Garden Cult Meeting - November 2014

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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popamode72
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Postby popamode72 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:41 pm

Xorand wrote:I've seen a few comments here and there on the board that some people that are just starting out or recovering from credit issues looked forward to comments from those with more advanced credit histories. I thought it might be an encouragement to someone to see where you can go in just a few years with proper debt management, so I adjusted my signature accordingly.

I seriously still can't get over the fact that I can click a few buttons on a website and instantly get approved for a good credit card with a high limit (in the most recent case, the CSP with a $14k starting limit). Still difficult to believe that four years ago I was still making minimum payments on my maxed out credit cards and living paycheck to paycheck due to all my debt (all self-inflicted, keeping up with the Joneses type of junk).


That's very incredible there. You went from having all those CapOne cards to having 10K+ limits on several of your cards. It really encourages me a lot to keep going with my credit journey and see what happens from here on out. I don't see myself getting a 15K card anytime soon or being able to have one at all given how thin my credit file is but maybe someday that will be a reality.

I started out with just 1K of credit on my Citi card and I still shocked at how far I've come. If I were to tell myself a year ago that I'd have 30X that amount overall, I wouldn't believe it. It's pretty strange knowing that I have more credit than I know what to do with at this point and I'm still able to get more with my recent CLIs.
Macy's TLs (21k), Lowes (17k), CSP (10k), Sam's Club (10k), Nordstrom (5k), AARP (4.2k), Freedom (3k), Discover (1.5k), Quicksilver (2k), BoA (3k), Barclaycard Arrival (2.5k), Amazon Store (6k), Paypal (4.9k), Sam's Club MC (3.6k), Walmart MC (1.2k)


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lobbythis
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Postby lobbythis » Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:15 pm

popamode72 wrote: It's pretty strange knowing that I have more credit than I know what to do with at this point


Good credit is about building a solid future. You never know when you might actually need it and when you do, you'll realize what all the hard work and discipline was for.

popamode72
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Postby popamode72 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:29 pm

lobbythis wrote:Good credit is about building a solid future. You never know when you might actually need it and when you do, you'll realize what all the hard work and discipline was for.


Yup. A lot of it for me is influenced by seeing how bad my parents screwed up their credit and how I never wanted to end up in a position like that. I even remember when my mom took out one of those shady title loans and how much of a pain that was for her to try to pay off. My dad is actually rebuilding right now and has been using one of those CapOne Journey cards to help himself out. They even said that there was a point in time where my sister had even gotten into some trouble with her credit as well so I didn't wanna repeat any of their mistakes. I try to be as conservative as I can with what I have.

My other first hints at just how important credit could be was about two years ago after graduating from high school. I foolishly saw something on a college related website saying something about asking teachers to be cosigners on federal student loans and emailed a couple of them about that, seeing as how nice they were and all but didn't quite understand back then why none of them would cosign the student loans. I even tried requesting some from Discover and Citizens Bank and also didn't understand why it was so hard to get private student loans at the time though I'm obviously not interested in having to deal with those. Knowing what I know now, there would have been quite a lot of financial risk for them to bear if I didn't end up making timely payments on the student loans after graduation. My only regret was not starting earlier with building my credit up and perhaps attending college earlier as well.
Macy's TLs (21k), Lowes (17k), CSP (10k), Sam's Club (10k), Nordstrom (5k), AARP (4.2k), Freedom (3k), Discover (1.5k), Quicksilver (2k), BoA (3k), Barclaycard Arrival (2.5k), Amazon Store (6k), Paypal (4.9k), Sam's Club MC (3.6k), Walmart MC (1.2k)

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Vattené
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Postby Vattené » Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:48 pm

Hope your dad is able to rebuild successfully! My parents were always very frugal and financially responsible (perhaps too much so - I can't convince them to use a prime card for their regular spending to earn cash back). They don't even use credit for buying cars. I'd like to get to that point, but it will take a while.

My wife's family, on the other hand, is a mess financially. My sister-in-law got into that nasty cycle of title and payday loans. They are ugly!
-Vattené
FICO-8: EX - 827 (5/17) | TU - 824 (5/17)
My Cards: Barclay Arrival+ | Discover it | Amex ED
AU:: Discover Miles | BofA BBR | Barclay Commence (SD'd)

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Xorand
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Postby Xorand » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:11 pm

I clearly remember one of the low points in my life. I was on the way home from work after just finding out that the IRS was garnishing my wages to pay off an old tax bill. And believe me, folks, the IRS don't fool around. You try to figure out how you're going to make rent, car payment, insurance, utilities and buy groceries on about 20% of your paycheck.

About halfway home, my cell phone rings and I pull into a parking lot to answer it. It was the bank that had the loan on the car. I had been paying payments right at 30 days late every month. And every month the same rep would call me to ask me when I was going to make my payment. On this day I just said "come get the car". I literally sat in the parking lot and cried. I didn't know what I was going to tell my wife when I got home.

Once I calmed down and explained to the bank rep what just happened with the IRS, he very calmly said "we don't want your car and I totally understand about the tax issue". He said to drive home safely and call him in the morning when we could work out something, which we did.

