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Will I be starting over?

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New Member

Will I be starting over?

First-time poster but long-time reader. Thanks for the wealth of info on this site.

 

In a nutshell: Mid-30s, 148k salary, longest credit card is 12yo, no derogatory info, 2-3 hard-pulls currently on my report (due to brokerage-account or mortgage-related pulls).

 

All this being said, I am going-through a divorce and ALL my credit cards are AMEX and as Authorized User with my ex. (My spouse was the breadwinner during grad school). My credit report showed some "starter-cards" solely in my name. As you can imagine, I will have to cancel the cards I am Authorized User on once the divorce is signed and finalized. This leaves me with literally no credit cards :/

 

I have studied in-depth what cards to get, and would love to hear your thoughts.
Here is my "wishlist":

a) Preferably with an online bank so I can both get credit cards and grow to do business with said-bank.

b) Rewards to encourage travel.

 

What I have found:

Capital One Venture (got the impression this is for "average credit", no?)
Citibank Prestige (not sure here given impending benefits getting canned).

Schwab Investor Card (is AMEX, so not sure it'd look good I cancelling so many cards and getting this one)

... am I missing something?

 

Any advice is always welcome.
Again, thank you for the wealth of info.

18 REPLIES 18
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Super Contributor

Re: Will I be starting over?

What open credit cards do you currently have that you are the primary user?

There's a lot of options out there.

Since you are an authorized user with AmEx, I'm sure it would be easier to apply as a primary user. Have you tried the prequal site?
Message 2 of 19
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Valued Contributor

Re: Will I be starting over?

Welcome to the myFICO forums!

 

I may be way off in left field and I am sure someone more knowledgeable will come along to clarify. 

 

Have you been paying on your AU account as if it was a separate account or did you pay the combined AmEx bill each month?

 

AmEx likes thin files. Perhaps you should try to open your own AmEx accounts now or call AmEx and see if you can convert your current AU account to be in your name. I have no idea if this is possible, but I would like to know if it is.

 

















Your FICO credit scores are not just numbers, it’s a skill.

Message 3 of 19
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New Member

Re: Will I be starting over?

Thanks @AllZero,

I have a sock-draw Capital One Platnium card and I believe an AMEX Blue Cash Everyday (the one with the large blue square).

If it is easier to apply as primary with AMEX, that's comforting. My concern was them seeing more closed account than open accounts, that's all.

 

Message 4 of 19
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New Member

Re: Will I be starting over?

Thanks @Medic981,

Yes, the AU account is always $0. We have some lingering debts because of attorney fees, but we've agreed to make those $0 ASAP.

It's encouraging to think AMEX is open to convering Authorized User -> Primary. Hopefully that's the case.

Message 5 of 19
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Valued Contributor

Re: Will I be starting over?

Ultimately, what a person needs to improve their FICO scores and build credit are three open credit cards (secured or unsecured) in good standing and one open installment loan in good standing such as a car, home, student, personal, share secured, or credit building loan. This combination is what the myFICO score theorists here have determined is what you need for optimal credit building and FICO score. You can have more CCs and more installment loans, however, this will not increase your FICO scores.

Next, (this is only important if you are attempting to purchase a large ticket item like a home or car) is paying in full all of the credit card balances each month, before the posting date, except one. This is called the All Zero Except One (AZEO) method. The one credit card you allow to post a balance needs to be less than 8.9% of the credit limit of the card. So using one card each month to buy lunch, letting it report and then paying in full will maximize FICO scoring. Keeping your utilization of your cards below 28.9% both individually and collectively will prevent you from incurring a FICO scoring penalty.

An installment loan will have its greatest impact on your FICO score when the amount owed is at 8.9% or less of the original amount owed which is usually in the final months before the loan is paid in full. If you don't have an installment loan you can check into Self Lender or a Share Secured Loan at a Credit Union.

Keep in mind, building credit is a marathon, not a sprint. It involves demonstrating to a potential creditor that you can handle credit responsibly. If you have open, active credit accounts that are being paid on time and pay all of your bills on time every time, apply for credit only when you actually need it and use credit cards sparingly maintaining low credit utilization, then you’re going to earn and maintain great credit scores. It would be impossible for you not to do so. This is the fastest way you can build good, solid credit.

















Your FICO credit scores are not just numbers, it’s a skill.

Message 6 of 19
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Super Contributor

Re: Will I be starting over?

Being an authorized user will not impact you with the lender. You're only being removed from the account. Only the primary user can close it.

Do you know your FICO scores? If not, use creditchecktotal.com to see where you stand. It's $1. Cancel in 7 days or less to avoid the reoccurring charge.

You have a lot of choices: BofA, Chase, Wells Fargo, AmEx, Credit Unions, etc. Be selective and research what you want. Whichever suits your spend.
Message 7 of 19
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Regular Contributor

Re: Will I be starting over?

no you aren't starting over, if you have a mortgage on your report it's going to stay there, also you do have a credit score. you won't become unscorable.

 

the AU cards are going to fall off instantly though, so it's better if you sign up for a new card or two before those get closed. your scores will drop somewhat when they are closed.

 

things you can do:

check your fico8 credit scores

see how many pulls you have at each CRA and how old they are

check for prequals at all the major card sites

if the bank you got your mortgage from offers a card, thats a good place to try


Message 8 of 19
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New Member

Re: Will I be starting over?

@AllZero,

Before all this mess, it was FICO=804. Now it took a hit because slowly we are closing credit cards, thus lowering increasing my utilization and decreasing age of credit. Now, it is FICO=740.

My eyes on Citibank, but am hearing about them canning much of their travel benefits.

Honestly, the choice of credit card is overwhelming... not sure if that's good or bad.

Message 9 of 19
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Super Contributor

Re: Will I be starting over?


@PeterH wrote:

@AllZero,

Before all this mess, it was FICO=804. Now it took a hit because slowly we are closing credit cards, thus lowering increasing my utilization and decreasing age of credit. Now, it is FICO=740.

My eyes on Citibank, but am hearing about them canning much of their travel benefits.

Honestly, the choice of credit card is overwhelming... not sure if that's good or bad.


What is your reported % utilization? Before applying for credit, if possible, get to AZEO as Medic981 stated.

 

Chase has good travel card. They might do a double hard pull.

Capital One. You have an account with them. So it should be easy to apply. It'll be triple hard pull so think about it before you app. They have prequal site.

Citi has prequal site. Not sure on what the current benefits are.

Message 10 of 19
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