Just saw all the new activity here (long work days... no internet this weekend when we moved).
1. credit limit: 2 things - credit score and income. A super high score will make them not even ask for income sometimes. Some cards just start lower and make you build up. Depends on the card.
2. credit karma isn't 100% correct, it's just a good tool. a mortgage credit report scores differently than an auto credit report and different than a revolving account report. For example, Credit Karma reports the TransUnion score and my mortgage TransUnion score is 30 points higher than what CK is reporting. So don't take it 100%, including when it models for inquiries.
3. best way to build credit is to repay on time with current loans. paying the student loans on time will help along with the cc that you pay monthly. You could open a 2nd card that you use once a month for gas and pay it off regularly as well to help out, but it's not necessary.
It says my credit history is only 5 yrs and 2 mos, yet the only derogatory marks left on my report go back to my college days (early-mid 90s). Porquoi? Only have one credit card, and it's a low limit account.
That's your oldest active account.
My report shows my paid off car loan and one late payment (it was a 60-month loan). Will that one missed payment in five years - which may have actually happened six or seven years ago - still be impacting my credit rating?
Yes but minimally. The more credit you have, the less impact it has.
How do I find out what they are and what steps can I take to remove them from my report?
You can file a dispute with the credit bureaus (takes 10 minutes on the phone per bureau). If it's not legit, it will get removed. If it is, you can ask for a copy of your report, which will have the contact info for the collection agency or servicer and call them. I'm not well versed on making it disappear, but I got a collection removed by an agency b/c I told them I was never notified of the collection. I told them I'd be happy to pay it off (it was only $50) if they removed it from my credit. Get that in writing before you pay.
Idoit... no idea what your last question was.
If I get a new card, it will be cash back rewards. I had points on my wells fargo debit card and I accrued some ridiculous number of points b/c I used it for everything for 2 years (groceries, gas, bills, entertainment, restaurants, etc). I think I could either get some stupid thing like a toaster or $50 in my account. I think the spend over those 2 years was upwards of $50k in transactions.