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Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future

HornedFrog2025
New Member

Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future

I just had my 18th birthday this week and I plan to take a very active role in my future financial health. While I have no reason to suspect malfeasance, I definitely want to monitor/build my credit. Currently, my credit history consists of me as an authorized user on an Amex with 16 years of history with 0 derogatory marks during that time. That ~should~ be the only credit history I should have. I have been an authorized user for the past 2 years, purchases only consisting of Xbox Live. I pay this in full on autopay. I looked when Amex first reports for Auth Users and it is actually today. I know there is no rush but I definitely want to get copies of my credit reports from the 3 bureaus. What platform would you recommend for monitoring my credit? My mother uses Mint and has had no issues with it ever but I know there is credit karma but I have heard that they can show incorrect/inflated scores. I tried to sign up with Experian, Credit Karma, and AnnualCreditReport. All 3 could not give a score or a report. Credit karma "can not give a score" so I can't sign up. So I tried Experian directly, they just throw an error message and say to check back later. Transunion on ACR says there is no report. Equifax on ACR same thing, no report. Experian on ACR needs to verify my identity. So kinda stuck in limbo for checking report/score. 

 

Shifting gears, I know there is no rush at all but I want a good start. I have been considering a credit card in my name only. While I know I am unlikely to qualify for an unsecured card, I have looked at secured cards, specifically the Capital One Secured and Discover Secured. I have a feeling I won’t qualify for the Discover Student cards even though I would like to. Someone also recommended the Apple Card because I have a significant relationship with Apple(11 years and $15k+ in purchases) and because they use household income(not just mine). I don't think I would qualify though because I don't have enough history. I have a consistent small-medium income to support a card. However, verifying this may difficult as most of it is cash or not in my name. Luckily, I have a large savings account but I know this won’t count as income for an application. Knowing that I would likely get a credit limit of $200 or less on a Cap1 /Discover, I plan to only put Spotify premium on the card which will be auto-paid.  What are your thoughts, ideas, tip, tricks, opinions on my situation?

22 REPLIES 22
AllZero
Super Contributor

Re: Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future

@HornedFrog2025   Happy belated birthday. Welcome to the forum. There is a treasure trove of knowledge here. Waiting to be discovered by you. Read, read, and read some more. It may take several attempts at digesting all the great information here. Take your time. You have a life time to build your credit. Slow and steady wins the race. I would recommend reading the pinned post in all the sub forums. Use the search engine. Ask questions.

 

I'll throw down some links for you in case you are interested.

 

I would recommend reading the below from ABCD2199
The Truth about Credit Card Utilization
My 11 Rules to Credit Rebuilding
FICO Score: What to pay down first?

From Birdman7
General Scoring Primer and Version 8 Master Thread rev.5.17.20

Message 2 of 23
AllZero
Super Contributor

Re: Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future

Free or $1 you can obtain your 3 bureau FICO 8 scores and reports at Experian or CreditCheckTotal (part of Experian). Cancel in 7 day or less to avoid the re-occurring monthly charge. Wash, Rinse, and Repeat as needed.

AnnualCreditReport. Free weekly 3 bureau online reports through April 2021.

Free credit reports (disregard the VantageScore 3.0 score) at:
Credit Karma for weekly TU and EQ reports.
WalletHub for daily TU report.

Message 3 of 23
FinStar
Moderator

Re: Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future

Welcome to the forums @HornedFrog2025.

Message 4 of 23
Remedios
Moderator

Re: Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future


@HornedFrog2025 wrote:

I just had my 18th birthday this week and I plan to take a very active role in my future financial health. While I have no reason to suspect malfeasance, I definitely want to monitor/build my credit. Currently, my credit history consists of me as an authorized user on an Amex with 16 years of history with 0 derogatory marks during that time. That ~should~ be the only credit history I should have. I have been an authorized user for the past 2 years, purchases only consisting of Xbox Live. I pay this in full on autopay. I looked when Amex first reports for Auth Users and it is actually today. I know there is no rush but I definitely want to get copies of my credit reports from the 3 bureaus. What platform would you recommend for monitoring my credit? My mother uses Mint and has had no issues with it ever but I know there is credit karma but I have heard that they can show incorrect/inflated scores. I tried to sign up with Experian, Credit Karma, and AnnualCreditReport. All 3 could not give a score or a report. Credit karma "can not give a score" so I can't sign up. So I tried Experian directly, they just throw an error message and say to check back later. Transunion on ACR says there is no report. Equifax on ACR same thing, no report. Experian on ACR needs to verify my identity. So kinda stuck in limbo for checking report/score. 

 

Shifting gears, I know there is no rush at all but I want a good start. I have been considering a credit card in my name only. While I know I am unlikely to qualify for an unsecured card, I have looked at secured cards, specifically the Capital One Secured and Discover Secured. I have a feeling I won’t qualify for the Discover Student cards even though I would like to. Someone also recommended the Apple Card because I have a significant relationship with Apple(11 years and $15k+ in purchases) and because they use household income(not just mine). I don't think I would qualify though because I don't have enough history. I have a consistent small-medium income to support a card. However, verifying this may difficult as most of it is cash or not in my name. Luckily, I have a large savings account but I know this won’t count as income for an application. Knowing that I would likely get a credit limit of $200 or less on a Cap1 /Discover, I plan to only put Spotify premium on the card which will be auto-paid.  What are your thoughts, ideas, tip, tricks, opinions on my situation?


