"Good First Card"

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Written by: joeyman on 2010-03-15

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joeyman's review: Callout Comment The bank issued was West Coast Coast Bank.

I applied for this card in September 2008. It was my first credit card. They gave me a limit of $1,000 (now $1,400). The starting APR was something like 19.99%. It lowered to 18.99%, and now is 20.99%. I don't use the card anymore. But, I purposely keep a $75 balance so it won't close itself. It's given me 1.5 years credit history so I find it valuable for that reason. I now have a Capital One MasterCard and a credit union Visa. I plan on applying for an American Express in September/October 2010, if accepted I will close the Capital One and Elan card. The Elan card does give me 1 point per dollar spent. I also received free points upon first use of the card. Overall I would suggest it for someone trying to get their first card. Also noting they may have seen my cash levels in my account(s) at West Coast Bank. That could make a difference. I don't know my scores when I applied. Now I sit at 712 Experian.

**Elan Financial Services is a card issuer for smaller banks, such as West Coast Bank.


Comment 1 by wanderer
Re: Good First Card User Icon on 2010-03-15

Remarks Congrats on this as a first card. US Bank is behind Elan so you really are connected with a real bank. Elan is the front name so US Bank is not in direct competition with the clients. I read the card wriite up and this card requires high FICO scores. I wonder if you can get them to grow with you over time? Elan has several cards and many choices. Good luck. You have a good card mix.
Comment 2 by joeyman
Re: Good First Card User Icon on 2010-03-15

Remarks The card is the "College Rewards Card." The title got messed up because I put quotes. XD
Comment 3 by thomas1
Re: Good First Card User Icon on 2010-03-15

Remarks Congrats on your new cards. However, I wouldn't be so quick to close that Elan account, especially if it's your first tradeline on a revolving account. You already have 1 1/2 years of reported history. The new card from Amex you plan to apply for in the fall, will be a "charge" card meaning that it doesn't factor into the FICO utilization formula. Only cards from Amex which have an assigned credit line would. Such as Clear, Blue, Blue Cash or Delta would be scored inside the formula.

I would keep that first card, because you are now gaining FICO points based on the history on it. If you close the cards you have with credit lines, your Amex balance at statement time could hurt your utilization percentage, and its the second highest scoring part of the game. It you still want to close it, apply for Amex cards which are revolvers, not charge accounts.

Good luck to ya!
Comment 4 by colonative
Re: Good First Card User Icon on 2010-03-15

Remarks I think that if you believe that the Elan card will grow with you then you should keep it, otherwise you are young enough where closing it won't kill you.

I would advise you to keep the Capital One card. They do grow with you. They were my first card and they have changed with my credit over the past 12 years.
Comment 5 by joeyman
Re: Good First Card User Icon on 2010-03-15

Remarks I'm planning on applying for the Costco American Express. You have the ability to hold balances, etc - ultimately reflecting on my credit reports the same. I see your point on keeping the Elan card because it's my oldest account, yet I don't want all these credit cards. I applied for the Capital One for one reason; to get mixed credit and so American Express will see more potential in me. I'll make you a deal, in the fall if they transition me into one of their other cards pull-free I will keep it. Elan's other cards have lower APR's. The Capital One's APR is 0% until January '11 then raises to 18.99%. If the Capital One's APR gets lowered and the limit increases, I may consider keeping it (tucked away in my desk).

Thanks for your input(s) everyone.

Comment 6 by meya
Re: Good First Card User Icon on 2010-03-15

Remarks Congrats! Thanks for your valuable info in regards to your overall experience with this card.
Comment 7 by colonative
Re: Good First Card User Icon on 2010-03-15

Remarks I like that Costco Amex, that would be a great addition to your collection.
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