Ok, not to play with, but it's just funny how excited I get at 43 and get approved for another card while I try and redeem myself. I'm a documentation nut so like my other two cards, I'll be updating this post (via reply) once a month or as more info comes in. A few notes to start with:
My myFico scores are: Experian= 599, Equifax= 643 & Transunion= 633.
CK score: 629 (Just dropped from 696, but I prefer myFico for accuracy, CK for all the cool tools and reviews).
Approved for $300.
I've read many people here state that the application process didn't do a hard inquiry, but from my research it leans more toward that it does (not 100% yet but will be next update). I see a few people referring to Walmart money card which is a totally different animal and is a prepaid. Again, I like love free information on public forums and these reviews, but will see for myself and report back as soon as I know.
The application worried me for a minute because after I submitted it and it said I was approved, the bottom right link said "Pay now". I read the fine print before hand and saw there was no annual fee or member fee, but it certainly had me questioning myself. I clicked the link and the application page reopened with half my information filled in, looking like it was expecting me to fill it out all over again. No idea what happened there, but I did not fill it out again.
This card gets five stars easily for the simple fact that it's the first of my now three (Capital One Secured & Credit One Visa - non secured) that actually gives you a temporary number right away. In fact they currently have a promotion going on that if you spend $75 on Walmart's site the same day you get approved, they will give you $25 off. Now before people run to try for it, I read the fine print on this as well. Only slightly negative thing is that they state the $25 will appear on your statement after your first or second billing cycle. So just don't expect it right away to come off the price. This is also going to end in a couple weeks. I imagine this sort of promotion happens often though. This is verbatim what it says:
"Save $25 when you open a Walmart® Credit Card and spend $75 today (paid as a statement credit). Offer valid September 19, 2013 through January 31, 2014."
I did more research and found some posts on myFico that someone was actually complaining about how fast they reported the information to the credit bureaus. I'm still amazed they were upset. I think I know why but it's because people don't understand the all popular topic of credit utilization. He stated they reported to the credit bureaus after only 3 days from the time he got approved. Another thing I will update next time. If that were the case, and people did take on this promotion to spend at least $75 in order to get $25 back in a month or two, then that would certainly put someone over the comfortable threshold of spending below 30% of a $300 card. If you have questions after reading this next paragraph, either ask by replying, or for faster answers, see my profile and read my Capital One or Credit One posts.
People think credit utilization is a constant. That's just not how it is at all. I only speak facts here folks, but easily checked through a phone call to your bank (don't chat, they're horrible with info I think). The credit card companies normally inform the CRA's the day after your billing cycle closes (not your due date). Most banks that I've researched need at least the close of 2 billing cycles before they do their initial report, then it's every month after (but check with your bank as always). Now when the bank reports your data, they report account status in an "OK", "30 days late", "60 days late", "Charged off", etc,,, fashion. They report your total credit and the balance of your card as of the close of your billing cycle (again, not your due date). ALWAYS call your new credit card bank and ask them when they close your billing cycle. If you pay it in full every month, then this is the date you want to do that by. Due date is only how they formulate interest folks. The bigger thing that people don't seem to understand on these forums are the huge fact that each month the bank reports your data, that current credit utilization replaces the last reported. Does that lower your score? Sure, but only during that exact time frame and nothing more. People think they have a "Score", you don't have a set in stone score, but before I cover that, know that the importance of having a low credit utilization is if you are expecting inquerries. So say you're planning on getting a mortgage or car loan (any loan). Prior to that you would want to be sure your credit utilization is at the lowest you can get it (on average you'll read people state 30% or less). Other than those times, don't sweat it so much. Still do be dilligent in paying your balance to the lowest possible you can by your billing cycle close date, but every 30 days, that data is replaced with the next data reported to the agencies. In the future this will most likely change so always check dates on these posts and always check with your bank. It's you that you need to protect.
A credit score doesn't exist until a request is performed. Ever sign up for a credit report, such as from myFico? Ever notice after just a few hours it will once again prompt you to "Get you new score now!!!"? Well, the fact of the matter is that the 3 credit bureaus have different software (people overuse the term algorithm but you probably at least read that somewhere). When an inquerry is sent to that credit bureaus, the software runs the numbers and spits out a score. This score can vary because many things. One main thing is even if you buy your score direct for Experian, Equifax or Transunion, you will get a consumer model and not the lender model. Example: model 98 we get from experian, but the lenders get model 04 (for 2004). Most auto apps have criteria that lenders can set. They can disregard certain things or focus more highly on others. This is one reason your "score" often varies, though mostly it's because we only get the model from before the current (at best). So your credit score is a calculation based on the data in your credit report. So when your credit is "pulled" and a score is requested, that score is calculated through the software, Beacon (software) for Equifax, FICO for Experian (not myFic0) and Empirica for Trans Union. Your credit report changes month to month, mostly by means of automated updates to your file from creditors who report to the bureaus. The differences reflected in that raw data causes changes in your score, but only when those calculations are performed in response to a request for a score.
Sorry for the long read, but if you're trying to better understand, then I'm trying to better help you do so. It pain me to think how long it took me to learn everything I just wrote. I hate how difficult it is to find facts in today's day and age especially. Facts are still facts even though they go ignored, but in this case, these facts cost me lots of money and tonos of grey hair. Hope I at least saved some of you the time and aggravation.
As mentioned long ago, I'll update this with a much shorter read when I have more Walmart specific information to share.
*Keep in mind, this is not a "forum" technically, so if you ask me a question I cannot reply to you and must reply to my own post. Check back after a day or two and you should have a reply. Sadly Credit Karma doesn't tell you much on their "Recieve email Alerts".
Best of luck folks. Let's go into this new year more prepared I say.