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Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,350
Registered: ‎07-07-2013
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How early can I add my kids as AUs?

[ Edited ]
I want to help them with their credit by adding them as AUs to my CCs. I have the following questions:

1. Is there an age limit? Can I add them when they turn 5? Or I have to wait till they are teenagers?
2. Which card will be better to add them as AUs, USAA, NFCU, Amex, Discover or Chase?
3. Is it better to add them as joint owners than AUs?
4. How about adding them to my banking accounts? What are the rules of getting them establish relationship early with USAA and NFCU?

Thank you in advance!
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 386
Registered: ‎05-03-2013
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Re: How early can I add my kids as AUs?


DigitalArk wrote:
I want to help them with their credit by adding them as AUs to my CCs. I have the following questions:

1. Is there an age limit? Can I add them when they turn 5? Or I have to wait till they are teenagers?
2. Which card will be better to add them as AUs, USAA, NFCU, Amex, Discover or Chase?
3. How about adding them to my banking accounts? What are the rules of getting them establish relationship early with USAA and NFCU?

Thank you in advance!

I think each lender's policy is different, and you should check with the ones you're interested in.

IME, I added my DD to a Cap One in May and Amex BCP in July. She'll turn 18 in December. I think Amex policy is that they must be at least 15..(?)

 

Amex is a really good one for AU, as that can establish their "member since" date, and can potentially benefit them for the rest of their lives. Amex also is the only card I know of that lets you set the limit for your ACM, (Additional Card Member), within your own limit, of course.

 

I'm sure others will chime in here, also. Sorry, I have no first hand knowledge of USAA or NFCU.

 

Good luck and good for you, and your kids, for giving them a head-start! They'll appreciate it later!

 

Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,121
Registered: ‎03-30-2012
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Re: How early can I add my kids as AUs?

I know, at least on AMEX, you can add an ACM as young as 15.

Scores 5/15/2016 (clean reports!): TU Walmart FICO: 696 | EQ FICO: 679 | EX AMEX FICO: 680

In my new wallet: American Express Green EMV: PSL $2000 | BankAmericard Cash Rewards Visa EMV: $2500 | Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard: $5000 | Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard: $1000 | Discover IT: $2500 | Amazon Rewards Visa Signature: $1500 | Chase Freedom: $1500 | Capital One QuicksilverOne MasterCard: $1950 | Target: $2200 | J.Crew $21,550 | Marvel (Captain America) MasterCard: $6000
Established Contributor
Posts: 522
Registered: ‎07-18-2013
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Re: How early can I add my kids as AUs?


DigitalArk wrote:
I want to help them with their credit by adding them as AUs to my CCs. I have the following questions:

1. Is there an age limit? Can I add them when they turn 5? Or I have to wait till they are teenagers?
2. Which card will be better to add them as AUs, USAA, NFCU, Amex, Discover or Chase?
3. Is it better to add them as joint owners than AUs?
4. How about adding them to my banking accounts? What are the rules of getting them establish relationship early with USAA and NFCU?

Thank you in advance!

I'm not sure you can add your children as joint owners to a CC unless they're over 18.  Then they become responsible for the debt as well.

 

You can open bank accounts for your kids.  You don't have to add them to yours.  Most banks allow parents to open savings account for their kids under 18.  Guess it could depend on individual bank policies as well.  My children have savings accounts that are in their name, but my name is on there as well.

Contributor
Posts: 157
Registered: ‎08-22-2013
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Re: How early can I add my kids as AUs?

The kid has to be 15 to be added as AU in AMEX.  I know, because I just tried.  My son is almost 13.  I got a message saying that he needs to be 15.

 

For USAA, I was able to give him a card tied to my USAA Platinum card now.  

AMEX TrueEarnings 10K | AMEX BCE 10K | AMEX Hilton Honors 10K | AMEX Hilton Surpass 2K | Bank of America 1-2-3 2K | Barclay Card 2K | Chase Southwest Premier Visa 6K | Chase Marriott Premier Visa 9K | Discover IT Card 1.5K | Merrick Bank 1.4K | Navy Federal Credit Union Visa 10K | Navy Federal Credit Union navCheck 15K | USAA Rewards 7K |+ tons of store cards (GE furniture, Amazon, Lowes, Home Depot, etc)
Total amount of available credit $100K
Scores (as of December 2013) Equifax 714 | Experian 714 | Transunion 727
Short term goal is score 750+ across the board
Long term goal is to have all scores close to 800 or 800+
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 431
Registered: ‎05-23-2013
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Re: How early can I add my kids as AUs?

