. There you'll be able to see the scores that got approved/denied for the card(s) you are considering.
With only one CC, you only have 1 choice and that is to have 0% of your cards report balances or 100% of them report balances. Both of these scenarios under FICO scoring models isn't ideal... but your best case with only 1 card is to let it report a small balance of about $5-$10 each month. This way you are showing revolving credit usage, but the smallest possible amount of it for maximum scoring which is 1%-9%. Under FICO scoring, the 11% balance you reported would have been decent but not idea as it was not less than 9%. In time what you'll want to do is pick up at least one but preferably 2 more credit cards that will be of use to you. With two cards you can allow 50% (1 of 2) of your cards report balances which is a better FICO look than 100% (or 0%) and with three cards you can allow 33% (1 of 3) of your cards report a balance which will allow you to achieve the maximum utilization benefits under FICO scoring.
With such a thin file you CK scores will flucuate wildly depending on what is newly reported, but yeah I'd say you're on the right tract. And I wouldn't say CK scores "aren't real", it's just that it's very unlikely any lender will consider them, but they are a useful indicator of where your far more important FICO scores are headed.
I've had a CK account for several years and think they're very useful for info on your credit, BUT never ever rely on their rely on their "odds" for you being approved for a CC. Several CC companies have pretty reliable pre-qualify pages to check if they would approve you. Capital One, Amex, Citi & Chase are pretty reliable, BoA & especilly Discover are not reliable. Just Google "xxx credit card pre-qualifer", with "xxx" being the CC company and you'll find them. Just make sure they say "you're pre-approved" and have a secific interest rate indicated, and ignore "we recommend" or "you might like".
Finally, I do recommend you consider a BoA secured card, I don't think a judgement 9 years ago will be a problem. I included an $8k BoA CC in my 2010 BK7, and in May 2015 the approved me for a secured card. Less than 2 years later that card that started with a $300 secured deposit has grown to an unsecured Cash Rewards card w/$1800 CL.
I'd disagree that Discover's prequalification site is unreliable, but then I'm biased because I was approved through it last month. The key to knowing whether you're pre-qualified is something you did point out; watch, when you enter your information, for the "You're preapproved/prequalified" message and check the APR quoted. You want either a small range between the top and bottom APR's, generally a 3-4% swing, or, optimally, a solid single-figure quote. If you get the message "we couldn't match you with any offers, here's something else you might like", go away and try again another time.
Citi Bank has a secured card that becomes unsecured after 5-6 months. You can also check for offers on the AMEX, BOA, Chase, Discover, US Bank, Capital One, and Citi websites without getting a hit on your credit.
I wouldt trust Credit Karma. It says that I'm "fair" for a BCE AMEX and "poor" for a Delta Skymiles Gold AMEX but just got approved for both. Says I'm "good" for Cap1 Venture 1 but just got declined. Its complete BS.
Agreed. CK says my approval odds are "very good" for BCE but I know for a fact that I have to have higher FICO scores than what I currently do to get one.