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USAA - Strategy Advice Please

Regular Contributor

USAA - Strategy Advice Please

I have been doing a lot of reading on USAA, and think it is time I start to establish a history with them.


My father has been a member of USAA for probably 25+ years and has used their insurance products. I have been on a number of the car insurances and have an account with USAA (insofar as I can log in to the website), but I do not have a current product solely under my name.


My current credit profile is:  TU 698, EQ 676, 66% Overall Util (I am currently working on getting this down), with one card having a 88% util. I should have overall util below 50% by the fall and the high balance card below 50% by early 2010. I have one paid CO showing on my reports (which is my only baddie) that is almost 6 years old, and it has another year to go (and the utility company that is reporting apparently does not respond well to GW attempts, so not much I can do there). I have 2 inquiries on both reports set to hit the 1 year mark in early September. AAoA is 6 years with my longest account being 21 years (my parents added me as an AU on their Amex when I was a kid).


FWIW, I have brought my scores up over 100+ points in the last year thanks to this forum, and am definitely on the right track thanks to the advice I have gathered here.


I have a few questions for the USAA experts.


1) Does opening a savings and or checking account result in a hard inquiry?  I would like to limit my hard inquiries until after Sept. .09


2) Do their insurance products result in a hard inq? (such as renter's insurance)


3) Any chance of getting a CC with them at this point given my scores and the fact that I do not have any personal accounts with them?


4) What strategy would you advise for building the best relationship so that I can get, eventually, a high-limit CC (my highest current limit is $4K).


Thanks in advance, I really do appreciate the input. 

Message Edited by Grape on 05-28-2009 02:12 PM
Message 1 of 5
Valued Contributor

Re: USAA - Strategy Advice Please

You have full membership due to your dad. 


Realistically get some insurance with them. They seem to value that more than anything else. auto/renters.


ultimately they are a conservative lending institution.


But yeah insurance is kinda a big deal.



Signature line begins:
Credit is not a right, but a business transaction, one that takes into account risk, and charges accordingly based on that risk.
Your credit score is an aspect of your credit profile. Important? yes but just an aspect. Contributing/supplemental information determines the finer point of the deal. Ask any question, respect me not to get mad if the answer is not the affirmation you are looking for,
Message 2 of 5
Regular Contributor

Re: USAA - Strategy Advice Please

Thanks, usmc. I think I will definitely start with the renter's insurance. Curious, will this result in a hard pull on my CR? Just trying to avoid any INQs until Sept.


Also, will USAA then begin to soft me and offer CCs eventually or will I have to initiate the app down the road (say in 6-12 months)?



Message 3 of 5
Moderator Emerita

Re: USAA - Strategy Advice Please

I don't know if it will be the same for you, because I have a trailer-load-full of USAA products, but when we switched out auto insurance to them several months ago, there was only a soft.

Since you don't have any current stuff going on with them, they might well hard you.

No info on the checking/ savings deal. You might pick up something from the thread currently going about the recent expansion of eligibility. And there's always the tried-and-true call to customer service.

Great idea to start growing your relationship now, and renter's insurance is probably the cheapest way to do it.

Another option, since you're young, is to open a Roth IRA with them. By mostly dumb luck, I have nearly all my Roth IRA in their GNMA account, and it's been making around 7% per annum through good times and bad. Of course, I know that as I type this, it will tank. Smiley Tongue

I would hold off for now on any CC app. Get yourself as shiny, squeaky clean as you can first.

I'm not a good example on their high-limit cards, because I've been with them forever. We do get posts occasionally from amazed members who app'd and got a $10K card right out of the gate. But their credit profile doesn't necessarily match yours, and with changes in the economy, who knows?

But approaching USAA for anything should be done in the same manner as a young man asking an incredibly old-fashioned (and slightly scary) father for his daughter's hand in marriage. You should look like a good prospect before you even knock on their door. So you want to have the cleanest, soberest credit report (EQ) that you possibly can, and you should also make sure that EX looks good, because sometimes they soft them. And the longer they know you, the better your chances.

It's best to think of USAA as a lender who will grow with you and be there over the long run, not one of the giant-bangs-and-whistles companies that shower you with goodies the first time you call.
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Message 4 of 5
Regular Contributor

Re: USAA - Strategy Advice Please

I have had auto insurance with USAA since 2002. I added renter's insurance in 2005 with no hard inquiry. In November 2005, I made some changes to my insurance policy. The rep offered to open a checking and savings account over the phone. I accepted. I don't believe it was a hard inquiry because it never showed on my CR. On April 28, I applied for the USAA World Rewards MC online and was approved for a $6000 CL. The APR is 9.9%. Although I haven't used it, my MC is also for overdraft protection on my checking. I am not certain if it was a hard inquiry or not. I would surmise that it was a soft because it hasn't shown on my CR. I guess I should add that my EQ FICO is a 753 and I have no baddies. HTH.




Message 5 of 5