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New Credit Card Search

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Anonymous
Not applicable

New Credit Card Search

I am looking to get a credit card for myself to begin to tackle the issue that is my thin credit file. I will have a defintie need in the near-ish future (within 1 to 2 years) to buy or lease a car. However due to my very limited credit file my odds of approval would be slim or result in high interest rates and patments. For whatever reason I kind of let this sit on the backburner until now which was clearly a mistake, but now I'm hoping to fix the issue and start building my own credit with my own accounts.

 

Some background:

I have been employed for the last 5 years (counting this year) by the local school district as as substitute teacher. The last two of those years I was completeing my Masters degree and teacher prep program which is the only student loan debt I have. I am currently an Autohorized User on 2 accounts, which is what has helped me have some type of credit. This was from my parents during my time in college which we all agreed to do. One of those accounts has a $0 balance on a 3,300 limit and one of them has a $4,083 balance on $4,400 limit (I understand this is extremely high usage, but its not my spending). 0 late payments, with no reason to expect any.

 

My info

Income: $30k

FICO score 8: EQ: 725 TU: 724 EX: 657

FICO Bankcard Score 8: EQ 706 TU 711 EX: 606

Students Loan Debt: $17,663 (Payments do not start until September, Income driven)

 

My questions are then, where should I start my credit card search?  What banks/credit lenders will I have the best chances of approval with? and is it possible to be approved for a card that also offers rewards with my scores and limtited credit profile?

 

Thanks for any help!

 

Message 1 of 25
24 REPLIES 24
Red1Blue
Super Contributor

Re: New Credit Card Search

I think you should call or request CRAs to remove you from the cards as AU. That will help you with utilization. You should try to pre-approval with hit to scores. You can try for Apple Card (Pulls TU) and FNBO (Pulls EX) Cards. They both do a soft on your reports and give you what they might approve. If you agree then you can move forward and there will be a hard inq and approval. My suggestion test the waters with pre-qual and see what they are willing to offer. It will be only soft inq.

Message 2 of 25
dragontears
Senior Contributor

Re: New Credit Card Search

Do you have any open revolving accounts in your name or is it just the 2 AU accounts? 

Message 3 of 25
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: New Credit Card Search


@dragontears wrote:

Do you have any open revolving accounts in your name or is it just the 2 AU accounts? 



I dont have any revolving accounts open in my name, which I know is one of the biggest things hurting me at the moment and thus why I am looking for help.

Message 4 of 25
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: New Credit Card Search


@Red1Blue wrote:

I think you should call or request CRAs to remove you from the cards as AU. That will help you with utilization. You should try to pre-approval with hit to scores. You can try for Apple Card (Pulls TU) and FNBO (Pulls EX) Cards. They both do a soft on your reports and give you what they might approve. If you agree then you can move forward and there will be a hard inq and approval. My suggestion test the waters with pre-qual and see what they are willing to offer. It will be only soft inq.


I have been testing the waters using pre-quals with cpaital one, discover, and amex. I have not yet tried the apple card or FNBO but will certainly look into, so thanks for the suggestion. As far as my utilization goes from my research and what I have seen on my myFICO page is that authorized user accounts arent being considered when determing my credit utilization unless I am understading wrong?

Message 5 of 25
Red1Blue
Super Contributor

Re: New Credit Card Search


@Anonymous wrote:

As far as my utilization goes from my research and what I have seen on my myFICO page is that authorized user accounts arent being considered when determing my credit utilization unless I am understading wrong?

To be honest. I am not an expert in the scroing of AU and its effect.  Even though you are an AU high usage can hurt your scores. I'll let others chime in.

Message 6 of 25
RSX
Valued Contributor

Re: New Credit Card Search

AU accounts may be ignored by some lenders when considering you for a new Card or Loan

 

but - the definitely affect your utilization - that is not ignored

 

drop yourself from the 1 with the high util right away - it is definitely hurting more than helping

once it clears off your reports (maybe 30-60 days) then apply for a new card - apple is good because it is a Soft Pull before you accept it

 

then get dropped off the other AU, once you secure your first card

 

 

Dec 16/2019. EX. 721. EQ. 723. TU 746
Jan 25/2024 EX. 774 EQ. 751 TU 758
Inq. EX 2 EQ 3 TU 6 - - CC 2x24, 0x12
Amex BCP $35k - Apple GS $21k - BMW/Elan $19k - Cap1 QS $16.7k - Chase Amazon $13.6k - Chase Bonvoy Bountiful $10k - Chase United Club Infinite $26k - Citi CustomCash $3k - Citi DC $14.5k - CreditUnion1 $9k - DiscoverIT $29.5k - PayBoo - $15.6k - Penfed Gold - $19.3k - USB AltitudeGO -$19k- USBank Cash+ -$25k - PenFed LOC - $20k - USB LOC - $8k
Message 7 of 25
Red1Blue
Super Contributor

Re: New Credit Card Search

If all fails you can start out with couple of secured cards and start building your credit on your own. Several secured cards graduate after 6-12 months.

