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tradeoff
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-22-2011
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Getting divorced -- any way to both keep our oldest account on record?

 

Hi --

 

Thanks in advance for the help!

 

My wife and I have a joint credit card that goes back 16 years, seven months (1994).

I dont have any other credit card in my name.

The next oldest account on my record is a mortgage that goes from 12/1999 until it was refinanced in 2003.  

I have no late payments.  

The current average account length on my report is 10 years.  

My Equifax FICO score is 779.

 

I called Chase and was told that there's no way to 'clone' our joint credit card account so we both keep the 16 year oldest account. Is this true?  Is there any way around this?  Also, how big a deal is this to my score?  My soon-to-be ex and I are on good terms, we could just leave the account open and occasionally use it. Is losing this account a big enough deal to go through the trouble?

 

Thanks again --

 

-Chris.

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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,115
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: Getting divorced -- any way to both keep our oldest account on record?

[ Edited ]

tradeoff wrote:

 

Hi --

 

Thanks in advance for the help!

 

My wife and I have a joint credit card that goes back 16 years, seven months (1994).

I dont have any other credit card in my name.

The next oldest account on my record is a mortgage that goes from 12/1999 until it was refinanced in 2003.  

I have no late payments.  

The current average account length on my report is 10 years.  

My Equifax FICO score is 779.

 

I called Chase and was told that there's no way to 'clone' our joint credit card account so we both keep the 16 year oldest account. Is this true?  Is there any way around this?  Also, how big a deal is this to my score?  My soon-to-be ex and I are on good terms, we could just leave the account open and occasionally use it. Is losing this account a big enough deal to go through the trouble?

 

Thanks again --

 

-Chris.


Hi, welcome to the forums!

 

Unfortunately, this is true. Some banks will allow one joint holder to come off the card, as long as the other's credit is good enough to support keeping the card as sole owner, but they don't duplicate opening years.

 

My ex and I also get along together, and if we had had a joint card, I can see keeping it open. It's definitely a trust fall, though, and vulnerable to things like new partners/ spouses abusing the card and so forth.

 

If you choose to do this, I'd advise the two of you to get together, discuss the implications, and agree on how to use the card and when, with what notifications. If you have kids, maybe you could agree to only use the card for holiday presents or some such. And in the meantime, both of you should maintain online access to the account and check it weekly, at least, for usage. As part of your discussion, you should both acknowledge that either of you could (and can) close the card without notifying the other. If there's a balance on there, though, you're each liable for it, so again, think about the implications for misuse, either by one of you or by someone else who gets access to it.

 

One possibility if you just want to keep it open for the length of history is to reduce the credit limit to $100 or so to limit your vulnerability. Of course, someone could then raise it right back up again...

 

Do realize that if you do close the account, it should continue to report for ten years, and it will be included in figuring your length of history, although you will lose the credit limit on it as part of your total available credit. And if your next-oldest account is 13 or 14 years, say, you shouldn't see much change in ten years when this one does fall off.

 

Risky, but if you're willing to take precautions and accept that it could go way wrong really fast, you can try to keep it open.

 

 

eta: And I realize that many members here will post that I am nuts, and rightfully so.  :smileyvery-happy: But all marriages are different, and so are divorces. For instance, there are plenty of exes who still live together, due to problems in selling the house and the general expense of setting up a new household.  *shivers*

 

At any rate, this is exactly why I always advise not to go joint credit in anything other than a mortgage. Ya just never know. :smileytongue:

* 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
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tradeoff
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-22-2011
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Re: Getting divorced -- any way to both keep our oldest account on record?

 

Hauling -- thank you so much!

 

I just found the closing-age-of-accounts sticky thread . . . here's what I concluded . . . tell me if I'm on the right track . . . 

 

In ten years, my 16-year, closed Chase account will disappear. All my other closed auto loans etc. that are on my report now will be gone too. The bummer is that my next oldest account is a mortgage that I will (hopefully) also close this year when we (hopefully) suceed in selling our house.  So that will disappear off my report at about the same time as the credit card, if I close the credit card now. All I have open right now is a mortgage (about to close), one credit card (might close it). So in ten years, my oldest account on record will plummet -- from 26 years old to 10 years old.