Hope these rules still be around 10 years from now. I want to start my kids out with strong credit too. So they won't have any problems buying things when they need it.

 

I know it works because I made my 22 yo sister an AU on my card and she was able to buy her first car without any co-signer. Smiley Happy

Myfico scores.....
EX... 805 (11-10-13)
EQ... 810 (12-02-13)
TU... 810 (12-02-13)
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3,096
Registered: ‎01-26-2012
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Re: How early can I add my kids as AUs?

As someone mentioned earlier, the rule depends on the card issuer.

 

For AMEX, it is 15 for charge cards and I believe 17-18 for credit cards.

 

I always recommend adding AMEX first as AU if available.  There are a few reasons for this:

 

1) AMEX is fairly unique in that it requests SSN of AU and reports card with unique number which almost looks like a regular account.  Basically it is one of the few (if not the only card) that will reliably get a credit file started.  Other cards rely on matching name/address.  However, how does this happen when a credit file doesn't exist and no SSN has been submitted.

 

2) AMEX member date:  Establishing early helps person later in life given backdating.  Remember to create AMEX online id for new card as well to "lock" it in.

 

3) Unlike VISA/MC/Discover, there is advantage to adding AMEX early beyond the member date.  If you add them as AU to AMEX now, it will report open as 8/2013.  If you wait till December, it will show open as 12/2013.  On the other hand if you VISA/MC/Discover was open in Jan 2010, it will show as open in 1/2010 no matter when you add him/her as AU.

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Moderator Emerita
Posts: 27,204
Registered: ‎09-13-2012
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Re: How early can I add my kids as AUs?

+1

And as missjae stated, they must be 18 to be a joint applicant. Minors cannot be held legally for debt.
Established Contributor
Posts: 826
Registered: ‎09-12-2011
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Re: How early can I add my kids as AUs?


Crashem wrote:

As someone mentioned earlier, the rule depends on the card issuer.

 

For AMEX, it is 15 for charge cards and I believe 17-18 for credit cards.

 

I always recommend adding AMEX first as AU if available.  There are a few reasons for this:

 

 



Agree 100% with Crashem.  However, I will add that there is no age difference on Amex charge or credit cards - the age requirement is 15 for both types.  I added my son when he was 15 to both my BCE and my Optima cards.

FICOs: TU08 842 EQ08 817 EX08 825 6/23/16 per MyFICO

My Wallet: Amex Gold NPSL; Amex Optima Platinum $25K; Amex BCE $12K; BofA Visa $10.1K; Cap1 Quicksilver Visa Sig $10K; CSP $28.2K; Chase Freedom $13K; Citi Costco Visa $19.3K; Citi Double Cash $13.5K; Citi Simplicity Visa $23.3K; Discover IT $50K; Fidelity Amex $25K; PenFed Plat Rewards Visa Sig $35.9K; Sallie Mae WMC $17.5K; Sears MC $10.1K; US Bank Cash+ Visa Sig $26K; Walmart Discover $10K; Wells Fargo Rewards Visa Sig $14K
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3,096
Registered: ‎01-26-2012
0

Re: How early can I add my kids as AUs?


CribDuchess wrote:

Crashem wrote:

As someone mentioned earlier, the rule depends on the card issuer.

 

For AMEX, it is 15 for charge cards and I believe 17-18 for credit cards.

 

I always recommend adding AMEX first as AU if available.  There are a few reasons for this:

 

 



Agree 100% with Crashem.  However, I will add that there is no age difference on Amex charge or credit cards - the age requirement is 15 for both types.  I added my son when he was 15 to both my BCE and my Optima cards.


I just did this the other day.  There was an age difference for me.  Go ahead and make up SSN and birthdate of this year.  It will tell you.  Policy changes all the time.  My friend was added when they were little kids (I think for nanny).

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