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Looking for advice on where I should App next on my credit journey

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Looking for advice on where I should App next on my credit journey

Hi there , long time lurker of the myfico forums but just recently decided to make an account so I could get some better insight from the many knoweldagble people on this site. 

ive spent the last 5+ years building my credit slowly and surely , removing a few derogatorys , collections etc and here we are today. I just recently reached a 701 credit score through the Experian app ( its Been my long time goal to join the 700 club) and I'm trying to decide on what direction I should take next. I've built my credit over the last 5 yrs starting with a Secured card from Discover now graduated 1500$ limit 3yrs old  , two capital one cards with low limits 700$ quick silver and $500 platinum 5yrs old , Victoria secret card $700 limit 2+yrs old , Apple Card 3k limit 3 months old and a credit builders loan. As well as being an authorized user on a Macy's Amex 38yrs old 10k limit , Chase freedom unlimited 2yrs old with a 25k limit and a American Express cash magnet 30k limit 1yr old. I understand they don't play into helping as much but figured it couldn't hurt since all are in good standing. 

My credit report sits at a 701 on Experian as of today , 1% overall utilization , 9 total accounts , 0 collections , 0 inquiries across the board , 97% payment history, 6yrs & 7 months average age of credit ( I believe that's counting the authorized user cards I'm on) I pay all my cards in full every month down to zero ,  2 late payments from discover back in 2018 30/60 and one late payment from Comenity Victoria secret from January of 2020 30 days late ( Missed a 4$ charge that my girlfriend made as an authorized user and didn't notice it since I don't use the card myself) The late payments are the only baddies that are on my credit report. I've been trying for years to get discover to budge on a goodwill adjustment but still have had no luck and have not seen to many others get lucky with discover when it comes to removing lates. With  Comenity I most recently have been trying to get them to remove the late and I know it's possible -  I believe it's just a bit to new for them to consider good willing at this time. 

With all that said I feel like I've been stuck. I have defiantly made progress over the years and have been really trying hard to focus on my credit. At this time clearly the only things holding me back are the lates. Particurlly the recent one from this year I would think more so then the one with disco. I've been holding off on applying for any new credit cards just off the fact that I don't want to get any more low level Bucketed cards. Thought about apping for the savor or venture with Capital one  as a higher tier card since I have a decent amount of history with them and all on time payments in hopes of getting a decent credit limit but can't decide if I should just let them go at this point as they were good for building in the beginning but maybe focus on bigger things? The one recent app with apple I avoided a hard inquiry and finally got a decent starting limit with someone. I want to move on to making relationships with the big dogs like Chase , AMEX , navy fed , Citi , as well as some mid tier cards like the amazon prime card but just been nervous to take the leap. I keep telling myself I'll just wait until hopefully I can atleast get that recently late removed so I won't be disappointed if I'm denied or get a real low limit card. But I'm not having luck with getting comenity to budge. I've done the prequalifiers for chase and Amex. Chase comes up with no offers but I recently got my first "pre qualified" mailer from them. On AMEXs pre approval site it comes back with a pre qual for the cash magnet and Blue cash Everyday card. 

So that brings me to my reason for posting this long story of my credit journey. I feel stuck and not sure what my next move should be. I want to start getting some cards in my wallet that will actually grow with spend and responsible use. Hoping to get some good advice from you guys. Should I keep trying to get the lates removed and hold myself back from potentially getting my foot in the door with a company like Amex or chase , or should I give one of them a shot ? I feel like I'll get denied off the recent late payment even know the rest of my credit profile I feel looks decent. I get it's not the end of the world if you get a denial but for some reason I just haven't been able to confidently get myself to pull the trigger an app for a card , mostly out of fear but also out of not knowing what direction would be best to go next. Ive had a few pre approvals for store cards like Home Depot , Lowe's , Macy's etc but wasn't sure if I should bother with them at this point or stick with trying to get in with the big guys. I've thought about opening a checking account with chase to help build a relationship before applying because I've heard that helps. I also have the option of apping with Navy fed since I have military in my family and heard they are very generous with credit lines. Personally I think I might have a better shot with AMEX over Chase but I always hear people say to fill up your 5/24 with quality chase cards before apping elsewhere. They seem to be the GOAT when it comes to credit cards. I know I'm all over the place and I'm open to any other suggestions on cards you might recommend or advice on what my next best move should be. Even know I've never posted before this forum has given me a wealth of knowledge over the years and I'm thankful for that.

