Your Credit is Already Shot. The Question now is: Where do you go From Here?

This is a different kind of story for me. My usual story assumes that you’re already on an upward trajectory. Today’s story, though, assumes that your credit is thrashed, scraping the bottom of the barrel. Still, sinking to the bottom is easy. Working your way back is where the tough work is. Which brings us to today’s story. What do you do if your credit report is littered with a bevy of negative accounts? Do you try and dig your way out by grabbing a host of tradelines accounts that will overwhelm the amount of negative accounts that you have? Do you just try and grab a few accounts that you can nurture while the negative accounts age? In a lot of ways, these are philosophical questions. For those at the bottom right now, I think it makes a lot of sense to sit back and think about the path you want to take.To be sure, prime lenders aren’t going to be knocking your door down with new credit offers. With a host of bad accounts spread about your credit reports, you’re not in a position to be picky when it comes to new credit. But you do control how many new accounts you’re going to ultimately add to your credit report. Fact is, there are a lot of options out there for people with bad credit. Indeed, there is no shortage of creditors out there that will give you a new card — equipped with usurious interest rates and pathetically low credit limits. It may not be the kind of credit you want, but it’s something.Considering how important new tradelines are to the credit-repair process, deciding how many to add is an important question that must be asked — and answered. I think there are three ways that you can play this.One, you can get a plethora of new accounts, thereby overwhelming the negative accounts. Two, you can get a handful or less, and nurture them as the negative history ages away from the credit report. Or, finally, you can do nothing. I don’t think option three is a very realistic option, so I’ll discard that from my choices. Option three, just for the record, is a bad choice because you’ll be left with nothing when those bad accounts finally age off your reports. You’ll be left looking like a credit beginner when that happens. So option three is a bad choice.Option one, adding a bunch of accounts, whether you need them or not, is tempting. It’s tempting because you’ll want to add new credit limits that will help your utilization ratio. The more limits you get, the easier it will be to keep utilization low when you do use the credit cards. Given that 30% of the FICO calculation consists of utilization, getting a lot of additional credit seems appealing.Adding a lot of accounts also makes sense because, as I have preached many times, having options is a good thing. If one of your creditors does something to irritate you, you can always sock drawer the card and put it in time out. So, having options is a good thing. And it’s another reason why getting more than a handful of cards could make sense. Moreover, there’s a chance that adding a lot of new credit limits could result in a short-term approval, an approval that could hinge on a higher credit score. Of course, there’s no guarantee that a bunch of new accounts would actually result in a score increase. Those new accounts could end up costing you points instead — as inquiries and new accounts drive your credit score down. It’s a crap shoot at best.Sub-prime accounts strewn about the credit report may haunt you laterHowever, there is also a downside to grabbing a bunch of new cards. Because your credit sucks, you’re going to be offered a lot of low-limit cards. What’s more, you’re going to be offered cards — by sub-prime lenders — that aren’t likely to grow with you over time. Additionally, you’re likely going to apply for cards that you’ll never use especially if you’re applying solely for utilization purposes. The risk in all of this is that you’ll end up way down the road with a bunch of cards that scream sub-prime. And I mean scream. Even when the bad accounts age off, you’ll be left with a slew of cards that you’ll probably regret having. In a nutshell, your credit report will look like credit road kill. Surely, though, this person’s credit score will be significantly higher when those bad accounts finally age off the credit report. It’s at this point that I worry most about the choice — made long ago — of adding a bunch of lackluster tradelines to the credit reports. Now that the scores are up, and the bad accounts are gone, you’re in the market for some prime accounts. But will the prime lenders want to play ball with you? Is Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, or American Express really going to be enamored of your clean credit portfolio? What’s more, even if creditors are willing to give you an approval, what kinds of credit limits will you get? If higher limits beget higher limits, then I imagine lower limits beget lower limits. Indeed, why should American Express hand out a nice credit limit when so many of my other creditors only trusted you with $300 and $500 limits?I’m also worried about creditors wondering why the credit report is littered with all of these sub-prime accounts that were acquired years ago. If your credit history is subjected to a manual credit review, I don’t think there’s any question that an analyst will wonder if something extremely negative occurred during your past life. Quite frankly, that’s not the kind of scrutiny that you should welcome. I’d be worried that an approval assuming you got one would result in a credit limit that doesn’t work very well.I have a saying about higher credit limits begetting higher limits. I can extend that thinking to quality as well. Quality tradelines beget quality tradelines. Credit card companies aren’t difficult to understand. They’re