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Old 01-04-2013, 07:56 PM   #201
JL514
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

If your history is basically brand new you should start slowly. Where did you get the 720 and 620? Credit Karma or Sesame? These are FAKO scores, or approximations. It's possible your actual score was below 700 which leads to rejections.

You could always call the reconsideration line and explain why you need the card.

New credit profiles are going to be much more volatile with regards to scoring. Going from one account in good standing for 6 months to trying to open 7 new accounts looks a little sketchy.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:23 PM   #202
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Just got my first credit card - a $500 secured card through Wells Fargo. How can I best use this card to start building my credit history? From reading this thread my plan is to build a balance on it of about $150 and pay it off completely each month. Is that a good plan?
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:23 PM   #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BornToPun View Post
Just got my first credit card - a $500 secured card through Wells Fargo. How can I best use this card to start building my credit history? From reading this thread my plan is to build a balance on it of about $150 and pay it off completely each month. Is that a good plan?
I would keep the balance at $50 until your statement hits and then pay it off instantly and repeat. Example, $25 balance on your card, buy something for $225, instantly go home and make a $200 payment on the card. The goal being to show you are using a lot without ever revealing a balance of over 10%


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Originally Posted by Greggers View Post
FYI - spoke recently to an AMEX customer rep - thought of this thread and asked - apparently, they *never* do hard inquiries for a credit limit increase request, only soft inquiries. They will however, after you get to around $30k, ask for proof of income in form of tax returns for increases over that amount.
Last week was my "61st" day with my AMEX BCP and I was able to easily get apprvoed for the standard 3 times increase they typically do, from $5000 to $15000, easily surpassing my now 2nd highest limit card ($8500 Citi Forward).

Last edited by imjosh; 02-01-2013 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:54 PM   #204
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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I would keep the balance at $50 until your statement hits and then pay it off instantly and repeat. Example, $25 balance on your card, buy something for $225, instantly go home and make a $200 payment on the card. The goal being to show you are using a lot without ever revealing a balance of over 10%
Thanks josh. So I should use it for all my normal expenses and just pay it off as I go so that my utilization is never over $50, and then pay it off in full as it comes due each month?
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:13 AM   #205
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Yeah, that's what seems optimal to me. 30% utilization is like the absolute max you ever want to be at. 5-10% is the sweet spot.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:44 PM   #206
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

My current credit score is just shy of 600. I have tried and failed to get credit cards over the years. I finally got a BoA secure card where I deposit the amount of money and it is put on hold over 12 months. I then get a card with a maximum balance of my deposit. I have no debt. Is there anything else I can do immediately to help build credit? Is there virtue in going to another bank or institution and getting another secure card?

thanks
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:24 PM   #207
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That's probably the best secured option and you don't need anything else until you build it up and get other legit cards. My capital one secured card doesn't ever give back the deposit unless closed, which would prob crash my score as its my oldest and highest limit card. I just hate BOA from dealing with them in the past.
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:08 AM   #208
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Experian just put my credit score at 812. Booya grandma, booya.
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:45 PM   #209
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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Experian just put my credit score at 812. Booya grandma, booya.
Mine is just under 730, but I think the fact that i have 7 hard pulls is keeping me from going higher - 2 of which are from AMEX who pulled twice in 6 days and 2 from my rental company who did the same thing
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:54 AM   #210
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Awesome thread. I am in the need to get a CC that offers Travel perks and/or cash back rewards.

I will probably be traveling 3/4 times a year across the US and could use some travels perks. I also, eat out a lot and use amazon.com for the majority of my shopping so cash back would be nice.

Any recommendations? I am taking a trip on United and Alaska coming up, is it recommended to sign up for the in-flight offer as they usually offer bonus miles?

Another question. What affect does doing balance transfers have on ones credit score?
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:56 AM   #211
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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Awesome thread. I am in the need to get a CC that offers Travel perks and/or cash back rewards.

I will probably be traveling 3/4 times a year across the US and could use some travels perks. I also, eat out a lot and use amazon.com for the majority of my shopping so cash back would be nice.

