Reformed credit card users

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
10 posts
FutureBillionaire
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Reformed credit card users

Postby FutureBillionaire » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:17 pm

I'm interested to know if you are a reformed user of credit. I did terrible things in college that seemed awesome at the time, like signing up for credit cards for a tshirt and then paying the minimum balance only. What did you do to stop those bad habits and become a responsible user? How did you get companies to offer you cards again?
Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape


Robrus1
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Postby Robrus1 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:00 pm

When I was in college I had a card that I was an au on. That didn't last too long before it was taken away from me. I also moved a few times and never paid the final utility bills so in addition to having no real credit, all I had was some utility/phone bills that got sent to collections. A year or two later I paid most of them off, and one I did not because I didn't feel that I owed the charges (still don't). My credit was in the 500s at that point. I had a checking account and an atm card, not even a debit card, so I used cash from my part time job for everything for years. My truck at the time was paid off so I had no auto loan to help my credit. Also somewhere in there my checking account got closed because I always had a negative balance.

After a few years of maturing and getting the party life out of my system, I landed a good full time job. My employer encouraged me to get a checking account so that I could enroll in direct deposit. They had some kind of deal with BofA to get set up for checking or savings with no fees, so I went down and they let me set it up/gave me a debit card, which at the time I thought was amazing.

I decided not to mess this up so I had my checking/savings there for a couple years and never went overdraft. By this time everything that was on my credit had fallen off and I just didn't know it. In an effort to rebuild my credit I went down to the BofA I opened the account with and asked for a credit card. I got a secured card with a 500 dollar limit. After a year I asked for a CLI to 1500 and got it. A few years after that I closed my checking/savings at BofA and moved to a local credit union. The credit union gave me a credit card so I started to use theirs and cancelled the BofA card. I've never been turned down for a card since and my credit is about 730 something last time I saw my Experian score. Sorry for the novel. It just took time and effort. I wish I'd have known when I was a dumb kid, how dumb I was being.
Amex Platinum
Amex BCP 21K
Amex SPG 5K
Barclaycard Arrival Plus WEMC 5K
Chase Sapphire Preferred 23.5K
Credit Union 10K
Discover IT 7.75K

sticf
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Postby sticf » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:25 pm

If it was a bad idea I did it while in the Marines. Minimum payments, no payments, opening new accounts then maxing them out then letting the balances being charged off to collection agencies. Of course I did that with credit lines, both a truck and motorcycle repossessed.

After a few years of destroying my credit I figured out I wanted more in life. So I dropped out of the credit game all together. I learned how to "survive with less". That forced me to discipline in spending habits. After a few years of no credit I started reestablishing my credit.

Now after years of playing the credit game "correctly", I get to play under the very favorable terms.

kcarter609
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Location: VA

Postby kcarter609 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:20 pm

21 years old, credit score of 760+, and never had any negative history. I knew from the start not to mess up.

Active Cards:
Chase Freedom 10+10 Visa Signature ($9k Limit - 8/2012)
Chase Sapphire Preferred ($10k Limit - 2/2013)
Chase Ink Plus ($7k Limit - 2/2013)
Discover IT ($9.5k Limit - 10/2012)
AMEX Zync (No Pre-set Limit - 1/2010)
AMEX Blue Cash Everyday ($20k Limit - 1/2013 - Backdate to 1/2010)

irvinfitness
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Location: Lafayette/IN

Postby irvinfitness » Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:38 am

kcarter609 wrote:21 years old, credit score of 760+, and never had any negative history. I knew from the start not to mess up.


No offense, but this thread is for those that did mess up and corrected it...Congrats on staying on top of things from the start though. It is impressive and rare to see! Keep up the great work man.

My mistake so far was taking advantage of a 0% for 12 months deal when I only had 3 cards, 2 of which had low limits. I applied for the card and got 4200 for the 0% and put 3800 on it the first month (part of an engagement ring purchase). I'm 6 months in and will have it paid off before the 12 months to avoid interest, but my utilization sky-rocketed bringing my score way down. My aaoc is also low, but that comes with being young and getting my credit started late. My dad always drilled it into me that credit cards and debt is bad so I didn't get my first card until 21. I've now got a total CL of 23.5k, a mortgage, and a car payment with no derogatory marks at age 24.
[size=60]Chase Freedom Signature - 10k (rotating 5%)
Citi Platinum Select - 8.1k (rotating 5%)
Discover It - 12k (rotating 5%)
AMEX BCE - 20k (Groceries 3% / Gas 2% )
Regions Signature Visa - 5k
US Bank Cash+ - 5.5k (Restaurants/Fast Food 5% / Drug Stores 2%)
Navy Federal cashRewards Visa Signature - 20k (Business Purchases)
Care Credit - 6k (Vet Bills/Dentist - 0% APR)
Chase IHG Rewards (Priority Club) - 18k (Annual Night Certificate, Platinum Elite Status)

Not used except for occasional purchase with promo:
Jared - 7.5k [/size]

TheLethargicAge
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Postby TheLethargicAge » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:33 am

My mistake was making my ex-wife an authorized user on 3 of my cards. Had to enter into a debt payment plan if I wanted to pay them off sometime in this lifetime; however, all my cards were cancelled as a condition for entering the payment plan. Hopefully, they'll be paid off by August 2013.