like lemmings in a lot of ways. If your card portfolio is full of high-limit, quality names, there’s an excellent chance that you’ll get a high-limit approval from the credit card company that is evaluating your application. Creditors follow the leader. Because other lenders have showed you love, new lenders feel more comfortable showing you love. My own portfolio is living proof of that.Fewer accounts at the beginning create less stress at the endSo what about option two? Would getting fewer accounts, that you use on a regular basis, be more beneficial once all of the negative accounts age off the credit report? There is no definitive answer here. And I can’t, with an assurance, argue that this is definitely the correct way to proceed. Still, you read this blog because I take positions. You’d be unhappy if I waffled and vacillated on tough issues. Therefore, I’m going to take a stand and argue that option two makes the most sense to me.At the outset of the credit-repair process, nothing comes easy. I’ll acknowledge that right up front. Quality approvals will be difficult to come by. Still, I’d rather be selective when it comes to the sub-prime lenders that I choose to do business with. Although I’d be pigeon-holed into the same kind of approvals that our option-one friend is saddled with, I’d still try to be as methodical as possible when applying for cards. I’d be looking for creditors that have both a sub-prime arm and a prime-lending arm.Consider HSBC, for example. HSBC offers the Orchard card, a sub-prime card that plenty of people grab when they’re rebuilding. It’s not the kind of card that people with good credit would want, but it has its place when the borrower is not in a position to be choosy. The good thing about the Orchard card, though, is that it’s underwritten by a lender that also offers a host of prime offerings as well. HSBC underwrites the Saks Fifth Avenue World Elite MasterCard, for example. That’s a great rewards card that prime borrowers would be extremely interested in. Indeed, I have the Saks MasterCard in my own credit portfolio. Thus, if a borrower manages to get an Orchard card, and shows a history of using the card responsibly, there’s a better chance that a prime offering from HSBC will be extended to this person when the credit reports finally look better.There are other lenders out there that cater to sub-prime borrowers as well. Juniper and Washington Mutual, for example, are both known to be bankruptcy friendly. They’re both willing to overlook blemishes and bad marks that might be on the credit report. The good thing about these particular lenders is that they’re also appealing to prime borrowers. Indeed, just as I have the Saks Fifth Avenue World Elite card, I also have the Washington Mutual Platinum MasterCard and the Juniper US Airways credit card. In other words, these two lenders offer cards that appeal to sub-prime and prime borrowers alike. Sub-prime borrowers may not receive initial limits that are hefty, but I know people who have grown their limits over time with both of these card companies. Again, because you’re not in the best position to dictate terms, you’d probably be content to add these kinds of tradelines to your credit history. In addition to working with lenders that play to both crowds, potential lenders won’t be able to tell — by looking at your credit report — if you have a subprime or prime offering from the previously-mentioned credit-card companies. They all look the same when HSBC shows up on your credit report. Ditto Washington Mutual. Potential lenders simply won’t be able to tell if you were a subprime customer once upon a time — or if you were always prime. In addition to adding credit cards, there is also the option of adding a secured card — provided that you can find a bank that’s willing to give you one. If you’ve got some cash handy, you can always look for a secured credit-card option. There are plenty out there; you’ll have to do your homework to find one that’s willing to work with you. Not every sub-prime borrower will have a lot of loose cash laying around if they did, they likely would have paid their bills, but not every sub-prime borrower is broke, either. I know plenty of people who have high incomes but have terrible payment histories. When they get serious about credit repair, getting a secured card is a wise option for these kinds of borrowers. Anyhow, don’t forget about secured cards when you’re beginning credit repair. There is no guarantee that a lender will work with you, but it’s a great option if someone is willing to give you a chance.As you can see, there is no ‘right’ way to rebuild your credit history. There are several ways you can do it. Given the choice, though, I’d likely opt to pick up fewer accounts at the beginning. They’re easier to manage which is something that should appeal to people who’ve had a tough time managing their credit in the past. They’ll be less conspicuous when all of your bad accounts fall away from your credit report. And you’ll be more likely to use the cards even after you’ve graduated to cards that were only a dream to you many years back.I can understand why people want to bury their past with a bunch of positive tradelines. What worries me is that you won’t be able to hide all of these sub-prime accounts when your bad accounts fall off the report. I think it’s going to be an uphill climb trying to overcome not just the bad history, but the sub-prime history that follows.I believe that fewer tradelines — in the beginning — will yield more fruit in the end. Still, you’ll ultimately have to figure out what’s right for you.Best of luck in whatever course you take. Credit Matters Blog

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0 thoughts on “Your Credit is Already Shot. The Question now is: Where do you go From Here?

