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Established Member
DHsCredit
Posts: 63
Registered: ‎10-18-2010
0

Building New Credit- a History and CC Advice Needed

I have been reading this forum for over a year to learn how to build a credit record from scratch.  THANKS!  DH (an immigrant) and I were married overseas. I am interested in obtaining more credit for DH while maintaining an excellent record. We plan on buying a home in 12 to 15 months.  CC Questions at the end (sorry for the length). The following is DH’s credit building history:

 

October 07:  DH’s USA permanent residency approved- waiting for Social Security#. Opened indiv check and savings accts at Wells Fargo in DH’s name only.

 

November  07:   DH rec’d Social Security #, and gave it to WF for bank accts tax purposes.

 

December 07:  DH obtained corporate employment.

 

January 08:  DH’s job requires int’l travel-  decided to add DH as an AU on AMEX gold.  In speaking to AMEX CSR, mentioned that DH was a new immigrant with new SS#, and wanted to make sure that the AMEX gold would report to the CRAs.  When I gave DH’s SS#, CSR replied that I must have given the wrong # because “nothing was coming up”. I repeated the # to the same effect. CSR gave me so much flack and insisted I was giving wrong SS#. I gave up.

 

May 08:  Rec’d mail from AMEX to “add user to your acct”. Tried again- added DH’s name and address (but no SS#). Got a call from AMEX to confirm that I wanted to add DH to my card.  Thinking that DH’s SS# would again “not come up”, I said that DH had no credit record, and CSR said that it was OK, that his credit was not req’d to be an AU. Signed up DH as an AU without providing DH’s SS# this time around.  Side note: AMEX gold opened June 1988.

 

Sept 08:  DH applied for a Wells Fargo secured Visa CL $300.  1 week later got letter from WF saying there was an issue with SS#, and asked for an explanation. Sent letter about new immigrant and SS#, and provided copy of new Green Card.  Secured Visa sent 2 weeks later.

 

October 08:  DH charged ~ $600 on WF Visa, allowed it to report on following month’s statement. Made $300 pmt, charged add’l $100, allowed all to report, and from that point, usually PIF before statement cuts.

 

May 09:  DH opened savings acct at CU, and got a $1,500 secured Visa. Charged $700, allowed it to report on statement, and after that, we usually PIF before statement cuts.

 

July 09:  Decided that $300 CL at WF was too low. Asked to give add’l $1,200 security to increase limit to $1,500. WF increased CL to $1.5 (no hard pull).

 

Sept 09:  Rec’d ltr from WF saying secured CC was being closed, and new unsecured CC with $1,500 CL was to be opened.  Rec’d $1,500 security back from WF, and new CC with NEW #, but new CC open date was backdated to 09/08. (Online at WF, both CCs existed for ~ 60 days).

 

Oct 10:  Checked DH’s EQ report, and it was 808.  AAoA 8+ yrs.  Oldest acct- 22+ years (AMEX was reporting). AMEX showed up in his balance and UTL.  AMEX shows no CL, but bal = $2.4K (now PIF). WF Visa 1.5K CL, $0 owed. CU Visa 1.5K CL, $0 owed. Total UTIL 81%.  No INQs.  No negatives. NOTE:  WF Visa reporting as one single account- no report of closed secured card and open unsecured card.

 

Other notes:  I have some debt (but a lot of credit- WF Visa Sig CL = 25K, Chase Freedom CL = $26K, etc.) and my scores are all 785+. I’ll be debt free in < 12 mos. AAoA 14 yrs. We have no mortgage or car loans.

 

Goals & Questions:

 

1.   DH $3,000 CL is too small. Need to increase CL (either by CLI on current CCs or opening new CC).  Don’t want to incur many INQs or denials (due to future home purchase).  Concerned opening new CC will reduce FICO due to lower AAoA.

 

2.  I have an AMEX Optima card (date 06/88) with CL of $19.5K, $0 owed. Should I add DH as an AU on this card to again help with AAoA and increase CL? Side note… I don’t want to trigger AMEX into worrying about me (though I know that I am eligible for a Platinum card- they tell me so every time I call them).

