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Getting out from under secured cards


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I have read over many posts from Willingtocope and others that say that secured cards do little to help your actual FICO and I would like to begin closing mine.  I can close both my Applied Bank and First premier. I am reluctant to close my Capt 1 though as I only put up $29 for it anyway and I believe they graduate to unsecured for most people after about a yr.  Is that true?  Are there other unsecured cards that graduate I can look into?  Also I am in the process of GW with first premier as I fell late at one point due to a temporary disability.  I had my left eye completely shut which at the time I thought was Bell's Palsy due to hypertension. I filed a time away report at work to take away some of the stress and work on my health but I kept having stranger and stranger attacks. Later I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder.  I have read that GW letters to First Premier are a long shot but I just don't want to close it with late pays in the history.  Any thoughts?  I also have Credit One subprime card (and another one from Verve on the way I haven't received yet before I learned better from actively reading these forums) which may not do me any good to close because they are unsecured but do they really do much to hurt me since I don't carry a balance?  I have utilization generally under 10% so any interest is miniscule if I pay any at all.  I am working on getting rid of CA and a judgement from surrendered autos currently.  When those are gone I intend to apply for unsecured cards with my credit unions.  Also are secured installment loans in the same category as secured credit cards when it come to your actual FICO scores?  I thought about these so called credit builder loans as my husband has successfully done those in the past and his scores are all in the 700's. I thought they would help my mix of credit as I have only ever had credit cards and an autoloan.  No personal loans and no mortgage ever.  Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.

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I have read that GW letters to First Premier are a long shot but I just don't want to close it with late pays in the history.  Any thoughts? 

 

It can't hurt to try but don't get your hopes up.  

 

I am working on getting rid of CA and a judgement from surrendered autos currently. 

 

The judgment is hurting you the most with the CA being second. With those reporting it won't really matter how many other accounts you open your score is not likely to budge much.

 

Also are secured installment loans in the same category as secured credit cards when it come to your actual FICO scores?  

 

Installment loans do not do much to help your FICO scores and a secured one likely does little other than show a payment history which will bring me to my next point.

 

Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.

 

I think you are moving WAY too fast at the rebuilding process.  Quickly opening all of these accounts will hurt your score(s) far more than it will help.  The hit you will take for the inquiries combined with the lowering of your average account age will not be worth it.  

 

First contact Cap1 and find out if your specific card graduates.  Some of their products do not.  If so that one has a better reputation than First Premier or Credit One which are nothing more than fee harvesting cards with high interest and low credit limits.  They are considered "toy" cards that do more harm than good.

 

My thoughts are you need to STOP opening accounts for at least a year.  Even if you close some of the accounts now continuously opening new accounts is a bad sign to creditors that you are desperate for a reason that may not be obvious to them.  You need to focus less on your FICO scores and more on your debt.  You did not get into debt over night and you are NOT going to get out over night either.  If you control your debt then your FICO scores will reflect that.  Once you have at least an 18 month if not 2 year on time payment history on your established accounts open another keeping in mind that you lower your average age of account with each new one you open.  Potential new creditors want to see longevity and on time payments not necessarily dozens of open accounts.

 

Time will heal this issue.  Rushing the process will not help it.

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I do feel in a rush though.  Our plan when we lived in Louisiana was to buy a house and since my credit was shot and Hubby the major income earner we were gonna just leave me off the loan.  I opened the first secured cards in Jan 2012.  We ended up relocating to TX with Hubbys job and are expecting another baby and outgrowing our rental.  I assumed we'd be leaving me off the loan again but found out most won't allow it in TX as a community property state.  Pulled my credit and found it to be more salvageable than I thought as my 04 bankruptcy and most negatives have aged off.  I don't expect to have excellent credit anytime soon but I'd like to increase about 50 pts in the next 6 months-1 yr just so as not to disqualify hubby for a mortgage.  I had hoped 6 months so we could be in a place by the time new baby is born but looks like it may be closer to a year.  Is that unreasonable?

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