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Seven years of credit history...but no real history. First card to get?

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Re: Seven years of credit history...but no real history. First card to get?

Hey guys, I know it's been a short while since I posted, but I just haven't had time lately. Anyway, I figured I'd at least update the thread and post as to the progress I've made.

 

I was able to use my JCPenney GEMB card for a small purchase, so the account was indeed still open. Using the card automatically bumped my credit limit up from $124 to $150. After I got the statement online, I paid it in full, and plan to continue this trend for the foreseeable future. As stated before, after the fourth statement, I'll request a credit line increase and go from there.

 

I was, in fact, approved for the NCSECU credit card as expected, and received a $2000 credit limit. I got the card today and activated it, and will be using it for everyday purchases until I obtain another card, after which point it will be relegated to a secondary-use card (but still used and paid in full every month).

 

I applied and was approved for an account with Alliant Credit Union; I received the approval email today and should be getting my info via snail mail in 7-10 business days. I didn't get any pre-approved offers online because I had to fax in additional paperwork to verify my identity, but after I get my online account set up I will be applying for a card with them as well.

 

After getting things solidified with Alliant, I've decided to try to open an account with PSECU. Obviously it would be great to be able to see my FICO Experian score, and if I can get a third credit card with them (secured or otherwise), all the better, since my goal is to establish and maintain three major revolving accounts to build a solid credit file for the future.

 

I've decided to forego CapitalOne for now, and possibly altogether; if I do apply for a card with them in the future, it will be a Cash Rewards card. My "holy grail" is the Pentagon Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Cashback Rewards Card, though, so after building my credit file for awhile and letting all of these inquiries get old, I will be pursuing that or a card like it. Obviously I will re-evaluate the cards on the market at that time since it will be a ways down the road.

 

Thanks for all the replies and good advice in this thread! I will be sure to keep this updated as I move forward. Smiley Happy


FICO Equifax: 743 (5/22/11)
FICO TransUnion: 748 (5/22/11)
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Message 21 of 32
Senior Contributor

Re: Seven years of credit history...but no real history. First card to get?

Congratulations! You're doing great... better than me! Smiley Happy My local CU only gave me a $500 CL on a visa, and, while I definitely have a "thin" credit file; it's showing more history than you mentioned on yours. Your CU must be pretty good! With the luck you had with Alliant and the fact that they use EQ, I'm thinking I may give them a try, too. As of a couple of weeks ago, my EQ FICO was in the high 600s, so hopefully I'll qualify.

 

Great work in a really short period of time! Smiley Happy

 

P.S. I just took a look at Alliant's website. Did you have to join to app for the CC? And if so, how did you qualify as a member? Is it this one: http://www.alliantcreditunion.org/membership/eligibility/ Thanks so much!

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
EQ FICO 750 | TU FICO 761 (Walmart) | EX FAKO 767 | Goal: 800+

Edits, funky spacing and spelling due to my iPad not getting along with the forum editor!

Message 22 of 32
Senior Contributor

Re: Seven years of credit history...but no real history. First card to get?


@bichonmom wrote:

Congratulations! You're doing great... better than me! Smiley Happy My local CU only gave me a $500 CL on a visa, and, while I definitely have a "thin" credit file; it's showing more history than you mentioned on yours. Your CU must be pretty good! With the luck you had with Alliant and the fact that they use EQ, I'm thinking I may give them a try, too. As of a couple of weeks ago, my EQ FICO was in the high 600s, so hopefully I'll qualify.

 

Great work in a really short period of time! Smiley Happy

 

P.S. I just took a look at Alliant's website. Did you have to join to app for the CC? And if so, how did you qualify as a member? Is it this one: http://www.alliantcreditunion.org/membership/eligibility/ Thanks so much!

 

 


 

You are eligible to join Alliant if you are a member of the PTA or you make a minimum contribution of $10 to the Orphan Foundation of America.

 

There have been cases of Alliant offering a pre-approved credit card when you finish your online membership application.  I joined and at the end of the online membershipapplication process it said I was pre-approved for an Alliant credit card; I accepted.  If you are not offered a pre-approved card, you'll probably have to go through the normal credit card application process and I am not sure if it would result in another hard inquiry on your credit report.

 

You mentioned your EQ FICO is in the high 600's.  I am not sure what Alliant's requirements are, but it is important to understand that one's FICO score is almost never the only criteria lenders use for approval.  It is extremely common for people with decent FICO scores to get shot down because there are other problems with their credit report like judgments, collections, delinquencies, number of inquiries and lack of sufficient credit experience.

IAALBNYL
Message 23 of 32
Senior Contributor

Re: Seven years of credit history...but no real history. First card to get?

 


@O6 wrote:

You are eligible to join Alliant if you are a member of the PTA or you make a minimum contribution of $10 to the Orphan Foundation of America.

