“What is the best credit card for me to apply for? I currently only have a Discover student card. I am 20 years old and my FICO score is 731.”
This is a question that I recently replied to on a social site. My reply is below. It was more information than requested, but it came from my heart and most of all from my experience in the credit repair industry. See what you think…..…
I am going to answer this as a 55-year-old guy who just happens to have spent the last 15 years working in the credit recovery industry. I will also give you some advice as a Father of two children who are much younger than you, but the same advice in basics will be given to them as they grow from one stage of life into another. So first, to answer your question about credit cards. Apply for a Credit Union Visa or MasterCard as in general their terms and interest rates are better as well as their credit limits tend to be higher. They are not gimmicking type cards with constant special offers. Which I like! I am not a big fan of the usual suspects such as Amex and the big bank cards. I am also not a big fan of Discover card, however, keep it open and try to raise its limit every year or so. That goes for all your credit cards as it will help your credit score if you do not abuse them. End up with three cards and no more. Discover, Visa and MC will work. Keep all balances at all times under 20 percent of the cards limits unless of an emergency which does not include “The Burning Man Festival.” Remember, never ever pay the bill late and if you have to work overtime to pay your bills on time do so. Late payments will kill your FICO score!
Be smart with your money! Now is not the time to buy a new car, really not advisable at any age (read one of my blogs on that subject for more info). Start disciplining yourself with a budget and learn to stick to it. Also at your age start thinking of investing not saving (two different concepts)to really grow your money! Check out Stash as its a great venue to start understanding how investing money works, without a huge outlay of cash to start. Two of my nieces (who actually listen to their uncle, lol) signed up recently and are finding that investing in and watching their money grow is fun! Try to invest 100.00 monthly or more and have it deducted weekly. Have it auto deducted out of your account so it beats you to the punch before the weekends. If you get as serious about using money as an investment tool as you are about attaining credit cards and watching your credit scores then you are well on your way to becoming a self-made millionaire. The fun part is you can do it well before your last push-ups. LOL So while some of your friends are worrying about how much a new gaming system is, you’re quietly going to be watching your Stash dollars grow into amounts that will quickly separate you from the pack and allow you to invest in other ventures as well.
For your own sake, keep your credit scores and accumulating wealth on the low down as it often can put you in uncomfortable situations. Pretty self-explanatory I think. Never ever let anyone use or piggyback on your credit! Not your significant other, spouses, parents, brothers or sisters but especially friends! I have seen so many great intentions go wrong from big hearts that my advice should be plastered on Dr. Phil, lol. This is not being mean, it’s called being wise with your hard earned credit and money. If you choose to be generous, let it be on your terms and well thought out (based not only by your heart but also your mind). Listen, have fun always and enjoy the game of Life but don’t be a pushover at your own expense. Use wisdom in all your decisions and don’t be in a rush to make them. Think, think and think some more. Both women and men respect wisdom and wisdom coupled with wealth is a really good thing!
Attila Thiry is the current CEO of CCEG Inc, National Credit Resources. He is a published author and a national speaker on the subject of Credit Recovery for the past 15 years. He has a BA/Business and Sociology from CWU and lives in the Tri-Cities area of Washington State.