  1. I wanted to say this is an excellent article as all the others. I like option 2 as well as it makes the most sense to me.I’m more of a ‘limited’ credit person and would like CC companies that will grow w/me.I have made your blog as well as CreditBoards my home pages just so they are the first things I see as I connect to the net.Great job you’re doing here to educate the uninformed about credit and how the system works. Again, Great Job!!! See you over @ CB!!BamaInvestor

  2. Bama, thanks for reading, pal. There really is NO right answer here. But I do think that, if I had to make the choice, I would pick option two — where there is less litter to deal with down the road.I appreciate your participation here. Thanks again.

  3. Great article, Credit Matters. You have an amazing gift of extrapolating ideas and concepts into clear prose.

  4. Great article, as always. Your point about a manual review is spot on. To amplify your point, here’s a post from Fatwallet in which someone (apparently a small-volume landlord or similar) who says as part of a rant against people who have cleaned up their reports using means he considers unethical:’I can often identify a CB’ers report just by the tradelines that appear on it. One example, anyone that has Crown Jewelers and Hooters or a combination of other creditors along with certain credit unions on their report is an instant denial, even if they have clean reports and 750+ FICOs. Most of that crowd are habitual defaulters on a regular 3-7 year cycle.’Putting aside his negative view of Creditboards readers, note that at least in his mind he’s come up with a sure fire way to identify people he perceives to be unreliable borrowers but who have excellent credit scores and would sail through score-based automatic screenings. Of course this guy might well not be any kind of credit grantor at all and just have been trolling but the point remains: an analyst who manually reviews reports even in a legally compliant shop might develop (even unconsciously) a bias against reports with tradelines readily identifiable as ‘rebuilder’ or ‘subprime’ accounts.

  5. Great post, as usual! I knew none of this information until I found CB. I wish your blog had been around when it was time for me to start rebuilding. And, I think the ‘Word of the Day’ for 8/27/2008 will have to be ‘usurious.’ 😆

  6. Thanks, Russ.LBCS, thanks for the compliment, buddy. Nice seeing you here — as always. Don Miguel, do me a favor: Make sure you bring your insight to this blog each day. Your comments are a joy to read. Seriously, I appreciate your willingness to stop by and drop a note. I do believe that analysts, on manual review, would treat our applicant different if the credit report was full of positive, subprime-looking tradelines. That’s why I think it makes a lot of sense to think about the plan. Crown Jewelers is a redflag if there ever was one. Until CB, I had never even heard of Crown Jewelers. Does Crown even have brick-and-mortar stores? And finally, Marilie, thanks for the giggle. Maybe we’ll have to start doing a credit word of the day here at CM. Haha. Thanks to everyone for reading my musings on a daily basis.

  7. Marcus, excellent blog. Long time reader, first time commenter here.I’m an option two person presently and I completely agree with adding quality with potential [over time] rather than a bulk of garbage tradelines all at once.One thing I noticed, however, was the fact you did not mention Capital One in your post. Is there a specific reason for this?Thanks again for the information this blog provides and I look forward to your response.

  8. Anon, thanks for coming out of hiding. As for Capital One, there was no oversight. I just didn’t feel the need to include it in the story. I hope my listed creditors, Juniper, Wamu, HSBC, wasn’t taken as an exclusive list. In fact, it was just illustrative. Nothing more. It would be smart for everyone to figure out if CapOne fits in their long-term plans. If I was in the rebuilding stage, I very likely would consider CapOne. It has its place — that’s for sure. Come back again.

  9. Do you ever get tired of hearing ‘Great story today’?Well, today’s story is a great one. I certainly wish I had been able to read it five or six years ago. Both myself and Mrs. FLT had sterling credit in 1999 and 2000. Things started going south when some major medical stuff started in late 2000 just as our business started failing in early 2001. I would guess that our FICO’s were in the 800’s in January of 2001 and were in the 400’s by December of 2003.We chose option 3 above; we applied for ZERO new credit. Now, between us, we have 14 trade lines scheduled to fall off our credit reports over the next 18 months or so.We’ve still got a little stuff with age, so we will have a history, but I sure wish we had been aggressively (but rationally) applying for new credit and asking for credit line increases.

