I want to first say WOW, what a fantastic forum! For a long time now, when I want to research a subject, I have always preferred to search for forums or large FaceBook groups as I believe those to be the best sources rather than reviews or potentially biased articles/websites. I have to say this is one of the best if not THE best forum I have come across. Such a wealth of info, well organized and such a large group of well behaved😁, contributing members....the DPs are absolutely brilliant and invaluable! Well done!
About me....I want to start by stating my age is 53. I mention this as I’m thinking age may play a role in my ability to receive unsecured approvals while trying to increase my EXTREMELY thin file. I have been lurking in the forum for ~2 weeks now and have not come across posts touching on subject of someone’s age, but certainly could exist and I have just not found any yet. My thinking is creditors will look at this as why is this file so empty at this person’s age....was everything previously on report cleaned up, did they wait for all to drop off? They would not be totally wrong all though I did not “clean” my file. I simply have not used or attempted to use credit in approximately 9 or 10 years, so yes everything dropped off...some really good lines and some derogatory. Only thing left is a very old Mervyn’s CC account that shows closed, paid good, 200 limit and only on EQ. I learned this through Credit Karma.....only other thing showing on TU along with EQ was a collection of $188 with Jefferson Capital. At the time, my advantage scores on CK were TU 552 and EQ 631. I called Jefferson to investigate why the collection ( Verizon Wireless was listed)....discovered yes it was my debt and they did not have my correct contact info. Promptly paid the full amount. Not long after paying, I’m thinking they would report to bureaus debt was satisfied in full, but they completely removed / deleted the collection per CK....yay! Now I start researching about building credit up, realizing I need to start using credit again if/when I may need, but especially so I’m credit worthy to qualify for cash rewards cards to run daily expenses through rather than a debit card and I stumble into this great forum! By the way, once collection was removed, CK showed TU advantage score dropped to zero and EQ jumped to 750. My first step was to open small savings account with Discover Bank $25 to start a relationship. Approximately week after, applied/approved for secured disco card $200 hp EX. This was around March 9, 2020. I also received a promotional email from Wells Fargo around this time for their current special, open everyday checking and receive $400 after satisfying 90 day requirements of payroll deposits, etc. I had already been thinking of changing banks anyway so jumped on that....$400 bucks sounded great! My next step was to start looking at cards to apply for after my goal of graduating to unsecured with disco....as I’m reading in this forum, and if I’m understanding strategies, etc it’s a good idea to try for 3 around the same time to start? I see BofA secured mentioned a lot, I look at their cards and get super excited about their unsecured rewards card...3% assigned category and 2% groceries just had me jumping for joy. We spend ~$500 monthly just on pet food alone....we are a magnet for strays with 6 doggies, 7 kitties and a horse (horse not a stray😁 and not counted in pet food spend). I could just see the possibilities! So I overreach and apply. Denied. Now I sit thinking how silly of me, I knew I was overreaching and I risked a HP (EX). I had not created account with Experian yet and did so right after denial....whoopsie, collection from Jefferson had not been removed from that bureau. I got the recon phone # from this forum and contacted BofA....super nice lady answered and I asked her if we could review my app and see if anyway to reconsider or receive the partial secure offer. She asked about the collection showing and I explained. She stated nothing she could offer other than to recommend I apply for fully secured. I asked her if I could reach out to Jefferson to get them dropped from EX and try calling back for recon after removed and she said absolutely, but of course no guarantees basically. Spoke with Jefferson and after checking their system they said they did submit for delete with EQ and I would have to contact Experian. Called EX dispute # and she checked their system and did not show a delete request and would need to file dispute which would/could take 30 days. Initiated dispute on the phone....within just a few hours received notice dispute was finalized and collection removed. Yay again! Let me pause and apologize for the lengthy post, want to make sure I’m giving all info and steps taken in the possibility any data points are helpful to this community as I am gaining so much from y’all. Ok, so I called BofA recon back (on 04.03.2020) and the gentleman I spoke with was super nice, too....but I’m still declined as I do not have any history and no EX FICO score. Also, no partial secure offer at this time. He also suggested I should do the secured for now. Again, super nice and I do understand their position. Like I told them, I know I overreached at this time, I just feel really silly having a HP with no correlating line of credit. I told him I was certainly ok with going the secured route to begin a relationship and get my foot in the door to build up to the reward card I want, but I’m concerned the secured side would do a separate HP inquiry and now I have two HPs....he