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Is it worth the risk?

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New Member

Is it worth the risk?

Hi all!

I'm new to the community but not new to messing with credit. Having spent most of my 20's (I'm 38) ignoring my credit and being very reckless, I am in the process of rebuilding it with a goal of buying a house with my VA loan this coming August (current mid-fico of 626). In the past couple of years I have opened up a Discover It (secured $200), Cap One QS1 ($500), Credit One ($500) and a Cap One Plat ($500). I'm doing all I can to keep the utilization reporting at ~10% to the beaureaus. MY question is this. I have recently recieved an "invitation to apply" for a co-branded USAA Rewards AMEX card. Should I apply now or wait until after August and after I close on my house? I am kind of in the mindset to garden until my QS1, Dsico and Credit One (I know, I know. Its not the best but I took what i could get) inquiries fall off later on this year and then try for a Chase (Freedom?) card. I dont think the "invitation to apply" is the same as a pre-approval. Am I wrong there? Does the pre-approval indicate a higher chance of being issued the card? Thank ya'll in advance!

Message 1 of 6
5 REPLIES 5
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Is it worth the risk?

If you're in the process of buying a home I would stay clean until you close on the house and have the keys in hand. After that assess where you're at with you credit reports and go from there.

Message 2 of 6
Valued Contributor

Re: Is it worth the risk?

Agreed with the above. Also, an invitation to apply is very likely a marketing outreach rather than a preapproval - preapprovals rarely leave you guessing where you stand. In any event, common wisdom offered here is not to apply for credit for at least six months before going after a mortgage. I’d hold off and wait until after the house closes as simplynoir advised.


Rose Gold NPSL | BCP | Delta Gold | Hilton Surpass | Hilton Honors | IT Cash | IT Chrome | Quicksilver | Target | VS | Home Depot | Lowes | Firestone | Wayfair | Overstock | Kohl’s

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Entering the garden 5/27/2019, staying until 2020
(Lol so much for that grand plan...)
Message 3 of 6
New Member

Re: Is it worth the risk?

Thank yall for the input. This is both an exciting and kind of frightening time for me. Feel like I'm walking a tight rope trying not to mess up the progress I've made!
Message 4 of 6
New Contributor

Re: Is it worth the risk?

Unfortunately invitations are not preapprovals. I get one from my bank every year for thier branded card. I tried once and was denied. My experience with AMEX is they like scores in the 680s, so I wouldnt burn my report with a hard pull for it. I would garden your cards for now, in 6 months all your cards should give you a CLI/upgrade you to a standard card. Having the patience to garden is hard, ive learned that the hard way, but its worth it in the long run.

Starting Score: TU (Feb2016) 545 FICO 8 (July2017) 633
Today: TU (02/24) 665 EQ (02/24) 668 FICO 8 (02/24) 686 29% Utilization
Message 5 of 6
New Member

Re: Is it worth the risk?

The QS1 and credit one have already increased. Around July 2018 my relationship ended and I was forced to move out. I was not prepared for that and ran up my Disco. I had good history from the time I opened it in Nov 17 until that point. I don't think I had a 30 day late but I know I did miss the due date. I've pretty much given up on that card going unsecured. I am just keeping it around because it's one of my older cards and I don't want to kill my AAoA by closing it. Kinda frustrating but it is what it is.
Message 6 of 6
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