 

So that makes me think I should keep the account open if I can . . . seems like it would be a big deal, no?  Maybe I should become an AU on one of my parents accounts or something . . .

 

Thoughts?  And thanks again!!

 

--Chris.

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tradeoff
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-22-2011
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Re: Getting divorced -- any way to both keep our oldest account on record?

 

Oh, that thread also taught me that, until the ten-year mark, closing/opening this account won't make any difference . . . 

 

I used to have an Amex account, so long ago I dont see it on my history anymore.  I wonder, can I call them up and re-open it?

 

--Chris.

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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,115
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: Getting divorced -- any way to both keep our oldest account on record?

[ Edited ]

tradeoff wrote:

 

Hauling -- thank you so much!

 

I just found the closing-age-of-accounts sticky thread . . . here's what I concluded . . . tell me if I'm on the right track . . . 

 

In ten years, my 16-year, closed Chase account will disappear. All my other closed auto loans etc. that are on my report now will be gone too. The bummer is that my next oldest account is a mortgage that I will (hopefully) also close this year when we (hopefully) suceed in selling our house.  So that will disappear off my report at about the same time as the credit card, if I close the credit card now. All I have open right now is a mortgage (about to close), one credit card (might close it). So in ten years, my oldest account on record will plummet -- from 26 years old to 10 years old.

 

So that makes me think I should keep the account open if I can . . . seems like it would be a big deal, no?  Maybe I should become an AU on one of my parents accounts or something . . .

 

Thoughts?  And thanks again!!

 

--Chris.


 

Yes, I just replied on the other thread. :smileyvery-happy:

 

That's a pretty tough situation, and not common (thank goodness.) With such a skimpy history, it might be worth the risk, but again, take lots of precautions and realize that things can go really wrong, really fast. And AU might be worth it, as long as the card reports, and realizing that you will have no control over reported balances and so forth.

 

For anyone else reading this, the lessons to take away are: be sure to have credit in your own name, one or (preferably) two cards, and keep it clean. Don't go joint, but if you do, realize the potential problems involved. And if you can keep things civilized with your ex, that's pretty helpful too. :smileyvery-happy:

 

 

edited to add quote to show which post I was replying to

* 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
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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,115
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: Getting divorced -- any way to both keep our oldest account on record?


tradeoff wrote:

 

Oh, that thread also taught me that, until the ten-year mark, closing/opening this account won't make any difference . . . 

 

I used to have an Amex account, so long ago I dont see it on my history anymore.  I wonder, can I call them up and re-open it?

 

--Chris.


A-ha! Jump on this!

 

Do you still have any old checks or statements or the actual card, something that would show the account number? The account number reported on an (old) report is jumbled, so that wouldn't help.

 

Amex can try to pull it up by your SSN, but they can't always, so if you can give them the account number, you'd be golden.

* 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
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GregB
Posts: 1,670
Registered: ‎05-24-2007
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Re: Getting divorced -- any way to both keep our oldest account on record?

It is probably best for that account to be transferred to one of you individually. I am assuming either of you qualify on your own. Alternatively, you could both get new accounts and close the old one. Leaving it open is something that should be done with great care since you will have to trust the other spouse to a great degree. The closed account will not affect your age of accounts.

 

Lowering the limit to keep it open could be a waste of time. I kept one open with my-soon-to-be-ex in case she needed to buy any community items like expenses for my son. I lowered the limit to a reasonable amount. Chase allowed a single charge to run that card $8,000 over the limit and it was really ugly. It cost me much more than the $12,000 charged by the time it was done.

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p-
Posts: 2,633
Registered: ‎06-05-2008
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Re: Getting divorced -- any way to both keep our oldest account on record?


tradeoff wrote:

 

Hi --

 

Thanks in advance for the help!

 

My wife and I have a joint credit card that goes back 16 years, seven months (1994).

I don't have any other credit card in my name.

The next oldest account on my record is a mortgage that goes from 12/1999 until it was refinanced in 2003.  

I have no late payments.  