(Edited to add: Not sure why that just popped out, but thought I'd throw it out there.)
AmEx - Platinum (NPSL) , Blue Cash Preferred ($19,000), Gold Delta Skymiles ($8,500)
Chase - Sapphire Preferred ($14,000), Disney ($11,500), Amazon.com ($9,000), Freedom ($8,000)
CapOne - QuickSilver ($7,250) / Platinum Rewards ($7,250)

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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:59 pm

I'm out of the garden. I applied with Synchrony for a Brooks Brothers card. It was the same card that I first applied for two years ago and got rejected for (due to not having any credit history).

I got approved this time, but only for the lower-tier card. I got a store card instead of a MasterCard, with a limit of $1,260. I miss out on a one-time $20 credit for a non-BB purchase (which I can't make since it's not on a major network), but the BB-spending rewards are otherwise the same. I shop there fairly often, and the special discounts and rewards should make it worthwhile.

I'm dealing with a new issuer, and expect to use CreditKarma to help track the card. Even if they upgrade it to the MasterCard edition, the non-BB spending rewards are pretty minimal, so after the $20 bonus it's not a card I'd ever use outside of BB. That makes monitoring it easy - if I buy clothes there, I email myself a reminder to pay the bill a week later, and verify that on CK. If I haven't used it and CK shows a current balance, then I know there's fraud on it.

The timing was a bit odd, but I figured that since it's a card I'll keep for a long time, opening the account sooner rather than later would be best.
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card

popamode72
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Postby popamode72 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:53 pm

Either way, Sync is usually great about auto CLIs and CLIs in general, even if you're not using the card that much IMO.

As for me, I think I'm done until January and I'm gonna try to limit my visits on that site as well. It's so hard not to be tempted by whatever the fad on MyFico is (Chase Freedom 200 dollar bonus, cough cough) and fall into this whole mentality of applying for the sake of applying. I think I've also had way more luck with Chase's cobranded cards and really the only other card I want from them is their Amazon Chase Visa anyway. Kinda felt like crap after that but it's a lesson that I really needed to learn now.

I really hope having a backdated BCE will really help my profile out as well as giving me a great card with some nice perks too. I had even thought about doing the PRG on the same pull to see if having two backdated cards from Amex might make a difference though the big thing is that I don't know if they'll still waive the annual fee on that card for the first year. Citi Double Cash is still on my list for next year as well and I think going for that first in January will give me the best chances before I go for the Amex cards. Depending on what happens, I might even close my Forward card out. Also by that time, I'm probably going to try to move the limit of my SW card over to the AARP and closing that out too.
Macy's TLs (21k), Lowes (17k), CSP (10k), Sam's Club (10k), Nordstrom (5k), AARP (4.2k), Freedom (3k), Discover (1.5k), Quicksilver (2k), BoA (3k), Barclaycard Arrival (2.5k), Amazon Store (6k), Paypal (4.9k), Sam's Club MC (3.6k), Walmart MC (1.2k)

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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:18 pm

popamode72 wrote:I really hope having a backdated BCE will really help my profile


I don't know how much one or two more accounts with an extra year of history will alter your profile. With all the other cards you have, your AAoA won't change much. A backdated Amex wouldn't be your new 'oldest' account, either. I'd have to go over numerous posts to try to determine your account age, but it can't be very high whether you include closed cards or not.

One thing that just occurred to me is that store cards (with no major payment network) might be pretty safe from fraud. The card won't ever leave my possession, and the only thing the stolen information can be used for is to buy clothes online from BB. I guess the information could be used to have BB clothes shipped to an identity thief's address (or their associate or unknowing neighbor). Then the goods could be resold, turning cashmere into cash.
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card

popamode72
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Postby popamode72 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:30 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I don't know how much one or two more accounts with an extra year of history will alter your profile. With all the other cards you have, your AAoA won't change much. A backdated Amex wouldn't be your new 'oldest' account, either. I'd have to go over numerous posts to try to determine your account age, but it can't be very high whether you include closed cards or not.

One thing that just occurred to me is that store cards (with no major payment network) might be pretty safe from fraud. The card won't ever leave my possession, and the only thing the stolen information can be used for is to buy clothes online from BB. I guess the information could be used to have BB clothes shipped to an identity thief's address (or their associate or unknowing neighbor). Then the goods could be resold, turning cashmere into cash.


Last time I checked, my AAoA according to MyFico is around 6 months. Not sure if closed cards are included in that at all. My second oldest card is the CapOne Quicksilver and that was opened up back in March.

And that's pretty good reasoning as to why certain store cards might be safer from fraud. They can't really be used anywhere else besides the store so there is less of an incentive for the fraudster to want to go after cards like that.
Macy's TLs (21k), Lowes (17k), CSP (10k), Sam's Club (10k), Nordstrom (5k), AARP (4.2k), Freedom (3k), Discover (1.5k), Quicksilver (2k), BoA (3k), Barclaycard Arrival (2.5k), Amazon Store (6k), Paypal (4.9k), Sam's Club MC (3.6k), Walmart MC (1.2k)

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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:46 pm

popamode72 wrote:Last time I checked, my AAoA according to MyFico is around 6 months. Not sure if closed cards are included in that at all.


If you want to check your AAoA, you can create an Excel spreadsheet and subtract the day each card was opened from today (or the day it was closed). Then you know what it is with either metric (AAoA or AAoOA).
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card



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