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Great score, no debt, still turned down for credit. What gives??

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I am 30 and working on getting my first credit card. I just checked my FICO scores and reports, and see that I have an average score of 784, with no problems reported in my history. I do have student loan debt, but I returned to college late, and am in the process of transferring to another school. So although I have debt and I have never paid anything off, neither have I made any late payments: none have come due yet!

Despite my score, whenever I try to apply for a card I am turned down altogether. The only thing I can think of is that my age and my student loans have something to do with this. But this makes no sense to me, since in college I knew students who had horrible credit history with a similar amount of debt, and STILL were able to get multiple credit cards! And I just want one, for responsible living expenses. The companies that turned me down send me to the credit bureaus, who in turn tell me my history looks good. So what is going on here? :confused:

Second question: I found a local credit union that seems to be a little more flexible with accepting applicants. They tell me that their starting interest rate is 11.79% for all applicants. This seems high to me, particularly with my excellent FICO score; however I don't know if I can do better, and I don't know why. Is that high, and can I do better? Is it still better after a year? :?:

I realize that I might be able to get a secured card but I prefer to figure out what is going on first, to know if a regular card is an option for me, but I'm doing something wrong....

I am planning on going to the credit union tomorrow, and I still have yet to find any definitive advice on whether or not 11.79% is a good, bad, ugly, or amazing starting interest rate for someone in my position. :!:

Please risk being wrong and just tell me what you *think,* any financial wizards out there; because I have NO advice on this particular. And tell me why you think that. I donʻt want to wait any longer if there IS no answer. But I donʻt want to find out a month or two from now that there was a much better deal for me elsewhere! :roll:

The reason that I am hoping to do this asap is that I am expecting some major life changes ahead, and I want to have an "emergency" plan and as much financial independence as possible. :-( I have been researching my options for long enough, just not finding answers.



P.S. In case you are wondering whether I qualify financially, I definitely meet the income requirement; I work a salaried job and earn $26,000 which isnʻt huge but itʻs certainly enough.

When I get turned down, I always ask: there is always insufficient information I am told to explain why, and I am sent to the bureaus to inquire further. They donʻt give you the info then and there: they give you a letter saying that since you have been turned down, you have a right to request a free report from the bureaus, which should explain why. But as I explained, when I go to the bureaus(Equifax, Experian, Transunion,) I have nothing negative on my report, so this is why I donʻt understand what the problem is!

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Hey there, welcome aboard...

Less than 12% for a credit card is good. There aren't many better (there are "introductory" rates that jump back up after 3-9 months).

You're probably getting turned down because you don't have any other credit. One of the biggest predictors for who the CCs will make money off of, is whether or not you're already in debt (student loans don't count).

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hi willing....

THANKS for your reply!! :)

so.... you say 11.79% is good. ok. i know itʻs not bad.

but for the sake of argument, i have seen some out there for like 7.9% , like i think one thatʻs called "pulaski." but i donʻt know if i *could* qualify for that. if i could obviously it would be better. the question for me is *how!*

also, suze orman seems to recommend taking advantage of the 0% in the first year. but they all skyrocket after that, like you say; i canʻt find any that donʻt.

if it is just an endless circular dance of: "you donʻt have credit so you canʻt get credit so you still donʻt have credit so you still canʻt get credit...." than maybe i have no *choice* but the credit union....


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As a general rule (there are always exceptions), credit bureaus tend to be your best choice for banking...as well as credit. There's usually some local control, and they that local conditions into account.

And, unlike some of the big CC players who offer 7.9%, they're not really structured to make you fail. Crap 1, for example, likes to issue multiple low limit cards to the same person...with a starting rate around 5% (I think). Their plan is, because you only have a $300 limit, you'll rapidly exceed that on your first trip to Best Buy...and then they can hit you with the $30 overlimit fee PER MONTH, and the bogus late fees. Their 5% interest jumps to something more like 30% real quick.

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It's important to know you need to build your credit before you can access these low rate cards, you're credit score is high right now because the major(if not only) debt you have is student loans(good debt) In order to obtain the "next level" cards you need to start with one like at the credit union first. Use that, charge some items, and pay them off for a good 6 months to a year, and you'll be surprised who's catering to you after that! Additionally, taking out a small personal loan and paying that off in less time than is required will also bump up your credit history in a short period of time as well. Also. that 11% definately is not bad!!!

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