First Card for Unremarkable Credit

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by nickvonkeller, Feb 7, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. nickvonkeller

    nickvonkeller New Member

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    Hello!

    I just discovered this site (and the idea of using credit cards to score lots of miles), but I’m excited to give it a spin and try to see more of the world for cheap. Thanks so much for these amazing resources!

    But I do have one question. I’m a recent college grad with no real credit history. Both of my college loans are paid every month on time, but I’ve never had a credit card and so my credit score is only 680 (I’m assuming due to my “thin” file). I don’t want to apply for a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Starwoods American Express if I’m just going to get turned down. Is there a card you recommend I start with to build up a stronger credit score (or another, faster strategy)? Thanks!
     
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  2. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Chase Freedom - gets your foot in the door with Chase and Freedom criteria is a bit lower than the Sapphire.

    Basically find any that gives a decent reward and slowly build out from there. Maybe a Capital One card ... or a NAF Amex (Like the HHonor)
     
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  3. sharris503

    sharris503 Silver Member

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    Find a card with no annual fee and keep it open forever even if you don't use it any longer. Chase Freedom fits the bill so it is a good suggestion.
     
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  4. TheBOSman

    TheBOSman Silver Member

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    Worst case, one of the US Bank secured cards that is also an awards card would be a good bet also if you get rejected for a different CC, though I would apply for a normal (nonsecured) card first. Chase was the second card I ever got approved for so I know they aren't averse to an early start (though I had had a CC for a year beforehand, but I was also 19! And this was back when they were approving anyone with a pulse :D, they've gotten more strict now :mad:). You'll want to wait at least 3-6 months before applying for another card after you get your first one as well.
     
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  5. rewardsgirl

    rewardsgirl Member

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    I would also recommend seeing if you are pre-approved for any Comenity cards. That way, you get to know in advance that you'll be approved for a card and not waste a hard inquiry by trying and failing. (Every time you apply for credit, creditors conduct a hard pull of your credit report, which has a small effect on your credit history/score. So, you don't want too many of these.)

    Comenity is a bank that provides credit cards for many retail stores. Some stores include Express, Victoria's Secret, Pier 1, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Buckle, The Limited, and many more. (If you don't shop at any of these stores, let me know, and I'll give you a full list.) It is one of the few banks that has several great features for you:
    1) You don't need excellent credit to be approved.
    2) You can obtain the cards without a hard inquiry placed on your credit report.
    3) You can receive rapid credit limit increases on their cards (which helps your overall credit).
    4) Rewards points with your favorite retailers.

    So how do you get these cards without a hard inquiry? It's called the shopping-cart trick. Go to participating retailer's website and place some items in your online shopping cart (you do not need to actually buy anything). Then, proceed as if you are going to purchase the items online. Enter your name and address information, and click to continue to payment information.

    If you are pre-approved for the corresponding credit card, an offer will pop up on your screen before you see the payment information screen. You will only be required to submit the last four digits of your SSN to accept the pre-approved offer.

    You will probably start with a low credit limit (maybe $500 or so). Pay in full every month, and three months after you open the account, click the button to request a credit limit increase; you'll probably get one. And you can get another increase every three months after that! In a year, you should have a reasonably high credit limit, and this will increase your credit worthiness.
     
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  6. nickvonkeller

    nickvonkeller New Member

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    Thanks for all the advice!
     
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  7. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    Welcome to Milepoint. The first place I would check is with the bank that you presently use. They will know your history and most likely be happy to give you a card. Once you have that card, your credit score should start to rise and other cards should be no problem.
     
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  8. tonibologna 14

    tonibologna 14 Member

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    I've also got about a 680, and for the same reason as you: no credit history! I got denied for the Chase Freedom and everything through AMEX as well, but I have found luck with Citi! Just wanted to tell you my personal experiences! Good luck!
     
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  9. particlemn

    particlemn Silver Member

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    The best advise i can offer is to go slow, this is not a sprint, you will see some posts of i got all these cards and 500k points in these sign ups. many of these people have long credit histories. take care of your credit and you can use it to your advantage. your credit score is based on your likelyness to pay not your ability to pay, you can only establish your likelyness to pay by gettign a small amount of credit and paying on time EVERYTIME.
    although you did not ask about the best way to travel, if i was young, recent colege grad and had no family commitments or obligations i would be looking at the milage run fares, not to do pure milage runs but to find cheap fares to purchase and take trips. when great fares come up ask yourself, is this somewhere i would like to visit. you may find if you can jump on trips when they come up you will be able to see and do a lot more than relying on credit card bonuses to get you where you want to go
     
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  10. pilotb757

    pilotb757 Silver Member

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    Ill go for the Chase Freedom, I just got one approved yesterday for my niece who just turned 18. instant approval, her credit score is 690 due to lack of credit. Keep the points you collect sitting there till you apply for Sapphire Preferred to be able to transfer your Freedom points to UR.
    Stay away in the beginning from AMEX, they are very tough to approve lower credit scores. I think Chase is the most reasonable bank to deal with, their reps have the power to instantly approve an app and are USA based , not a foreign outsourced center . Citi and Barclays if you are declined at first do not offer a good chance for a reconsideration call success like Chase. Even the Amex reconsideration numbers are now answered by outsourced call centers in the Philippines or another country, they have no authority to approve an app.
     
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  11. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    I have found Barclays is harder to approve than Citi or Chase and I have excellent credit. US bank can be tough as well. Just my experience.
    I would agree with the Chase Freedom and then go secured if that doesn't work. Keep the card for awhile,like a year watch your credit scores until they go up. Good income levels help also.
     

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