Credit Card Forum
  1. #1
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    Default What's the best credit card to improve my credit score?

    Hi All, I'm hoping some of you could help me apply for a credit card. I had a bankruptcy in 2000 and am on the road to recovery. I'm looking for a card to help me improve my credit score and break into the 800+ FICO credit score range.

    Here is some info, request more if needed.
    • 1 year 8k to go on a 40k student loan from 2000
    • 37k salary, 17 yrs. at current employer, 4k line of credit from bank 0 balance.
    • No Home, No Car loan (I rent) btw not homeless
    • I just had 2 store cards drop off from inactivity.
    That's all I can think of off hand. Trying to get the highest limit possible because after the student loan is gone I need something to fill the hole. Any advice welcome, thanks for reading.
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  2. #2
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    I feel pretty confident in saying it will be a while before you are in the neighborhood of an 800 credit score. Not to be discouraging and I won't say it will never happen, but when you filed bankruptcy you were starting from square one, but with a monkey on your back the size of a gorilla. Fortunately, the bankruptcy will have dropped off your report right now so that helps. Any card will help you improve your credit; there isn't one that will do it magically. Not only will cards help, but loans do so as well. Keep doing what you're doing and don't make any mistakes. I hear Capital One cards can be easy to get for people starting out or starting over. Consider Discover as well. You didn't mention what your current scores are, so if you don't know them your first step should be to request a copy of all your reports. Check them over carefully for mistakes. Dispute ANYTHING that is wrong that may impact your scores regardless of how minor the effect. Every point helps in your situation. The difference in a few points will save or cost you. If your scores are below 600 you may have to consider secured cards. They aren't the end of the world and many of them will let you graduate to unsecured cards (if they offer them) after a year or two. Bottom line: pay your bills, don't take on too much debt, and, most of all, be patient. Bon chance.
    Cards and Credit lines Acquired:

    Escape by Discover (7.75K), Barclay Holland America Visa (4.8K), Macy's store card (5K), Bloomingdale's store card (2K), Citi Custom Credit Line (3.5K), PayPal Smart Connect credit line (1.6K), Chase Freedom Visa (5K), Chase United MileagePlus Visa (5K), Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa (5K), Amazon store card (2.2K), Lord & Taylor store card (500), Nordstrom store card (500), and Gold Delta SkyMiles from American Express (3K).

    I think I'm done!

    Closed: Dell Financial Services credit line. They cut my limit, so I cut the cord. Capital One. If they won't work with me, my other cards will!
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  3. #3
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    I cant give my input as far as the bankruptcy goes but my first two cards were the Capital One secured card, and Citi forward card. You can try with the easier to get cards and if that fails then dump as much money as you can into a secured card and use that for 6 months and try again.
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    My Current score is around 770 for all 3. My bankruptcy was back in 2002 an I have had no problems with getting a $4k loan from the bank. I didn't think I was in such a bad place Last thing I want to do is have an easy to get card.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by licitania View Post
    I had a bankruptcy in 2000
    The BK was removed from your credit report after ten years and is no longer a factor in determining your credit risk.

    First, I'd recommend you take a look at your credit reports for accuracy at annualcreditreport.com. These reports are free. You do not need to buy a credit score or anything else.

    Assuming no late payments on your lines of credit I'd say you have good credit.

    I'd suggest a credit card that reports a credit line for maximum benefit and a Visa or MasterCard for maximum card acceptance.

    Good luck!
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  6. #6
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    Thanks for the reply. I have been on time with everything for the last 10 years. I just got my credit report last week.

    Experian 770
    Equifax 778
    Trans Union 775

    I'd like to apply for the card that will give me the highest limit possible without a risk of being rejected. Could you be a little more specific with your suggestion? I'm not being rude but Visa/MC is a bit vague. It seems like there a lot to choose from. Also what exactly do you mean by one that reports a line of credit. Again please forgive my ignorance here.
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  7. #7
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    So Chase shot me down because they were on my bankruptcy. They said I should apply for another card and keep it for a year before they approve me. So where do I turn next? The card I applied for was a Chase Sapphire. I have great credit through everyone's eyes but Chase. They said it was only visible internally at Chase. I don't want to get a card for people with bad credit but I don't want to get rejected again either, please help!
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    Well I think the Sapphire was a little high to shoot for as a first card anyway. If all Chase cards are out of the question then I would look at a Discover More/It Or maybe a BofA.

    You mentioned the last thing you want is an easy to get card, yet you don't really have the file for the more premium cards. I think you should try and get a decent rewards car, use it for a year, then take a shot at the better cards, like the Sapphire. CreditKarma is a good place to compare some cards. They let you sort by features you want so you can narrow down to a few cards, then ask here what you should app for.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by licitania View Post
    Visa/MC is a bit vague
    Also what exactly do you mean by one that reports a line of credit
    I couldn't be more specific because I didn't know which banks you included in bankruptcy or what you're looking for in terms of rewards.

    If I had to guess which Visa/MC issuer would give the highest credit line I'd say Chase. Since Chase is out for now I'd go with BofA.

    Some cards don't report a line of credit, for example, the BofA Cash Rewards Visa Signature card. If you get this, I'd recommend converting it to a standard Visa. Having the limit reported can increase your credit score.
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