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Which card next and when?

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Which card next and when?

My three FICO 8s are 694-697. Income is $130k, avg age of accts is 10 yrs, age of oldest acct is 15 yrs. My only debt is about $100k in student loans (no mortgage, no car). With your amazing advice, I was APPROVED for my first ever credit card this fall - a Capital One card with a $3k SL, that I use minimally and pay in full monthly. My scores were @630-650 when I applied and adding this card gave me a 50 point increase. I am an AU on two small cards. My only "baddies" are a six 90 day lates on the student loans in 2015.

It seems I am losing points from 1. Not enough credit cards 2. No car loan and 3. The student loan lates.

I have three goals: #1 obtain another credit card or two (my first choice is Costco Citi card, my second choice is the LL Bean card, and my third choice is any card with a high SL, to help boost my score), #2 buy a new car this spring (with a $15k loan), and #3 increase my score.

#1 Should I attempt Costco Citi, LL Bean, or something else as my next credit card? I really want the Costco card, but am not sure I'll get approved.
#2 What is my optimal timing to apply for next card and what is optimal timing for a car loan (my ideal timing for the car is June, but I'm flexible). Which should come first?
Message 1 of 8
Valued Contributor

Re: Which card next and when?

Congrats on obtaining your first cc!

Sounds like you have a solid plan..


Have you tried the citi prequal link to see if you're prequalified for anything?


Message 2 of 8
Established Member

Re: Which card next and when?

I get Citi offers in the mail almost weekly, but the pre-qual site has nothing for me. Weird!
And thank you!!!
Message 3 of 8

Re: Which card next and when?

@diane11, Have you thought about checking your CapOne card for a CLI? Also, CapOne loves customers with good established history & may very likely issue you a second card if you have had your current card at least 6 months. You can check their pre-qual site for any new offers and/or login to your CapOne acct (or call) & see if you're eligible for a CLI on your existing card. My credit grew fairly rapidly with them. In less than 2 yrs, I went from a $3k limit to a $15k limit on my 1st card. Best of luck!!!

Message 4 of 8
Senior Contributor

Re: Which card next and when?

The LL Bean card is probably worth skipping. I say this as someone who spends a few hundred there every year.


Costco is an excellent card (if you can get approved for it). You can even use it for price protection if LL Bean stuff goes on sale shortly after you buy it!

Most spend: CSR, CFU, BBP
Rewards/AAoA ballast: CF, Discover, Costco, ED, Arrival
Perks: Schwab Platinum, IHG49, Hyatt75, Brilliant, Delta Platinum
Potential closures/downgrades: Savor, BCP, Double Cash
Message 5 of 8
Frequent Contributor

Re: Which card next and when?

Congrats on getting things going!


I'm of the opinion that it's better to have two cards that fit your spending than five that you got just because. A good place to start is to honestly assess your normal spending habits. Then look for a card that fits what you already do. It will really help you narrow down the field.


Once you do that, make the rounds of the prequal sites, and see what comes up. It may be that you find something in there, or you may just have to take a shot in the dark at something you'd like to have.

Message 6 of 8
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: Which card next and when?

Congratulations on the nice approval, @diane11. Smiley Happy


Your lates are the main problem with your scores. As long as you have open student loans, you don't need  additional installment loans. You don't need a lot of cards. Most say three is plenty; some say five.


It's important to note that your first card will likely cause an immediate score increase. Your second card might too. Starting with possibly card #3 — and definitely with card #4 — your score will decrease before it eventually increases.


We frequently see situations where people see the quick gains for their first couple of cards. Then they spree on half a dozen, expecting similar increases. They wonder why the bottom dropped from under their scores, and we have to tell them to garden for a year.


I'm a fan of one card every six months, i.e. a card in month 1, month 7, month 13, month 19, and month 25. This keeps new accounts and inquiries in check. You're always in compliance with Chase's 5/24 rule. And you're not trying to meet multiple sign-up bonuses simultaneously.


Based on that, I'd grab a card when your Capital One card reaches month 7 in age. The main thing is to focus on a card that's useful to you. In other words, you can be a bit picky.


In month 13, consider Chase if their cards appeal to you. They tend to deny when one's oldest card is less than a year old, so don't bother with them until this point.


For what it's worth, I'm not particularly pleased with my LL Bean card. The LL Bean benefits are great. The problems revolve around Citi and the lack of basic card features that are taken for granted with other banks. For instance:


  • Your online account doesn't display pending transactions.
  • There's no way to confirm that a transaction has earned the reward you hoped it would have.
  • There's no app to generate notifications. Existing notification options via e-mail or text are poor.

Summing it up, the card is hard to manage.

Message 7 of 8
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Which card next and when?

If you want the Costco, there is only one way to find out. You have to apply for it. If it's been 90 days since your last approval. You can give it a shot now. Understand, you may not be approved for every CC or product you apply for, regardless of your scores.
We win some and we lose some, just keep it moving.

When it comes to the auto loan. I'd look at joining Penfed and grab one of their CCs along with pre-approved financing for your auto loan at the same time. It will be a HP to join, but that HP is good for all of the products they offer. Do this around the time you plan to purchase a vehicle.
Do not go in the dealership and let those guys pull your credit.
Do not count on the finance manager to do what's in your best interest. He'll certainly take care of you, in order to fatten his own pockets. Do not purchase extra warranties through the dealership.
You can pick those up from the credit union, if you want them.
Take someone more experienced with you to negotiate the price on your vehicle. NEVER PAY MSRP!
Digital Credit Union(DCU) is another option. I'd join both. You can never be a member of too many financial institutions! It gives you more options, when and if you need them.
Message 8 of 8
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