I am new to building/rebuilding, so my comments should be taken as second opinion, not expert advice. I agree with trying for Citi. My situation is different than yours, but it was the first "name-brand bank" secured card to approve me. I give my Citi card credit (no pun intended) for helping me a lot early on, and I will be loyal to Citi as a result. A month later, I did get approved for Discover secured on my third try.
As a pun lover - you should always intend them. And even if you don't intend them, claim them anyway
Otherwise, you should probably stand pat and let things build a while. Citi would be your third card, and everyone says three is enough at this stage.
If interested and it fits your budget, you can take out a Self Lender secured loan (you don't actually get money you can spend), and create a $5,000 My Jeweler Club account. MJC will cost $150 up front and then at least $50 more for some costume jewelry and, more importantly, a year of reporting a $5,000 limit on all three reports. Self Lender will cost $15 up front plus $48/month for a year (or a lesser monthly amount for two years), but at the end of the year, you get most of it back. They put the money you "borrow" in a CD for you and they release it to you after you have repaid the loan. It ends up costing you about $75 when it's all tallied up. The reason to do this is that it will show a positive installment loan on all three bureaus.
Main thing to work on in your case, though, is derogatory items IMO. Good luck!
I am, generally, against these purchased tradelines, because I feel like it's a waste of money. If you manage your accounts and keep your utilization down, you don't need them. Sure, paying every few days because you have a toy limit is annoying (I've been there), but it's free.
I'd rather have the money to save or pay down debt if you have it.
As for the self-lender - it will only help if you do not have an installment loan (student, mortage, auto, etc) and if you don't have one, it's worth a decent amount of points. Again, I'm bigger on financial health than maximizing scores (for example: I don't bother with AZEO), but using something like SelfLender makes more sense than the purchased revolving lines.
I'd stick with the 2 cards and let them grow for now. Without listing what your derogs are. After a year then hit Cap1 or Disco and you may have enough good history to get approved for unsecured by then. You also can list your derogs and see what the forum can do to help rid yourself from them. Welcome to the forum.
Thanks. Quick question about baddies. I haven't made a list of everything myself as I haven't had the resources to tackle them.
I have a Disco CO that I got notice months ago that I was being sued. I have to look at the document again as it appears to be court papers but it doesn't say if a judgment was issued in favor of Disco. I never showed to any hearing if there was ever one. I may have received settlement letters from Disco prior to being sued but I had no way of paying anything at that time.
Now I recently got a settlement letter (35% settlement offer) for a car loan where the car was repoed and there was a balance left over. The Disco amount of the lawsuit and the car loan balance are nearly identical.
What are my options here? Should I look further into the Disco lawsuit and see if I can settle with them before any further legal action is taken and take care of the car loan later? From a CR and FICO point of view, is there any difference between settling the car loan or the Disco CO one before the other?
You should follow up with the courts as a judgement was probably filed against you. If you don't take care of it, they'll garnish your wages, which can be up to 25% of your check. I'd also try to work something out with the repo settlement before they possibly take you to court. While the big 3 bureaus don't report judgements anymore, it'll definitely be listed by the smaller bureaus like LexisNexis and Innovis which will drag you down for 10 years.