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Member
keryan
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎11-25-2012
0

Some credit questions

Hi all,

 

I just graduated from college and never had occasion to build or use credit in the past. Always paid in full with cash/debit. I've checked Credit Karma once or twice in the past, but they say I have a thin file - not enough history. Since to my knowledge I've never used any credit products (loans/cards/etc.), I doubt that I have a score at all. The only financial products I use are a 44 month old checking account, the debit card associated with that account, and an 8 year old savings account. All are with Chase. Now to the questions:

 

1) Given my history, am I likely to have any scores at all?

 

I tried to sign up for the free trial of MyFico's Scorewatch, but it wasn't able to verify my identiy. Customer service said I would have to call Equifax and ask them to unlock my report.

2) Is this standard procedure for someone with little/no credit history?

3) Is there any point in doing this given my lack of credit history?

4) Are there any circumstances where unlocking my report might prove detrimental?

 

5) How would you recommend that I build credit? Based on my research to date it seems like a decent, low-cost option might be to try and get a credit card through Chase or a local credit union. Given my history, what are my chances of getting an unsecured card with a extremely low credit limit (say $200-300 so I can make small puchases while only utilizing 1-3% of my credit)?

 

Thanks

Mega Contributor
RobertEG
Posts: 17,729
Registered: ‎03-19-2007
0

Re: Some credit questions

The issue as to whether or not you have a score is dependent upon whether you have a credit file established with the CRAs that has at least 6 months of reported history.

Stated differently, it depends upon whether the creditors on your accounts report to the CRAs.  Banking institutions normally dont report unless accounts become derogatory.

 

To determine if you have an established credit file, I suggest you log onto annualcreditreport.com and attempt to get your free annual CR.

That is a (basically) non-commerical site, established under cooperation of the CRAs and the FTC to enable compliance with their statutory requiremnt to provide consumers a free credit report once every 12 months.  If they offer scores, you can purchase, but dont have to.

Member
keryan
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎11-25-2012
0

Re: Some credit questions

Never had a derogatory account.

 

My only issue with annualcreditreport.com is that if I don't have a credit file, then I've essentially "wasted" my free CR and have to wait another 12 months, no?

Moderator Emeritus
llecs
Posts: 32,881
Registered: ‎08-04-2007
0

Re: Some credit questions

Deposit accounts (and other banking non-credit products) don't report. If you never had a loan, CC, etc., then you wouldn't be able to order anything from myFICO. Part of the requirement is that you have to have one open account and that account has to be undisputed and reporting for the last 6 months.

 

Usually myFICO won't throw out the identity bit unless something was answered incorrectly or if you have a fraud alert. Not saying that's the case for you, but it would be worthwhile to try to pull EQ from somewhere (hence the ScoreWatch mention). I'd do so just to make sure there isn't anything wrong on EQ. I don't have any experience in the no-file bit and am not sure how that plays into a file creation at EQ, TU, and EX.

 

Is your account locked right now? You mentioned "unlocking" it. If you were able to lock it then that means you have a file to unlock.

 

Your first CC will be a challenge to get. I'd check with your local bank or CU. I'd reserve the option with a secured CC. The limit really doesn't matter. I started with a couple of secured cards and is a great way to build credit quickly.

 

 

Frequent Contributor
brother7
Posts: 377
Registered: ‎02-06-2009
0

Re: Some credit questions

I picked up on two points from your post:

1. You just graduated from college

2. You currently bank with Chase

 

Since you already bank with Chase, my first suggestion would be to apply for a Chase credit card. However, looking at Chase's card offerings, nothing is geared to students/newcomers. So it doesn't seem that a Chase card will be possible at this time.

 

Give that you are a recent grad, I would next suggest a student card. I've actually researched this and the two best cards I have found are:

1. Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card for College Students

2. Capital One Journey Student Rewards

 

I prefer the Citi card, as I've read on the myFICO boards that Capital One doesn't grow as well when your credit profile matures.

