- Gold Member
- Posts: 44
- Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:59 pm
- Location: Vader, WA
What follows is less of a recommendation as it is an option to consider. At age 56 (I'm 64 now), following a costly divorce, I was forced to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2006. I didn't check my credit score at that point. But I knew it had to be in the subterranean range - similar to a young person just starting out. The "moment" my Chapter 13 was discharged in 2011, I applied for (and got) a secured VISA card through Unitus Credit Union. I don't know whether any other card-issuer offers the same deal - but Unitus said that after 12 on-time monthly payments, the card would automatically convert to an unsecured card and that I'd get my security deposit back. And just like clockwork, that happened.
I opted for a $1k secured credit limit - but they allowed up to $3k. Beyond the secured deposit, there were no fees of any kind. If you can find such an offer and can afford to put-away that kind of money for a year, I'd go for it. No one but you and the bank knows that it's a secured card. To CRA's, it appears to be just another credit card. And if you keep the card active and make on-time payments, that goes a long way toward putting positive notes into your credit files. FWIW, I still have that card. Recently, though, they doubled my credit limit to $2k - and to do it (their policy), they had to switch me over from a "Classic" VISA to a "Rewards" VISA. No complaints here (grin).
In July 2013, as required by law, Chapter 13 notes were removed from the files of all CRAs. And armed with a clean credit record and two years worth of positive notes from one credit card, I began to apply for other cards. As of today, I have 14 credit cards with a TCL of $34k - all unsecured, none with an AF (or security deposit requirements).
The most important thing to consider is your "reason" for acquiring credit. If you want to use credit to enhance your lifestyle (like my ex-wife) by buying now and paying later, you can get into credit trouble very easily. But, if your intention is to use it to acquire rewards for purchases of everyday things and pay off balances every month, you'll be miles ahead of a lot of people in how they use credit (and your scores will have nowhere to go but up).
I'm not an expert on "rewards" cards. A lot of others in this forum are more knowledgible than me on that. I have a few rewards cards. To me, for everyday expenses, the most valuable has been the co-branded Amazon.com VISA (a Chase Bank card). That's because I live in rural Washington state and end up doing a lot of Amazon purchases. But, rewards are given even for non-Amazon purchases, too. Discover IT card is also good about that. But I'm only talking about my situation. Your situation is probably completely different and other rewards cards may be more appropriate.
"People with a clever plan can assume the role of the mighty."