"Pre-Screened" Offers For Graduate Students?

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chs210
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"Pre-Screened" Offers For Graduate Students?

Postby chs210 » Sun May 27, 2012 6:20 pm

Hello All,

I have recently been receiving a lot of pre-screened credit card notices in the mail and I have a few questions regarding them. First my credit scenario:

I'm a full-time graduate student, earning $25-30K a year as a research assistant (no student loans as I'm on a scholarship). When I turned 16 (now 23) my dad added me as an authorized user to his Platinum Plus BOA MC, which he pays in full every month along with all his other cards. Last summer, we decided it was time I got my own credit card to build personal credit as I did not have any student loans/personal CC as an undergrad or grad student. I responded to an offer for the Continental Airlines OnePass MC but was rejected. I also applied for a card through my bank (M&T Visa) and was rejected as well. Then last August, I was successful in getting the Capital One Journey Visa card. I have paid the card in full every month, never been late, and have never maxed out the card. However, the card only carries a $750 CL, so I've still found myself paying my dad back for charges on his MC frequently, which is becoming tedious as an independent grad who no longer lives at home. I have a savings account in my name, 2 checking accounts, as well as a money-market account with over 50K in it.

Anyway, I've received several pre-screened notices from various companies (US Airways MC, United Airlines MC, American Airlines CC, as well as some non-Airline rewards cards). These offers were sparse until 2 or 3 months ago, when I began receiving several offers a week. I just noticed though, that these offers are addressed to the name I use on my dad's MC (Shortened First Name, No MI, Last Name) and not my Capital One card (Full First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name). Therefore, I am a bit weary that I may be rejected for these offers and have avoided applying. However, I am in need of more credit at the time. I was going to wait until August of this year (1 year since first independent card) to apply for another card but would appreciate any advice on the subject. Thanks!


agp
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Postby agp » Sun May 27, 2012 9:40 pm

Start at your local credit union. That's what I did. My income at the time was $32000 (job as a student as well) and got my first credit card approved for a $2000 card with 9.99% APR. Then 6 months after that I got my Chase Freedom, then Amex card, Penfed card. The first card is always the hardest to get, so go somewhere that's not so strict.

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BCF
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Postby BCF » Mon May 28, 2012 9:50 am

My wife doesn't have SSN but she is getting pre-screened offers because she is an authorized user on all my credit cards. So I guess getting these offers when you are an AU may not mean that you are really pre-qualified!
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Crashem
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Postby Crashem » Mon May 28, 2012 11:07 am

There are a couple more student cards, Citibank discover credit unions. Might be worth apping for two more. Also you know nothing prevents you from paying mid month to free up your credit line. Don't app before you make sure Existing credit cards reporting ideal utilization. An Amex charge card would be nice too. Zync might be in your reach
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chs210
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Postby chs210 » Mon May 28, 2012 12:24 pm

Thank you for the replies. I normally pay off my card mid-month at least one, so I only have a $100-$200 balance going into the end of the billing cycle. The main reason for a desire to increase credit is for travel expenses (hotels, airfare, rental cars) which would generally max out the card if planning a trip that requires at least 2 of those 3 categories. I've utilized 2 of the 3 free credit reports for this year, one in August and one around January, so I wasn't sure if I should check my score now as we enter summer or wait a little longer.

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Postby Crashem » Mon May 28, 2012 2:02 pm

You want one card reporting utilization of 1-9% and rest to report 0. Cards are usually reported to credit bureaus at end of billing cycle (statement date) and not on due date. Get your cards to report then and go to myfico and buy the equifax fico score and report. Assuming all bureaus have about same info, that eq fico is most accurate gauge of your current credit score. Post it here if you want more info
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

chs210
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Postby chs210 » Mon May 28, 2012 2:07 pm

Just to clarify, this means when my billing cycle ends, I should ideally have a balance of $75 or less on the card ($750 credit limit)... which I would then obviously pay before the due date?

chs210
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Postby chs210 » Mon May 28, 2012 3:56 pm

Disregard previous post- I looked up and now fully understand utilization. With that said, I'm also looking to buy a car and finance it (not definite, but looking) so I went ahead and pulled my current Equifax FICO score. Current score is 747 with a utilization of 35% (obviously high, but a direct response to my last Capital One (only card) bill ($264/$750=~35%).

I also have 1 credit inquiry in the last 12 months (the Capital One inquiry for my Student Journey card). If I understand things, I should bring down my utilization first, then apply for my next card, regardless of what it is. From what I've read, the utilization that shows up on your credit score is % from the last reported statement...so if I pay off my next balance down to 7% before the end of the billing period, my utilization on the report should drop as well, correct?



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