I've been out of university for a couple of years, and I'm trying to get my first credit card. Here are my vitals:
-US citizen since birth
-I've been an authorized user on my parents American Express account since age 18. I otherwise have no credit history.
-All three credit reports (payment history from the AX account, though they are my reports) are spotless
-I am employed, and though I make less than 15k per year, I have many times that in investments (I factor the gains in with my income on applications), checking, and savings (I have never overdrawn at the bank, etc.).
-Somehow my FICO score is ~715
So over the past few months I have applied to several cards, including my bank's card, and the Chase Amazon rewards card. All have been denials. Perhaps I made a mistake by not calling their reconsideration lines. At any rate, I'm at a loss.
I really don't want to get a secured card and have to pay fees to build credit unless I have to (it's not much, but it's the principle of the thing). Besides, it's said that the average credit card debt in this country is around $15,000. Am I to understand that all of these people started out with secured cards, build credit responsibly for a year or two, and then took on massive debt as soon as they got their hands on unsecured credit lines? Not likely.
I will concede, however, that my prospects are looking grim. Is there a way out of the woods for me without taking the secured card route? Did I err in any way? Is there any more information that y'all need to properly assess my situation?
Thank you in advance -- the work you all do here is very helpful