I have had my discover secured card for 3 months, close to 4 now. I recently made a Nerd Wallet account and got my credit score on my Mint account too. Is it accurate that after 3 months I could have a score of 695? It seems really high for going from not having credit at all to a “good” credit rating in 3 months. If it is a good score, would it be smart to apply for another card? (Specifically, the Capital One Quicksilver One, or could I get away with the Citi Double Cash? What would be some good cards to go for?) To me, it makes sense because then I can get two accounts established at the age of 18 so that way in a few years I will have two accounts to make my average age of accounts stronger. Also, when I use the credit simulator, I won’t gain any points by paying off the statement for 12 months. Maybe I’m thinking of it wrong but to me it makes sense. Thank you for the help!
Hi @brytonb, and welcome to the NerdWallet community!
I am impressed that you are thinking so strategically at 18! The credit score you are seeing is a VantageScore, and the ones that are most likely to be used in credit card decisions are from FICO. The distinction matters because VantageScores can be calculated much more quickly than FICOs. A FICO requires at least 6 months of credit history.
When credit is new, like yours is, there is so little information in your credit reports that almost any action has a bigger effect than it would if there were more to go on.
The very best things you can do are:
pay on time, every time (and pay your balance in full if you can)
keep credit utilization low (keep the balance at less than 30% of your credit limit, and lower is better)
If your particular credit card can be converted into an unsecured card at some point (after months of on-time payments), that could be useful. Secured cards are meant to be temporary — to give you an opportunity to demonstrate creditworthiness.
Your age of accounts is a minor factor; I would not be concerned at all.
Here are a couple of resources you may find helpful:
What is a thin credit file, and how can you plump it up?
How long does it take to build credit?
Good luck to you, and please let us know if we can help further.
One of the most valuable (and imo underrated) features of the Discover it Secured is that after 8 months, Discover automatically begins reviewing your account to see if it can upgrade you to a regular, unsecured card. So keep using the card responsibly, and you may be able to move up to a better card without even having to apply or undergo a new credit check.
Since you’re only 18, there’s no need to rush things. Give it a good six months or so, then see where your scores are.