Cheers! 

Message 1 of 8
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Re: Looking for advice on where I should App next on my credit journey

Anyone that can offer there guidance ?

Message 2 of 8
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Re: Looking for advice on where I should App next on my credit journey

When I decided to take control of my credit I looked for cards that would meet my specific needs then applied for them. I knew I wanted one low APR card, a card with decent balance transfer offer and a card with cash back. 

 

I chose Simmons Bank for low APR, Citi Simplicity for 21 month balance transfer and BofA for Cash Back.  

 

Simmons required me to send some ID verification and took a while for approval but it was generous. (9k at 8.99%)  The other 2 apps were instant approval and Citi has given me a CLI since then. 

 

I didn't have any lates when I applied last year, however.  My scores were suppressed due to utilization I'd say.

 

Until you apply for a card you want/need and get approved or receive reason codes for denial you won't really know where you stand. My gut says the late from this year is the biggest problem.  I'm far from an expert though. 

 

Good luck!

Message 3 of 8
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Valued Contributor

Re: Looking for advice on where I should App next on my credit journey

If I was in your shoes, here is what I would do...

 

1)  Get into NFCU.  This is a no brainer.  If you want higher credit lines this is probably going to be your best bet with your profile.

 

2)  Keep working on trying to get those lates removed.  Don't give up even with a "No".


3)  Chase can wait.  I would not open a checking account with the mindset that you have a "relationship" and you have better chances for approval.  If you have 500k laying around ready to deposit then I'm sure exceptions could be made.

 

4)  Figure out what rewards cards could fit your spending patterns.  All too often, I see people here apply for whatever they can get approved for and not necessarily what they could use.  You're then stuck with a bunch of garbage accounts that you have to keep active and possibly paying annual fees.  I'm not against applying for store cards because some can offer significant savings. 

 

 

 FICO 8
Message 4 of 8
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Re: Looking for advice on where I should App next on my credit journey


@Bs978 wrote:

Hi there , long time lurker of the myfico forums but just recently decided to make an account so I could get some better insight from the many knoweldagble people on this site. 

Welcome to the forums!  I've learned so much more from participating in the discussions here after I stopped lurking, and I'm sure you will, too!

 

ive spent the last 5+ years building my credit slowly and surely , removing a few derogatorys , collections etc and here we are today. I just recently reached a 701 credit score through the Experian app ( its Been my long time goal to join the 700 club) and I'm trying to decide on what direction I should take next. I've built my credit over the last 5 yrs starting with a Secured card from Discover now graduated 1500$ limit 3yrs old  , two capital one cards with low limits 700$ quick silver and $500 platinum 5yrs old , Victoria secret card $700 limit 2+yrs old , Apple Card 3k limit 3 months old and a credit builders loan. As well as being an authorized user on a Macy's Amex 38yrs old 10k limit , Chase freedom unlimited 2yrs old with a 25k limit and a American Express cash magnet 30k limit 1yr old. I understand they don't play into helping as much but figured it couldn't hurt since all are in good standing. 

Do you know your FICOs from the other two bureaus?  That can be handy info for judging your apping odds w/ different lenders, esp if you're just breaking into scores that might qualify you for prime products.

 

As long as the authorized user accounts keep to a low utilization (ideally, a low balance reporting on one, $0 on the others) they shouldn't be hurting your scores.  It looks like the CFU and Amex CM are lowering your average account age if they're counting, but the Macy's more than makes up for it.  Whether or not they help you, on version 8 and newer, depends on whether or not they're being flagged by the anti-abuse algorithm.  One way to tell is to have one report a low balance and the others $0 one month and then have them all report $0 the next.  If you see a score drop from the AU AZ penalty, then they're counting for those.  For older FICO versions such as the mortgage scores they always count.

 

My credit report sits at a 701 on Experian as of today , 1% overall utilization , 9 total accounts , 0 collections , 0 inquiries across the board , 97% payment history, 6yrs & 7 months average age of credit ( I believe that's counting the authorized user cards I'm on) I pay all my cards in full every month down to zero ,  2 late payments from discover back in 2018 30/60 and one late payment from Comenity Victoria secret from January of 2020 30 days late ( Missed a 4$ charge that my girlfriend made as an authorized user and didn't notice it since I don't use the card myself) The late payments are the only baddies that are on my credit report. I've been trying for years to get discover to budge on a goodwill adjustment but still have had no luck and have not seen to many others get lucky with discover when it comes to removing lates. With  Comenity I most recently have been trying to get them to remove the late and I know it's possible -  I believe it's just a bit to new for them to consider good willing at this time.

