cheaty wrote:I was thinking of applying for the Chase Freedom, Citi Forward for Students (I order from Amazon a lot and read that Amazon counts as a bookstore), and Discover More for Students. If I don't have a good chance at the Freedom, then I won't apply for it. Should I wait a certain amount of time between applying for each card or should I just apply for them all at the same time?
I really like that Amex idea though. I was looking at the Zync earlier and was very interested in it. So I will wait 6 months after I get a new card to apply.
Don't apply for any non student cards right now. Apply for all the student cards on same day. Your credit file is basically empty except for that AU account. Freedom isn't hard to get, but you will likely get rejection. A little patience now will help you in the long term. Get those two student cards (might want to look at cap one too to compare. cap one will give auto cli until certain point but they pull all three credit reports). Hopefully you will get accepted for both. Use responsibly for 6 months, which means PIF.
Also, at 6 month mark, make sure you do ideal util scenario (ask if you don't know what this is) and see what your FICO score looks like which should look good. At that point, you can get next level of cards. Remember with thin file (which you will even have in 6 months), your fico score should be discounted especially with the limited income. Don't trust sites that say you will qualify with XXX Fico score as it assumes a more normal credit file. Personally, I would go for Zync, Walmart (if you shop there, but I like it for the free monthly TU08 FICO), and one credit card (freedom if you like it).
Basically this will be your card set until you graduate (maybe one or two more cards a year before your graduate if your income goes up). The Zync is great as it is charge card (which you have to pay off at end of month) but you can build your NPSL internal limit quickly. Once you get post graduation job, you can basically get almost any card you want.
Your credit goals at that point will be to quickly build your credit limits if you haven't been doing so. An AMEX revolver if you haven't gotten one, is great for that because of the frequent soft pull based CLIs.
Amex Centurion, Amex Platinum, Amex BCP 8k->24k (5/23/12), Amex TE 15k, Cap One 1.5% 15k->20k (8/7/13), CSP 25k, Chase Palladium 100k, Citibank AA 35k (AU), Firestone 1.8k->2.2k->2.4k (8/20/12), JFCU Jloc 30k, PenFed Plat Rewards 30k, SF Fire 30k, US Bank Cash+ 25k