 

Finally, congratulations on entering the world of adult financial responsibility. It appears that you've done your homework, a good sign of your aptitude to manage credit wisely :smileyhappy:


11/02/2012 Peak - EQ 790 (ScoreWatch EQ FICO)
10/22/2014 Current - EQ 797 (Priceline TU FICO 08 Classic)
GOAL - 800! - App free since 09/07/2014
Member
keryan
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎11-25-2012
0

Re: Some credit questions

[ Edited ]

llecs wrote:

Is your account locked right now? You mentioned "unlocking" it. If you were able to lock it then that means you have a file to unlock.

 


I don't know. When I attempted to sign up for ScoreWatch, I got the identity bit. After I verified my identity over the phone, the myFICO CSR gave me a number and said I would have to call Equifax and ask them unlock my report.


llecs wrote:

If you never had a loan, CC, etc., then you wouldn't be able to order anything from myFICO. Part of the requirement is that you have to have one open account and that account has to be undisputed and reporting for the last 6 months.

 

It would have been nice to be informed about that requirement up front. Apparently I gave myFICO all my personal info (including SSN) for nothing. The icing on the cake? According to the CSR even if I don't want to purchase any myFICO products, apparently there's no way to securely delete my account or remove my info from their database.

Member
keryan
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎11-25-2012
0

Re: Some credit questions


brother7 wrote:

I picked up on two points from your post:

1. You just graduated from college

2. You currently bank with Chase

 

Since you already bank with Chase, my first suggestion would be to apply for a Chase credit card. However, looking at Chase's card offerings, nothing is geared to students/newcomers. So it doesn't seem that a Chase card will be possible at this time.


 

That was my impression as well.

 


brother7 wrote:Give that you are a recent grad, I would next suggest a student card. I've actually researched this and the two best cards I have found are:

1. Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card for College Students

2. Capital One Journey Student Rewards


The T&C for student cards usually (always?) require that you be a student, e.g. "You must be at least 18 years of age and a currently enrolled college student." (from the Citi T&C).

Frequent Contributor
brother7
Posts: 377
Registered: ‎02-06-2009
0

Re: Some credit questions

Hmm...

Then use Cit's pre-qual screen or Capital One's pre-qual screen to see which card you qualify for.


11/02/2012 Peak - EQ 790 (ScoreWatch EQ FICO)
10/22/2014 Current - EQ 797 (Priceline TU FICO 08 Classic)
GOAL - 800! - App free since 09/07/2014
Valued Contributor
Swapmeet
Posts: 1,569
Registered: ‎11-10-2012
0

Re: Some credit questions


keryan wrote:

Never had a derogatory account.

 

My only issue with annualcreditreport.com is that if I don't have a credit file, then I've essentially "wasted" my free CR and have to wait another 12 months, no?


I recommend getting a secured card that reports to all three CRA. This solves all of your problems. First, it quickly builds a credit report. Second, it negates your worry about "wasting" your free annual report, though if you do not have a credit file then you probably wouldn't be using your free annual report in the next twelve months anyway, right? Especially if it takes six months to even be recognized as having a file. I am no expert, admittedly, but I recommend getting a secured card and using it responsibly for six months. Then getting a couple GE cards (e.g.. Walmart, Amazon, Chevron, Paypal...etc.). GE is a great company to build credit with because of their soft pulls, credit leniency, and generosity with CLI. After a few short months with the responsible use of your selected GE cards you will have a solid enough credit file to confidently apply for unsecured major credit cards.



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Member
keryan
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎11-25-2012
0

Re: Some credit questions


Swapmeet wrote:
Then getting a couple GE cards (e.g.. Walmart, Amazon, Chevron, Paypal...etc.). GE is a great company to build credit with because of their soft pulls, credit leniency, and generosity with CLI. After a few short months with the responsible use of your selected GE cards you will have a solid enough credit file to confidently apply for unsecured major credit cards.

 

I'm new to all this, but wouldn't opening/having more cards with such a short credit history have an adverse effect on one's CR?


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