I arrived to the US from another country 3 years ago (as a graduate student) years ago, but I made a mistake and didn't start building my credit right away. I did have checking account and paid my utility bills and rent on time, but I now realize non of these get reported to the credit bureaus.
Eventually, this summer, I applied for Capital One's "cash reword for newcomers" credit card, and got approved. This is a "real" credit card (not secured), with no annual fee, but with 24.5% APR and a limit of 500. After 6 months of on-time payment, and no more than 25% utilization each month, they automatically increased my credit limit to 750.
The question is: what's next? I do want to build my score, and I want a better credit card. I don't really care about APR that much because I pay my card fully each month. I prefer no apply to anything with an annual fee.
So the question is: what should I do next? Is there any additional credit card I can apply to now? Maybe some retail CC? Or should I wait 6 more months before doing anything?
I don't know what is my actual FICO score. FWIW, Credit karma says that my score is 662, and according to credit sesame it is 692.
What's your goal? More credit? Higher score? And are you planning on applying for anything major in the near future (6-12 months out) like a car or home? If the goal is more credit, then aim for another. Getting the first CC is tough, but it gets easier with the second. I would selectively apply for credit based on your highest FICO score. For example, if Equifax is your cleanest report and highest score, then aim for a CC that pulls EQ. You can get your TU and EQ FICO scores through here. If a higher score is the goal, then you'd benefit by adding another. Again, selectively apply based on the better report. If you are planning to buy a home or car inside the next six months or so, then I'd wait pending a conversation with a lender.
To a new thread within Rebuilding Your Credit
I don't have a plan to buy a house or a new car within the next 6 month, and probably not in the next 12 months. About a year from now I'll be looking for a new job and probably move to a different location (rent at first), and I want to have a reasonably nice score by then. My other goal is to have a credit card with a reasonable limit and good rewards. I cannot even use my Capital One card to buy an airline ticket to Europe, because it costs more than my limit.
How can I find which bureau each card uses pulls, and what kind of score I need? Also, is it true that I'll have trouble getting cards even when my FICO scores are good, because my credit history is too short?
To find who pulls what, you can go to sites like whogavemecredit.com, financeglobe, and others. And of course the CC forum within myFICO provides real-time posts as to who pulled what from fellow forum users. Or search for a specific card and filter the results based on date and you'll get an idea of which CC pulls what report.
A short credit history can be challenging to get over in the beginning. You can always ask in the CC forum and you'll get some good ideas for higher limits off a shorter history.
Hi OP, and everyone else on here.
I am new to the country.. been here 2.5 years but only got my legal immigration status to go green in JAN 2012.... lawyers here sure do take the george micheal out of you with time wasting, paper work and fees...lol
anyway as being british I did not envisage the problem and hassle in getting a credit file over here...totaly diff to the UK as there all your bills are on file to score, problem here is I had to ring up all the credit bureaus to get a file in the 1st place... jeez then I had to call this number, that number... absolute rediculous to say the least.... anyway I applied for a credit card and was accepted with the cap1 secured... did not know about the newcomers one with them, will try the app later....
ok got my 1st card and waitied a month to check my new credit file with transunion equi etc etc....only then to find out that I had a derogratory account filed on it? WTH already a bad credit file....
once again a couple phone calls and expalianing asking etc etc and I got this crap removed but it made me think that maybe thats why I only got accepted for the secured card.... unfair maybe?
nevertheless here is what I have done within the last week since my scores went to TU-696 EX-695 EP-?
1- lowes - no - then a yes but went through backdoor as guided through by this forum.. as soon as i mentioned HD card application they accepted me... bizzare but it worked for me...THANK YOU ALL FOR THIS INFO! CL 300
2- amazon - yes CL300
3- chevron/texaco - yes 300
4- walmart - yes 300 7-10 note earlier today so rang them up around 11pm and got accepted.... again thanks to this forum/site for the info/direction
all these were doen within same day and I think they are all with GE.... Thanks GE for this.
DOWNSIDE - need a decent CC so applied with but got DENIED by DISCOVER/Barclays/CHASE - backdoor reps indicated that this is only due to lack of payment history with cap1.. and should reapply in at least 8-12 weeks time and would prob be fine....now with all the new retail cards I am going to try again for a better cc in the next few months or so.... good start I think and even with the low CL's on all cards I cant break the bank with any compulsive buying that I sometimes do...lol
Denied with Home depot.... got the #26 so rang them up but still a denial, dont know the reason and the backdoor rep was rude and did not want to budge.... must hate brits...lol
This is AMAZING folks...... now thanks to this thread.... as I indicated earlier about my circumstances etc etc.... I said I would go try the new costomers credit card app and well just submitted the app and boom ACCEPTED with a limit of 500... I can now go cancel the secured and get my cash back... wish I new this info much sooner now. Brilliant site this is!
Cool, great to know my post was useful for someone.
I have some update too: last week I applied for an Amazon Rewards Visa (the Chase Visa card) and got instantly approved, with 1300$ limit (they pulled TU. My FICO score there is 703). All this with about 8 month history with the cap1 for newcommers card.
I never applied for a store card. Is it really that useful for improving your credit score? Does it worth the cost of having all those hard inqs? I don't shop shop regularly at any of these chains, so I'm not sure if it's worthwhile getting a store card I'm not going to use.
give the card to me i'll use it for you....lol