Trying to Rebuid Credit and Buy a House -- Thoughts on Secured Cards?

Discuss the Visa & MasterCard payment networks as well as cards that operate through them.
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Trying to Rebuid Credit and Buy a House -- Thoughts on Secured Cards?

Postby rsechrist » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:22 am

My score was 580. Hubby's was 520. I had more bad stuff...he had less history. Neither of us have old credit card history.

I have someone working on my credit for me. I just don't have the time to attack it as diligently as needed. We need to get a secured credit card and my credit repair guy recommended First Premier. Reading reviews here and on other sites, I'm not sure I want to do that. I don't have a problem with putting down a $300-500 deposit with a secured CC company. Higher APR's don't scare me as we are just going to use for our fuel purchases and pay off each month. I don't even mind paying a reasonable annual fee. But I don't want to be nickled and dimed to death with fees and monthly charges. And I would like something that will turn into unsecured credit at some point. Ideas?

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Postby Trendecide » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:03 pm

Finally... I found a question I think I'm qualified to answer!

Our scores aren't quite as low as yours, but we're in a similar situation... simply put, our scores aren't as high as we'd like them to be, but we have no history to start anything.

We tried the "have someone else work on my credit" method and were willing to pay well for it. Several "counselors" all said the same thing... "oh you're credit's fine, but you have no history." You'll be fine, bye! Several credit card rejections later and a myriad of swear words while scouring the internet, I landed here. So I'd like to think your problem is this:
I just don't have the time to attack it as diligently as needed.

My wife has a full time job and I have two full time jobs, all while juggling several children... MAKE the time! We are sitting down together before bed every night and reading, reading, reading... sharing what we've found with each other.

After our numerous rejection letters trying to get some form of credit to start, we joined identityguard (I know... fakos... but we're looking for up or down right now, not necessarily the score and we want it checked monthly, not twice a year. We'll switch to ficos once we feel the numbers, not so much the fluctuation, matters). AFter educating ourselves a bit, we concluded, applied, and were approved for a secured Capital One card AND a department store card. Both with small balances... but baby steps. We're going to follow the methods we've found on this forum for making payments to the letter and see if that works... if not, we'll figure it out and adjust.

I think the main point in my rambling here is to take it seriously, put time and effort into it and try and have some fun with it. The one thing I learned from the counselors is that this is my credit, which is why no one else gives a ....

Hope that helps.

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Postby otter » Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:30 pm

Hello, and welcome to the forum to both of you (rsechrist & trendecide). Many of us (including me) were once where you are now- some of us had even worse credit scores. You both have the right attitude towards fixing your credit, but the most important thing you can do in the credit battle is arm yourself with good information. Trendecide is right when he says that good credit is something you must put into your own hands. "Credit repair gurus" can't do anything that you can't do yourself, but first you must learn as much as you can. You haven't given enough information to go by to give really specific advice(such as what cards to try for), but here are some general rules that I decided when I rebuilt my credit:
  • Stay away from scum lenders- There used to be a lot of creditors in the sub-sub-prime game which were practically loan sharks. Now there are basically two- First Premier and Credit One. I have to question any credit repair guy who recommends First Premier Bank and wonder if he has some sort of incentive for doing so(First Premier has a wonderful referral system- which is why they are everywhere). There's nothing wrong with referring credit card business as long as you give all the information- this site makes money off of credit card referrals, but they give all the information and refuse to link to First Premier Bank (even though they could probably make more money doing so.
  • [B]Your overall financial picture needs to be great[/B] Ask the Seattle Seahawks...the best offense is a good defense and the best defense in the credit score game is making sure your finances are great. You should have a good emergency stash, good positive cash flow, and you should always have enough liquid money to pay for whatever you buy with credit.
  • Don't apply for cards you have little chance of getting. Doing so only wastes inquiries. No creditor likes a lot of inquiries, especially if your credit is marginal. Save it for cards you have a good chance of getting.
  • Every card should have a purpose. When I first started my credit rebuilding journey, I started with two secured cards by Wells Fargo & Bank of America ($300 each). I then got a $500 card by Capitol One . I was excited about getting an unsecured card! As time went on, I began to get more picky about the cards I applied for. A card without any rewards is unacceptable, a card with an annual fee better have good benefits/rewards to make it worthwhile. You may not be in a position right now to be so discerning, but any card you get should offer you something which you can't get with what you currently have. (ie. I applied for the Sallie Mae card because it gives me 5% back on gas and groceries(up to $250 spent each per month). Nothing else in my lineup of cards offered that so I applied.

Anyway, hope that helps. Any other questions... feel free to ask! Good Luck!
In my Wallet:
  • Amex PRG NPSL[3-14, bd 91]
  • Sallie Mae MC $8000[1-14]
  • Chase Freedom $4700[1-14]
  • Discover It $2750[8-13]
  • BoA UCF Alumni Cash Rewards $5000 [3-15]
Sometimes in my Wallet:
  • GM BuyPower WEMC $5000[9-14]
  • Wells Fargo Propel 365 Amex $7000[4-14]
  • Barclaycard Arrival WEMC $7000[3-14]
  • BoA Better Balance $3000[2-15]
In my sockdrawer: Amex BCE $1000[10-13, bd 91], OCCU Duck $10000 [11-13], The Sportsman's Guide Visa $8000[8-14], Chase Slate $4000 [9-14]Delta Gold Amex $2000 [2-15 bd 91], Diners Club MC $20000 [10-14] Commerce Bank Visa $2000 [3-15] Citi Double Cash $1000 [3-15]
Total CL: $90450

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