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Feeling Out Options For Getting Credit.

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Feeling Out Options For Getting Credit.

MY STORY:

Hi!  I'm new here.  Found you on google.  People seem to be sharing here so here's my story...Trying to establish a tad bit of credit because my mom isn't doing well and I'm most likely going to have to go home for a funeral by year's end (she has colon cancer and it's advanced).  Like a few other stories on here, I hit some bad times last fifteen years that jacked up my credit including 10 years of straight unemployment and that that goes with that I haven't fully bounced back from.

 

MY DEBTS:

I never was able to get but one credit card my whole life at age 18, with a 1200 CL.  Defaulted when I lost my gig trying to eat.  That's been now about 11 years ago and that was a MC.  Got student loans from private lenders that also defaulted around 60K or so - that's been 20 years now.  Never paid them back and no longer on my CR.  Got a Sprint phone bill that also tanked but they've since sold it and forgiven me and they gave me a little credit, but the original bill isn't on my CR nor in their system.  Also got a utility bill about 7500 that's 11 years old - no longer see that on my CR and its not in their system.  None of these people would help me then when I called and tried to straighten things out/explain.  As far as I know there are no wage garnishments on my name.

 

MY EXPENSES:

Just for the record, I'm not planning on paying anyone back.  I live in a motel paying 1200 a month/300 - can't secure an apartment when they want 7x the rent on the paycheck and where I'm at the average rent is 1500 for a studio with nothing included.  At least at the motel I get it furnished, with utilities, cable, and internet.  I pay 150 a month for liability.  My cell phone is prepaid and is 40.  Food prices fluxuate, but I've been making it for a 100.  That leaves me with about 120 a month to play with after paying bills and it can vary based on business and hours.  According to my W2 I made 45K this past year, 43K the year before.  I've never filed my taxes and have zero plans to do so this year with the Trump tax cuts.  I have no bank account - had falling outs with BOA, Chase, Suntrust, WF, and my previous credit union all 11 years ago and never dealt with them since.  Cash my paycheck at the liquor store for 6 bucks.

 

WHAT IM LOOKING FOR:

I'm just looking for a card that I can, as you say garden, hold out and let it boost by end of summer and maybe get a 2500 CL.  Not tryin to build an empire with the credit, just have it when the time comes for bereavement as most my family are struggling and won't be able to afford helping me get home nor put me up when I get there (many are going through their own financial issues and foreclosures).  So seeing if someone can make me a AU on their account isn't an option, including the significant other who doesn't believe in credit.  I'm not interested in a secured card.  From what I've seen the good ones subject you to a credit check which is stupid and its your own money, and then still charge you an exuberant interest fee for the priviilege of using your own money.  I can go to Green Dot if I want to be **bleep** like that.  

 

CREDIT SCORE:

According to fico I have no Fico score because I don't have any credit for them to tabulate.

Transunion gave me a 614.

Equifax gave me a 607 (and they had a fraud freeze on my account the last year from their breach.)

Experian gave me a 610.

 

Give it to me straight.  If it ain't no hope, well, sadly I may have to miss going home to say goodbye.

 

 

 

 

Message 1 of 6
5 REPLIES 5
Regular Contributor

Re: Feeling Out Options For Getting Credit.

I am so sorry to hear about your mom. I really hope that you make it to see her.

Have you tried pre qualifications for any cards... like capital one? Also, what about trying to prequalify for an unsecured loan (theyre really high interest and closing costs though so you'll have to be very careful with it if you can get it.)

Idk if there really is hope with either of my suggestions but they're worth a try.

Oh and another couple of thoughts... maybe you can try to get into housing with a roommate? I see ads all the time in my area about house sharing and that seems to be much cheaper than doing the hotel thing. Also, I've seen ads for storage managers who live on site. So, I'm assuming they would let you have another job and sleep in a small apartment on site so there is security at night. That may be a creative way to save money on housing.
Message 2 of 6
Valued Contributor

Re: Feeling Out Options For Getting Credit.

Hi Irish - welcome to the forums!

I'm sorry to hear about your Mom...  My sincere blessings to you and your family. 

 

On the upside, there is a ton of hope for your credit -- you're starting from scratch which means your reports will be clean (no negative / derogatory info) and, so long as you keep them that way, you'll be well on your way to obtaining unsecured credit in no time.    I think the first thing you should do though is get a bank account -- if you get credit, you will need to make payments and having a bank account for payment transfers will make things much easier for you.    Have you tried TD Bank?  If you have one near you, give them a shot -- they've been known to give checking accounts to those with not-so-steller banking histories -- if you don't qualify for checking, then at least open a savings account so you may directly deposit your paychecks rather than paying check cashing fees.   

