New Member - Need Advice

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Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:09 pm
Location: Tobyhanna, PA

New Member - Need Advice

Postby MathNerd » Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:39 pm

I'm a 23 year old looking to get a new card with a better rewards program. I currently have a GM Flexible Earnings card (Account opened in 2009, CLI $750, recently asked for an increase, they did a hard pull and I was denied) and a Capital One card ($1,250 limit). No late payments and have PIF on the GM card for the last six months or so, but with high utilization (Capital One is sock-drawered with $0 balance).

My income is... difficult to explain, and that's where I think my biggest problem will be. I work in a retail job and substitute teach on the side (the job market is AWFUL for teachers right now, even math teachers). Frankly, I'm not sure WHAT my income really is going to be for the year. I get $9/hr plus commission in the retail job, and for teaching I never know if I'll have work or not until the morning of, which makes it difficult to estimate, and certainly difficult to explain to a creditor ("Well, really I make more, but I'm not making it right now because it's summer..."). I'm not sure how I'd go about declaring my income on a credit application.

My other issues are I have a large amount of student loan debt ($96k), and one collection ($200 medical bill from 2008), otherwise no late payments.

I do a lot of driving and spend a lot of money on gas, so I was thinking perhaps the PenFed Cash Rewards or AmEx BCE, but I'm not sure that my credit would be good enough to get either at this point. I'm sure as my student loan balances go down (I've been paying extra on the highest interest) my credit will start to look better.

My next question is about getting a CLI on the GM card. I contacted them about 6 months ago when they did the hard pull and they were pretty uncooperative. Frankly, I just want to get to my next cash back interval and then sock drawer the card, but I'd like to have a higher CLI to get there faster. I'd even be willing to have them decrease the CL on the Capital One since I never use it and increase it on the GM (since both are owned by Capital One now, but from what I've seen here it appears both are pretty unwilling to work with people).

Should I apply for the PenFed, BCE or does anyone else have any other mid-range cards in mind that would be a good fit? Would applying for the PenFed or BCE just be a waste of an inquiry, or should I give it a few months?

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