Author Topic: Never Had a CC!?! Want to Add Self as AU to Family Member's CC  (Read 1000 times)

haflander

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Starting a new thread here so I don't fully derail another...
I didn't want to add this to the massive tradelines thread. I added that link below if anyone is curious.
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/selling-tradelines-piggybacking-part-ii-$1000hr-20-40kyr-side-gig/

I'm no spring chicken, but I have a weird thing about avoiding credit cards. I've never had one. Laugh and mock if you must, but I don't really care about that or the rewards/points. Emergencies are addressed with the EF/FU fund. More often, emergencies are addressed with cash flow from the checking account (just save less that month). I've been lucky to have few real emergencies thus far *knocks on wood*. Credit score is currently 721. It's been creeping up slowly as of late (~1 point a month), but I'm on schedule to finish paying off a loan at the end of this year, closing that account. Last time this happened (school loans), my scored dropped 10-20 points, so I assume this would happen again.

I've been wondering about being added as an AU to a family member's CC. Obviously the ideal card would be the one that was the oldest and had the largest limit. I have no need to use their CC even in an emergency, for the reasons listed above. I wouldn't even care to have their CC #. The sole reason would be for the credit history and raising my credit score for potential buying a house and getting a better interest rate in ~5 years. I brought up this idea to the gf when we were discussing buying a house ("but doesn't your credit score suck?? what about buying a house and the interest rate??") and she hated the idea of adding me as an AU; I don't really blame her. She was surprised to learn that our credit scores are almost identical.

So...what cards and companies would be most likely to report to credit bureaus regarding AUs? Or, do you think 700-750 is a score high enough to not be worried about raising it? I think that's about the range I'm stuck in with my current habits/choices.

ETA: The people I have in mind are in my immediate family and have my same last name. They've balked in the past when I've said I have no CC, so I'd have to put up with some ribbing, but that's fine.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 08:48:42 AM by haflander »

katsiki

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Re: Never Had a CC!?! Want to Add Self as AU to Family Member's CC
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2018, 08:44:22 AM »
So...what cards and companies would be most likely to report to credit bureaus regarding AUs? Or, do you think 700-750 is a score high enough to not be worried about raising it? I think that's about the range I'm stuck in with my current habits/choices.

I have experience with AUs on Barclays & Discover.  Both post "easily".  Chase also works if a close tie (possibly requires same address). 

As far as score, 700-750 is fine for most things.  However, becoming an AU won't hurt you or the card holder, so I would vote to do it.  If you are looking for credit soon, I would do it as a higher score could decrease your interest rate a bit.

Good luck!

FIRE@50

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Re: Never Had a CC!?! Want to Add Self as AU to Family Member's CC
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2018, 08:47:38 AM »
I think most people are way too obsessed with credit scores.
I think a score of 721 does not suck. Far from it.
I think you should get a credit card of your own with a 5 year time horizon.
I think your GF's willingness to share a mortgage with you but not a CC AU is perplexing.

terran

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Re: Never Had a CC!?! Want to Add Self as AU to Family Member's CC
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2018, 08:48:03 AM »
Other than knowing it exists because of the thread you linked to I don't know much about the whole authorized user thing.

Your credit isn't that bad, have you tried just getting your own credit card? I know you don't really feel like you need it, but do you feel like you can control yourself with access to credit? If not, then yeah, don't get one (and work on self control), but if you'll be fine just get one and stick some recurring bill on it, set up autopay from your bank and forget about it.

haflander

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Re: Never Had a CC!?! Want to Add Self as AU to Family Member's CC
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2018, 09:00:46 AM »
Good to hear that 721 is acceptable. I kinda thought it was in the "good, not great" category.