Looking on the bright side, though, I learned a lot about credit and credit cards (as well as cash back cards) and realized that all my old cards were garbage anyway (except for my Blue Amex, which I upgraded to BCP last year). Still have a flawless payment history **Knocks on wood**.

As for the future, these are the cards I'm looking forward to getting (in alphabetical order):

Amex Clear
Amex SimplyCash (even though it doesn't report to personal credit report...unless you default on it)
Amex TrueEarnings
Chase Freedom
Chase Ink Cash (I like it because it reports to D&B)
Chase Sapphire Preferred (just for restaurants)

I like the Chase Amazon Visa because of 2x points on gas/groceries/pharmacies, but it's not part of Ultimate Rewards, so no way of transferring points from one card to another.

I'd love to add a charge card to my portfolio as well (for completeness sake, just to have something in the "Other" section of my credit report). I like the Amex Green (mostly for nostalgic reasons...my dad used to have one when I was a kid...plus it's the OG of all credit/charge cards!), even though the rewards are not very appealing at all (Chase Ink Bold might be a better choice?)
Blue Cash Preferred ($24K), Costco TrueEarnings ($8K), Better Balance Rewards ($6K), CashForward ($15K), Sallie Mae Rewards ($10K), Quicksilver ($17K), AARP Rewards ($15K), Freedom ($15K), Double Cash ($16.5K), It ($28.5K), Fidelity Investment Rewards ($18K), Cash+ ($11K)

jlam572
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Postby jlam572 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:15 am

I made a lot of mistakes like that in college and im still recovering (im in my late 20s) while trying to pay my 75k in student loan debt. Oh what I wouldnt give to have rich parents.
American Express Platinum
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Hawaiian Airlines BOH MC
USAA Amex
Capital One Visa Platinum
Citi Diamond Preferred MC

kcarter609
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Postby kcarter609 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:17 am

jlam572 wrote:I made a lot of mistakes like that in college and im still recovering (im in my late 20s) while trying to pay my 75k in student loan debt. Oh what I wouldnt give to have rich parents.


If you had rich parents, you probably wouldn't care enough to learn from your mistakes because they'd always be there to pay for stuff and bail you out. That would bite you in the long run.

Active Cards:
Chase Freedom 10+10 Visa Signature ($9k Limit - 8/2012)
Chase Sapphire Preferred ($10k Limit - 2/2013)
Chase Ink Plus ($7k Limit - 2/2013)
Discover IT ($9.5k Limit - 10/2012)
AMEX Zync (No Pre-set Limit - 1/2010)
AMEX Blue Cash Everyday ($20k Limit - 1/2013 - Backdate to 1/2010)

jlam572
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Postby jlam572 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:18 am

kcarter609 wrote:If you had rich parents, you probably wouldn't care enough to learn from your mistakes because they'd always be there to pay for stuff and bail you out. That would bite you in the long run.


True, but Id have so much more stuff lol
American Express Platinum

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Hawaiian Airlines BOH MC

USAA Amex

Capital One Visa Platinum

Citi Diamond Preferred MC

hematino
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Postby hematino » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:44 am

In 2005 when I was a 19 year old college student, I got approved for a 1st Financial Bank Visa and a Citi Platinum Select for students, and was stupid with them. Not as stupid as I could have been, I never in my life have missed a payment or anything (although Citi made a mistake one time which caused a 60[!] day late reported). But I did use the cards to bridge the gap when I was short on money and needed gas or wanted to go out, and racked up a few thousand dollars worth of debt with nothing to show for it. I worked full time the entire time I was in college, but wasn't making a lot so I ended up paying quite a few years worth of unnecessary interest and over limit fees until I zeroed out the balances. I completely lost interest in credit cards until a few years later (early 2011) when Chase kept soliciting me for both Freedom and Slate. Knowing nothing about rewards cards, I applied for the Slate cause the APR was a few points lower at 14.99%. A PayPal Smart Connect and a Discover More followed a month later, and it's Discover that got me hooked in the rewards game. Haven't paid a penny of interest since, and I will especially never pay any interest to Citi for screwing me on their own mistake years ago.

I will say that it was hard to pay off my debt my first time around, and I have a lot of respect for anyone who has to do so. But no matter how many months of ~29% interest on my first cards I had to eat, I never paid late or let it get charged off or anything. It sure made me learn my credit card lesson though, which I unfortunately wasn't smart enough at the time to learn from the mistakes of others.
Now she's eyeless.
The snakes she held once
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