Hello credit people,
New member here but I have been reading these posts for the last few months.
Here's a summary of my credit: I had one credit card ten years ago, a Discover platinum with 5k SL. Shortly after I went through a devastating divorce that flipped my life, lost my job a few months later and a few months after that, had a big medical procedure and was billed over 50k. I was having a very difficult time with every aspect of life and kind of gave up things. Both the Discover card and medical expense went into collections and remained there 7 years until they fell off about a year ago.
I hatched my life back together over the last 7 years. Got married to a wonderful woman, (now have two beautiful little kids). Because I was living without credit for so many years, I used my Debit card for everything and really learned to live within my means and spend only what I have. Last August, I decided to step back into the credit card game for the rewards and opened an OpenSky secure card. Immediately my TU and RQ Fico 8s shot up to 692, EX to 676. A few months later, had my wife add me to one of her 14 year old CC as an AU and my TU and EQ scores went up to 787, EQ 759.
Two weeks ago I applied for the Citi DC, got approved for $10,700. However, my score fell drastically. TU and EQ fell 38 points and are at 749 while my Experian Fico 8 fell 29 points is at 740. EX Fico 9 is at 738. I wanted to get the AMEX BCP next for the 6% rewards however I am not sure if I should wait or what? The AMEX prequalify is unable to match me to any cards. Would it be smart to apply right now?
Besides the AMEX, my goal over the next year or two is to slowly and responsibly get the Chase Freedom or Flex for cashback rewards, Chase Preferred for travel (once covid settles down), and perhaps the AMEX platinum. My question for the experts is, what strategy would you use to keep my FICO to keep going up and also successfully get these cards? Also, is it smart to apply for the AMEX BCP right now?
Congratulations on the turnaround! You would probably be fine for the BCP right now and would almost certainly be approved for the Amex Platinum. If you are anticipating getting an Amex Platinum, I would strongly suggest taking a look at either the Amex Gold or EveryDay Preferred Card to see if their 4x or 3x Membership Rewards earning on groceries might make more sense than the 6% on BCP. BCP is a fine card, but mixing and matching both cash back and Membership Rewards with Amex doesn't always make sense, and you would not be able to change that later.
Your scores should be fine as long as you pace yourself with new applications (perhaps one every 6-12 months, perhaps 2) and maintain low utilization of your revolving credit. Not asked or mentioned, do you have any open loans? If not, consider looking into a SSL from a credit union that doesn't shorten the loan term when most of the loan is repaid and that will absolutely buy you a significant score increase for as long as the loan remains open with negligible interest paid if you pay it down substantially right away.
For Chase, the most important thing for you to consider will be spacing out your new applications and being aware that you will be automatically denied (outside of in-branch or usually certain types of online preapprovals) if you have opened 5 or more cards in the past 24 months.
Thank you for your response! I do not have any loans right now. MY credit file is very thin with just the two credit cards and being an AU on a third card. I plan on buying a new car by the end of the year so that should add something to the mix.
I had not thought about the AMEX Gold or EveryDay Preferred Card but will definitely look into those to see if they make more sense to go the points route and avoid mixing and matching with cash back.
Congrats on the Citi DC card and welcome to the forums! I too was out of the credit game for many years, and lived off my debit card. It's interesting how well it helps you to discipline your spend. With that said, I'd suggest spreading out your CC applications. It's hard to achieve a lot very quickly with a thin file and in this lending atmosphere, but at least you have account age on your side (where as I do not). If you're thinking of getting a card later this year, I suggest piggybacking the card application when you do your auto loan, so that they can age together.