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Not activating a credit card question

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Slowlyrebuilding
Contributor

Not activating a credit card question

I settled a debt with Jefferson Capital Systems. Their offer was pay half the debt and they'll forgive the other half and apparently issue you a credit card (Emblem MasterCard). I took the offer a while back and forgot about the card part. Well today I received an emblem credit card with a $650 limit. I don't really want the card. There's no inquiry on any reports for this card. If I don't activate it will it just disappear or is it going to hit my reports either way as a new account? Also do I have to "close" it? The card has an annual fee that's waived the first year. But I don't want to find out in a couple years I owe them annual fees...

Message 1 of 9
8 REPLIES 8
FireMedic1
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Not activating a credit card question


@Slowlyrebuilding wrote:

I settled a debt with Jefferson Capital Systems. Their offer was pay half the debt and they'll forgive the other half and apparently issue you a credit card (Emblem MasterCard). I took the offer a while back and forgot about the card part. Well today I received an emblem credit card with a $650 limit. I don't really want the card. There's no inquiry on any reports for this card. If I don't activate it will it just disappear or is it going to hit my reports either way as a new account? Also do I have to "close" it? The card has an annual fee that's waived the first year. But I don't want to find out in a couple years I owe them annual fees...


If its been a "while back" per say. If it isnt on your reports like on CK. Then dont activate it. If it is on your reports keep it until the annual fee comes due and cancel it before that happens.


Message 2 of 9
Slowlyrebuilding
Contributor

Re: Not activating a credit card question

Within minutes of posting this I got an Experian alert. New card...Emblem... ugh. Hopefully this doesn't tank what little progress I've made...

Message 3 of 9
simplynoir
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Not activating a credit card question

As you found out once a card is issued it doesn't matter if it's activated or not it will still report to the bureaus. If it's a card you don't want I'd just call it a lesson learned and call in to close it now. No sense in waiting a year on something you can take care right now

Message 4 of 9
Slowlyrebuilding
Contributor

Re: Not activating a credit card question

At least I didn't get a hard inquiry for it...

Message 5 of 9
FireMedic1
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Not activating a credit card question

@simplynoirI respectfully disagree but agree it was a mistake to get the card. Its like new rebuilders get the vulture cards with all the fees. And they regret it. But it does help their profile. We dont know the OP's full file. But on month 11 can it. OP can buy a Starbucks and pay it each month. Build a little history and then kick it to the curb. Thanks but no thanks. C-Ya Emblem!!!!!!!!


Message 6 of 9
Slowlyrebuilding
Contributor

Re: Not activating a credit card question

To be fair it doesn't seem to be the worst card. No annual fee or any other fees for the first year. But for my purposes I don't need it. I have a bad credit file. High utilization and lots of collections. I've been paying it all down. This card just does nothing for me. The small limit isn't going to help my utilization. Hopefully the new account/AAA ding won't be too bad. 

Message 7 of 9
FireMedic1
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Not activating a credit card question

Decision is yours. You had the urge to apply. The hits have already occured. Sock drawer it till month 11 and then cancel it. Once the others are paid down or off. The little CL whatever it is will help util. Its a 50/50 thing. darn if you do or darn if you dont. Good luck and congrats on getting back on track!


Message 8 of 9
HowDoesThisAllWork
Frequent Contributor

Re: Not activating a credit card question

I made some mistakes with applying for new credit cards in May, 2020. "Mistake" is an interesting term here. Not sure that they were mistakes, but they were not the right choices.

 

Anyway, I kept them and used them for roughly six to 11 months and then closed them all. They did not really hurt, per-se, but they did not provide a lot of help. Truly a case of "lesson learned". There was - in my mind, anyway - a reason for getting each of them. And an even more compelling reason for closing them before that one-year time frame hit. High Annual Fee was, in each case, a large part of the reason. But not the only reason.

 

So, maybe in your case, since you already have the card and it has reported to the CRAs, maybe you can make the best of a less than ideal situation?  Maybe use it once a billing cycle (for a Starbucks or Dunkin or whatever floats your boat) and then close it before that one-year time frame hits?  That way you get the 11 successful, on-time payments.  If this idea makes sense for you and your situation, then awesome!  One thing that I might suggest - when you do close this card (no matter when you do that....) please remember to include the request that the comment "Closed at Consumer's Request" be added to the Credit Report.

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