- Gold Member
- Posts: 35
- Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 4:16 pm
- Location: Monterey, CA
To begin our story, I am 33 years old, make 60kish a year and have never in my life gotten into trouble with credit cards. I did however, make an absolute mess of my credit in my early 20's. As such, it wasn't until I began repairing my credit a few years ago, that I was even able to get the bottom of the barrel First Premier Rapecard, as well as a no-name secured card for $1000 (No, I do not pay 36% on the First Premier, I got in before they went nuts with interest).
Nowadays, I have removed absolutely anything negative from my credit reports, and kept a perfect payment history with my two crappy cards for almost three years. I've gotten a mortgage and had a great relationship with the lender on it for over a year... In short, the only way I could further improve my credit significantly, was to achieve higher limits with more reputable credit card companies.
A bit of research, and Chase Freedom seemed like a good starting place. I've maintained a checking and savings account with them for 5 years or so, and bank tellers have been bothering me about how I'm pre-approved for some time now, so I took the plunge....
7-10 day message... What to do?
A bit more research into my options led me here! MemberSince99 posted a helpful recon # in another thread, so I called them up and was approved for $500! It kinda seems like a low limit, and it is, but I was pleased as punch to get in with a more reputable lender.
Still, I needed higher limits in order to further boost my score, and there are quite a few rewards programs I could benefit substantially from. So I started combing through the forums here looking for clues as to what I might qualify for... And met with great success!
American Express Delta card- instant approval for $2000
Discover It card- $1500, but had to call and verify some stuff.
Capital One Cash Rewards- Had to call, seems that unlike everybody else, they have a hard time with my mailing address being a PO box. Approved, but unknown limit. To be honest, I kind of regret applying for this one. I didn't at the time know that I would see such great success with the others when I applied though.
All in all, I am hugely satisfied with this excursion. I really couldn't have done it without some of the fantastic information I found on these forums. I did, however, make a few mistakes:
Mistake # 1- I really should have researched my own score a little bit better. My credit scores were all hovering around 690 a year ago, when I got my mortgage. Since then, I've occasionally monitored free FAKO scores, and seen some improvement with them. I estimate that my proper FICO was somewhere around 720, but can't know for sure. If I knew where I stood, I would have had the information I needed to maybe negotiate a better CL with Chase.
Mistake # 2- I probably should not have applied for that Capital One card. Their customer service seems pretty awful, and if I had not made Mistake #1, I would have known that I really don't need them.
Mistake # 3- I should have stopped after I got the Delta approval, waited 61 days and gotten a 3x CLI and THEN applied for more cards once the 3x CLI was reported.
Mistake # 4- This is the biggest mistake, and the funniest (for you, for me it is not so funny). I really should have checked my credit report immediately before these apps, rather than a few weeks before. You see, I pay my existing credit cards off in full pretty regularly. I run them up, and then pay at the end of the month. I have occasionally carried a balance, but not often. Well, it just so happens that my payments and balance somehow got out of sync! I never missed a payment, but my balance was reported just before my last payment! As such, I made the terrible mistake of applying for my first real, good credit cards, with the only two cards I had ever had maxed out! What a terrible blunder, I very nearly could have sunk myself. Still, a part of me wonders just how well I could have done otherwise?
Anyways, thanks for all the great information! I really couldn't have done it without you guys. I don't think I'll be applying for anything new for quite some time. I'll just focus on increasing my credit limits with these existing cards.
Ex- 705 AMEX pull (5/13), Tu: 753, Eq:685
First Premier Pimpcard 0.7k (01/10), Capital Bank (secured) 1.0k (02/11), Amex Delta 2.0k (5/13), Chase Freedom 1.5k (5/13), Discover It 5.0k (5/13), Capital One Cash Rewards 2.5k (5/13), DCU Platinum Visa 7k (12/13), Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard 5.0k (01/14)