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How to make Citi like me again?

Frequent Contributor

How to make Citi like me again?

Citi doesn't like me, but I want the Citi Forward card. So, what do I need to do in order to get them to approve me?


Relevant info:


AAoA: 7 years. Several new accounts opened in the last several months, but also have decreased utilization and total debt during that time.


Inquiries: 4 on EQ, 2 in July 2012 and 2 in September 2012. One of them is from Citi.


Income: $96k


EQ FICO: 658, but this is before it updates for recent decreased utilization. Waiting for it to update.


Current Utilization: 21%. Previously around 35%.


Derogatory Items: 90 day late on store card from 6/2011 (since paid in full, trying to GW), paid medical judgement from 5/2008, 30 day late on student loan from 9/2009, 30 day late on auto loan from 6/2009.


Current credit cards and reported balances:

Capital One/GM Card                $1/$6,405

Chase Slate                                $2,999/$3,800

Chase Amazon                           $14/$3,000

Discover More                             $1,672/$3,200

First Niagara                               $2,008/$2,800

Barclays World Mastercard      $0/$5,000

Capital One/Best Buy                $779/$1,500

GE/Walmart                                 $0/$400

GE/Old Navy                                $0/$1,200

GE/Care Credit                           $160/$6,000

US Bank                                       $0/$1,000

Dell                                                $847/$4,000


All balances except Dell and First Niagara are now at 0% interest, or are PIF each month, so I'm not really paying a ton of interest. I'm obviously trying to pay things down as fast as possible too.


I received pre-selected invitations and applied for Citi Thank You and Simplicity in July, and was denied for both due to utilization and derogatory information. At the time, I also had an unpaid collection (since removed), and utilization was almost 50%.


I had a Citi credit card that was opened around 2001. Citi closed it on me about two years ago, while it had a balance. I wasn't really paying attention to my credit reports at the time, so I don't know why they closed it, and I didn't bother to follow up with them. I do know that don't have any late payments on my credit report from them. Anyhow, I had other debt to worry about, so I only paid them a little more than the minimum payment every month since they closed the account. I'm wondering if this might be part of the reason they wouldn't approve me for another Citi card. I just paid off the balance on that Citi account in the last couple of weeks, so I owe them nothing now.


So, might I stand a shot at getting the Citi Forward now? If not, what should my credit profile look like to have a decent shot?

07/29/12: EX FICO (Amex) 684 | EQ MyFICO 631 | TU Walmart 695
Current: EX FICO (MyFICO) 733 | EQ (MyFICO) 683 | TU (Walmart) 745

First Goal: 700+ across the board - Got it on EX & TU!!!
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