Any recommendations? I am taking a trip on United and Alaska coming up, is it recommended to sign up for the in-flight offer as they usually offer bonus miles?

Another question. What affect does doing balance transfers have on ones credit score?
I'll leave the travel questions to JL or some one who knows more about those types of cards.

The Citi Forward card is the one you need to look into getting for Amazon.com purchases and eating out. It will net you 5points/$ spent for both of these (it gives 5% on bookstores, and considers Amazon.com to be a bookstore). A word of warning though is that the "points" you get are a bit hard to get 1:1 value with (i.e. 1 point isn't necessarily worth 1 cent).

Some things you can redeem for 1:1 value include:
-Mortgage payments
-Student loan payments

That being said, it's the only card that is going to get you 5% back on Amazon purchases, and if you buy a lot of stuff on Amazon, it's a no brainer IMO. Ultimately I think you would be able to find something to spend the points on to make it worth your time. See threads like this for ideas on how to spend Citi Thank You Points for maximum value

As for balance transfers: The only impacts will come from the change in your debt percentage (percentage of your total credit being used). Say you have $10,000 in credit across 2 cards, and a total balance of $5,000 you are paying off. Your debt percentage is 50% - not good. Ideally you want to be under 30%. In this case, if you opened a new card it would be helpful to your credit score because you would reduce your debt percentage (just don't close the card you are transferring the balance from).
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:10 AM   #212
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aka credit utilization
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:44 PM   #213
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSIZZ View Post
Awesome thread. I am in the need to get a CC that offers Travel perks and/or cash back rewards.

I will probably be traveling 3/4 times a year across the US and could use some travels perks. I also, eat out a lot and use amazon.com for the majority of my shopping so cash back would be nice.

Any recommendations? I am taking a trip on United and Alaska coming up, is it recommended to sign up for the in-flight offer as they usually offer bonus miles?

Another question. What affect does doing balance transfers have on ones credit score?
Quote:
Originally Posted by imjosh View Post
I'll leave the travel questions to JL or some one who knows more about those types of cards.

The Citi Forward card is the one you need to look into getting for Amazon.com purchases and eating out. It will net you 5points/$ spent for both of these (it gives 5% on bookstores, and considers Amazon.com to be a bookstore). A word of warning though is that the "points" you get are a bit hard to get 1:1 value with (i.e. 1 point isn't necessarily worth 1 cent).

Some things you can redeem for 1:1 value include:
-Mortgage payments
-Student loan payments

That being said, it's the only card that is going to get you 5% back on Amazon purchases, and if you buy a lot of stuff on Amazon, it's a no brainer IMO. Ultimately I think you would be able to find something to spend the points on to make it worth your time. See threads like this for ideas on how to spend Citi Thank You Points for maximum value

As for balance transfers: The only impacts will come from the change in your debt percentage (percentage of your total credit being used). Say you have $10,000 in credit across 2 cards, and a total balance of $5,000 you are paying off. Your debt percentage is 50% - not good. Ideally you want to be under 30%. In this case, if you opened a new card it would be helpful to your credit score because you would reduce your debt percentage (just don't close the card you are transferring the balance from).

Before you pick a travel rewards card you need to determine what your goals actually are. Are you able to stick to one airline to show them your loyalty? Or will you be like most leisure travelers and pick whatever airline is cheapest?

Unfortunately, most rewards cards earn very little from normal spending. If you're planning on spending $2k on airfare in a year, and you get a card that earns 2 points on airfare, that's 4k points. In almost every program, a domestic oneway is 12,500. However, many of these reward cards have a sign up bonus of 30k-50k points if you get the card and meet the spending requirement. Also, if you want to get an airlines cobranded card, there are almost always better offers than what they have on the plane.

Whats your main airport? Do you have a airline preference? Let me know, and then I can make some recommendations.

As far as Amazon goes, the Citi Forward for 5x is obviously pretty cool and it's a no-annual-fee card. To make the most of the Thank You points though, you really need to also get the Thank You Premier card which lets you get 1.33c/pt value when used for travel and also earns Citi's Flight Bonus points where when you buy airfare you earn a point bank.