 

3.  Should DH ask WF for a CLI? Or would it be better to apply for one of the many preapproval offers that are sent daily? If so, any recommendations?  DH gets preapproval offers from AMEX constantly. Does DH apply for AMEX Blue?

 

4. What order would you recommend we go about doing any of your anticipated recommendations?

Epic Contributor
Creditaddict
Posts: 22,094
Registered: ‎10-23-2007
0

Re: Building New Credit- a History and CC Advice Needed

I would ask for CLI on his 2 current cards

then I would suggest he get his own Amex (blue, clear)

Citi Forward would be excellent option that they are pushing right now

Fico Scores: EQ- 626 Overstck., TU 696 Walmart, EX 695 Chase (11-05-14)
You will have to put up Electric Fence to keep me in the garden!
Highest Limit: Navy Federal Cash Sigi Visa $50k (AU)
Lowest Limit: Target $200
66 Cards and Counting :smileytongue:
Regular Contributor
iluvmyfico
Posts: 163
Registered: ‎03-10-2008
0

Re: Building New Credit- a History and CC Advice Needed

[ Edited ]
To me the best way to avoid inq's and help UTI is to add him as an AU to the AMEX. No inq and better AAoA and UTI. I wouldn't worry about having it trigger a FR from them. 1. He is on your other card. 2. You have over 20 yr history with them. 2 CLI requests could be two hard inq's. You could ask first if they will hard or soft. If your purchase is more than a yr then maybe go that route. What are your scores. Mortgage lenders use the median score from the applicant with the lower score. Great job on establishing credit for him.
Established Member
DHsCredit
Posts: 63
Registered: ‎10-18-2010
0

Re: Building New Credit- a History and CC Advice Needed

Thanks for each response. I know I shouldn't have posted so much detail.

 

We'll likely be looking to purchase a house in ~ 12 months. We don't have an exact time frame, but know that (aside from some catastrophe) at that point, we will have no debt, money saved and I am hoping that each of our scores are 800+.

 

Due to business travel, we often have large amts charged to AMEX gold (which showed up in DH's UTL on his EQ report), so it is important for us to increase his CL so that on an ongoing basis, his UTL is lower.

 

I have been leaning towards adding him as an AU on my Optima. But it would be nice if he had his own card with a higher limit.

Regular Contributor
iluvmyfico
Posts: 163
Registered: ‎03-10-2008
0

Re: Building New Credit- a History and CC Advice Needed

Seriously I'd add him as an AU first. They can always be undone. Then when you purchase your home you can request CLI's with no worries or cares about hurting his score. Also I doubt it would drop that dramatically anyway. I dont believe the rate would be different from a 760 or 810 score. I think the AU way has less risk and def more reward.
Epic Contributor
Creditaddict
Posts: 22,094
Registered: ‎10-23-2007
0

Re: Building New Credit- a History and CC Advice Needed


DHsCredit wrote:

Thanks for each response. I know I shouldn't have posted so much detail.

 

We'll likely be looking to purchase a house in ~ 12 months. We don't have an exact time frame, but know that (aside from some catastrophe) at that point, we will have no debt, money saved and I am hoping that each of our scores are 800+.

 

Due to business travel, we often have large amts charged to AMEX gold (which showed up in DH's UTL on his EQ report), so it is important for us to increase his CL so that on an ongoing basis, his UTL is lower.

 

I have been leaning towards adding him as an AU on my Optima. But it would be nice if he had his own card with a higher limit.


I guess I'm not understanding why the amex was showing in his util on EQ, you need to call Amex and have them correct this.  The charge card should not be calculated in util.

Fico Scores: EQ- 626 Overstck., TU 696 Walmart, EX 695 Chase (11-05-14)
You will have to put up Electric Fence to keep me in the garden!
Highest Limit: Navy Federal Cash Sigi Visa $50k (AU)
Lowest Limit: Target $200
66 Cards and Counting :smileytongue:
Established Member
DHsCredit
Posts: 63
Registered: ‎10-18-2010
0

Re: Building New Credit- a History and CC Advice Needed

AMEX gold also shows up in my EQ UTL, but since I have a lot of credit available, I never gave it much thought. Now, I can see where my husband is concerned... this is an issue.


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