Introduction - Student & Need Some Advice

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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V18R
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Introduction - Student & Need Some Advice

Postby V18R » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:27 am

hi everyone,

just joined the forum after some casual browsing about credit scores and credit cards.

i honestly have no idea about money management and don't even know who to go to to learn or talk about it. my parents are very fiscally irresponsible so i won't even bother with them in the hope that i don't learn the wrong things since clearly they've had no successes with building good credit.

i am an 18 year old college freshman. i have a part time job that makes me about 12k/year. i receive financial aid and have a small student loan ($1700/semester and in my 2nd semester of school now). i have a debit card with a checking and savings account right now. i live at home and right now my only expenses are school/textbooks and 1/2 of my car payment to my parents (nothing in my name, just help out parents)

basically, i think i am ready for a credit card and need advice about what steps i should take or if getting one is the right choice for me. i checked myself on credit karma and it shows the student loan and my score at 690. i've tried browsing and searching but there is such a huge amount of information, i just need a simple starting point.

any help would be great!


FutureBillionaire
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Postby FutureBillionaire » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:59 pm

I would recommend a card that will give you rewards on things that you buy all the time. You may have to get a secured card to start off. Use the card to buy things that you normally buy, and then pay it off immediately. This will help you build your credit.
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 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:56 pm

To elaborate on what futurebillionaire said, a good place to start would be to get a secured credit card. Wherever you have your checking/savings account would be a good place to start. The card may have an annual fee, and you'll have to put down money up front to have the card, but it will report to the credit bureaus the same as a credit card. Don't charge more than you can pay off monthly, unless it's an emergency. ALWAYS pay on time, and in full if at all possible.

Bank of America has a secured credit card that is good to start out with. Capital One has them too, but their customer service and lack of credit limit increases make them a tough pill to swallow. I started out years ago with a secured card from Bank of America, and after a year of on time payments, the card was unsecured and I got the money I put on deposit for the card back. A few months later I asked for a credit limit increase and it was granted. That's how I got my foot in the door to the world of credit. Don't pay late, try not to pay interest, and try to keep your utilization down. Say you get a 500 limit, try to pay it off/down to under 100 before your statement cycles. Hope this helps.
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

MemberSince99
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Postby MemberSince99 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:55 pm

You may also be able to get the "student" versions of cards from lenders such as the Discover More. Citi I believe also offers student cards. Basically that means they know you don't make much money and so they give you a lower limit.

V18R
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Postby V18R » Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:37 pm

thanks everyone. i have a checking/savings account and debit card with bank of america so i guess i can start looking into credit cards there. what's a secured vs. unsecured card?

AMEXAT19
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Postby AMEXAT19 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:58 pm

V18R, this is my experience with credit and I am currently 20 years old now. But when i turned 18 in 2010, applied for credit card with BOA I was given a $700 CL, one year later in 2011 I applied for a Discover and was given a $1500 CL and at the end of that same year I was approved for an AMEX Green Card. Today my current status is BOA $4000, Discover $2250, and AMEX PR Gold. I say the best thing for you to do is start like I did with BOA because you already have history with them and build yourself from there. Remember never pay late!

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Snowman
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Postby Snowman » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:18 am

V- My first CC was from BOFA (it was the Cash Rewards card with a 700$ limit, where it still is at currently.) It is also an unsecured card so it depends if you qualify, you can ask your personal banker in the branch to help you sign up for one and use it responsibly for 6 months before getting approved for prime cards (like the ones in my sig). We have the same Income, and you can view my posts and concerns because I was in the same exact position 8-9 months ago. The difference between an unsecured and secured card is that with a secured card you are basically giving the bank a deposit and in that deposit it will be your credit line. (for example if you send them 500, that will be your CL.) once it graduates or you decide to close it, they will return your money to you, so basically you are also giving them collateral. An unsecured card offers no collateral and for the most part is a revolving line of credit (meaning you have an ongoing and continuous loan with said bank or issuer.) and your ability to pay based on income. You have to pay by the due date or you can before the statement cuts so your balance will be reported lower. Many companies can and will deny you on credit if your credit utilization is high. On this forum and others, it is recommended to keep your total utilization percentage to be under 30% all the time but 10% and under is ideal for your scores in general since most lenders base your scores off the fico model and the information that is provided by the 3 big bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion is what most of them use.). Also, based on the fico model, it likes to see that all of your cards are paid off except one that posts a small balance so your creditors will see that you can utilize a small percentage of your given CL and pay it back on time, this helps your scores go up.. Again this is just general info, and there others on here that can elaborate for more then I can.

If there are some things I missed or posted incorrectly, I apologize in advance.
Bank Of America: BankAmeriCard Cash Rewards-4.2k
Citi: Forward-4.5k American Airlines Advantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard 9/6/15-4K
Discover: More-7k
Amex BCE.2k- Amex SPG-5k
Chase: Freedom-5kSouthwest Rapid Rewards Plus- 3.6k
Capital one: Venture one-10,000, Visa Signature.

V18R
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Postby V18R » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:31 pm

thanks guys. i just submitted an application for the bankamericard cash rewards for student card.

what are cash rewards? what does 3% back on gas, 1% back on everything else, etc. mean?

AMEXAT19
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Postby AMEXAT19 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:29 pm

V18R, The BankAmericard Cash Reward is the same card I have, you earn cash back on your purchases. You are able to redeem the cash back once you have accumulated $25 and if you are a Bank of America account holder there is a 10% customer bonus.

MemberSince99
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Postby MemberSince99 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:24 pm

I hope you get the card good luck V. I have read after a year they may unsecure your card for you meaning they give you back the money you deposited and it becomes a regular card then.



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