- Gold Member
- Posts: 25
- Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:45 am
- Location: Florida
I'm one of the lucky ones. I was able to begin building credit from the early age of -10. Thanks to my parents, Equifax reports my birthday (and oldest credit line) being 10 years older than I actually am. Not sure what the consequences of that will be later down the line, but I digress.
My wife's mother was inherently fearful of credit cards and the damage it <i>can</i> do to a person. So my wife (Joanna) had always been told to pay in cash, never use a credit card. Joanna and I met and started dating when we were 14. I already had a credit card in my name for 2 years at this point. (lol)
We got married at the age of 21. We've owned two homes and four cars together. She pays all my bills, so I really have her to thank for paying all my bills on time and keeping my credit as good as it is.
We started our first business at the age of 16 and our second at the age of 22. All bills have always been in my name. Ever since we were about 18 I tried helping her get department store charge cards in her name, but she would always be denied. Walmart? DENIED. Macy's? DENIED. Target? DENIDIEDIED etc etc etc.
Thanks to a fib on my birthdate resulting in a credit card at the age of 12 and being put on my parent's business credit card as an AU at the age of 13, it's now 12 years later (I'm 25) and I have 11 credit cards in my name, not a single late payment ever, a total credit line of over $100,000, and a credit score of 797.
My poor wife, on the other hand, has labored over my bills for the past 9 years (essentially my own personal CEO), and she's got a lousy credit score of 644. I'm going to get that over 750 in the next few years though, now that I'm really getting into this credit-game.
SO - WHERE TO BEGIN. I found the Discover It card a few days ago and decided to sign her up for it. Spoiler alert. She was denied. Darn. BUT they offered a secured credit card (which I had never heard of at the time) So essentially you give them some money (between $200-$2,500 in $100 increments) and that now equals your available credit. Once her credit score jumps over 100 points or so, I'll see if she can upgrade to an unsecured card, at which point, she'll receive her deposit of $300 back and she'll have a real credit line of $1,000 or so.
In the mean time, I'll add her as an AU on my main credit cards (listed below, for funzies).
I tried getting her credit report so I could see if she has any historical lines of credit, but we were unable to answer the dumb security questions (she was apparently approved for one of the dozen cards she'd signed up for over the past 7 years, but we were never notified and never received the card 0_0) So we're currently awaiting her credit report to arrive via snail mail.
The cards I will be adding her to are all brand new, as I just got into the credit game a few days ago. I assume she'll take a hit from a few new lines of credit having brand new credit history, but in the long run, it's always better to have multiple positive lines of credit with long history than no history at all. (Duh)
THE POINT OF THIS POST: If I were in the same boat as her growing up and we both had low/no credit history, we never would have gotten the insanely low rates on our mortgages, cars, insurance, etc. Hence why everything has always been in my name, further perpetuating her non-existent credit history.
IF YOU'RE A PARENT WITH GOOD CREDIT HISTORY - please add your child as an authorized user on your (preferably American Express) credit card! If you hit a brick wall and know you're about to begin making late payments, think of your child first! Get him/her off your card!
Joanna's little sister is 15 now. I will be adding her to my Amex card and I won't be telling her (per her father's approval, not her mother's). I'll use the card extremely seldomly (though I don't think this is necessary; please advise below). When she turns 18 and has a good credit card of her own, I may take her off. I just don't want her to have the same problems Joanna has.
No mature responsible person deserves that.
Always in my wallet:
American Express Blue Cash Preferred (25k, 6% back on groceries)
Barclays Sallie Mae (6.3k, 5% back on gas and amazon)
Citi Double Cash Back (5k, 2% back on everything else)
BBT Visa (10k, and because it's a visa)
What I want:
Capital One Quicksilver Visa (Visa with 1.5% cash back to replace BBT visa)
Barclays Rewards Master Card (for Joanna, 2% back on utilities)
+ additional cards I don't use, they just increase my limit and average history.
[size=60]My Wallet - Primary Cards:
Amex Blue Cash Preferred (25k ~ 6% groceries)
Barclays Sallie Mae (6.3k ~ 5% gas and amazon)
Citi Double Cash Back (5k ~ 2% everything else)
My Wallet - Secondary Cards:
Chase Southwest Business (30k ~ AU)
BBT Visa (10k ~ because visa)
Home Depot Credit (10k)
Amazon Credit (6k)
Cap One Credit (2.15k)
Macy's Charge (1k)
Kohls Charge (1k)
JC Penny Charge (1k)
Macy's Credit (0.5k)
Cap One Quicksilver Visa (1.5% everything to replace BBT visa)
TCL : $97,950
Credit History : 12 years - always PIF
FICO EQ : 797
FICO TU : 791
I'm a newbie - all advice is appreciated![/size]