  10. FLT, I never tire of hearing that I wrote a ‘great story.’ Sprinkle in a few ‘where have you been all of my life’ comments and we’re good to go! LOL.Seriously, thanks for the compliment. I figured today’s column might catch someone who is just starting the fight. But I also realized that some of my readers (sad as it is) will eventually hit the skids and have to rebuild. If anyone is in the rebuilding stage, this kind of column will help them think about formulating a plan. You know how I love plans.Anyhow, thanks for reading, FLT.

  11. Thanks for the response, Marcus.I’m a reader of CB and when I embarked on this process I left myself a choice to rebuild with either Cap One or HSBC. Some research yielded evidence that HSBCs customer service practices and other factors didn’t align with my personal preferences, or they aligned to a lesser degree than Cap One’s. :)I applied for, and received a Cap One card with a respectable four figure limit that I think will serve me well for at least the next 18 months. I will groom it and my files for that time when I should be ready to do business with ‘traditionally’ prime banks.An oft repeated concept in this game is YMMV, and I wholly believe that. I appreciate your contributions with this blog. They are received well.

  12. Anon, you sound methodical. You’ll be well served by that attribute. Glad to hear that Cap One offered you a four-digit number instead of one of its infamous three-digit affairs. I hope your plan comes to fruition. Sounds like you’re on the right path.All the best,CM

  13. As you’ve requested…Where have you been all of my life??I’m interested to hear your thoughts on Target as a rebuilder card. It typically has very low limits (especially if you barely are accepted), however, it is a store card at a popular shopping destination….

  14. Anon, I think Target would be fine. Here’s why: even though Target, the Red card, is known for giving out modest limits, there are upgrade opportunities down the road. Assuming you take care of biz with the Red card, I think the prospects for a better card down the road is good.Thanks for the question.And thanks for reading.

  15. I absolutely agree. I think everyone, including those in the depths of credit hell, who’s ashes are in fact still smoldering, should stay away from the very worst of the bottom feeders. I do not think anyone’s report is bad enough to deserve the likes of First Premier, Centennial, Legacy or any other fee laden predatory card. When this question is discussed on CB posters will pile on and agree that adding these TL’s is probably not the best thing to do. Then they go on to say they made the same mistake as well. This is where I question the actual impact of having these crappy cards on one’s report. Many of those stating that they also made this mistake now have six figures in available revolving credit. So I ask, just how detrimental was the effect of having these cards? Did lenders even notice? Did they gradually get larger CL’s just as they’d have to do even if they had nothing on their reports?Even without adding the bottom feeders one can add many middle of the road cards such as Cap1, WaMu, Target, Macy, Kay…. and the list goes on. Is adding many of these a problem? One can litter a report with a ton of these quite easily, maybe not at the start of the repair process but definitely shortly there after.P.S. Great article Marcus, sorry for the long comment all the questions. this topic piques my attention. Thanks

  16. What do you do when most of the tradelines that have gone bad are the major players? I’ve had settlements withAMEXBank Of AmericaHSBCJuniperChaseCitiwhere does that leave one who is trying to rebuild credit?

  17. Melikey, I think that you and I both agree on staying away from the worst of the worst.As I indicated in my blog today, there is no science to this. It’s really an art form. I believe that fewer cards is better than a lot. It’s more manageable, which I think people with crappy credit will appreciate, and it will keep the clutter down in the long term. You mentioned Wamu, Target, Macy’s, etc. I don’t see anything wrong with those. Kay might be a bit of a stretch, though. I’m advocating that people get stuff that they’d be happy with in the end. As for those who now have $100s of thousands in available credit, I need to know more. How long ago did they hit rock bottom? Ten years ago? Six years ago? I’m wondering how long the ‘sting’ lasted because of the subprime clutter they acknowledge having.Feel free to carry on with the dialogue, Melikey. I’m open 24 hours a day here at Credit Matters.Thanks for reading.

  18. Anon, excellent question. I wish I had a readily-available answer. I don’t. I think that’s one hell of a position to be in.I guess I’d grab the best card I could — outside of the creditors that were burned. But, really, I think this person would have the toughest road to navigate. I wish I had a better answer, Anon.

  19. These are CB folks that I speak of so I would think repair started in or around 2003. I’d hate to speak for someone else. It would be great if someone that currently or previously has had a littered report would chime in.

  20. Melikey, it really would be nice if they’d chime in. Still, even if we can find a few who have managed to turn it around with huge limits, I’d imagine they’re still an exception — and not the rule.Generally speaking, I think you’re better off sticking with a handful of names.