The current average account length on my report is 10 years.  

My Equifax FICO score is 779.

 

I called Chase and was told that there's no way to 'clone' our joint credit card account so we both keep the 16 year oldest account. Is this true?  Is there any way around this?  Also, how big a deal is this to my score?  My soon-to-be ex and I are on good terms, we could just leave the account open and occasionally use it. Is losing this account a big enough deal to go through the trouble?

 

Thanks again --

 

-Chris.


One alternative not mentioned here; you could drop one joint holder so that only one of you has the card.  Then, add the other as an "authorized user" but don't actually give them the card.  That way, it would show up on both reports, but only one of you would have the liability and control of the cards.  The other would just be a silent recipient of the credit benefit.  If the cardholder messed up the account, the AU could always get it off their report.  

 

Ideally, you each open or reopen cards now, so that you aren't in this position in the future.

  8-12-14: FICO EXP: 797 - EQU: 734 - TRAN: 739 - AVG: 757 - +207 points from JUN 2008 - MY CREDIT JOURNAL

Senior Contributor
O6
Posts: 3,626
Registered: ‎10-13-2009
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Re: Getting divorced -- any way to both keep our oldest account on record?


tradeoff wrote:

 

Hi --

 

Thanks in advance for the help!

 

My wife and I have a joint credit card that goes back 16 years, seven months (1994).

I dont have any other credit card in my name.

The next oldest account on my record is a mortgage that goes from 12/1999 until it was refinanced in 2003.  

I have no late payments.  

The current average account length on my report is 10 years.  

My Equifax FICO score is 779.

 

I called Chase and was told that there's no way to 'clone' our joint credit card account so we both keep the 16 year oldest account. Is this true?  Is there any way around this?  Also, how big a deal is this to my score?  My soon-to-be ex and I are on good terms, we could just leave the account open and occasionally use it. Is losing this account a big enough deal to go through the trouble?

 

Thanks again --

 

-Chris.


 

As mentioned, even if you close the account it will still report on your credit report for approximately ten more years.  By that time you will have other accounts that will gain in age.

 

You could always remove on of you from the account and then the other becomes an AU.  In any event, no matter how good terms are between you, I would never leave the account open with both on it.  I am sure your spouse would never do anything to hurt you and you wouldn't do anything to hurt her, either.  The problem would be if something unfortunate were to happen to one of you and then the other would still be on the hook for a debt from which they derived no benefit from. 

IAALBNYL
Senior Contributor
Walt_K
Posts: 3,065
Registered: ‎11-02-2009
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Re: Getting divorced -- any way to both keep our oldest account on record?


haulingthescoreup wrote:

tradeoff wrote:

 

Oh, that thread also taught me that, until the ten-year mark, closing/opening this account won't make any difference . . . 

 

I used to have an Amex account, so long ago I dont see it on my history anymore.  I wonder, can I call them up and re-open it?

 

--Chris.


A-ha! Jump on this!

 

Do you still have any old checks or statements or the actual card, something that would show the account number? The account number reported on an (old) report is jumbled, so that wouldn't help.

 

Amex can try to pull it up by your SSN, but they can't always, so if you can give them the account number, you'd be golden.


Not sure if the OP is still watching this thread, but a full Experian report has an account number that can be of use.  It isn't your Amex account number, it is a number generated for the report for security purposes, but they can associate it with your account.  You have to have a full Experian report like from annualcreditreport.com because the number will be truncated if you pulled the report elsewhere.  I was able to have them locate an old Amex account using this number when they could not find my account with my name or SSN. 

 

You may have to be persistent and call a few different CSRs.  The first CSR told me that he had no idea what number I was looking at because it had too many digits and was not an Amex number.  He took the number down anyway and said he would open an investigation.  I also sent a message through the secure message center.  A few days later, they backdated my account.


Starting Score: ~500 (12/01/2008)
Current Score: EQ 681 (04/05/13); TU 98 728 (01/06/12), TU 08? 760 (provided by Barclay 1/2/14), TU 04 728 (lender pull 01/12/12); EX 742 (lender pull 01/12/12)
Goal Score: 720


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