I am a new member but long-time reader of these forums. I was recently pre-qualified with a 17.24% variable on the pre-qual site. I have been rebuilding my credit (no derogs/lates just high uti for a long period of time - I am a medical student trying to get by). My question is, are the prequals at citi solid? periodically checked in the past with no offers available and finally got one.
Also, I know that after posting my data points I will get some solid advice about paying down my current cards, which I value and am doing. I was wondering if the prequal was solid to help expedite the process of lower total utilization while steadily making more than the minimums on existing cards and not using the new card except PIF.
The main thing that worries me is regarding Citi itself. I have had the AAdvantage and it is by far my favortie card as I hope to use the points I have accrued to travel once Med school is over (less than a year). However, last year around this time the balance chased me with a CLD and have yet to reinstate the original balance ( I havent asked them to either as to not ruffle any feathers). No balance chasing since then and making way more than the minimum every month with high usage and steadily decreasing utilization.
I know apping at the moment is risky, but looking for advice from the experts here. I would imagine I would be better off gardening and paying down balances, maye looking for CLI's periodically. But any strategy or advice in general for my profile would be greatly appreciated.
Some background and data points:
- Per experian app (Fico 8) as of 8/12/2019:
+ TU: 684
+ Equifax: 661
+ Experian: 656
- Total overall utilization of 40% (down from 90+% 2 months ago)
- A large component of the decrease in overall utilization was being added as AU to a 12.5k card with zero balance.
- Most recent card approval was Discover student it - approved in july for $500
- Second most recent card approval IKEA visa card (Comenity) approved for $2k in June
- Also have:
+ Mercury card - $3800 (transfered from barclays :/) - 89%
+ Cap one QS - $1600 - 75%
+ Target Redcard - $2500 - 80%
+ Citicard Aadvantage Platinum Select World Elite - $2180 (decreased from $3k last august after large payment open 3+ years) - 71%
+ Ikea (Comenity) - $2000 - 69%
+ Capone Secured - $1000 (oldest tradeline 7+ years didn't even know it was secured until recently) - 66%
+ Chevron synchrony (Synchrony) - $1600 - 64%
+ Bloomingdales Store card - $1300 (Auto CLI from 1k this month) - 49%
+ Amazon Store Card (Synchrony) - $850 (Auto CLI in June from $500) - 32%
+ Best Buy Visa (Citi retail) - $500 - 28%
+ Philips/76card (Synchrony) - $400 - 21%
+ Bank of America Bank Americard - $500 - 1%
+ Victoria Secret (Comenity) - $750 (auto CLI in July from $500) - 0%
+ Discover It (AU) - $12,500 - 0%
+ Discover It Student - $500 - 0%
+ Nordstrom Store Card - $300 - 0%
+ Macys Store card - $100 (for nearly 2 years :/) - 0%
Transunion: 8 (State farm? [5/19], Wells Fargo Med school loan [4/19,2/18,9/17,8/17], Rise [3/18],Walmart/synchrony [11/17], Sinclair oil [6/19]. 3 in last year
Equifax: 4 (Discover [6/19] + 3 US Department of Education recurring inquiries from student loan disbursements [6/19,10/18,1/18]) - 3 in last year
Experian: 16? (this high number is news to me - disputing a few that I do not recognize) - 5 in last year
Thank you in advance for any and all help you can provide.
UPDATE: I just couldn't help myself, although I almost certainly shouldn't have, I pulled the trigger. I was instantly approved for $4k!!! I am ecstatic and will be using this card VERY sparingly and PIF while I get my other balances way down. Very happy with the outcome and I believe it was worth the inquiry (only notified of equifax thus far in CA, but have read it is a generally a dual pull with experian as well). Headed off to the garden for quite a while but this one will really help me out for utilization. Thank you for all the advice! I am kicking myself that I didn't go with a second Aadvantage to get the bonus then switch, I was just worried because the costco was my only prequal and felt less risky.
Citi prequalifications have a reputation for being pretty solid, but ... that's a lot of cards with balances. To be honest, I am surprised you prequalified. It's an excellent card if you are a Costco shopper. Be aware that you must be a Costco member. Good luck!
You might consider applying for a Citi American Airlines card, then converting it to a Costco card after a year.
That's how I effectively got a 50k mile bonus on my Costco Visa.
Thank you for your response. So do you think it is wise to apply with my profile? Also, should the AAdvantage CLD/balance chase from last year concern me?
Thank you for the response. That was my instinct, to garden and paydown but a prequal always makes me second guess myself and the costco card is tempting given I shop there a lot and would help with utilization. I am always fearful of dealing with citi after the CLD and dont want them to be alarmed again. Hence I havent even asked for a CLI in a year since then.
Step one was getting individual balances out of maxed range, now working on everything below 75%, then below 50%, then below 30%, and so on. Maybe I will get surprised by auto CLI's along the way that will help out. (would pay down faster but don't want to be balance chased again)
Any other members care to chime in regarding apping or other strategies?
Any of these cards ok to ask for a CLI? Or maybe PC CapOne secured to venture? (not sure that is possible)
Is it ok to have 2 of the same card?
I believe so, but check the bonus language closely. Closing the old AA card before opening a new one may be bad.
I don't put much confidence in estimates of approval odds in general. I'm just saying that if you do open a new account, you might as well get a good bonus if you can.
Congratulations on the approval