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New Member
LosAngeles
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎03-11-2013

Helping my sister establish credit. Good first CC, Secured card or add her as an AU?

So, I'm trying to hep my sister establish her credit history. She's 22, effectively has no credit history and is kinda naive. She has applied for credit cards and been denied in the past. She's really not the sharpest tool in the shed and kinda of gullible, but I love the girl and want to help her get the most out of life.

 

I don't think she's applied for anything in the past 6 months, but when she's previously applied, she will always go for whatever some random banker tells her. (I've worked at a bank, so I assume they let her apply for the hardest cards to get approved for). What would you suggest for an easy to get first card? When I got my first CC it was the Citi Forward car... which I know isn't the easiest to get. So, what has a good approval rating for someone with NO credit history whatsoever (well, maybe a few inquiries from last year). I am not too keen on the idea of Discover or Cap1... but I've heard they are a little bit easier to get approved for, thoughts?

 

Alternatively, does anyone have any good suggestions for a sercured card? I don't know how much these actually help your credit or which ones are good. I've never really looked into them, to be perfectly honest.

 

And lastly, I was considering adding my sister as an authorized user on my Citi Forward card (low limit, has no balance and I rarely use it). I was just going to sock-drawer her card (cause I'm not going to let her potential irresponsibility hurt me), and not let her have access.... This is kind of my last resort option but, like I said, I really want to help her build her credit (more for future apartments, house, cars, ect...)

 

I'm 20, have about 1.8 years of credit history 734 EQ FICO and have 3 CC's currently. Citiforward ($800), Citi TYP ($3,500) and Chase Freedom ($3,500). I'm currently "gardening" for at least the next 6 months so I can get CLI's on my current cards and hopefully get 2 more cards that I really want. Eventually, I'll combine the Citi cards, but the TYP is new and the Forward is my oldest card, so I'm waiting on that. Will adding her as an AU effect my "gardening" negatively in any way? Opinions?


So, what do you guys suggest? 

Senior Contributor
Wolf3
Posts: 3,198
Registered: ‎01-24-2010

Re: Helping my sister establish credit. Good first CC, Secured card or add her as an AU?

Where is your sisters checking account at?  Does she use a debit card for her purchases?   Is she responsible with that?

New Member
LosAngeles
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎03-11-2013

Re: Helping my sister establish credit. Good first CC, Secured card or add her as an AU?

She is with Citibank (I used to work there). She does use her debit for everything; she doesn't overdraft if that's what you mean..... well, as far as I know she doesn't.

 

She is responisble and (has a daughter that she's very responsible with) but like I said before, she's very gullible and naive. That's why I want to help he get her street smarts when it comes to finance. 

Valued Contributor
jsucool76
Posts: 2,768
Registered: ‎12-11-2011

Re: Helping my sister establish credit. Good first CC, Secured card or add her as an AU?

Im pretty sure citi had (it might be gone now) a secured card.
I would recommend a cap1 secured possibly. Ir doesn't graduate, but also reports as an unsecured line, so a high CL (if she has the cash) might help her with unsecured cards in the future.
Wallet: Capital One Cash Rewards 3500CL, Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa: 900CL, Paypal Smart Connect: 1286CL, Walmart Discover: 2000CL, UPromise Mastercard: 1000CL, Chase Slate: 500CL, Discover IT: 1500CL, Citi Forward: 1500CL, Bank Of America Student Travel Rewards: 700CL
Moderator
09Lexie
Posts: 22,445
Registered: ‎09-13-2012

Re: Helping my sister establish credit. Good first CC, Secured card or add her as an AU?

[ Edited ]
BoA has a secured card that graduates. You can add your sister as an AU and not give her the card. Obviously you know how to keep your util down to help both of you. Some might say Cap 1 maybe their newcomers card. It's hard to give accurate advice without knowing her credit profile.
Established Contributor
cwwatts1202
Posts: 689
Registered: ‎12-01-2011

Re: Helping my sister establish credit. Good first CC, Secured card or add her as an AU?

Capital one would be the best secured card probably. BoA secured probably wouldn't approve her. If you add her as an AU I don't think it will really help her credit much if that card isn't used, so if you add her to it, maybe use it for like $10 bucks to let it report then PIF. I've heard horror stories about a lot of secured cards, other than BoA and Cap one, so be careful with which one she chooses. 

Senior Contributor
Wolf3
Posts: 3,198
Registered: ‎01-24-2010

Re: Helping my sister establish credit. Good first CC, Secured card or add her as an AU?

I believe CITI still has the secured card but you have to apply in person at a branch.   It has good terms.  I think it is a fixed CD deposit so you can't change it and I think it unsecures in 18 months. 

 

I think this is the best first step and all that she should do for the next 18 months.  She should put down a resonable deposit, 2X her planned monthly use or so.   (Loan here the money if you need to and let her pay you back when it unsecures)

 

Capital One secured card is a good backup plan card if that doesn't work.

 

Also, Makes sure she understands that the account closes once a month and she needs to pay the full closing balance by the due date or she will get hit with interest.  If for some reason, she can not pay in full she has to pay the minimum payment.     Nothing else really matters at this point.

.

New Contributor
Robertwd82
Posts: 71
Registered: ‎11-19-2012

Re: Helping my sister establish credit. Good first CC, Secured card or add her as an AU?

The walmart store card is a good first card, she will get a free monthly transunion fico score, and its a GE card so will grow quickly. After a few months history with that card I would apply for the Discover it card. Garden those for 6 months and then go for a good card that will save her money where she shops or travels.
New Member
LosAngeles
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎03-11-2013

Re: Helping my sister establish credit. Good first CC, Secured card or add her as an AU?

Citi has a secured card; but, I can tell you from personal experience that they are terrible to deal with. They are an awesome lender when it comes to unsecured products, but I wouldn't recommend their secured card. 


jsucool76 wrote:
Im pretty sure citi had (it might be gone now) a secured card.
I would recommend a cap1 secured possibly. Ir doesn't graduate, but also reports as an unsecured line, so a high CL (if she has the cash) might help her with unsecured cards in the future.
Does anyone suggest any non-secured products? I think that would be ideal, but mayber a long-shot? 

 

New Member
LosAngeles
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎03-11-2013

Re: Helping my sister establish credit. Good first CC, Secured card or add her as an AU?


cwwatts1202 wrote:

Capital one would be the best secured card probably. BoA secured probably wouldn't approve her. If you add her as an AU I don't think it will really help her credit much if that card isn't used, so if you add her to it, maybe use it for like $10 bucks to let it report then PIF. I've heard horror stories about a lot of secured cards, other than BoA and Cap one, so be careful with which one she chooses. 


Yeah, I do use it at least monthly, but I don't ever really keep a balance. So I thought it would be good as far as utilization and such is concerned. 


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