  21. I made the mistake of doing this with my wife’s credit. She had a blank file. I say mistake because she had no baddies so she did not need a ton of ‘offsetting’ accounts. I think all the low limit cards hurt her somewhat. But she still got in with the likes of Chase, BofA, with limits approaching 5 figures with just one years history. For her, with a clean report, I absolutely know this was a mistake! But someone with a ton of baddies…. do they ‘have to do what they have to do’? Is a littered report a trade off for better scores?

  22. Melikey, I don’t think the score bump is worth the long-term look of the portfolio. We both know people who have BKs on their reports. They’ve also got a bunch of IIBs on the report as well. And yet, they’ve got scores approaching 700.My point? That scores aren’t everything. I think quality is something that shouldn’t be discounted. I’m looking at the long-term effect here. I get what you’re saying. I’m just insisting that people shouldn’t worry about the short term so much. It’s a marathon; not a sprint. That’s the way I approach everything in my credit life.

  23. ‘Report is littered, what’s next?’Melikey, I think today’s column addresses that issue. My column starts at the bottom. What’s next is whatever you choose to do.

  24. Melikey, I appreciate your comments, by the way. Feel free to visit here as often as you can.Also, have you signed up to receive my column by email? Go to my homepage and sign up. Each night (right around 10 pm pacific time), you’ll get my column in your e-mailbox. I’m trying to get my readers to automate their experience here. The email will have a direct link to my latest story. Easy as pie.

  25. Marcus maybe we can solicit someone from CB with a littered report success story to chime in.I’ll check back in the morning. I’m off to make the donuts!

  26. Melikey, a lot CBers read this blog. Hopefully one of them will chime in.In the meantime, see you around, pal.Thanks for hanging out today.

  27. Melikey, be sure to verify the email when it hits your mailbox (there is a link in the email that you’ll need to click). You won’t receive any columns until you do. Take care.

  28. I’ve thrown out a lot of credit offers lately, thinking that I shouldn’t get too many–but the idea of a handful of quality cards seems like a good goal to aim for. I’ll be a little less quick with the trash can from now on. Good to know, and thank you (as always)!

  29. I can see why people are concerned about getting a CJ account. I personally plan to use it for about a year and close it while my other accounts catch up with it in age. Since it doesn’t hit EQ, and I want to approach credit unions within 6 months, the goal is to get in the door with them and build from that point. Afterwards, I plan to develop a good relationship with my bank and use those 2 cards to grow my file.When that happens, since I have an old tradeline that will hit 10 years and other accounts that will follow CJ, I can take the hit for a year as I won’t need any more credit.It’s a matter of HOW you use certain accounts and knowing WHAT you want and WHAT CRA they pull. If I wanted BoA first or Chase, I would focus on TU and EXP and probably ditch CJ sooner.That said, I’d rather have 2 prime cards that grow with me than have 20 accounts. I believe in good money management and giving the right selection of banks/cu’s a reason to believe in you and watch you grow.I think CJ is just one step in getting to that point. For those of us who had hit a low point, we just want a positive tradeline and are willing to risk a point drop, later on, when we cancel it.Thankfully, it won’t damage my score too much because I’ve done the math ahead of time. Do NOT overlook the importance of research.What impact will a tradeline drop have on me?What cards do I REALLY want?What banks/Cu’s do I really want to impress and what inquiry/account rules do they have over a 6 month or 1 year time period?Doing that can offset almost any potential negative that comes with a sub prime card.

  30. I hope my column got everyone thinking. Looks like it has.Now what do we do about today’s column? Definitely could use some feedback there.

  31. Great post, Marcus, as always.I’d say that my approach to rebuilding after my BK has most closely followed your 2nd option — fewer tradelines, but arguably higher quality ones.I decided to have only one true ‘rebuilder’ card to start out, which was an Orchard card. Used that for a few months, then cold applied for a Providian card and got approved for that. Been applying for new tradelines about 1-2 times a year, and discarding accounts that no longer fit/won’t grow with me.My goal is to have about 10-12 good tradelines. I already have several keepers, just need to work on some more. But I’m patient and will do the work to get there.I’m now 4 years past the BK and have FICOs in the mid 700s, so I think I am showing that your 2nd approach can and does work.

  32. Sf, thanks for the comment. And thanks for sharing your situation with me.Option two appeals to me, obviously, but I know that there is no fool-proof plan to guarantee results. Were it me, though, slow and steady. That’s how I’d do it.

  33. I think an article on red flag cards would be excellent reading.Great blog! Long time reader first time poster.

  34. BuildinginPA, thanks for reading. So you think I should write a column on the worst cards out there? The ones to stay away from?

