I live in the US since November 2019 and have been an authorized user on my partner's credit card since then, which resulted in a credit score of 787.

I opened my own bank account in October 2020 with Capital one, both checking and savings.

I got a job a month ago and thought I would be able to get my own credit card at that point. So I applied for my first credit card with Capital One- I chose a card based on the credit score and I was denied. Reason was length of credit history and lack of experience with high line of credit.

So I wanted to play safe and applied for a secured credit card with Discover and was denied again. At that point I became desperate. My credit score decreased to 777 (Vantage). That's still good, but what do I do now?

How long should I wait before applying again? My employment started on 7th December 2020, so should I wait a certain period of time? Or after receiving my first pay check? Any tips are welcome!

I have read everything about credit cards and building of credit (nerdwallet etc), in the meantime I keep getting these emails telling me my credit score is very good, which makes me want my own card - I'm no crazy shopper, but want independence.

Requesting my credit reports was a pain in the b*tt, because I haven't lived in the US for 2 years, and the results are kinda vague to me... Please help!

  • 7
    Secured cards should be easy to get. What reason did Discover give for the denial?
    – RonJohn
    Commented Dec 15, 2020 at 17:00
  • 1
    @AxiomaticNexus they should mail her an explanation.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Dec 15, 2020 at 19:53
  • 1
    @RonJohn - it was the recent inquiry indeed. I called them and explained my situation, but they told me they process the applications for secured CCs just like applications for unsecured cards, so on top of the lack of history and recent inquiry.
    – EUgirl
    Commented Dec 15, 2020 at 23:56
  • 1
    @TTT - no, it only asked my annual income. And well, I'm still to receive my first check. How long would be long enough of having income? It's so frustrating for me that there are no answers to these basic questions...even my American spouse tells me nobody understands this system... I just wanna know what I should DO.
    – EUgirl
    Commented Dec 15, 2020 at 23:58
  • 1
    @AxiomaticNexus - they have. But they're not telling me HOW LONG does my credit history need to be, how long does it take before I will have "enough" experience with high line of credit, etc. All they say is it's not enough, but I donno WHEN will it be enough. Understand my frustration? (I don't mean to "yell" at you or anything - just repeting things I've been told.)
    – EUgirl
    Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 0:00

2 Answers 2


Don't panic. Credit card companies get very basic information about your credit and flood you with advertisements because studies show that people tend to get attached to their "first" card and hold on to it longer than any other. So everyone wants to be first in the door.

Be patient. You don't need a credit card for anything, despite what the marketers and "nerds" tell you. Yes it offers conveniences, most of which you can get from debit cards as well, and some modest rewards, but it's not something you need to move heaven and earth to get. Get a bank account, put your income there, and use a debit card so that you don't outspend your income.

Your credit score is good mostly because you haven't messed it up yet. It's not a status symbol; it's just a sign that you have been reported to pay your bills on time.

You'll have better chances of getting a card once you have income to prove that you can continue to pay bills going forward. There's not any compelling reason to rush and get a secured card or one that has fees of any kind. After you have some stable income history banks will continue to fawn over you if they think that you will get one of their cards. Their hope, of course, is that you'll overspend (like many people do), roll over your balance for a while, and pay them a lot in interest and fees. So long as you DON'T do that, your credit score will stay high and they'll keep coming after you.

  • THank you for your answer! Well, if it was up to me, I would never get a credit card and I do not plan to get myself into any type of debt that I cannot paid. I don't understand why people would use a credit card to get stuff now and pay later. I prefer to pay for my stuff immediately. So how long do you think I should wait before I apply again?
    – EUgirl
    Commented Dec 15, 2020 at 23:53
  • @EUgirl wait a few months. (That's what I'd do.)
    – RonJohn
    Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 0:05

You will have to talk to the credit card companies regarding why they denied you, especially Discover for the secured card.

The things that jump out are the lack of income: "I got a job a month ago" followed by "My employment started on 7th December 2020". That means that you have worked for a little over a week. You also mention you haven't even received your first paycheck.

Even Capital one may see you as a new customer, because your bank accounts have only existed for about two months.

You have a good score, but as you mention the fact that you have trouble getting your credit report because you have only been in the country a little more than a year. The credit card companies only see part of your file when they do a soft-pull, the rest of the information either comes from you in the application, or via the hard pull when you apply. That is the moment when applications triggered from advertising, or mail solicitation are rejected. The score looked good but the details wee found lacking.

Over time you score will improve, but more importantly the file will become thicker.

Wait a few months and go back to your bank and talk to a person before applying for a secured card.

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