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Another credit card post...

Another credit card post...

Old Jan 3rd 2008, 6:56 pm
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Default Another credit card post...

Hi,

I posted on here a few months ago when I was planning my move to San Francisco. It's worked out pretty well so far, I got here in September and it's been fantastic.

I remember a lot of posts on here regarding how to get a credit card... thought I'd share my experience.

I got a Wells Fargo bank account when I arrived, asked about a credit card when I signed up and the girl who set up my account said I'd probably have to get a secured card.
The idea of a secured card didn't really appeal to me, and my Visa debit card was working fine, but I decided to get a credit card anyway a few weeks ago. I just went for the Wells Fargo credit card, mainly so it would integrate with my online banking account.
Anyway, all I did was fill out the online application from the online banking site, I put in the name of the temp agency I am working with as my employer, and maybe slightly exaggerated the "salary". I got approved and they sent me a credit card with a $5,500 limit and a reasonable interest rate. I don't think I have a credit history as I haven't worked in the US before or anything, so I don't know what happened. But for anyone reading this who is worried about getting a credit card here, my advice is to not bother asking about the secured card and just apply for a regular credit card online, with the same bank as your checking account. Worked for me!
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Old Jan 3rd 2008, 7:07 pm
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Default Re: Another credit card post...

Originally Posted by georgio View Post
I got approved and they sent me a credit card with a $5,500 limit and a reasonable interest rate.
Glad to hear you're liking San Francisco, and were able to get a credit card with little hassle. Bill's #1 piece of financial advice for you (that I realize you didn't ask for) is to forget about that "reasonable" interest rate. In fact, think of it as "unreasonable" or better yet, "unacceptable". Pay off your card in full every month. DON'T get into the habit of carrying a balance. That's throwing money away.
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Old Jan 3rd 2008, 7:10 pm
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Default Re: Another credit card post...

Absolutely, and thanks for the advice. I am planning on spending only like ~$100/month on it and paying it off immediately, so that I can get a decent credit rating built up. Then I should be able to get a mortgage and auto leasing in a year or so.

I do have the new "PayWave" thing where you just touch the card to a reader for small purchases in places like 7Eleven, a bit like an Oyster card. Seems pretty clever.
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Old Jan 4th 2008, 2:04 am
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Default Re: Another credit card post...

Originally Posted by georgio View Post
Absolutely, and thanks for the advice. I am planning on spending only like ~$100/month on it and paying it off immediately, so that I can get a decent credit rating built up. Then I should be able to get a mortgage and auto leasing in a year or so.

I do have the new "PayWave" thing where you just touch the card to a reader for small purchases in places like 7Eleven, a bit like an Oyster card. Seems pretty clever.
Yeah paywave is cool - I just walked past you with my scanner in my pocket Cheers!

And welcome to the Bay Area!
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Old Jan 4th 2008, 12:17 pm
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Default Re: Another credit card post...

Originally Posted by scotch03 View Post
Yeah paywave is cool - I just walked past you with my scanner in my pocket Cheers!

And welcome to the Bay Area!
what is paywave?????
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Old Jan 4th 2008, 12:44 pm
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Default Re: Another credit card post...

My bank calls it something else, but it's basically some chip in your ATM card which lets you swipe it and not have to sign/enter PIN for small-amount items. Think mine is called PayPass or something.
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Old Jan 4th 2008, 12:51 pm
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Default Re: Another credit card post...

I've seen similar things at Mobil Gas stations, you can get a card called a speedpass - you just hold the card near the area on the pump and you are good to fill up.

All these things are basically proximity cards - convenient but the security side to it isn't the best.
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Old Jan 4th 2008, 12:54 pm
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Default Re: Another credit card post...

Originally Posted by georgio View Post
...I put in the name of the temp agency I am working with as my employer, and maybe slightly exaggerated the "salary"....

...But for anyone reading this who is worried about getting a credit card here, my advice is to not bother asking about the secured card and just apply for a regular credit card online, with the same bank as your checking account. Worked for me!
Just so I'm clear on this:
You recommend lying about your salary on credit applications, so you can get a credit limit you can't really afford. That's one of the big reasons we're in this sub-prime mess, with people lying to get credit they can't repay.
You recommend that anyone without a credit history just go ahead and apply for credit cards, in the hope they'll get one, even though each rejection takes points off your (already piss-poor) credit score.
I'm glad it worked out for you, but that's certainly not advice I'd go around giving to people!
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Old Jan 4th 2008, 3:40 pm
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Exclamation Re: Another credit card post...

Originally Posted by georgio View Post
<<snip>>
Anyway, all I did was fill out the online application from the online banking site, I put in the name of the temp agency I am working with as my employer, and maybe slightly exaggerated the "salary". I got approved and they sent me a credit card with a $5,500 limit and a reasonable interest rate. I don't think I have a credit history as I haven't worked in the US before or anything, so I don't know what happened. But for anyone reading this who is worried about getting a credit card here, my advice is to not bother asking about the secured card and just apply for a regular credit card online, with the same bank as your checking account. Worked for me!
I don't think you read this article, did you?
http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Fatbri...it_and_Finance

If you keep up the behavior that you describe above, I wouldn't be surprised if you find yourself in trouble in the long run.
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Old Jan 4th 2008, 4:05 pm
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Default Re: Another credit card post...