 

As for credit -- you have no FICO score so you most likely will need to start with a secured card.   It will take 6 months of at least one account reporting to generate a FICO, at which time, you can apply for an unsecured card (though you may not get a $2500 limit right away... may need at least 1 year of history).   You should look into Open Sky -- NO credit check, non-predatory, reports to all 3 bureaus.  I believe they may have a small annual fee but you have to start somewhere. And your credit limit on the secured card does not matter as far as FICO is concerned so you can start with a deposit as low as $200.   Also -- if you are able to open a bank account with TD Bank, you could probably snag their secured card which has nice cash back perks and the potential to graduate to the unsecured version after 6 or so months.  If you open a bank account with a different bank, then look into their secured options and explain that you would like to build a credit history -- if you have a steady income deposited into their facility, they will probably issue a secured card.   Just stay away from predatory lenders.  

 

I know you said you weren't interested in secured cards, but you have to accept your humble beginnings.   You could have the easiest credit rebuild ever because you're not battling negative entries on your reports.   All you need is an account to report positive data and time.   

 

Best of luck to you!

 

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Message 3 of 6
Established Contributor

Re: Feeling Out Options For Getting Credit.


@IrishSpring wrote:

MY STORY:

Hi!  I'm new here.  Found you on google.  People seem to be sharing here so here's my story...Trying to establish a tad bit of credit because my mom isn't doing well and I'm most likely going to have to go home for a funeral by year's end (she has colon cancer and it's advanced).  Like a few other stories on here, I hit some bad times last fifteen years that jacked up my credit including 10 years of straight unemployment and that that goes with that I haven't fully bounced back from.

 

MY DEBTS:

I never was able to get but one credit card my whole life at age 18, with a 1200 CL.  Defaulted when I lost my gig trying to eat.  That's been now about 11 years ago and that was a MC.  Got student loans from private lenders that also defaulted around 60K or so - that's been 20 years now.  Never paid them back and no longer on my CR.  Got a Sprint phone bill that also tanked but they've since sold it and forgiven me and they gave me a little credit, but the original bill isn't on my CR nor in their system.  Also got a utility bill about 7500 that's 11 years old - no longer see that on my CR and its not in their system.  None of these people would help me then when I called and tried to straighten things out/explain.  As far as I know there are no wage garnishments on my name.

 

MY EXPENSES:

Just for the record, I'm not planning on paying anyone back.  I live in a motel paying 1200 a month/300 - can't secure an apartment when they want 7x the rent on the paycheck and where I'm at the average rent is 1500 for a studio with nothing included.  At least at the motel I get it furnished, with utilities, cable, and internet.  I pay 150 a month for liability.  My cell phone is prepaid and is 40.  Food prices fluxuate, but I've been making it for a 100.  That leaves me with about 120 a month to play with after paying bills and it can vary based on business and hours.  According to my W2 I made 45K this past year, 43K the year before.  I've never filed my taxes and have zero plans to do so this year with the Trump tax cuts.  I have no bank account - had falling outs with BOA, Chase, Suntrust, WF, and my previous credit union all 11 years ago and never dealt with them since.  Cash my paycheck at the liquor store for 6 bucks.

 

WHAT IM LOOKING FOR:

I'm just looking for a card that I can, as you say garden, hold out and let it boost by end of summer and maybe get a 2500 CL.  Not tryin to build an empire with the credit, just have it when the time comes for bereavement as most my family are struggling and won't be able to afford helping me get home nor put me up when I get there (many are going through their own financial issues and foreclosures).  So seeing if someone can make me a AU on their account isn't an option, including the significant other who doesn't believe in credit.  I'm not interested in a secured card.  From what I've seen the good ones subject you to a credit check which is stupid and its your own money, and then still charge you an exuberant interest fee for the priviilege of using your own money.  I can go to Green Dot if I want to be **bleep** like that.  

 

CREDIT SCORE:

According to fico I have no Fico score because I don't have any credit for them to tabulate.

Transunion gave me a 614.

Equifax gave me a 607 (and they had a fraud freeze on my account the last year from their breach.)

Experian gave me a 610.

 

Give it to me straight.  If it ain't no hope, well, sadly I may have to miss going home to say goodbye.

 

 

 

 


I would say check Capital one prequals that would be a good start. They also have the Capital one 360 Checking which has no fees and is pretty good. I would say you need to build some kind of banking history. Also maybe take a look and see if you can find an income restricted apartment or maybe you can even build enough credit to buy a small townhouse or condo.  Basically kill two birds with one stone Get a Checking and Savings and a Credit card and you will be on your way. Hopefully you are able to get home. Wishing you all the best.

Message 4 of 6
Valued Member

Re: Feeling Out Options For Getting Credit.

I agree with the other responses - get a checking account first.  As long as you do not have a Chexsys file you should get approved. Credit Card issuers also often ask if you have a checking account on the application.

If CapOne doesn’t have any offers for you there is always Credit One. I will probably be flamed for suggesting them due to their $50 annual fee and 30% interest rate but they were a tremendous help for my rebuild after BK. No problems at all with them. Should see an increase in your score as soon as the account reports then you may qualify for other cards.