agreed it was a strong possibility, but some times they are able to work off the same bureau. No way to know for sure. Decided to sit on that thought and think about best way to proceed with BofA. As this forum put NFCU on my radar, on 04.01.2020 I did join as my father is previous Navy. For DP...soft pull TU, did not ask for dd214 or other supporting info, gentleman I spoke with to join stated what I have read here in this forum, some times the system does not require. My original plan for NFCU and any other cc was to wait until disco graduates, but as I have read here, good strategy to try and get several at beginning for aging, etc. Rather than doing BofA at this time, I felt NFCU deserves my attention as I love they are loyal to you if you are loyal to them and want to start showing my desire for a mutually beneficial relationship. Called them on 04.03.2020 to inquire if I have any prequalify offers...only secured nRewards at this time so we processed ($200) and card is on the way. I intend to also open checking with them Monday, but won’t be doing much checking wise with them for approximately 6 months to a year. I just don’t feel right grabbing my $400 from WF and running....just doesn’t sound like the right thing to do even though I do have my eye on WF Propel eventually down the road. I will be able to move some to NFCU checking but not a lot right now. WF checking by the way was EX sp. I would truly appreciate any insight to the steps I have already taken, what have I missed and what/when should be next? I was thinking about next week adding another $100-$200 to disco secured and also secured NFCU card, just be patient until those graduate, but it is driving me nuts having the BofA hp with no correlating credit line. Should I leave BofA alone or bite the bullet for potential 2nd hp and get their secured.....or just focus on NFCU and disco for now? Anything I am not considering? Current hard inquiries 1 TU (NFCU) and 0 EQ......2 EX which are Discover and BofA. By the way, I did do trial membership with Experian yesterday and they show no score for TU and no score for EX with 721 FICO 8 for EQ. Only lines on bureaus showing as of today is new discover for all 3 and EQ also has the very old Mervynn’s paid good, but has been closed originally opened in 1993. If anybody got all the way through this long post....wow, you are either dedicated, bored or both and I very much thank you! 🙂
$1 you can obtain your 3 bureau FICO 8 reports at Experian.com or creditchecktotal.com. Cancel in 7 day or less to avoid the re-occurring monthly charge. Wash, Rinse, and Repeat as needed.
Free credit reports (disregard the VantageScore 3.0 score) at:
creditkarma.com for weekly TU and EQ
wallethub.com for daily TU
*lolz* @ "...If anybody got all the way through this long post....wow, you are either dedicated, bored or both and I very much thank you! 🙂"
I read your whole post--not out of boredom! )--but primarily due to what you initially stated as it pertains to your age, credit history, and what prompted you to start rebuilding. At 47, I can relate; and I feel that posts which speak directly to me are more insightful.
Unfortunately, seeing as I'm new to the game as well, I have no advice to give; however, congrats on the progress you've made thus far.
as I’m reading in this forum, and if I’m understanding strategies, etc it’s a good idea to try for 3 around the same time to start?
Yes, it's recommended to have 3 open revolving accounts (credit card) and 1 open installment loan (student, mortgage, auto, personal).
I would truly appreciate any insight to the steps I have already taken, what have I missed and what/when should be next? I was thinking about next week adding another $100-$200 to disco secured and also secured NFCU card, just be patient until those graduate, but it is driving me nuts having the BofA hp with no correlating credit line.
It's up to you to determine if you need to add more funding to the Discover card for a usable limit.
If you can get the BoA secured card, that will be your 3 cards needed; BoA, Discover, NFCU to achieve the bare minimum required to optimize scores.
Should I leave BofA alone or bite the bullet for potential 2nd hp and get their secured.....or just focus on NFCU and disco for now? Anything I am not considering?
Once you obtain your 3 cards. Let them age. Your next step would be to wait for your secured cards to graduate to unsecured.
Possibly, you can try for the 2nd Navy card when eligible. Odds of approval and a usable credit line are good.
Current hard inquiries 1 TU (NFCU) and 0 EQ......2 EX which are Discover and BofA. By the way, I did do trial membership with Experian yesterday and they show no score for TU and no score for EX with 721 FICO 8 for EQ.
It will take about 6 months for scores to generate on TU and Ex.
Only lines on bureaus showing as of today is new discover for all 3 and EQ also has the very old Mervynn’s paid good, but has been closed originally opened in 1993.
Usually, closed accounts in good standing stays on your credit report up to 10 years. It is fortunate that the Mervynn's account is still showing EQ. You should anticipate it falling off in the future. In the meantime, you can use that in your favor for lenders that pull EQ.
@Anonymous See comments in red
Forgot to add. If you have no open installment loan. Navy does offer a SSL Shares Secured Loan. It's a great score booster.
I would recommend reading the below from CreditGuyInDixie
Adding an installment loan -- the Share Secure technique
The Quest for an SSL alternative to Alliant