It's a little tricky, but the gist is if you use your TYP card to buy a $500 ticket, you'll get 500 TY points for the 1pt/$, and you'll get 500 flight points. Flight points turn into TY points as you spend. So on your next $500 worth of spend on anything, you'll earn 2pts. It's a little convoluted, but the TYP may be a good card if you're looking for simplicity.

There's also the 3% Chase Amazon Visa, which is real 3% cashback with no annual fee. No tricks or hoops to jump through and no worrying about how much a point is actually worth.

Finally, my favorite, is the Chase INK line of business cards that earns 5pt/$1 spent at office supply stores. I buy $100-$1k worth of amazon gcs at staples whenever I need them and get 5 Ultimate Rewards pts per dollar. UR points earned on the INK cards can transfer to several partners like Hyatt, United, Southwest, etc. But to get this card you need to have some type of business. This is fairly easy, because if you've ever sold anything on ebay, you have a business.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:23 PM   #214
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Thanks for the quick response. I need to buy some airline tickets and hotel for my parents to visit next month so this seems like a good opportunity to get started. maybe something with a cash back bonus?

Either way, i live in Seattle. Fly to San Antonio, Vegas, Atlanta at least once a year with Delta or Alaska being the preferrred airline.

EDIT: I usually fly whatever is the cheapest but if i were to pick an airline or two it would be delta or Alaska.

I do have a business as i employ a nanny so the Ink line might be a good idea.

Last edited by GSIZZ; 02-10-2013 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:45 AM   #215
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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Originally Posted by GSIZZ View Post
Thanks for the quick response. I need to buy some airline tickets and hotel for my parents to visit next month so this seems like a good opportunity to get started. maybe something with a cash back bonus?

Either way, i live in Seattle. Fly to San Antonio, Vegas, Atlanta at least once a year with Delta or Alaska being the preferrred airline.

EDIT: I usually fly whatever is the cheapest but if i were to pick an airline or two it would be delta or Alaska.

I do have a business as i employ a nanny so the Ink line might be a good idea.
There are a couple of things to consider. First, is that Delta is probably the worst carrier for earning miles on because their miles are infamously hard to use. They've been given the nickname "SkyPesos" for that reason.

Another thing to consider is that Alaska partners with several airlines, and you don't necessarily need miles on alaska to fly on alaska. For example, the current best offer on an alaska cobranded card is from BOA and is 25000 miles. This has occasionally been as high as 40k, but not recently. The current best offer on an American Airlines cc from Citi is 50k miles, and those miles can be used to book on alaska metal through aa.com. Typically a domestic one way when there is off-peak availability costs 12,500 miles, so a 50,000 bonus is 2 round trips just for signing up for the card and meeting the minimum spend requirement.

And although you didn't mention it, you could always consider the Chase Southwest card, as southwest serves the locations you metioned (Seattle to Vegas, San Antonio, Atlanta) and the signup bonus rotates between 25,000 and 50,000 points. This bonus is good as long as you can book 2 weeks in advance to qualify for the cheaper "Wanna Get Away?" fares where each point has a fixed value of 1.67c.

Lastly, if you were looking for something that just has flexible travel perks, you could get the INK business card as mentioned earlier, which in addition to earning 5pts at office supply (think amazon, or any other store you would buy a GC to before shopping), it also earns 2pts on hotels and comes with complimentary Lounge Club access (gets you into 2 select airport lounges a year for free). The INK has a hefty signup bonus of 50,000 points, but has a higher spending threshold of $5k in 3 months (used to be 10k in 3 months, OUCH). There is also the Chase Sapphire Preferred that earns 2pts on all travel except gas (rental cars, hotels, airfare, tolls, taxis, etc) and 2pts at all restaurants, and comes with a 40k signup bonus after 3k spending in 3 months.

If you can swing the spending (and there are creative ways to do this), I would signup for the Chase INK, Chase SP, Citi AA, and BOA Alaska and be sitting on a pile of points diversified over 3 programs pretty quickly, remembering that Chase UR points can be transferred to multiple airline partners.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:26 PM   #216
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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If you can swing the spending (and there are creative ways to do this), I would signup for the Chase INK, Chase SP, Citi AA, and BOA Alaska and be sitting on a pile of points diversified over 3 programs pretty quickly, remembering that Chase UR points can be transferred to multiple airline partners.
Ugh, so many choices. I feel like i am 'tarding up the thread.