 

Are you paying your cards down to zero before or after the statement cuts?  If before and you're reporting $0 on all cards each month, you're imposing the all-zero penalty on yourself.

 

30 day lates lose a lot of their sting, score-wise, after two years, so one silver lining is that, even if you can't get this goodwilled, you should see a chunk of score recovery in a little less than a year.  If you're not approved for the cards you want now, of if you decide to continue to put off applying, you'll only need to garden for that long before you try again.

 

With all that said I feel like I've been stuck. I have defiantly made progress over the years and have been really trying hard to focus on my credit. At this time clearly the only things holding me back are the lates. Particurlly the recent one from this year I would think more so then the one with disco. I've been holding off on applying for any new credit cards just off the fact that I don't want to get any more low level Bucketed cards. Thought about apping for the savor or venture with Capital one  as a higher tier card since I have a decent amount of history with them and all on time payments in hopes of getting a decent credit limit but can't decide if I should just let them go at this point as they were good for building in the beginning but maybe focus on bigger things? The one recent app with apple I avoided a hard inquiry and finally got a decent starting limit with someone. I want to move on to making relationships with the big dogs like Chase , AMEX , navy fed , Citi , as well as some mid tier cards like the amazon prime card but just been nervous to take the leap. I keep telling myself I'll just wait until hopefully I can atleast get that recently late removed so I won't be disappointed if I'm denied or get a real low limit card. But I'm not having luck with getting comenity to budge. I've done the prequalifiers for chase and Amex. Chase comes up with no offers but I recently got my first "pre qualified" mailer from them. On AMEXs pre approval site it comes back with a pre qual for the cash magnet and Blue cash Everyday card. 

 

If you're looking for cards to grow with you over the long term, I wouldn't bother picking up another Cap1.  Their rewards structures are matched or bettered by other issuers, and they can be really stingy with CLI so in a few years you might find yourself in a position of having 3 Cap1 cards you've grown beyond, instead of just two.  With regards to letting them go, your current Cap1's have < $1k SL's, so they're likely bucketed and won't grow.  Since they have no AF, you can keep them open for as long as you feel like putting maintenance swipes on them and monitoring them for fraud, but as your profile expands these are going to become high-interest, low-limit chaff that live in the sock drawer.

 

Which card did Chase prequalify you for?  If it's one that is in their core line or a cobrand with a rewards structure that you would find useful (taking AF into account, if it has one), I'd probably app for it in your position.  The only reason I might hold off is that Chase doesn't do APR reductions and their CLIs are HP, so giving your score a little more time to grow might mean better starting terms from them.  For the Amex cards, I would also probably make an app for the one that had the reward structure I liked better.  Cash Magnet I'd strongly consider as a replacement for the bucketed QS so I had a decent flat-rate card on better terms, and BCE I'd ponder if the 3% on 6k of groceries was useful.  Iirc, Amex does APR redux and their CLIs are SP, so, imo, there's not a lot of reason not to apply for one of those two, if you like either.

 

So that brings me to my reason for posting this long story of my credit journey. I feel stuck and not sure what my next move should be. I want to start getting some cards in my wallet that will actually grow with spend and responsible use. Hoping to get some good advice from you guys. Should I keep trying to get the lates removed and hold myself back from potentially getting my foot in the door with a company like Amex or chase , or should I give one of them a shot ? I feel like I'll get denied off the recent late payment even know the rest of my credit profile I feel looks decent. I get it's not the end of the world if you get a denial but for some reason I just haven't been able to confidently get myself to pull the trigger an app for a card , mostly out of fear but also out of not knowing what direction would be best to go next. Ive had a few pre approvals for store cards like Home Depot , Lowe's , Macy's etc but wasn't sure if I should bother with them at this point or stick with trying to get in with the big guys. I've thought about opening a checking account with chase to help build a relationship before applying because I've heard that helps. I also have the option of apping with Navy fed since I have military in my family and heard they are very generous with credit lines. Personally I think I might have a better shot with AMEX over Chase but I always hear people say to fill up your 5/24 with quality chase cards before apping elsewhere. They seem to be the GOAT when it comes to credit cards. I know I'm all over the place and I'm open to any other suggestions on cards you might recommend or advice on what my next best move should be. Even know I've never posted before this forum has given me a wealth of knowledge over the years and I'm thankful for that.

