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Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by anthony, May 8, 2000.
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Establishing credit can be difficult. Try Providian (www.providian.com). They will probably start you off at a $500 limit if approved. They are a sub-prime lender (at this point you are considered sub-prime) and are pretty good about getting people started. Or you can get a secured card from just about any bank you choose (Make sure they are one of the more reputable banks no matter if you choose secured or unsecured). Two warnings: Stay Away From CROSS COUNTRY BANK!!! Do NOT go overboard and apply for every credit card out there, it makes you look desperate and can significantly lower your chances of getting credit for at least 6 months. You should try Capital One also, they have really low limits but are a decent bank and they offer secured and unsecured cards. I hope this helps you a little, please come back with any questions or concerns. Obtaining credit can be extremely frustrating (been there, done that, hated it) and I will be glad to help in any way I can.
BTW, secured cards require security deposits and can be refunded after a certain period depending on your payment history. Unsecured require no deposits. Try the "Credit Card Offers" section on this board, it also offers suggestions and some of them can be applied for securely online.
ANTHONY, ALS gave you great advice on what to do, I just wanted to add that his advice about staying away from CROSS COUNTRY BANK
is very important. This bank is run by a bunch of crooks and in the long run will destroy your credit for years. If I were
you I would go with a secured card if at all
possible. The interest rates are usually lower. Providian is a good choice for an unsecured card, but their interest rate is
23% alittle high but their customer service is really good to work with. Good Luck!!
A way of establishing credit is by applying for a credit card at a major department store or with a company like Providian as mentioned below. They will probably start you off at a low credit line, Charge on the card and
try to pay the balance in full when the statement comes in. This will start establishing your credit history.
An interest rate of 23% or so is higher than normal but with you not having a credit background, this might be the best you can do at present. I assure you though, if you charge and then try to pay the balance in full and make payments on time every month, you will quickly develop a good credit history.
And before you know it you will then start receiving solicitations in the mail from credit card companies at an interest rate considerably lower than 23% and for a much higher credit limit.
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The other respondents have given you good advice. I feel that even though you have no credit history you shouldn't have any major difficulty in obtaining a secured card from a major bank in this respect you are treated differently than somebody with damaged credit.
Once having obtained the secured card you can then proceed to the malls and find that a number of department stores will instantly approve you for their card. Ironically enough you will find that these same stores would almost certainly decline your application the day before (without your secured card).
You might try to obtain department store cards at stores that offer you in time the option of upgrading their card to a major credit card (Walmart, J.C. Penny amongst others).
A word of advice, stay away from all these crappy sub-prime, high fee, rip-off cards, you don't need them for building up credit or for anything else. Besides which, after 6 months to 1 year of good payments on the secured/retail cards you'll almost certainly get offers for "prime" cards.
Try apply to Target. You will need to mail in an application and it will take atleast 6 weeks to hear back, but almost everything you could ever need for basic living you can buy there. Target was my first store card and my first mastercard was Universal card through AT & T, they generally dole those out to college students at www.universalcollege.com
Everyone before me has been very helpful and offred good advice. Let me add a few points:
(1) A credit union where your family banks might be a good place to get a little tiny unsecured card. A girl I work with got a $250 card about 8 months ago, and then Providian was after her in a few months and gave her a $1000 unsecured card.
(2) You may get a secured card by asking Providian or Capital One first, but an unsecured card usually comes at their initiative. Banks seem to be incredibly phobic about people who ask them first. They want to stay in control of the whole preselection and approval process.
(3) Some banks want people who pay in full each month, but others realize that they need balances to make money. I suggest paying off over 2 or 3 months, keeping a balance but never getting close to your credit limit.
(4) Department store and even gasoline cards are often neglected. The advice about going to Target or to the mall with a bank card in hand is very good. My experience and that of others indicates that Sears and J.C. Penney are hard to get. Others may be easier. Make sure that you can read and understand a store application, since they vary quite a bit. Texaco seems to be very aggressive about
offering cards. They just offered me a second preapproved card, and I'm sure you'll hear from them as well once you get started.
(5) I wish you the best in building good credit. It is really amazing how much credit you can finally get if you just pay on time and don't spend it all at once.
Stay WAY away from your credit limit because they will slam you will outrageous fees AND then deny credit increases later. Even if you go over by a few dollars, it makes no difference.
If you go for a secured card, find one that will grant an addtional unsercured credit line. First Consumers National Bank was one I used some years ago. I had a $200 deposit and they gave $200 additional credit. They were OK as creditors go.
You only need to shell out $200-250 to get started, and you can expect that back within six months to a year, depending on the creditor. Make your payments on time and only use about 60% of your credit line max at any one time.