Are you implying I can get them all at once and be able to meet the requirement by being creative?

Or should i stagger them?
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:36 PM   #217
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

well it depends on what you are currently spending on ccs each month and if you can shift more of your cash spending to credit and how much spending you're comfortable taking on.

As I stated, the INK card has a $5k spend in 3 months, the SP has a $3k in 3 months, the Citi AA is either $2k or $3k in 4 months, and I don't know off hand what the BOA alaska is.

All cards have annual fees but all are waived except the first year except for the Alaska card. Typically people who "churn" credit cards do all the applications on the same day so the inquires don't post.

For example, if you apply for the chase SP on monday, and wait two weeks to apply for the Citi AA, Citi will see the inquiry on your report from chase two weeks prior. This may affect their decision, it may not. But if you apply for the BOA a few weeks later, now BOA will see the pull from citi and from chase, and maybe they will not want to extend you credit, and so on.

There are a TON of choices when you start, which is why I asked what your goal was. Much easier to say "I want to go to hawaii w/ my gf and stay in a hotel for 4 days for as little as possible" or something like that.

Do not take on more spending then you're comfortable with. So if you'd rather start slow, which is fine, pick one card that is the best for your immediate needs and do that. But check in w/ me before signing up for anything to make sure you're getting the best possible signup bonus.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:18 PM   #218
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Just so you guys know, using Credit Karma, I shot off a few inquiries to different companies about refinancing my home and car to different companies. Thought I was just doing some legwork and finding the best deal. Eleven hard pulls later and fm credit l
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:37 PM   #219
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Epic threshold crossed today for me: $50,000 total available credit across all cards. Next goal $100,000 - though I'll probably need to stop being a student so I can get the income required to accomplish this.

Need to cut it out on my hard pulls in a bit though since I'm going to be looking for a house in about 3 years. Right now I'm sitting at 8 inquiries on my TransUnion - dunno about the others.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:38 PM   #220
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How many cards?
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:44 PM   #221
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

7 cards

Oh and ppl with AMEX cards check this offer out:

https://sync.americanexpress.com/twi...90F7CBAB0D0B37

You can get a $25 AMEX GC for $15. It's kind of a pain in the ass because you have to use twitter, but it worked. Steps are:

(1) Sync amex card using link https://sync.americanexpress.com/twitter

(2) Tweet #BuyAmexGiftCard25

(3) Wait 10 - 60 minutes for AMEX to tweet you back (listed at https://twitter.com/mentions)

(4) Once they tell you to, tweet #ConfirmAmexGiftCard25

Last edited by imjosh; 02-11-2013 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:50 PM   #222
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Wow pulls on transunion? I wish. Only Barclays pulls TU for me. My poor experian tho
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:56 PM   #223
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Looking at CK I can pinpoint 6 of my 8: 3 were from Barclay (apps), 1 from Chase (app), other 2 were from getting CLIs from Chase/BoA using online button - never doing that again w/ these issuers. The remaining 2 were from before June 2011 (when I started using CreditKarma).
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:27 AM   #224
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

F credit karma. I have been using them for over a year after getting a recommendation. I recently applied for a credit card and when I got the declined letter in the mail it cited a score 100 points south of what Credit Karma had quoted me. I only applied because of what they said my score was.

FYI I have a short credit history,<5 years, and high utilization. I'm not sure why their score was so far off; they seem to have all my accounts.
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:15 AM   #225
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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But check in w/ me before signing up for anything to make sure you're getting the best possible signup bonus.

What is the spending requirement on the BOA Alaska card and the Citi AA card?

My plan is to go with one of those for now and up my credit limit on my two existing cards.

I saw a couple of cards with $100 sign up bonus for spending 500 in 3 months. Are those worth adding to the mix? How are the bonuses paid out? At the end of the year? Credit to your account?
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