The gf and I aren't seriously considering buying a house together now or in the next few years, more like just talking about things we want in the future. If it turns out to be a long-term thing and my hopes that she's The One are confirmed, then I think that in the future she'd be happy to add me as an AU. Side note, her only debts in life are CC debt (I think it's small but Idk how much) and since she's been with me she's really focused on paying it off! :)

Nope, I've never even tried getting a card. I think after college it became A Thing. In other words, seeing how long I could go through life without a CC and in defiance of our society that's largely dependent on credit. Also, a big factor is that my parents have had CC debt my whole life. I'm 100% sure that I'd control spending fine, but IMO that's irrelevant (I know ya'll may disagree). It's no news that most of us here around MMM are independent thinkers and do weird things...this is mine (so far).

Sibley

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Re: Never Had a CC!?! Want to Add Self as AU to Family Member's CC
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2018, 10:02:02 AM »
Question: do you ever buy anything online?

If you do, then you need to get a CC. You should NEVER use your debit card online for one very simple reason: legal protections. Debit and CC cards have different legalities. Even if you use your debit card as credit, it still a debit card. I don't even like linking my checking account to Paypal.

Also, if you're traveling, the mechanics of how CCs and debit cards work are different and using a debit card for hotels, rental cars, etc can be very annoying (daily limits, holds, etc).

I would recommend you get your own CC and use it for categories of things when it makes sense to (based on legal stuff or how things process), then pay it off right away. If the company ups the limit, you can call and lower it. If you choose, you can take advantage of whatever associated program and maybe get a little bit of benefit.

erutio

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Re: Never Had a CC!?! Want to Add Self as AU to Family Member's CC
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2018, 10:17:47 AM »
In other words, seeing how long I could go through life without a CC and in defiance of our society that's largely dependent on credit.

If you get your own credit card, think of it as you using it as a convenience (not having to use cash, debit, or check), not as a source of credit.  You will still be "in defiance" of our society's dependence of credit, if it makes you feel any better.

haflander

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Re: Never Had a CC!?! Want to Add Self as AU to Family Member's CC
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2018, 10:27:58 AM »
1. You should NEVER use your debit card online for one very simple reason: legal protections. Debit and CC cards have different legalities...
2. Also, if you're traveling, the mechanics of how CCs and debit cards work are different and using a debit card for hotels, rental cars, etc can be very annoying (daily limits, holds, etc).

1. Could you elaborate on this? I have to claim naivete on that one. I generally don't buy a lot of stuff online but it's a non-zero thing.
2. I've done some domestic and international travel and have never had a problem. In my case, all I had to do was preparation and due diligence beforehand.

AccidentalMiser

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Re: Never Had a CC!?! Want to Add Self as AU to Family Member's CC
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2018, 11:59:20 AM »
In other words, seeing how long I could go through life without a CC and in defiance of our society that's largely dependent on credit.

If you get your own credit card, think of it as you using it as a convenience (not having to use cash, debit, or check), not as a source of credit.  You will still be "in defiance" of our society's dependence of credit, if it makes you feel any better.

Good point. 

I use my credit cards to manage my money and collect 2% cash rewards on all my spending.  I never carry a balance on any of them.  Between DW and I, we have five cards.  One is with Fidelity which is who we bank with.  One with Navy Federal which we've had for 20+ years.  I buy one tank of gas per year with this card.  Two from Citi.  The Double Cash card which gets us the aforementioned 2% back on everything and an old platinum card that we've had for a dozen years (and we used to consolidate our debts and pay off everything aggressively and all at once back when were just coming out of being stupid) and a Costco Card that DW uses for Costco and gasoline (4% back on gas).

You don't need five cards but there are a number of reasons that one or two makes life so much easier if you're disciplined enough to keep yourself out of debt.

Best of luck!!

Raymond Reddington

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Re: Never Had a CC!?! Want to Add Self as AU to Family Member's CC
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2018, 01:49:37 PM »
Get a credit card of your own from a bank where you have a decent amount of savings.

