Re: Planning For Recovery
11-26-2012 07:25 AM
I was going to add a little bit about my personal experience with Chapter 7 and the recovery process
I got a Capital One unsecured card about 2-3 months after my BK was discharged. I had included 2 Capital One cards in the discharge btw. Your milage may vary but it is definitely worth trying Capital One. You may be prequalified for one of their products but even if you are not, I will try applying for an unsecured card first.
Unless you have plans to buy a house in the near future, slow and steady wins the race. My recommendations will be to hold on to your first card for at least six months to a year. Don't get an auto loan unless you absolutely need a new car cause your interest rate will be significantly better in a year (and you'll have more options- including Capital One auto, who offered me a pretty decent rate (5%) about two years post BK). The most important thing will be to pay your bills on time, every single time. Never, ever, ever be late.
MY recommendations for a second card will be Barclay, Discover, your local credit union, and something GE backed, like Walmart. All those cards have the potential of growing with you. Capital One more than likely will not although they are currently in a funk right now and are handing out CLI like candy. The longer of a period you wait between the first card and the second, the chances of an approval goes up significantly. Which is why I would deifnitely wait as long as reasonably possible to get a second card. I waited a little over two years, which is longer than what most people on here will tell you but it worked pretty well for me. I haven't been denied for a single thing I applied for post BK, except for an Amex but that is a different story altogether.
Amex is not BK friendly. From what I gathered from your post, you did not include them in the BK so they may be a little bit more favorable but I think your odds are pretty slim. There are reports of individuals on here who have gotten an Amex before the BK fell of their credit reports. Generally the approval happened about 7-8 years post discharge for most of those individuals. Amex has a program (Optima I believe, maybe Oasis) where they will issue a card as long as you pay back your obligations to them. I'm not sure how that would work for you since you actually don't owe them any money.
I'm almost five years post BK (5 years in January) and I'm thankful for the opportunities it has provided me. I'm a LOT more credit savvy than I was before filing and I have been able to take charge of my financial future. I know that I am in a position to get most any loan I want- unless I apply to BK unfriendly creditors. Recovery is fun and totally gratifying. I am thankful for the information I got on this site. Read as much as possible but don't get the app fever. Good luck on your recovery!!!
FICO Scores: TU 735 EQ 695 EX 740 (Feb 2013, all pulled by lender)