2 questions about cards and credit scores

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2 questions about cards and credit scores

Postby IJedi » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:18 pm


Like some of you, I am new to this whole credit card business. I am a 22-year old student in college, I have a job, and I am currently on my way to earning an undergraduate in computer science. I have come to realize that having a good credit history is vital towards possibly getting a job, a better apartment/home, a new car, or something as trivial as being accepted for a store card, such as Gap.

Now, like many of you, I walk into the credit world with ignorance to how the game is played, and usually receive no help except for a long, huge booklet from my credit card company on how to pay my bills on time, rewards, and other miscellaneous but important information. There are, though, no real tips, tricks, or even tutorials from these credit card companies on how to build good credit, other than paying your bills on time. Why, I suspect it is in part because credit card companies look to make money, so they never want to tell me how to work towards getting lower interest rates, APRs, APYs, etc, etc, etc, because their job is to make money, not be a friend, but I want to have a good credit score.

Most of my friends don't care about their credit score, and I continuously read online from forums abroad that credit scores shouldn't be a concern of mine until I am ready to actually apply for a loan. Well, I always wonder to those same people why wait until you need a loan before you start managing your credit score? So here I am, a young man trying to create a future for himself, but receiving a lot of misinformation, half-truths, and some outright lies from people. Today, though, I am hoping that some of you are more than willing to set me on a start to building my financial future for myself.

To begin, I have two credit cards and a store card. I read on these forums a few days ago that opening a store card can hurt your credit score, and when I last checked my credit score, it did but quickly rebounded from using it. My two credit cards are from Capital One and another one from Discover. Both have a CL of less than $1000 dollars; this irritates me to some degree. I get my Experian credit score from MyCreditInform.com; however, I do not know if it is an estimate or outright fake score. As goes for my other scores, I cannot be for sure. I heard that MyFICO.com is a great place to check your scores from TransUnion and Equifax, but I don't wish to buy anything from MyFICO.com until I know with certainty that it will truly give me my real scores, not estimates.

A little background information:

I only own two credit cards and have one store card.
I have NEVER been late on any of my payments; I have also always paid more than the minimum... always.

All of my current cards have been opened in less than a year.
I do not own a home, a car anymore, a house, or anything else. My net worth includes my computer, my Xbox and my smartphone.
I have gone over the 30% utilization on my Capital One card many times, but I always pay back large sums of money.

I currently owe about $9000 dollars in student debt to the federal government only. I have not had to make any payments as of yet, and I won't until the start of 2014.

My main questions, which I will sum up, include the following:

In order to get a higher CLI from say Capital One, should I apply for a credit card down the road that offers me a CL of over $1000... say $3000 limit? This way, Capital One will think I am about to dump them and try to increase my credit limit. I hear Capital One doesn't like giving out CLI, especially to new people such as myself. In fact, I have heard of one person on this forum having a Capital One credit card for over 10 years and never getting a CLI!

Secondly, where is the best place to shop for my TransUnion and Equifax score? I hear that MyFICO.com is a wonderful place, but I hear a lot on the web to be honest. Finally, should I continue to invest in MyCreditInform.com, or is that score from Experian a lot of bull?

Third, can you folks offer any advice on the best approach to improving credit scores? I have read many ideas, tips and tricks, but I rather want something more definite, if you know what I mean? I want to hear firsthand what you folks have to say on this matter, as searching around these forums for a few days seems to have a lot of good advice thus far.

Thank you very much for your time in reading this bloated first question of mine,


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Postby PlatinumAMEX94 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:23 am

When you apply for credit you don't get to specify what your credit line is. The younger your credit the lower your limit as you have not demonstrated a stable payment history. Always pay your credit card on time. If you mess up once, you will screw your credit. It takes 7 years to get a 30 day ding off your report. I don't know about where to get the scores. I use Equifax directly from their website.

You can improve your credit by limiting how many cards you have and only apply for a maximum of 2 banks per year. More than that and you will get a decline "Too many inquiries". When I was your age I got all kinds of denial letters. The length of how long you have had the account plays a role in your credit score. Just because you have a 750 credit score, if you are 21 and make 12k a year, you are not going to get an AMEX Platinum. Your denial letter will say "Length of credit to short". Remember, a credit score is just a snapshot of what your credit is currently doing, and what you did do. Credit is all about responsibility and paying on time. A credit line is asking them to loan you that money, with the promise of paying it back. If you loaned a friend $1000 and he promised to pay you $100 every month, and was always late, would you want to loan him money again? Before he had an A rating with you, now maybe a D rating.. or however you'd label him.
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