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Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Melissa, Nov 25, 2000.
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Most credit card companies will require an income of at least $8K to $12K a year before they issue you an unsecured or higher credit line. I would recommend that you start using the card you just got, make your payments on time and before you know it you'll start getting credit line increases.
Try applying for a couple of department store credit cards, if you get qualified, do the same thing, keep a small balance on them and make your payments on time. By doing this you'll quickly start building a good payment history and Then I can almost guarantee that you'll start getting offers for Prime credit cards with much better credit lines.
I have a client that turned 18 in January 1999, she applied for a couple of credit cards and got little $100 and $250 credit lines, now her credit lines are in the thousands and just recently got approved for a Platinum Visa ($7,000) credit line.
The key is to show responsable use of your credit.
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Thank you so much. I am going to go ahead and do the info you gave me. Thank you for your help.
I agree with what Alex said about being responsible about credit. You picked a good company for a first card. Providian does not have the most attractive terms but it does grant substantial increases. You could probably get a store card as Alex suggests (make sure it reports to the credit bureaus) and get one more major card from another lender. That will give you three trade lines which is a nice start.
You can get on to joint accounts with your fiance once you're married. If you can't wait for that, some companies might let him cosign for you.
How much credit is enough varies from one person to another. Some people may need higher limits because they are self-employed and use cards to manage both personal and business expenses. A person who travels alot for a job may have to pay expenses and get reimbursed later. Higher limits may help to bail people out of emergencies such as unanticipated travel or temporary loss of employment although banking some cash for emergencies is probably a better way to handle it.
On the downside, people who do not appreciate that when they charge they are taking out a loan that must be repaid relatively quickly to avoid crippling interest probably will get into trouble with high limits.
Impulsive spenders with high limit cards who don't have the resources to pay them down fast get into trouble. Although income is an important factor in determining the initial credit line, it becomes irrelevant later. Creditors grant increases based on card usage and satisfactory repayment. Some look at a credit report. As long as everyone is getting paid, the credit line will increase. It does not matter that you've quit your job and hope to find another one soon. It is not uncommon for people to have available credit that is four to five times their annual incomes once they have built up a seven year history of unblemished credit.
It is a good idea to track your credit cards in a program like Quicken or Microsoft Money.
That way you know at any given point in time what you've spent and how much available credit is left. You will know how much you've spent over a given period of time and how much interest and fees you've paid. With that kind of information, it is much easier to keep debt under control.
Never pay just the minimum balance. It will take decades to pay off a substantial balance doing that.
Don't be credit shy. You have to use credit to build it. But once you get limits in the thousands of dollars, you should be careful to keep the balances you carry to well under 50% of the total available credit. The lower the better. Alternate between carrying balances and paying off cards completely. This will get you higher limits. After that, prime banks with lower rates and higher limits will make offers.
Stay away from credit protection programs. They are an expensive rip-off. Just say no to telemarketers who will call to sell you useless crap to be conveniently charged on your card.
Check your credit report every 6-12 months. Correct any inaccuracies that hurt you.
Your Fiancee can add you to his accounts now, if he wants, check with the bank whether or not they will report you into the bureau if he does so first.
Also Mobil is an easy card to get once your Providian Card starts reporting. Wait for about 3 months from when your card was opened, then apply for Mobil, and 1 Major Dept. Store Card like Target (also Easy).