Help me join the 760+ club
December 1, 2011 6:24 PM Subscribe
I'm in my thirties. I've never had a credit card. Where do I go from here?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (21 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I've never needed one. I've never wanted one. But now that my adulthood seems to be upon me, I would like to bring my credit from "very good" to "really awesome."
My score, which I recently checked for the first time, is currently about 740. I have student loans that I've always paid on time or ahead of time. I pay my bills on time. I have a bank account with $5000 of overdraft protection. That's pretty much it.
I've never had much money; I'm just boringly conservative with what I do have. In fact, I've never paid much attention to my credit before, because of that. I always figured that responsible financial behavior = a credit score that would make any landlord happy. (I don't think the matter of my credit has even arisen otherwise, as I've never financed anything other than my education.)
But, you know, adulthood makes things more complicated. Now that I have a Grownup Job that pays the
big medium dollars, I'd like to think about buying a home in about five years. When the time comes, I'd like to be ready with Awesome Credit, to get the Awesome Mortgage. (Overachiever.) According to my credit report, I'd have a better score if I had a credit card, I guess because it would make credit available to me.
What should my plan be?
I was thinking I'd apply for one or two credit cards with good rewards, use them for regular expenses (but never over 10% of the line of credit), and always pay the bills immediately. Then I'll periodically ask for credit increases. I'm guessing I won't have much trouble getting approved, but can anyone recommend a particular card or strategy?
-I will be done paying off my student loans soon. How will that affect my credit?
-I would like to switch banks (for the same reasons everyone else did recently). How will losing that $5000 overdraft protection affect my credit?
Any other factors I haven't accounted for? Sorry if I seem dense or overly careful; it's just that credit cards are a foreign land to me.