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If I just filed for bankruptcy at the beginning of the year, when can I get another credit card to start building back my credit?

Nearly two out of three bankruptcies in the United States happen because of medical bills, unexpected job losses or other reasons outside consumers' control. If you managed credit cards effectively before you were forced to declare bankruptcy, you don't have to give up their security or convenience for long. A two-pronged recovery plan that includes [...]

I am looking to establish good credit so I can buy a home for my family. What kind of credit card should I start out with?

Building a solid credit history now can help you qualify for a pre-approved mortgage at some of today's lowest rates. In our current, bizarre real estate market, having your financing squared away before you make an offer is pretty much essential. However, with a thin credit file, lenders may require higher down payments and/or steeper [...]

I'm a 22-year-old female who makes about $1,000 a month. I have a credit union credit card with credit line of $500. I recently applied for a Lowe's credit card and was denied. I'm always on time with my credit card payments. What would be the reason?

In this era of instant-approval credit card offers, it's easy to overlook the rule that a bank must supply you with a specific reason for declining your application in writing. You'll probably receive a letter from them in a plain envelope that most people might mistake for junk mail. However, based on what you've told [...]

I am an 18-year-old with no credit history. I have read Curtis Arnold's book and am successfully paying my community college tuition on my own. Which card is best suited for me when I only plan on using my future card for gas purchases?

Congratulations on bootstrapping your education so far. Building solid financial habits at this stage of your life -- especially when you're facing pressure to go deep into debt -- can help you achieve far more in the long run. Focus your energy on finding tools that will help you manage your cash more conveniently, while [...]

How long does it take to establish credit when you have no credit?

Building your credit history from scratch can take between six months to two years, especially if you consider earning instant approval credit card offers as a sign that you've developed "good credit." Instead of just focusing on how high of a credit limit you can build, use this time to develop the kinds of habit [...]

As a stay-at-home mom, how do I get a major card in my own name?

Question: As a stay-at-home mom, how do I get a major card in my own name in case something happens to my husband? I have paid off student loans and a department store card in my name, co-signed on our mortgage and I am an authorized user on my husband's cards. Answer: You've already demonstrated that [...]

Can I apply for a credit card if I only make minimum wage?

Yes. The fact that you've got a job as a reliable source of income will help your credit card application, even if you're only making minimum wage. However, you're not likely to get an account with a huge line of credit until you can show you're capable of paying down your balance in an emergency. As [...]

I'm going through a divorce. My husband and I have a good credit score of 730. My income is very low, so how can I qualify for credit cards on my own?

It's hard enough to make sound financial decisions when everything in your life is going well. Your divorce could complicate things further: by law, credit card issuers must account for your ability to repay, and your personal income plays a major role in their underwriting decision. Despite your good credit score as a couple, you'll need [...]

I am in the process of a mortgage loan modification and now I am seeing creditors drop my credit line. Can this be prevented?

No. A typical mortgage modification technically causes you to miss a payment or two while your bank overhauls your home loan. Some consumers expect this: they're modifying their mortgages because they were missing payments in the first place. However, it sounds like you weren't expecting other lenders to take action based on changes to your [...]

I currently have a credit score of 688 and was discharged from a Chapter 13 in November 2011. What is the best credit card for me?

Congratulations on getting your bankruptcy discharged. It’s one of the most challenging steps you’ll ever take toward long-term financial health. It’s difficult, but not impossible, to get a credit card after bankruptcy as long as you manage your expectations. You didn't mention the reasons behind your bankruptcy, but the fact that you discharged a Chapter 13 [...]

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