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ACRC8287

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If I already got an unsecured card recently, should I get a secured one?
Trying to apply for a mortgage ASAP. I know I won't have 12 months of activity on the new cards, but I currently don't have an active score (it was good before I cancelled my previous credit card and now it's zero according to whatever score was pulled by the last lender I spoke with) and I was hoping that just by opening the new accounts it would show up on my report and give me a score (any score) that I could work with to use my non-traditional lines of credit to obtain a mortgage (FHA/VA). Will one active credit card do that (and how soon would it show up?) or should I go ahead and open a second line of credit? If opening another is the best option, since I already was able to easily qualify for an unsecured card, should I get another unsecured one or would a secured card give me a reported score sooner?

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Secured cards do NOT report any faster than unsecured. A lot of cards may take up to 2 months to report (Capital One can take a while like that). If you can get unsecured cards, then do not get a secured.

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As for your initial question, typically you want 3 credit cards and 1 installment loan to start building credit BUT, it is usually not a good idea to open a bunch of new credit lines prior to getting a mortgage.

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The best advice I could give would be to put the mortgage on hold for a year, open up 2 more credit cards and get a small installment loan. Just make sure that the creditors report to all three credit bureaus before you apply for any credit lines. Do some reading on how to use a card that will benefit your score the best. Typically it takes 6 months to get a score when you start using credit, so you may not have to wait an entire year.

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