Originally Posted by georgio View Post
Hi,

I posted on here a few months ago when I was planning my move to San Francisco. It's worked out pretty well so far, I got here in September and it's been fantastic.

I remember a lot of posts on here regarding how to get a credit card... thought I'd share my experience.

I got a Wells Fargo bank account when I arrived, asked about a credit card when I signed up and the girl who set up my account said I'd probably have to get a secured card.
The idea of a secured card didn't really appeal to me, and my Visa debit card was working fine, but I decided to get a credit card anyway a few weeks ago. I just went for the Wells Fargo credit card, mainly so it would integrate with my online banking account.
Anyway, all I did was fill out the online application from the online banking site, I put in the name of the temp agency I am working with as my employer, and maybe slightly exaggerated the "salary". I got approved and they sent me a credit card with a $5,500 limit and a reasonable interest rate. I don't think I have a credit history as I haven't worked in the US before or anything, so I don't know what happened. But for anyone reading this who is worried about getting a credit card here, my advice is to not bother asking about the secured card and just apply for a regular credit card online, with the same bank as your checking account. Worked for me!

I'm glad it worked for you. Hopefully, you didn't exaggerate your salary too much. I think you have to sign your name to the statement that everything you've written on the application is the truth.

Do not let the negative people get you down too much; they are just trying to warn you from getting yourself into trouble. But like one of the posters said, do not keep applying for cards. And if you do get some type of short-term (same as cash) loan for a tv, stereo, etc., make sure you cancel it in writing or it can cause a future lender (auto, home) to steer clear of you. They see open accounts as potential debt.

I know the credit thing is tough. I'm a USC and hubby gets to 'piggyback' on my car loans through our bank. The loans are in my name. The first one is for his car that we purchased before he got his green card. As soon as his green card was approved they added him to it as a cosigner so he could build credit. We just traded my car in for a new one and the loan is in both our names.
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Old Jan 4th 2008, 4:15 pm
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Default Re: Another credit card post...

Hey, thanks again for the advice. I think I've done quite well by avoiding the secured card - giving the bank $1000 of mine to hold onto for a year seems quite an expensive way to build credit. I've achieved the same end goal (a credit card to use to build a credit score) without that cost. I guess my salary comment sounded quite cavalier to some of you...but thanks for your concern about my credit score.
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Old Jan 4th 2008, 6:45 pm
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Default Re: Another credit card post...

I understated our income, only realised it said joint after it had gone.

But it seems to matter not, that is the standard starter limit and more than enough for me anyway. Spend more than that a month and my finances will have issues.
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Old Jan 6th 2008, 3:24 pm
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Default Re: Another credit card post...

After arriving, my wife was turned down for a CC due to lack of credit history. We put a few bills in her name, added her to the checking account (which got her a visa debit card) and a year later she re-applied for a Capital One CC...which was apporved for a very small amount
($300), high intrest and fees. She has used it monthly, we have paid the entire balance monthly and now it has been increased several times. She also has been given 2 store cards and one new card with a nice limit (several thousand) with a more reasonable rate and no fee. It took less than 18 months...and now gets cards/offers in the mail every week...which we throw away.
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Old Jan 7th 2008, 3:16 am
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Default Re: Another credit card post...

Took out a car loan with my grandfather inlaw in May 05....paid it religiously on time and in advance. Should be paid off by the end of the year.

Took out a $500 limit credit card in Dec 05 and carried a balance a few months but never was late with a payment. Paid it off about 3-4 times but I keep it open for my wife with online pre-orders that can charged whenever.
We've had the balance increased.....I call to get it decreased again.

Paid electric bill on time since Mar 06 and nothing else.
No other debt at all.

Credit score of 701 just from that.
So if you don't plan to use the card more than a few hundred a month, get the credit limit lowered and freeze it. It's like pulling teeth with Capital One but trust me....its security for you in the long run.

Best advise I can give....pay it off and cut it up.
Self insure and keep $1000 in your savings at all time for emergencies.....because life happens

Oh and you can stop most credit card offers by going to http://www.optoutprescreen.com

Last edited by cpltony; Jan 7th 2008 at 3:18 am. Reason: Updated details
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Old Jan 7th 2008, 9:32 am
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Default Re: Another credit card post...

There's plenty of disnformation about credit bureaus on both sides of the Atlantic. Over here, it's actually possible to get a 'reasonable' (i.e. good enough to get a proper credit card) score on the back of paying-off a utility bill each month. That said lenders are generally raising their 'pass' scores due to the current economic conditions.

The best advice is to either build you credit in small steps(as advised elsewhere on this thread), or go for a card linked to your bank or mortgage company. I applied for a mortgage with Wells Fargo as I was tipped-off that they had a special ex-pat team. I was accepted and got a good rate. Since getting the keys I've had plenty of credit card offers!
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