Don't worry about utilization right now, it doesn't matter that much what balance reports, just keep paying in full by the due date. Past utilization has no affect on score either; utilization is so easy to manipulate that there's no need to worry about it all the time. After having about 8 months history, let only a small balance report ($70 or less, but greater than $0). Then I would recommend putting in a few applications to some cards you could reasonably obtain, like some student cards or perhaps an Amex Zync. Student cards don't really expect high incomes, so I think you should be able to get something. But, even if you are denied for everything, a few hard inquiries won't really matter that much. You'd probably just have to go the secured route until you can report more income.
Koop- 8 months for me would be Christmas. Would it be a good idea to apply in the first week of January? The cards I'm interested in are:
Discover more-Student (or non is fine)
Citi Forward-Student (or non)
and Amex Zync
The let this garden for a while until I go into a career that I love and hopefully, follow through with it.
You may qualify for the student cards (maybe), but the likelihood of getting approved for a zync with your income is unfortunately very unlikely. I know that you said you don't really want another bank card, but it might be worthwhile to join a credit union and get a card through them. Let the one that you have age to a year and let the second one age to 6 months, then you might be more appealing to Discover or Citi, maybe even Amex. That's just my $.02.
Good luck with whatever decision you make.
Hey my friend I'm just like you except I'm 21. I'm also a college student, with a $16000/yr income, and like you my income fluctuates my YTD is $18,000 by the time the year is over I'll be in the 20k region. As you could see in my signature, those are the two CCs I obtained recently, both unsecured. I got denied for a Discover More card, because I wasn't going to a 4 yr college ( I go to a community college, they require a recognized 4 yr instituition), and also the other option they gave me was to find a coapplicant, I didn't have a person that would sign for me. Your best bet would be IMO to apply for a Citi Forward Student Visa, I practically have no credit history and got approved for a $1,500 CL. They didn't have a stringent criteria that Discover had for their student card. They'll probably ask for a copy of Social Security card to be mailed in, and after that proof that you're a student (Copy of Student ID card + a Copy of Your Most recent Tuition Bill emailed to them). I apped the for the Citi card on July 25th, I got approved yesterday, you kind of have to call and be on top of them a bit to get things move along. Anyway, just telling you my story, I would leave Discover alone and probably app for the Citi Forward Student card now, after six months apply for a AMEX Zync and possibly a AMEX Delta Skymiles Card ( the latter I heard is the easiest CC to get from them). It would be one hard inquiry, if you apped this way with AMEX anyway, so apping for two cards won't kill ya. If you want a relationship with Discover, I'd apply for the Walmart Credit Card and HOPEFULLY (it's not guaranteed, you'll get the Discover card and not the regular store card). You'd also get the benefit of having a free monthly TU credit score, from the Walmart Card! Good Luck, keep up the good work.
Where do you work? I've got a not so great 8 dollar hour job....but it's fine. Like you I am also going to a community college, and that's good to know, I didn't know that they require a 4 year school that has to be recognized, I thought any school would do. I would not want to have a coapplicant either, my parents for the most part are living comfortably (dad's an orthodonist, mom is a nurse) and we do okay. I live with my parents (can't afford to move out, but hopefully I will be able to soon, my community college is pretty much 15 minutes from my house) and they have always encouraged to esatblish my own credit. I've had my card for roughly a little bit over 3-4 months. I do not have a Id card, but I have a student number that was issued to me. My buddy actually did nearly the same thing, he banks with Citi, and he had gotten a forward card (student version) after applying for it in a branch. We make roughly the same (he made about 500 more then I did last year.) He had a year of perfect payments, and a score of 745 I think. He got approved for both the Zync (NPSL) and the Gold Delta (2.5k). I want a relationship with Discover but I'm really only interested in the More Card (student, or non student version.) I shop at walmart alot, but I'm not a huge fan of their card. Thanks man, I want to build the most positive history I can will I am young, and hopefully it will me out in the future. The only thing that is bugging me is the income but I'll proabably make close to 6k this year....but I have no clue if I will be approved, as well as the fact that I'm scared it's to early to apply since my history is so short.
With an income that low, I'd avoid the Amex Zync. Your odds of being approved are virtually nil anyways, but given it's a charge card it's especially not a good idea for you. You can't revolve a balance like you can with a normal credit card. If you run into another bad infection and can't pay your balance in full, you'll be in trouble.
At this point you need to:
1. Avoid derogs of any kind while you're establishing credit
2. Use your current card regularly and PIF
3. Look for a second student card which you can also use regularly and PIF. As much as you don't want another BofA card, they might give you a second one if you use the one you've got well. Citi and CapOne might also be options. Discover is generally a conservative lender and as such you might have issues there. A store card backed by GE may be another option here. The goal is to establish positive TLs.
If you do those 3 things, the only major limiting factor left will be your income. Once you clear the 30k barrier, more options will open up for you. 50k is another hurdle, then 80-100k yet another.
Leave Discover alone for now G_Reaper, they're not worth the stress IMO. I work in a hospital as auxilary staff, I get paid nearly 20/hr. Time and a half, I make 30 bucks an hr. So my income flucates alot depending on how much hours I want to put in. You have a better chance of getting lucky with citibank's student visa. I'd app for the Chase Freedom and get a Student Checking account with them, but thats later down the road 8 months - 12 months worth of credit history with no dergos of course. They have better rewards overall IMO. You could go ahead and compare them yourself, if you don't believe me. Also, if you havent already apply for a local CU (Credit Union), it'll benefit you in the long run, maybe they'll help you out with your first auto loan and even give you a credit card (hopefully unsecured).