 

There have been cases of Alliant offering a pre-approved credit card when you finish your online membership application.  I joined and at the end of the online membershipapplication process it said I was pre-approved for an Alliant credit card; I accepted.  If you are not offered a pre-approved card, you'll probably have to go through the normal credit card application process and I am not sure if it would result in another hard inquiry on your credit report.

 

You mentioned your EQ FICO is in the high 600's.  I am not sure what Alliant's requirements are, but it is important to understand that one's FICO score is almost never the only criteria lenders use for approval.  It is extremely common for people with decent FICO scores to get shot down because there are other problems with their credit report like judgments, collections, delinquencies, number of inquiries and lack of sufficient credit experience.




That's what I'm afraid of. I have 2 pif installment loans for 1 year (pif in Dec 2010) and Old Navy and Cap One from this March. REALLY thin. (I wish I were as thin as my credit file.) Smiley Happy I waited so long for a clean credit report that now I'm feeling very impatient about getting a CC w/a decent CL. I"m really impressed with what OP has managed to do with his really limited credit history. KInd of gives me some hope.

 

Do you know if they do a hard hit on EQ to join, or only for CC app?

 

Thank you! Smiley Happy

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
EQ FICO 750 | TU FICO 761 (Walmart) | EX FAKO 767 | Goal: 800+

Edits, funky spacing and spelling due to my iPad not getting along with the forum editor!

Message 24 of 32
Senior Contributor

Re: Seven years of credit history...but no real history. First card to get?


@bichonmom wrote:

 


@O6 wrote:

You are eligible to join Alliant if you are a member of the PTA or you make a minimum contribution of $10 to the Orphan Foundation of America.

 

There have been cases of Alliant offering a pre-approved credit card when you finish your online membership application.  I joined and at the end of the online membershipapplication process it said I was pre-approved for an Alliant credit card; I accepted.  If you are not offered a pre-approved card, you'll probably have to go through the normal credit card application process and I am not sure if it would result in another hard inquiry on your credit report.

 

You mentioned your EQ FICO is in the high 600's.  I am not sure what Alliant's requirements are, but it is important to understand that one's FICO score is almost never the only criteria lenders use for approval.  It is extremely common for people with decent FICO scores to get shot down because there are other problems with their credit report like judgments, collections, delinquencies, number of inquiries and lack of sufficient credit experience.




That's what I'm afraid of. I have 2 pif installment loans for 1 year (pif in Dec 2010) and Old Navy and Cap One from this March. REALLY thin. (I wish I were as thin as my credit file.) Smiley Happy I waited so long for a clean credit report that now I'm feeling very impatient about getting a CC w/a decent CL. I"m really impressed with what OP has managed to do with his really limited credit history. KInd of gives me some hope.

 

Do you know if they do a hard hit on EQ to join, or only for CC app?

 

Thank you! Smiley Happy

 



I know nobody likes to hear this -- and I certainly never liked hearing it when I was "thin" -- but it takes time to get established.  A "thin" file doesn't necessarily mean one has a short credit history or that one has too few tradelines; it can mean a combination of things.  You can have 100 tradelines, but if they are all under a few years old you'd still be up the creek.  Building up your credit history too fast can also be taken as desparate for credit by many lenders these days.  There are also various definitions on how long an account is considered new.  In conversations with B of A and PenFed, they think an account isn't really out of the "thin file" range until it is about 5 years old. 

 

If you are patient enough and can exercise restraint, I am sure that absent any financial blunders you can be drooled over by the most selective of prime institutions within 5 years.  I would try for a credit card from a credit union that you use for your day-to-day banking.  I would also get a secured card from a prime lender such as B of A or Citibank.  Keep in mind that lenders do not like to see many INQs so choose your battles wisely.

 

Once you are set with these two credit cards, use them judiciously and pay on time -- every time.  Hold off on further applications until the secured card unsecures.  Then you should be set to try another credit union card with a decent limit and maybe even a card for novices from, say, Citibank.  Then stop applying for another year or two.  Garden these 4 accounts until you hit the 5.5 year mark and then go for PenFed and another prime bank card.  You'll be amazed at the quality and quantity (i.e. limits) of cards they approve you for.

 

Otherwise you can end up in 5 years with a dozen cards and most all of them $300 or $800 joke cards.

IAALBNYL
Message 25 of 32
Senior Contributor

Re: Seven years of credit history...but no real history. First card to get?

I know this is sound advice, but when I think about how old I'm going to be in 5 years, that's too depressing. I may sound young by the age of my accounts, but I'm not. I was really wanting to get my scores in the 800 range within 1 to 2 years. I guess I really did mess up by not rebuilding my credit earlier. I waited 10 yrs for a BK to come off, and here I'm reading about people getting cards months after their BK is final. I didn't think I could really do anything until that came off. Big mistake.

