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New to building credit, specifically what can I do?

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I've been monitoring my experian credit report for over a year now. My current Experian Fica is 634. It started at 547.

I am trying to establish a couple revolving accounts to build my credit. I have applied for so many its ridiculous. I am denied everytime. At this time I am still waiting to hear from a Lowe's account and an Orchard Bank credit card.

Is my only option secured? If I am denied by Orchard, am I just out of luck? What other CC's are good choices for someone with limited credit and a score of 634 on experian.

Right now I am just looking for ways to increase my credit. Am I trying too hard by applying for every card. Do I need to slow down? I already have 8 inquiries. What else can I do?

Also, are their any companies that offer all 3 credit bureas monitoring for under $35.00? Right now I pay only $9.95 but next month I am going to try to tackle all 3 reports. Which website offers a good monitoring service? Right now I use creditexpert.com which I enjoy.


A little history... I'm basically new to credit. Right now what I have on my experian is as follows...

1. Collection Co. - Opened 12/1/2004 - In dispute $71.00

2. Utility Company - 4/1/2001 - No amount shown. (Paid, was a collection account, insurance claim or government claim or was terminated for default)

3. School Loan - 2/1/2004 - Balance $1315, Always paid on time & Current

4. AutoLoan 11/1/2002 - Paid satisfactory. Paid off early. Account only open for 1.5 years. Every month paid on time.

Real Estate Accounts $0

Revolving Accounts $0

Installment Accounts $1315

Other Accounts $0

Collection Accounts $71

Total Accounts $1386

Open Accts - 1

Closed Accts - 3

Public Records - 0

Inquiries - 8 (5 in 2005 - 2 in 2004 - 1 in 2003)

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Because you already have too many inquiries on your Experian report!!

The credit score you get from Experian is not your FICO score. You can only get that directly from FICO, or from Equifax. You MUST pull your Equifax and TransUnion reports as well as Experian. You may find out, for example, that your Equifax report is better than your Experian. In that case, you apply for a card that pulls Equifax reports, like Household.

Get all three reports and start from there. You can't rely on just one report, and you also owe it to yourself to fix any errors that might appear. Then you can start rebuilding.

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You can get your FICO score from Equifax at the same time you pull your Equifax report.

If you've never gotten the free reports that you're entitled to, head on over to annualcreditreport.com and get what's rightfully yours--a free report from each bureau, once a year.

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