-Make sure it has no annual fee.
-Get a really low limit if that's what it takes. Since you've been fine without it so far, you'll just have to use it here and there for things you previously would have spent cash on.
-If it's a card with points that can be exchanged for cash back rewards, that'd be great, but it's not necessary just yet.
-Pay the bill off in full.
-After about 6 months, call and ask to raise the limit. If you've been paying your bills on time and in full, this should be no problem.
-Rinse and repeat every 6 months to a year until the limit has been raised to your satisfaction. Amazing part is you never have to actually spend above the minimal spending level you started at when you got the very first card.
-Once your credit limit hits $1,000 on the card, make sure you're getting points that can be exchanged for cash back rewards. If not, you can see if they can switch your account to a fee-free card with these rewards. If they can't, your credit score will now be good enough for you to apply for one that does, and keep the old one locked up in a drawer or safe at home where it's still padding your score and increasing the length of your account history...just use the new one for future purchases.

merula

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Re: Never Had a CC!?! Want to Add Self as AU to Family Member's CC
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2018, 05:06:36 PM »
1. Could you elaborate on this? I have to claim naivete on that one. I generally don't buy a lot of stuff online but it's a non-zero thing.
2. I've done some domestic and international travel and have never had a problem. In my case, all I had to do was preparation and due diligence beforehand.

I'm not Sibley but I'll try to answer your questions.

1. Using your credit card online is generally riskier than using it at a brick-and-mortar store. There are more opportunities along the way for someone to steal your number and use it for unauthorized purchases.

With a CC, if only your number was stolen but not your physical card, you're not liable for any of the charges. With a debit card, you can be liable for up to $50 if you report it in 2 days or $500 if you report it in 60 days.

CCs often also have additional protections around purchases that I've never seen from a debit card. Stuff like, "That thing you ordered from a random website wasn't as advertised and you've tried to go through their return process with no luck? No worries, we'll just refund your money and deal with the merchant for you."

2. If you haven't had issues, great, but I always see stuff about $500 hotel or rental car holds on debit cards, which never happens for CCs. Also most travel-reward CCs include some amount of travel insurance or rental auto insurance in their benefits.

All in all, credit cards are a tool. They can be dangerous in the wrong hands, they can be misused. In my nearly 20 years of using them, I've paid exactly $0 in interest, and have slowly progressed to more and more advanced uses of CCs (multiple rewards, churning, tradelines).

Making "I've never had a CC" A Thing for you might make sense if you think you might be prone to misusing one. But your description of others' CC debt doesn't sound like that. So it kinda becomes like making "I've never used a power saw" A Thing. Sure, you can do great things with hand saws, and they're safer than power tools, but why not use the best tool for the job?

Sibley

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Re: Never Had a CC!?! Want to Add Self as AU to Family Member's CC
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2018, 07:53:37 PM »
1. You should NEVER use your debit card online for one very simple reason: legal protections. Debit and CC cards have different legalities...
2. Also, if you're traveling, the mechanics of how CCs and debit cards work are different and using a debit card for hotels, rental cars, etc can be very annoying (daily limits, holds, etc).

1. Could you elaborate on this? I have to claim naivete on that one. I generally don't buy a lot of stuff online but it's a non-zero thing.
2. I've done some domestic and international travel and have never had a problem. In my case, all I had to do was preparation and due diligence beforehand.

Most of the advantage of credit over debit is the fraud protection. If you have a fraud problem on your debit card, the legal liability for you is potentially much higher than on credit cards.

Summary: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-cards/credit-card-vs-debit-card-safer-online-purchases/

Re traveling, the fact that you had to prepare to use a debit card, vs just use the credit card - that adds difficultly. Thus, more annoying.

Trifele

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Re: Never Had a CC!?! Want to Add Self as AU to Family Member's CC
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2018, 11:10:20 AM »
I agree you should get your own.  At the very least you could do a secured card; check with your bank or credit union.

My 80 year old dad has never had a CC, and recently wanted to get one for the enhanced protections after his debit card was hit with a fraudulent charge.  He was turned down for the CCs because of zero credit history (hilarious, because he has been FIREd since before FIRE was a thing) but then his credit union set him up with a $1000 secured CC to get the ball rolling.