 

One good thing that may help is two of my CRs are showing an old CC, which is still reporting favorably (one is closed and one is showing open, but I don't think it is). This is helping my aging with those to CRAs. I was also thinking that when I can get an Amex, I can hopefully get it backdated, which will give me over 20 yrs of history back.

 

I know what you mean by the measly CL cards. Don't really want any more of them! I'd like to get rid of my Cap Ones asap since CLIs don't look promsing with them.

 

I just got a CC with a local CU, but again it's only $500. They will do CLIs but do a hard pull each time. At least I think that card will grow, unlike the Cap Ones.

 

I gather you don't think I'd be approved for Alliant. Maybe I'll just wait for these cards to age a while and see how it goes. I have to admit that reading all these posts gives me credit app fever! Smiley Tongue

 

I'd love to be able to get a Costco Amex and PSECU visa/loc next year. Then I'd be most happy to garden for a few years. Smiley Happy

 

ETA: Does Alliant do a hard pull just to join and open a ckg/svg acct.? If so, does anyone know if they can do CC app at same time. (It's not that I'm not heeding O6's advice. I'm just thinking that if I have an established acct. with them, it might be easier to get approved for CC in 6 to 12 months. And if they're going to do a hard pull anyway, then it wouldn't hurt to app for a CC. That's my weird "logic." Smiley Happy)

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
EQ FICO 750 | TU FICO 761 (Walmart) | EX FAKO 767 | Goal: 800+

Edits, funky spacing and spelling due to my iPad not getting along with the forum editor!

Message 26 of 32
Moderator Emerita

Re: Seven years of credit history...but no real history. First card to get?


@bichonmom wrote:

I know this is sound advice, but when I think about how old I'm going to be in 5 years, that's too depressing. I may sound young by the age of my accounts, but I'm not. I was really wanting to get my scores in the 800 range within 1 to 2 years. I guess I really did mess up by not rebuilding my credit earlier. I waited 10 yrs for a BK to come off, and here I'm reading about people getting cards months after their BK is final. I didn't think I could really do anything until that came off. Big mistake.

 

One good thing that may help is two of my CRs are showing an old CC, which is still reporting favorably (one is closed and one is showing open, but I don't think it is). This is helping my aging with those to CRAs. I was also thinking that when I can get an Amex, I can hopefully get it backdated, which will give me over 20 yrs of history back.

 

I know what you mean by the measly CL cards. Don't really want any more of them! I'd like to get rid of my Cap Ones asap since CLIs don't look promsing with them.

 

I just got a CC with a local CU, but again it's only $500. They will do CLIs but do a hard pull each time. At least I think that card will grow, unlike the Cap Ones.

 

I gather you don't think I'd be approved for Alliant. Maybe I'll just wait for these cards to age a while and see how it goes. I have to admit that reading all these posts gives me credit app fever! Smiley Tongue

 

I'd love to be able to get a Costco Amex and PSECU visa/loc next year. Then I'd be most happy to garden for a few years. Smiley Happy

 

ETA: Does Alliant do a hard pull just to join and open a ckg/svg acct.? If so, does anyone know if they can do CC app at same time. (It's not that I'm not heeding O6's advice. I'm just thinking that if I have an established acct. with them, it might be easier to get approved for CC in 6 to 12 months. And if they're going to do a hard pull anyway, then it wouldn't hurt to app for a CC. That's my weird "logic." Smiley Happy)

 


Alliant will pull a hard just to join (open a share account). They sometimes give offers of instant credit at apping, but it seems that it's a rarity these days. Without an instant offer of credit upon apping (and accepting at that time) they'll pull a hard for each and every subsequent credit app. They'll even pull a hard if you want to open a checking account, and didn't do it at the time of app. O6 gave you some solid advice-- I'd hold off for a bit.

 

Also, here's some interesting reading for Alliant, from back during the app frenzy of '09. You'll be able to note the sudden decline of instant offers of credit that were very prevalent in early '09, to almost non-existent by late '09.

 

Alliant Credit Union TIPS - APP & FICO Survey Results

 

You definitely won't want to end up with a bunch of low limit cards that you'll soon grow frustrated with, thereby exacerbating your Credit App Fever. <-- BTDT, LOL! The good news is that it's not fatal... the recovery is long and sometimes a bit painful, but you'll get there. I know, because I was once infected as well!  Smiley Wink

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Message 27 of 32
Senior Contributor

Re: Seven years of credit history...but no real history. First card to get?


@bichonmom wrote:

I know this is sound advice, but when I think about how old I'm going to be in 5 years, that's too depressing. I may sound young by the age of my accounts, but I'm not. I was really wanting to get my scores in the 800 range within 1 to 2 years. I guess I really did mess up by not rebuilding my credit earlier. I waited 10 yrs for a BK to come off, and here I'm reading about people getting cards months after their BK is final. I didn't think I could really do anything until that came off. Big mistake.

