Want some advice about your specific credit card scenario? I’ll be glad to help you if we can agree on several things up front:
- You acknowledge that your credit is one of your most important assets.
- You are currently paying off any credit card balances you have in full every month, and you do not have any credit card interest charges.
- You have no major purchases planned within the next two years.
- The decisions you make on which cards to apply for, are ultimately solely your decisions.
I’d encourage you to sign up for CreditSesame (free and no credit required). This will give you a representation of your Experian credit score completely free. This score is also updated once per month; for free. Additionally you should grab your free annual credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com (Thank you Uncle Sam for mandating this). Having your scores and reports before applying for credit cards gives you a baseline and also ensures that there is nothing out there that you don’t want. When applying for cards we want to make sure you get approved for everything. If you’re going to be doing this for the long term, look to sign-up for a credit monitoring service. I use TrueCredit (link on the blog too).
With those stipulations agreed upon, I’m going to suggest the following steps:
- Do you have a current credit report and credit score? If not, CreditSesame.com and CreditKarma.com will give you your Experian and TransUnion credit score for free. You can get your free credit report from numerous free trial offers, also listed on the left hand column of the blog.
- I’d like a list of your current credit cards if any, the credit limit, any outstanding revolving balance, and when you opened these accounts. If you’d like to disclose it, your other debts (e.g. student loans or car loans and their monthly payments).
- How many inquiries show on your report within the last two years? How many in the last year? Not all free trial offers provide this info. If you can’t find this info and are new to applying for cards, we won’t need it to start.
- I wrote a series of blog articles from August 10 – 17 of 2008 (August 10, August 11, August 12, August 13, August 14, August 15, 2008) and in December 2009 (December 14, December 15, December 18) on credit cards. It is worthwhile reading to familiarize yourself with the topic at hand.
- I will never ask for any personal identifying information such as social security number, address, or phone.
We have been Around the World literally on credit card bonuses and sign-ups. Our second RTW trip was April through June 2009 for 61 nights with points and miles earned from the techniques I can teach you. Our Business class tickets were free (except for taxes) and 58 of the 61 nights were on hotel points.
It would be my pleasure to help you. Let me know when you have the information gathered and we’ll see what is the best plan of action for you.