My first approved credit card had a $500 limit. That same card today has a $60,000 limit. Here’s how I did it (not to be taken as advice!):
In the early stages of my building credit my score was impacted by delinquent student loan payments (30 day, 60 day, 90 day, 120 day) which I knew were going to be on my report for 7 years (yikes). I had to navigate around these delinquencies as much as I could. I decided to take an aggressive approach to credit building. First of all I brought my student loan payments current. Secondly I made sure I paid my credit card on time every month, more than the minimum AFTER the bill would post a “statement balance” (major key!)
After the first year of positive payment history I decided to request a credit line increase. I tripled my credit line from $500 to $1500. Making sure I kept the utilization under 30% I rinsed and repeated my process (on time payments, etc). Every 6 months to a year I’d request another line increase. I was strategic with these request because they often resulted in a hard credit pull.
Once I got to about 3k limit I applied for another bank card. Key word… bank card.
I timed my credit pulls so that they would fall off at the same time. (Credit line increase, 1 new credit card same day. Wait six months increase both same day, etc.) As I grew in my career (and my business) I could report a higher income each year. Higher income, low utilization, on time payments meant a higher credit score. My delinquency, and lack of credit history were the only things holding me back so I focused on what I could control. My behaviors.
When I hit 10 and 20k limits on my cards I started spacing out my increase requests from 6 month increments to year or two increments. I also found cards that don’t do a hard pull everytime I wanted an increase (Citi/Amex).
Eventually I stopped requesting. My inquiries fell off.
High limit+ low utilization + low inquiry’s + on time payments+ varied accounts (including installment loans) + no negative remarks = 800 plus credit score.
I read once that an 800 credit score has purchasing power of 100k… I’m here to tell you that is #BigFacts