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kelela
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Registered: ‎12-18-2008
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I was just going to have my husband get a card for me on one of his accounts...

[ Edited ]

[Admin moved this post to start a new thread]

 

This subject is timely as I was just going to have my husband get a card for me on one of his accounts. Now I'm not sure if I should.

 

The situation: My credit score is probably around 715 or higher these days. My husband's is over 750. I have one Capital One card with ridiculous APR that if/when I use the card I pay in full each month. I have a corporate Diners Club Mastercard that I can use for whatever and earn points (points I actually use!) which I also always pay off in full. The corporate card does not show on my credit report as Diners doesn't report to the credit bureaus. I have one store card that I never use but is my oldest account. We have a mortgage that I'm the primary on the loan app even though we're co-borrowers. I have a consolidated student loan in my name. And we have a personal line of credit that my husband is the primary on but we're still co-borrowers. My husband has two credit cards, one with a low APR and one with a ridiculous APR. He only uses the low APR one. Due to house repairs, etc., for the first time we need to start carrying a small amount of debt on the low APR card (while we pay all other cards in full each month).

 

I suggested that maybe he gets me a card for his low APR account so that we'll only use that card and we can just pay attention to that account and paying it down. He also earns points on it and combining forces will enable faster accumulation to get a particular reward. I didn't even realize there was an authorized user v. joint option and I'm not sure if his card company will offer us both options. We are not concerned with the debt responsibility issues pertaining to divorce, but for info purposes, we are in WA.

 

If we go forward with getting me a card, my questions are:

1) This forum is saying his better credit score could help boost mine, but will my credit history somehow drag down his score?

2) As I only have one paid-off-in-full-each-month credit card and an unused store card, will the rotating balance on his low APR card potentially make my score worse by throwing off my debt-to-credit ratio?

3) As I'm clueless about the authorized user and joint account thing, do I get my own card for his account either way?

4) Maybe too unrelated, but how does being the primary or the secondary on a co-borrowed loan or line of credit affect the credit scoring for both borrowers?

 

I know with #1 that his credit will affect mine. I used to have a store card that I added an old boyfriend and my best friend to because I was young and stupid, and because the store asked me if I wanted to add anyone. Their scores became negatively impacted by my poor credit practices. Once the boyfriend let me know, I immediately removed them from the account. That would have been an authorized user situation I believe, as my name was the only one officially on the account and credit card statements.

 

Thanks.

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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: I was just going to have my husband get a card for me on one of his accounts...

[ Edited ]

Hi, welcome to the forums!

 


kelela wrote:

[Admin moved this post to start a new thread]

 

If we go forward with getting me a card, my questions are:

1) This forum is saying his better credit score could help boost mine, but will my credit history somehow drag down his score?

It's not so much that his better score will help you. It's that the presence of that card, which reports, can help you. Ideally an AU card is older than your AAoA (average age of accounts), reports $0 each month or a very low figure, has squeaky-clean history, and actually shows up on all three of your reports. (Not all AU cards do.) If you two are carrying a balance on the card for a while, it might hurt you in the short run, depending on its reported util (balance reported divided by credit limit) compared to your current util.

2) As I only have one paid-off-in-full-each-month credit card and an unused store card, will the rotating balance on his low APR card potentially make my score worse by throwing off my debt-to-credit ratio?

Yep, as above. It's temporary, though. Util can be turned around in one billing cycle if you pay down or off the balance.

3) As I'm clueless about the authorized user and joint account thing, do I get my own card for his account either way?

If all you want is to have the card show up on your reports, you don't need a physical card, although they'll probably send one. Many, maybe most, lenders don't let AU's do anything with the actual account, including make payments, so you might want to check into that. If you're going to use the card (a sensible action for married and other couples), then you'll want a separate card.

4) Maybe too unrelated, but how does being the primary or the secondary on a co-borrowed loan or line of credit affect the credit scoring for both borrowers?

If by "co-borrowed", you mean a joint owner, there is no primary or secondary. It's all yours, and it's all the co-owners. If you mean authorized user, it should score the same as any other card, although they're trying to attempt to see if there's an actual relationship between card owner and authorized user, as opposed to a "piggybacker" (one who buys the credit history of a complete stranger's account.) However, lenders might ignore the AU account when considering you for future credit. Lender decisions are separate from FICO scoring.

 

I know with #1 that his credit will affect mine. I used to have a store card that I added an old boyfriend and my best friend to because I was young and stupid, and because the store asked me if I wanted to add anyone. Their scores became negatively impacted by my poor credit practices. Once the boyfriend let me know, I immediately removed them from the account. That would have been an authorized user situation I believe, as my name was the only one officially on the account and credit card statements.

The only way that they would be affected by your poor credit practices would be by those on that actual card. Only the history on the account gets shared with the authorized user. So for instance, if that were your only "dirty" account, then yes, they'd have it on their reports too. But if every other one of your accounts were messes, but this one was clean, they wouldn't be hurt.

 

Thanks.


Good question!

 

There are a lot of interesting ins and outs of couples and credit.

 

It's nice to have a post from someone still with their S.O.  :smileyvery-happy:

 

 

eta: Yikes, that's a really red post! :smileysurprised:  Sorry, I didn't mean to make it look like an essay shredded by a mean teacher. :smileywink:

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