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Young credit history. What next move should I make?
I'm 19yrs old & I have a Credit karma score of 658. I know that little credit history and 7 inquiries are the negatives in my score but I don't know what step to take next to improve my score and make it more stable. I have an auto loan I cosigned with my uncle and havent missed a payment since I opened it 7 months ago but I always pay well over the minimum sometimes twice as much. Is this okay to do? I also consider trying to open a credit card & using it to pay for bills and gas & then just pay the card off but I'm afraid to apply and take another inquiry. Am I considering the wrong path all together? I just want to take steps I know are right!

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For the most part you are on the right path. Paying your car note on-time is obviously a great thing, keep doing so. As far as paying more than the amount, that really does not affect your score very much; however it lowers the amount of interest you will be paying on your car and thus save you money; in the end you will have less payments made because you will likely pay it off early, but saving money is more important as there are other ways to make up those payments.

Regarding getting a credit card, I would highly recommend getting one, just using it to pay for gas each month and then pay it off in full each and every month, this will eastablish a on-time payment history, responsible use of credit, and will lead your provider to increase your limit over time which is great for your score. Regarding your 7 hard inquiries, it really depends on how old they are. Hard inquiries fall off of your credit report after 2 years; however, they really only hurt your score for a year. If any of them are close to the 1 year or 2 year mark, I would hold off on applying ofr credit until those fall off. If not, I would go sit down and speak to loan officer at your bank and explain the situation and see if they think you can be approved for one of their credit cards, even if it only has a low limit. If not check with capital one, or if you are a student look for student cards. If you are able to get approved for a credit card, the hard inquiry you will get will be meaningless and the postives of having that card will outweigh it, it will only hurt if you get denied for the card.

Basically, try to make sure your chances of approval are high before you apply for one and the best way to do that is to do your research and speak to the credit card servicers (or banks) to explore your options and the card that fits you.

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