I'd keep up the goodwill campaigns on the lates, if you have the time/inclination to continue to do so.  It may work or it may not, but if it does there's only upside.  In your place with your goals, I'd probably make a couple of prudent apps to see if I could get cards to start me on the next step of my credit journey.  You're right that a denial isn't the end of the world.  It sounds like you don't have many, if any, inq's on your reports, so adding one or two isn't really going mean much score-wise.  If you get denied, it just means you should garden for maybe another year, by which point those inq's will be unscorable anyway. 

 

For the store cards, I'd only consider apping for one of those if 1) it was for a store I shopped at regularly and 2) its reward structure or financing options give me something I can't replicate with my regular cards.

 

I think starting a relationship with Navy is a great idea in your position.  You're right that they have a rep for generous CLI, and they're a little more open as a cc lender than the big banks, which can be to your advantage if your scores are on the low end of prime.

 

Cheers! 


 


Message 5 of 8
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Re: Looking for advice on where I should App next on my credit journey

@Bs978 Congrats on your rebuild and making it to the 700s club! Also welcome to the forum officially.

 

My best advice is to continue to do what you are doing. Use your cards, pay all your bills on time and keep trying to goodwill that late from comenity.

 

The recent late should lose some of its sting as it ages. As it stands the lates from discover but also the late from comenity are holding back your scores as you have guessed.

 

Also you recently got a new card, once your apple card hits a year you should see some points.

 

I know you mentioned wanting to get large limits with the big boys, Chase and Amex. I don't think its wise to aimlessly apply for cards that you think you should have. First you have to decide what you want in terms of rewards (cashback, points)? 

 

Then you have to figure out where your spend is and choose the right card that will match that spend.

 

I do think you would get approved if you apped for a Chase or Amex card (likely with a lower than expected starting limit due to the recent late). Personally I would hold off with both till that late turns a year old.

 

I started a relationship with Navy last year, it has been amazing. They have great customer support and they actually value your relationship.

 

Whatever you decide good luck!

 

Edit: Removed duplicate info. 

Message 6 of 8
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Re: Looking for advice on where I should App next on my credit journey

That's exactly what I did - I just got the email that I'm finally in with NFCU after a 5 day waiting period of them needing some extra info. I opened a savings account and going to put about 10k there in hopes of building a relationship with them and getting some high limit cards since I understand there internal system is a bit different then most credit card company's. I've really been holding off over the years applying hence the 0 inquiry's but been getting a itch latly. Just been holding off though because of the one recent late and know if that was removed I'd be much better off. More then Likly instead of getting approved with a low limit card and just barley getting in the door , if the late was removed I feel I'd get a pretty decent starting limit with a few of these companies. I think I should wait a few months though until I app for a card with NFCU. What do you think? Thanks for the info. 

Message 7 of 8
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Re: Looking for advice on where I should App next on my credit journey


@Bs978 wrote:

That's exactly what I did - I just got the email that I'm finally in with NFCU after a 5 day waiting period of them needing some extra info. I opened a savings account and going to put about 10k there in hopes of building a relationship with them and getting some high limit cards since I understand there internal system is a bit different then most credit card company's. I've really been holding off over the years applying hence the 0 inquiry's but been getting a itch latly. Just been holding off though because of the one recent late and know if that was removed I'd be much better off. More then Likly instead of getting approved with a low limit card and just barley getting in the door , if the late was removed I feel I'd get a pretty decent starting limit with a few of these companies. I think I should wait a few months though until I app for a card with NFCU. What do you think? Thanks for the info. 


I don't think the balance of a deposit account carries much weight with NFCU credit UW department so a 10K deposit is probably not necessary.

I do believe that your length of membership does influence credit decisions.

 

I would suggest you research NFCU's CC offerings and select one that most closely matches your spending habits excluding the Flagship Rewards which has different UW standards and is almost never a good choice for a first card from Navy.

 

On the chance that NFCU does not approve you for an unsecured card but does offer you a secured card, take it!!!  Use whatever amount you feel comfortable with to secure your card.  The secured card becomes eligible to become unsecured after 6 months and with resposible use will probably unsecure around that time.

 

If you truly want to establish some good karma with NFCU,  also take out a secured share loan (SSL) again using a portion of your planned 10K deposit.  Immediately pay back 92% of the loan which will free up the same amount.  Set up auto pay for the remaining balance for the entire length of the loan.

 

You can make a very, very good friend this way! 😀

Message 8 of 8
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