 

One good thing that may help is two of my CRs are showing an old CC, which is still reporting favorably (one is closed and one is showing open, but I don't think it is). This is helping my aging with those to CRAs. I was also thinking that when I can get an Amex, I can hopefully get it backdated, which will give me over 20 yrs of history back.

 

I know what you mean by the measly CL cards. Don't really want any more of them! I'd like to get rid of my Cap Ones asap since CLIs don't look promsing with them.

 

I just got a CC with a local CU, but again it's only $500. They will do CLIs but do a hard pull each time. At least I think that card will grow, unlike the Cap Ones.

 

I gather you don't think I'd be approved for Alliant. Maybe I'll just wait for these cards to age a while and see how it goes. I have to admit that reading all these posts gives me credit app fever! Smiley Tongue

 

I'd love to be able to get a Costco Amex and PSECU visa/loc next year. Then I'd be most happy to garden for a few years. Smiley Happy

 

ETA: Does Alliant do a hard pull just to join and open a ckg/svg acct.? If so, does anyone know if they can do CC app at same time. (It's not that I'm not heeding O6's advice. I'm just thinking that if I have an established acct. with them, it might be easier to get approved for CC in 6 to 12 months. And if they're going to do a hard pull anyway, then it wouldn't hurt to app for a CC. That's my weird "logic." Smiley Happy)

 

 



I seem to remember that Alliant does perform a hard INQ when joining.  To be sure, you might want to do a search on Alliant CU as there was a rather long thread on Alliant when it was first popular to join.  Whether they will use the same hard INQ for subsequent credit applications I do not know.

 

Actually, I am not sure whether Alliant will approve your application or not.  I doubt they'd give you a high limit if they did approve -- probably something in the $1k - $2.5k range.  If they do not approve, you have one more INQ and a lesser chance for approval with another lender.

 

800 in 1 to 2 years from a current high 600's is, in my opinion, highly unrealistic.  You mention your age.  Although you may not realize it, your age works against you when trying to build credit too quickly.  Although lenders cannot discriminate based on age, they most certainly do look at your age versus the length of your credit history and will ask you why you do not have a 20+ year credit history.  If you even get to the point of speaking with a lender's credit analyst after being declined, they will come right out and ask you something like "Why don't you have 30-year old accounts?  Are you bankruptcy prone?"

 

It's really easy to get an itchy application finger.  There are many here on the forum who are addicted to applying and generally those who do so and accumulate many new accounts in a short period of time while having a limited credit history either get stuck in $500 CL hell and have developed very thick skin due to continual rejections.  YMMV

IAALBNYL
Message 28 of 32
Senior Contributor

Re: Seven years of credit history...but no real history. First card to get?

Thank you, LilMirth and O6. I'll heed your wisdom and experience, and wait on Alliant. It is SO frustrating! I was hoping to get a decent  CL card ($1 to 2 K) now so I can get rid of my Cap Ones (one of which has an AF). I guess there's nothing I can do to expedite the process, so I'll just try and be patient. Hopefully when the 3 CCs I have now have aged a bit, I'll be able to get a decent CLI on my CU CC, get a PSECU and/or Alliant CC and get rid of the Cap Ones. At least I have a plan now. Smiley Happy

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
EQ FICO 750 | TU FICO 761 (Walmart) | EX FAKO 767 | Goal: 800+

Edits, funky spacing and spelling due to my iPad not getting along with the forum editor!

Message 29 of 32
Member

Re: Seven years of credit history...but no real history. First card to get?

bichonmom: Just to be clear, I haven't gotten anything from Alliant yet except a membership approval; I still have to apply for the credit card with them. I will be doing this as soon as I get my information packet in the mail, which they said should be within 7-10 business days. I made a $10 donation to the Orphan Foundation of America via PayPal to be eligible, and it was very easy. I was not instantly approved because they needed to verify my identity further; the next day I received an email detailing what they needed from me. They asked me to fax/mail them three additional proofs of identity (two photo IDs and one non-photo ID). I faxed them a copy of my driver's license, passport, and car registration, waited about 15 minutes, then called the rep that had emailed me. I told her I was just wanting to check and make sure the fax went through and that it was what they needed, and after checking, she assured me that it had gone through, that they would review my info, and send me an email later in the day. 30 minutes later I got an approval email.

 

I am hoping that whenever I get my information packet, there might be a pre-approval offer for a credit card in there; obviously I could not be pre-approved when I applied online since they required more information to verify my identity. I am keeping my fingers crossed, and we'll see.

 

 


FICO Equifax: 743 (5/22/11)
FICO TransUnion: 748 (5/22/11)
CreditKarma TransUnion: 672 (5/22/11)
Credit Monitoring Service Guide | Frequently Requested Threads

Message 30 of 32
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