  35. Joel everyone would love a couple prime cards. However, when you have a ton of baddies you can’t get prime cards that will grow with you. You’ll end up waiting 6-7 years if you can’t clean reports. In that time you could have have a good long history with several less than prime cards.

  36. Melikey, I was reading through your comments. Let me see if I understand it right. Your wife’s report is pretty clean, but yours is littered with baddies? If so, and this is a question for CM to. Wouldn’t it be an idea, if one of your significant others report was bad, and yours was good, to then go and add him/her as AU to all your good accounts. That would accomplish the option 1 part about overwhelming your report with positive tradelines, but keep the downfall away as well, because hopefully those good tradelines all have good age and are not sub-prime. I know everyone doesn’t have this option, but thought it made sense if one had access to that. Thanks.

  37. Actually, Anon, it makes perfect sense. If, and it’s a big if, your significant other has positive tradelines that you can be an authorized user on, then you should definitely add some accounts that way. There is no downside. The problem is that most couples have similar credit profiles. They’ve both trashed their credit together. But, yes, if one of them managed to salvage an account or three, then absolutely get named as an authorized user.Anon, smart idea.Thanks for the comment.

  38. Yep. Wifes report is perfect. Mine has many baddies from previous divorce. I am an AU on many of my wife’s prime cards. I think it’s about 7 total. And guess what…… only one shows up on EQ. They used to be there, until one day they were all wiped off. They come and go on EX and TU, but for the most part they are usually there. AU reporting is not what it used to be, thank to the unscrupulous TL peddlers.

  39. Melikey, I think Equifax has been engaging in its own form of rooting out AU abuse. But now that FICO is going back to the drawing board, maybe EQ will leave these AU tradelines intact. We’ll see. I don’t imagine that the companies are the ones removing them from EQ’s reporting system. Be curious to know where EQ gets its authority to remove, on its own, these tradelines.Anyone know?

  40. Just got a note from someone who is connected with Washington Mutual.I am told that Wamu offers a secured card that is not score driven. The consumer can get the secured card started with as little as $300. Apparently Wamu does not pull a credit report. Instead, it runs you through ChexSystems. As long as you’re not in Chex, you can get this card. The interest rate will not exceed $19.99% and the annual fee is $29. The secured card can eventually be converted into an unsecured card. There is no time limit, though, on how long that might take. For those of you looking for a secured card, this might be an option. I’d give Wamu a call and see what they say.

  41. AU’s can no longer be counted on for credit repair…. way to unpredictable. ‘TL peddlers’ (piggy backers) have ruined that. Now that FICO08 has changed maybe I can get some of them back on EQ? I don’t think EQ is going back and replacing all the AU’s they knocked off over the last several months???

  42. Melikey, you’ll need to be proactive and go back to your creditors. Have them reinsert the AU accounts.

  43. So you think it’s the creditors and not EQ that removed the TL’s? How do you go about asking someone to report AU TL’s?Thanks

  44. Melikey, just tell the creditor that the account is no longer reporting. You’d like them to report it again. Call the credit card companies.

  45. also went with #2. I started with orchard just for the fact of having something on my reports. I knew my cleaning process would take at least a year so I didn’t want to wait that long before my first TL after BK.I then added a secured card through national city and got CJ also. By now my scores were averaging 710-720. I got a pre-approval for target and was approved for 4k. so I went form 300-300-1.5k to 4k. Recently CJ closed my account so I applied for penfed and thanks to CM I got a 20k line. So patience is your best weapon. You don’t want to trap yourself with rinkydink cards for years to come. by 3 yr BK anniversary is coming up :) WAMU went bye bye. But Juniper is still around. Do you really think Juniper can be a prime card? Consider their CS, Product line, benefits etc… And knowing what you know CM would you suggest a Juniper app come 3 years post BK?I have just read too many horror stories with Juni. They all have their fair share but for some reason the Juni ones stick out like a sore thumb.

  46. Anon, in a lot of ways, I think I have been lucky with Juniper. I have a $50,000 card with them. But the fact that they do not entertain CLI requests (a la Wamu) and the fact that they do not entertain APR requests gives them a subprime feel. That said, when you have a card at $50K, it’s hard to classify them as subprime. Would I recommend that someone grab Juniper three years out of BK? Probably — if for no other reason than having more options. There have certainly been some horror stories with Juniper. But I think there are some of us who have done well with them. They’re quirky. I’ll say that.