Starting Score: Low 500's (BK Ch7 Discharged 3/2010)
Current Scores: 730 - 750 (BK dropped off Nov 2019, No Change in score)
Alliant CU Visa 4k; Barclay Bank 8k; Credit One: closed; Kay (Closed due to inactivity); Merrick Bank 0.4k (keeping for age); Lowes 25k; Target MC 11k; Capital One 8k; Cabela's (CapOne) 8.5k; PayPal BML 8.5k; Total Rewards (Comenity) 18k; Amex BCE 21k; Discover 17k; PenFed 15k, Amazon 10k; FNBO 10k; Citibank 10k
UTIL=~25% + 3 personal loans
Message 5 of 6
Valued Member

Re: Feeling Out Options For Getting Credit.

Hello, IrishSpring...Prayers and Blessings for you and your family situtation.

 

Reading your story, it may seem there is not alot of options avalible to you, but actually, you have more than a few positives in your favor, but yes you do have a few negatives as well.

 

Your biggest pluses are that you DO have a credit score, albeit a low one (me included), a source of income AND a physical address....so right there, your "established" somewhat in the mind of creditors.

 

Another Plus: Any debt(s) that are over 7 years old USUALLY won't make a comeback if your credit file starts showing activity again. YMMV in certain cases with original creditors (not the 3rd party collection agencies, at least not ALL of them), but most will give up trying to collect or even hold records past 10 years, so for the most part don't worry about them right now.

 

Third Plus: You have scores from the Big 3 that isn't in the sub 500 catagory. If you're showing an average of low 600's for the most part that means there's SOMETHING for them to look at, even if its showing as "Thin File".

 

Now the not-so-good news: The biggest one is your timeframe: You *might* be able to get an unsecured card, but the starting limit is more than likely be under $1000...you MIGHT not even get more than $500 SL to start....be ready for that.

 

The other one is TIME. You'll see the stories of people getting 150+ point boot in less than 6 months of a rebuild, but that is the exception not the rule. Plan your rebuild in yearly bites, and be pleasantly surprised if it happens quicker.

 

Now, what options can you do?

 

Personally, if you need at least ONE card that's not a subprime cesspool AND won't abuse you with a high AF or multiple HP to your file, I suggest OpenSky BEFORE any other card, period. No credit check or Hard Pull to your report; just supply as much seed money to open the account and use it. Plus, OS will let you open a card with as little as $250.

 

*If* you can stay within the "Use Only 10% or less of Credit Line" rule, the monthly actvity will report and your score WILL rise; not alot, because you'll be working with only one piece of your credit mix, but its something. If you HAVE to  abuse the card monthly, try to pay in full before the end of billing cycle...its tough, but it limits the derogs that can get reported back.

 

Another big tip: Do NOT go on a "App Spree" hoping to get lucky...You MIGHT, but its not worth the HP/Inqury hits to your report. A thin file makes it hard to get credit, but a HP/INQ laden file makes it even HARDER...and they don't drop off right away; a sure score killer.

 

If I could give you a example thumbnail sketch of a plan, I would suggest the OpenSky card this month, with as much of a opening deposit as you can afford; once you have that, use only 10% of the CL monthly, then PIF each cycle...Rinse/Repeat for at least 2 months. During that time, using prequlified card pages, like for Capitol One, Bank of America, Citi and Discover are your best friends, so use them to check to see whats avalible to you!

 

(Capitol One Pre-Qaulified page might only net you a Secured card BUT it might be for a unsecured Platinum. Out of the majority of suprime lenders, C1 usually hurt the least. But they are...ahem, *challenging*...when getting a CLI or a better card until your scores are way WAY higher.)

 

After 60-90 days, you should be holding with at least a 20+ bump in your score; by 6 months maybe another 20. If  you don't have any current HP or INQ, no one is reporting anything overtly negative, like collections or judgements, etc, you might be able to get a hold of a second card with a managable APR, like a Discover IT. (Secured or not, Disco at least will give you the option of going from Secured to Unsecured, AND getting your Deposit back after 6-8 months of good habit payments).

 

Finally, you REALLY really need to start a banking relationship, even if its with a savings account, although there's no reason why you can't get a checking account as well. There are 100's of Credit Unions that you can join or online-only banks. If you work in a certain industry or company, they might have one of their own you can link up with.

 

Places like Capitol One 360, Wells-Fargo, TD Bank and Bank of America. The rates may not be great, but for a place you can at least do Direct Deposit or walk in to cash your payroll WITHOUT giving a slice to a check cash store; that's money you can fold back into your CC bill.

 

In short, this will keep you going for the next 6 months (Feb to say, August)...it'll get you points on your Credit Report, start making you more marketable to lenders, and get you on your way to better financial footing.

 

BTW, can you post your data points, like credit cards on file, any HP or inquires that your credit report shows? The more info avalible, the better the community can help with getting you as close to a custom plan as possible for youself.

 

Good Luck, and welcome to the Forums!

Message 6 of 6
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