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I am a graduate student living in US. It is now 10 month since I have had a secure credit card from Bank of America with a $300 credit line and APR 20.24%. Recently, BOA increased my credit line to $400, which means I have a combined credit card ($300 secured +$100).

In the last month I had two offers from Capital One and Discover to apply for their credit cards with APRs 24.9% and 18.99%, respectively. None of them ask for a annual fee.

Would you please let me know if it is a good time to apply for either of these credit cards? My gross income is almost 23000 and I pay $664 for monthly rent for an apartment.

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    Do you need an additional credit card? – littleadv Nov 12 '14 at 5:10
  • @littleadv I really need to increase my credit limit but I am afraid my application to be rejected. This is why I am thinking about the new offers. I made a mistake and started with a low credit limit, did not know that a credit line increase needs to be approved again. – user22464 Nov 12 '14 at 5:15
  • Discover, in my case, also have two advantages, lower APR compared with my current BOA Visa, and monthly credit score. – user22464 Nov 12 '14 at 5:20
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    Start by talking to your current banks about raising your limit, explaining to them why you actually need a higher limit and why you can be trusted to carry more credit. Adding cards is riskier in several ways. – keshlam Nov 12 '14 at 7:23
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    Do you plan on paying off your credit card in full every month, or do you "need to increase" your credit limit because you want to borrow money? Because if you are looking to borrow money, don't get the credit cards. – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Nov 12 '14 at 11:29
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The question should not be 'when to apply for a new credit card' but rather, when is my credit history and credit score sufficient to open a new line?

I'd first advise you to check your score with your institution (many have a free FICO Service) or on annualcreditreport.com

Please note, I'm referencing the federally mandated web site to retrieve the contents of your credit score for free, once annually, not another service.

Also, I would look to a credit union to open a new line of credit if you intend to carry a balance. A quick google search and I found 4 different credit unions with VISA/Mastercard lines with no fees and APRs under 12%!

Please note, most credit unions are by nature "Not for Profit" meaning they typically having lower interest rates and low/no fees.

Your credit score is a measure of how "safe" it is to lend money to you. Your limit is typically a reflection of how much VOLUME of money can be let to you at one time.

TL:DR - If your financial institution is starting to raise your limit, its a safe bet that your score is improving, if slightly. It typically takes 6 months - 1 year to build sufficient history to generate a meaningful score.

Also - this post may be of interest to you: For the purposes of building credit, does dividing up a loan help?

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