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Individual vs Joint vs AU Credit History


Individual vs Joint vs AU Credit History

When I got married my wife's credit was miserable. After 5 years of marriage we still have no joint credit. 


I know you can add someone as an AU.


Can you convert an account established as an Individual into a Joint account? 

Alternatively, can you convert a joint account into an individual account?


I was DENIED a new Barclay's card because I already had sufficient credit on other Barclay's cards.

Does being an AU have any effect (help, hurt, neutral) when they apply for an individual card?


Someone once told me that in order to title the house or car in both names then both names must be on the mortgage or car loan.  


If both spouces work and have their own incomes, is their any advantage to apply for joint credit cards?


Thanks in advance for your replies. 

Message 1 of 3
Moderator Emerita

Re: Individual vs Joint vs AU Credit History

Never, never, never do joint on anything other than your mortgage.

I don't think that the title issue applies. Somehow, DH is on my car title (with me), even though I'm the only one on the loan.

AU might be able to convert to joint. Once joint, it can't be converted to individual or AU. The account must be closed and new accounts opened, starting the history all over again.

No one ever wants to mention the Big D (divorce) issue for married couples who have joint accounts, so I'll just point out that if one of you has some sort of financial disaster (medical bills that insurance doesn't pay) and must declare bankruptcy, the other can keep the family credit going if CC's are in his/ her name alone.

There is no reason to go joint on a CC. Almost every card issuer will allow AU status. Most report AU status, some do not.
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Message 2 of 3
Senior Contributor

Re: Individual vs Joint vs AU Credit History

Agreed.  Use AU if it helps and makes sense, but joint account removes all the options.  I am not an AU on any of my wife's cards, but she is AU on most of mine.  The reason, she tends to carry a balance on some of her cards and my low/no balance accounts help dillute her utilization on her accounts.  (She doesn't actually carry my cards around for use).


For example:  She has a few thousand on her BoA.  I don't carry any.  My account reports zero balance.  Therefore her utilization is cut in half related to BoA.  In the future if a problem arose, we can remove her as AU and dipute CRA. 


In the meantime, her balances do not affect me, because I am not AU and so they don't report.

Message Edited by txjohn on 03-31-2009 11:58 AM

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Message 3 of 3