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Authorized User on Father's Primary Card

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mawny
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Authorized User on Father's Primary Card  Reply with quote  

Hello all,

I am currently in college and looking to build credit. I have my own American Express card with my own name on it, but it is connected to my father's account. I am only listed as an "Authorized User" on his account. I am told this will help me build credit, but my question is, how effective of a way is this to build good credit history?

Here is a message I received from AMEX support regarding the issue:

"I see that you are listed as an additional Cardmember on your father's Primary Card and you will be happy to know that being an additional Cardmember you can certainly build up your credit history.

You will build credit history when your father's account is in good standing. We report only current status for you to credit bureaus as your liability rests with your father.

Additional Cardmembers show as an Authorized User€ on their individual Credit Bureau report and the account is also included in the calculation of their FICO score. However, when other issuers or lenders look at credit reports, an €œAuthorized User is often given less weight than a Basic Cardmember."

Any more input you could give me regarding this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
Post Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:06 pm
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coaster
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"Authorized User" is not only an accepted but an endorsed method of building credit history, i.e. accepted and endorsed by the very organization that licenses the prinicpal credit scoring model, known as "FICO":

www.myfico.com

Not to worry; all is perfectly fine. Smile

The only caveat is if your father has a rotten credit score .... Laughing

~Tim~
Post Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:26 pm
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mawny
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quote:
Originally posted by coaster
"Authorized User" is not only an accepted but an endorsed method of building credit history, i.e. accepted and endorsed by the very organization that licenses the prinicpal credit scoring model, known as "FICO":

www.myfico.com

Not to worry; all is perfectly fine. Smile

The only caveat is if your father has a rotten credit score .... Laughing

Thanks a lot coaster,

Also, what service would you recommend to get my actual credit score number. I just used the AnnualCreditReport.com to get my free credit report from Experian, but I was not given an actual number that represents my account.

Myfico.com seems to want money to use their service, are there any free and safe ones?

Thank you.
Post Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:41 pm
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littleroc02us
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I use Freecreditreport.com every year and you get a credit score and report for $1 now. You just have to remember to cancel within 7 days or they will charge your cc.

Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing. (Warren Buffet)
Post Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:00 pm
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coaster
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The report is free; you have to buy the score. I recommend you make sure you get the actual FICO score; the credit bureaus have their own scoring models (called a "Vantage" score) with a different scale, and the number will be different. If you don't specify (and you probably have to look pretty hard to find it), you will be sold the Vantage score by default.

~Tim~
Post Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:58 am
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Wino
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I don't see paying for the score as a good expenditure. You can get a good approximation of your score - within 3 percent - for free from credit karma or credit sesame once a month without any damage to your report.

The report from annualCreditReport will let you know what is on your record with each of the three bureaus. Its only real value is to help you find erroneous information, and from that, make decisions on what to do about the "bad" data recorded there. I use "bad" to mean both "erroneous" and "deleterious to your credit" in that usage.

People put too much emphasis on credit reports and especially the credit score. Unless you're buying real property (a house), you should be trying to save up and pay cash anyway. Interest paid is money thrown away so you can get something right away rather than when you can afford it.

Unless the asset you purchase is appreciating at a rate at least equal to the interest rate you are paying - or you're getting other value - then the money paid for interest is wasted and just given to the lender.

The only entity that has a need for your credit score is the lender; they use it to determine the likelihood you'll pay back your loan, ie, not default. So, since this is the actual reason for the report and score, doesn't it make sense that "paying off my loans according to my agreements" would be the best way to get a better score, no matter what number might be assigned there?

Wino
Post Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:52 am
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coaster
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quote:
Originally posted by Wino
People put too much emphasis on credit reports and especially the credit score.

While that's entirely true, and for the most part good advice in the rest of the post, I think the one time paying for a genuine FICO score (as a one-time thing) is before meeting the loan officer at the institution where the borrower intends to apply, and I have this opinion for two reasons I think are worthwhile:

1) the psychological advantage in knowing your score ahead of time. (Of course you learn it eventually anyway, whether you buy it or not). But knowing the information ahead of time can give a sense of confidence in your credit-worthiness as a desirable borrower, worthy of getting the lender's best rates. Or on the flip-side, perhaps giving you the information that you needn't bother, so you don't suffer the hit to your self-esteem from a denied application.

2) the leverage to ask for favorable terms. This doesn't happen much in today's lending climate, but on my first refi some years ago I talked the loan officer into waiving a fee; if I hadn't known I had a score over 800, I most likely wouldn't have even though of asking for a better deal, but if you know your score, and it's a great score, you have the information you need to decide whether it's worth a try. In that case it saved me about $250. A good exchange for a $7 score fee.

~Tim~
Post Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:32 am
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Wino
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I don't disagree with what you just wrote. Most people who pay $7 or $15/month for "credit monitoring" are throwing good money down the tubes.

Let me suggest something else to you, though: if you had checked your annual report just before going in to the lender, would you not see that you had no late payments, no write offs, no large balances? Would not also going to credit karma and finding an approximation of 790 (or 820) also give you the same information?

My main points are: you should not pay for the report unnecessarily as do 98% of the people paying for it; the information on the report is more important and just as indicative of your score as the number is. I never said the FICO score was not important, but I maintain that there is rarely any need to actually know the number assigned, as well as secondarily that the information behind the number is more important than the number itself.
Post Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:22 am
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coaster
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quote:
Originally posted by Wino
Would not also going to credit karma and finding an approximation of 790 (or 820) also give you the same information?

Perhaps for us, but no, not for most people, because they don't know it's on a different scale, and further, it's a wider scale, thus giving a higher "score" than what the lender is going to get. All the rest, I agree with, esp. the credit monitoring...that's a waste of money. Wink

~Tim~
Post Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:19 pm
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mawny
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Thank you for all the help!
Post Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:01 pm
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paydayloansonline
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thanks.  Reply with quote  

thanks for the discussion ... learned a lot...
Post Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:35 am
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