Message 8 of 25
HeavenOhio
Senior Contributor

Re: New Credit Card Search

Welcome @Anonymous! Smiley Happy

 

Is there a reason why your Experian scores are so much lower than the others?

 

Subject to what might be on your Experian report, I would think you'd qualify for an unsecured card. Discover could be a good place to start.

Message 9 of 25
Anonymalous
Valued Contributor

Re: New Credit Card Search

I'm a thin file with almost no personal credit history, who used an AU card to bolster my credit scores as well. So my experiences and research might help.

 

First of all, AU cards do help with utilization. But they help with overall utilization, not with the individual utilization on other cards. Both matter.

 

Secondly, I agree with everyone else that the AU card with the high utilization is hammering your score. The one possible exception is if the card is really old and your other AU card is really young, in which case it could conceivably be propping up your score more than hurting it (due to the boost to average age). But that's unlikely, and not being able to control utilization is a real detriment, so you should probably have it removed from your file.

 

More generally, the boost to scores from an AU is nice, but it doesn't change the fact that you have no real personal credit history. That will be the deciding factor for most lenders, not your score. Ignore all advice about how someone with a score X should be able to qualify for card Y; it doesn't apply to you. You're effectively an empty file, and that means you should be looking at starter cards. Avoid lenders who typically want to see a year or more of credit history (Chase will not give you one of the Freedom cards, for instance), and avoid the more conservative financial institutions. I'd avoid AmEx, as well. Your income doesn't really fit the kind of profile they prefer.

 

So where should you start? Your first card or cards should be keepers, because as your oldest cards they'll anchor the average age of your accounts. This doesn't mean they have to be cards you'll use as your primary drivers over the long term (a token amount of spend works), but it does mean avoid annual fees.

 

Also, since you're a clean file, and the AU cards have made your scoreable, you should be able to qualify for an unsecured card out of the gate (I qualified for the C1 Platinum with no credit history or scores at all). If I were you, I'd still take a secured card if that's all they're willing to offer. Secured cards from a real financial institution are a better option than unsecured cards from a subprime lender. But I'd first try to apply for an unsecured card

 

Discover is one of the two obvious starting points. They like young files. The Discover It is a potential long term card with the 5% rotating categories, while the Discover It Miles is effectively a 3% in everything card for the first year (1.5% doubled). DPs are mixed about CLIs, but generally positive. The secured card seems reasonable, and graduates.

 

The other obvious starting point is Capital One. Avoid the Quicksilver One, because they'll never upgrade it and you'll be stuck with an AF forever. You might (?) have a chance at the Quicksilver for good credit (no AF, but no SUP). But the default is the Platinum. It has no rewards, but it's a real card from a prime lender, and you'll eventually be able to upgrade it to a Quicksilver (took me 6 months) or maybe even a Savor One. Though C1 is notorious for bucketing people -- my card certainly is. But I didn't have a credit score at the time, and you do, so there's a chance you might not be stuck with a very low credit limit forever. Their prequal tool is supposed to be fairly accurate, but remember your profile is an outlier, so who knows.

 

Another option is Navy Federal CU, if you qualify for membership. If you have a parent, sibling, or grandparent who was honorably discharged, that's all it takes. They don't have to be members, or even alive. They gave me a real card with a real limit, even though I only had 6 months of personal credit history at the time I applied. They don't seem to care that my score was propped up by an AU card. People seem to think the prequalification tool isn't that reliable, but their secured card seems reasonable, and graduates.

 

Local credit unions might be an option, but they'll probably want to start you with a secured card. If you have some history with them, that can help a lot.

 

You might also want to consider the fintech cards, like the Petal 2 or Tomo. They assess creditworthiness using things other than credit scores. I don't know a lot about them.

 

There's also the Apple Card, if you're in the Apple ecosystem. Another I know little about, but they seem friendly to people new to credit.

 

Finally, there seems to be a recent surge of lenders expanding into the starter card arena. Some are out, some are in the wings. Look around, especially if you have an existing relationship with a financial institution. Chase Slate Edge might qualify. 

 

Normally, you'd want to stagger applications. Apply for a card, wait 3 to 6 months, apply for another, and so on. This gives you the best chances, and the best credit limits. But if you think you might apply for an auto loan in a year or two, you might want to apply for a couple at once, so the hard pulls will drop off sooner (HPs have no effect on your score in 1 year, and vanish entirely in 2 years). Three personal cards is a good target, because it's enough to practice AZEO, but I wouldn't try for more than 2 at once. Credit seeking hurts a young/thin file a lot more than an old/thick file.

Message 10 of 25
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