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help me help my sister...

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Valued Member

help me help my sister...

I've been trying to help my little sister (22 yrs old) start her credit journey off right and I need a little advice.

 

So far, she has 1 cap one plat card and a 1 store card. Her Cap1 card just increased to a $500 limit now that she's had it about 3 months. I feel like she needs another card now to help her UTI since her current card limits are so low. Right now she has a 671 score and 5 inqs. She has a pre-qualify offer for the AMEX Delta w/ a "up to $1000" limit. I would rather she not sign up for a card with an annual fee, but it's the only card that came up as a pre-qualified match. I was happy to see this becuase I also checked Chase, Citi, BOA and Discover with no luck. (Discover was an issue b/c apparently her SSN on Equifax report is incorrect.)  I'm considering trying our luck w/ a  PenFed, or a fast growing card like the Nordstrom Visa. But neither have pre-qualified/pre-approved offers, so I'm a bit nervous for the cold app, as we're already up to 5 inqs. 

What do you suggest? Any and all advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you!! Smiley Happy



Message 1 of 15
14 REPLIES 14
Contributor

Re: help me help my sister...

I would just sit tight until things hit 1 year and then reconsider the plan of action.  Fix the error with the SSN so it matches when the next round of apps comes.  Have her keep the reporting balances under 10% and things should improve with time.

500K+ TCL / 800+ FCOs
Message 2 of 15
Valued Contributor

Re: help me help my sister...


@DH1988 wrote:

I've been trying to help my little sister (22 yrs old) start her credit journey off right and I need a little advice.

 

So far, she has 1 cap one plat card and a 1 store card. Her Cap1 card just increased to a $500 limit now that she's had it about 3 months. I feel like she needs another card now to help her UTI since her current card limits are so low. Right now she has a 671 score and 5 inqs. She has a pre-qualify offer for the AMEX Delta w/ a "up to $1000" limit. I would rather she not sign up for a card with an annual fee, but it's the only card that came up as a pre-qualified match. I was happy to see this becuase I also checked Chase, Citi, BOA and Discover with no luck. (Discover was an issue b/c apparently her SSN on Equifax report is incorrect.)  I'm considering trying our luck w/ a  PenFed, or a fast growing card like the Nordstrom Visa. But neither have pre-qualified/pre-approved offers, so I'm a bit nervous for the cold app, as we're already up to 5 inqs. 

What do you suggest? Any and all advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you!! Smiley Happy




 

I'm just curious why you think your sister needs help with her utilization.





Message 3 of 15
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Valued Member

Re: help me help my sister...


@MaizeandBlue wrote:

 

I'm just curious why you think your sister needs help with her utilization.


oh because she bought 1 plane ticket on her card and uti increased to 99% and her credit dropped. She paid it down to 35% within a month  but because she has some more travel plans on the horizon, we were thinking maybe it's time to try for another card since she wants to be able to use ~$500 without the big impact on her score.

Message 4 of 15
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: help me help my sister...


@DH1988 wrote:

@MaizeandBlue wrote:

 

I'm just curious why you think your sister needs help with her utilization.


oh because she bought 1 plane ticket on her card and uti increased to 99% and her credit dropped. She paid it down to 35% within a month  but because she has some more travel plans on the horizon, we were thinking maybe it's time to try for another card since she wants to be able to use ~$500 without the big impact on her score.


 

She's in credit building stage where $500-$1000 limits are normal and to be expected, and that's  if approved.  Other than that, it's secured cards or predatory lenders if one gets too impatient. 

 

She can control reported utilization by paying card down before statement closes. 

 

 

EX 753 EQ 769 TU 755
Message 5 of 15
Regular Contributor

Re: help me help my sister...

My two cents based on my experience on this forum: If she's building her credit, getting in with American Express now at an early age seems like to best course of action. Yes the Delta Gold has an annual fee, but it's waived for the first year. And utilization has no memory... meaning if her score dips due to utilization, it's only temporary. She should garden for a while and not put in any more apps if she gets the Delta Gold anyway, so her current credit score won't matter. By the time it's appropriate for her to apply for another card, she should have low balances if she's managing her finances correctly. Also, she should get a score boost for having and managing two legit credit cards (the store card doesn't really help her credit profile, from what I understand).

Message 6 of 15
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: help me help my sister...

1. Resolve the SSN issue *now* before apping for anything else.... 

2. Wait until you are *sure* her reports are correct and have been corrected... Also EQ should send Discover a correction ......

3. Consider trying the prequal for both the amex and the discover *after* the SSN is resolved..... then choose or go for both....

You want to resolve whats causing the issue with discover so it doesnt happen with anyone else... 

4. Garden

 

-J

 

Message 7 of 15
Contributor

Re: help me help my sister...

I remember when I was just starting out about 15 years ago I got a Capital One MC with a $500 credit limit and even after 6-7 months was having trouble getting additional credit. I ended up going to my credit union and speaking with one of the loan officers and they gave me a credit card with a $2,000 limit. About 6 months later all the credit card offers started rolling in...

So my suggestion is to go to either a local credit union or a community bank and applying in person with one of the loan officers.
Message 8 of 15
Frequent Contributor

Re: help me help my sister...

I agree with the above. I started with a Cap1 Platinum @ $300 and then a few months later got Discover @ $500. They’re only going to start small. DCU actually gave me a shot with a car loan AND a $5k credit card, so you might want to look into credit unions.

You could also consider making her an AU (just don’t give her the card) to help pad things up more, but the only thing that will really help is time. Just make sure she fixes the SSN issue ASAP. Also, the secured route is not a bad way to get in either.


July 2019:

Stats:
Message 9 of 15
Valued Contributor

Re: help me help my sister...

Excellent advise given so far but 2 things I would like to stress on - one is to fix any SSN error as that could become a major issue/stressor. The second is time - keep in mind, building credit isn't a race, it's a marathon. Grow slowly and you'll have the best way to mold your credit. Grow too fast and things can go downhill very quickly.


Scores - All bureaus 750 +/-
TCL - Est. $275K
Message 10 of 15