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Help with building credit for 18 year old

Frequent Contributor

Help with building credit for 18 year old

I'm trying to help an 18 year old relative of mine establish credit. Aside from opening checking/savings accounts and making him an authorized user on an credit card account or two, what else can I do?

 

Thanks!

24 REPLIES
Valued Contributor

Re: Help with building credit for 18 year old

Just make sure to pick the right cards.

 

Your advice is even more important.  Is he/she going to college and working at all?

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Help with building credit for 18 year old

What do you mean by right cards? All my cards are prime and I have a few retail cards. Yes, financial literacy is surely apart of the plan, thanks!

Moderator Emerita

Re: Help with building credit for 18 year old

I believe Crashem thought he/she was applying for cards. So, 'pick' the right cards. If you are adding him as an AU only that would be a non-issue.

To help him/her build credit if you have an Amex-start there IMO. Can't go wrong with backdating, monitoring of CL's etc.
Established Contributor

Re: Help with building credit for 18 year old

At that age making him an AU on Amex card, would be the best thing you could do for him. Plus explaining/teaching him about financial reposibility and to live within your means would be great.
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Valued Contributor

Re: Help with building credit for 18 year old

http://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/Credit-Cards/quot-Start-From-Scratch-quot-Credit-Builders-Handbook/m...

Here ya go, for easy reference!

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Help with building credit for 18 year old

She will begin college early next year. She does have  apart-time job but of course it's paltry pay.

New Contributor

Re: Help with building credit for 18 year old

I'm helping my 19 yr old daughter start too. If he/she is working, have them try to get a secured card to start off. Mine got Cap 1, $49 deposit $200 limit. What I do is log in to the account and check due dates, making sure she's paying on time, etc. Her 3rd statement just cut and after 6 mos of history, she'll get a FICO. She recently got approved for NFCU unsecured $500 Visa, but I'm not letting her touch it for now. She also apped (without talking to me) for Kays, she got $400, but she's only to use $40 of it at a time, if at all. Once she shows responsibility with this, I'll help her grow. Once she gets to the point where she can get big girl cards, we'll prob close the secured, or try and pc to unsecured.

Regular Contributor

Re: Help with building credit for 18 year old

The only real way for her to learn is for her to take charge of her accounts. 

New Contributor

Re: Help with building credit for 18 year old

I agree Omni, in part. As an adult with credit difficulties now because of not learning right when I was her age, I'd much rather her learn with me in partial control. I think at 18, you still don't have the mentality that you do at 21 or 25. I'm going to be on her every credit move until I feel like she's good to go on her own. She's still learning and agreeable, so I think it's the best move a parent can make. This way, if she does make mistakes, I can help her learn from them quickly, as opposed to her not knowing what she did wrong and suffering for it later.