Hi and welcome to the forums 

 

Because of your age, all major CRAs will require a proof of identity from you.

It's not to inconvenience you, but it's to ensure that no one is trying to steal your identity. 

I just went through this with my daughter. 

 

As far as your first card, I would save Discover for your second card. 

First card, Citi, US Bank, Boa.. all of them have good secured cards that will eventually graduate.

You can also try any local credit union most of them have starter cards which may not even be secured. 

Once your card is six months to a year old,  try for discover.

They like thinner files, and by that time you may not need to go with another secured card.

Since you have no credit history of your own, your scores are really not relevant because they aren't yours. They are based on somebody else's payment history, and most lenders will remove authorized users account during the application processing.

Just focus on getting one card, practice developing healthy financial habits, and things will fall in place for you in no time. 

 

Message 5 of 23
Dumbee
Established Contributor

Re: Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future

Apple card would be a good try

 

They have an option of looking through your purchase/txn history with Apple if your credit isn't quite there yet, for approving you

 

And the card grows well

Smiley Embarassed
Message 6 of 23
HornedFrog2025
New Member

Re: Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future

 


@Dumbee wrote:

Apple card would be a good try

 

They have an option of looking through your purchase/txn history with Apple if your credit isn't quite there yet, for approving you

 

And the card grows well


Is there ~any~ chance that I could get an Apple Card? That would be the ultimate goal for a first card. I essentially have no credit history. Goods things going for me is that I have extensive Apple purchasing history and they use household income, not just mine. But the not so great things going for me is that I have basically no history(just one AU). I know they do soft pulls for prequal and then do a hard if I accept but I don't want to mess up my chances of getting it for the next 6 months if I am declined. I am looking at the Cap1 Secured right now since they have a soft pull prequal and prequal for the secured, platinum, and QS1. But I would definitely rather apply for the apple card if I have any chance for that.  

Message 7 of 23
coldfusion
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future


@HornedFrog2025 wrote:

Is there ~any~ chance that I could get an Apple Card? That would be the ultimate goal for a first card. I essentially have no credit history. Goods things going for me is that I have extensive Apple purchasing history and they use household income, not just mine. But the not so great things going for me is that I have basically no history(just one AU). I know they do soft pulls for prequal and then do a hard if I accept but I don't want to mess up my chances of getting it for the next 6 months if I am declined. I am looking at the Cap1 Secured right now since they have a soft pull prequal and prequal for the secured, platinum, and QS1. But I would definitely rather apply for the apple card if I have any chance for that. 


I want to make sure that you understand what is meant by household income - it's income that you have both access and reasonable expectation to draw from on demand to spend, for example a joint checking account that both you and your spouse/SO regularly deposit your paychecks.   It is not simply the sum total of income from all residents in the same household.



(2/2021)
FICO 8 (EX) 812 (TU) 816 (EQ) 804
FICO 9 (EX) 825 (TU) 817 (EQ) 824

$1M+ club

Artist formerly known as the_old_curmudgeon who was formerly known as coldfusion
Message 8 of 23
HornedFrog2025
New Member

Re: Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future


@coldfusion wrote:

@HornedFrog2025 wrote:

Is there ~any~ chance that I could get an Apple Card? That would be the ultimate goal for a first card. I essentially have no credit history. Goods things going for me is that I have extensive Apple purchasing history and they use household income, not just mine. But the not so great things going for me is that I have basically no history(just one AU). I know they do soft pulls for prequal and then do a hard if I accept but I don't want to mess up my chances of getting it for the next 6 months if I am declined. I am looking at the Cap1 Secured right now since they have a soft pull prequal and prequal for the secured, platinum, and QS1. But I would definitely rather apply for the apple card if I have any chance for that. 


I want to make sure that you understand what is meant by household income - it's income that you have both access and reasonable expectation to draw from on demand to spend, for example a joint checking account that both you and your spouse/SO regularly deposit your paychecks.   It is not simply the sum total of income from all residents in the same household.


That is good information to know. I appreciate you specifying that. 

Message 9 of 23
AverageJoesCredit
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future


@HornedFrog2025 wrote:

I just had my 18th birthday this week and I plan to take a very active role in my future financial health. While I have no reason to suspect malfeasance, I definitely want to monitor/build my credit. Currently, my credit history consists of me as an authorized user on an Amex with 16 years of history with 0 derogatory marks during that time. That ~should~ be the only credit history I should have. I have been an authorized user for the past 2 years, purchases only consisting of Xbox Live. I pay this in full on autopay. I looked when Amex first reports for Auth Users and it is actually today. I know there is no rush but I definitely want to get copies of my credit reports from the 3 bureaus. What platform would you recommend for monitoring my credit? My mother uses Mint and has had no issues with it ever but I know there is credit karma but I have heard that they can show incorrect/inflated scores. I tried to sign up with Experian, Credit Karma, and AnnualCreditReport. All 3 could not give a score or a report. Credit karma "can not give a score" so I can't sign up. So I tried Experian directly, they just throw an error message and say to check back later. Transunion on ACR says there is no report. Equifax on ACR same thing, no report. Experian on ACR needs to verify my identity. So kinda stuck in limbo for checking report/score. 

 

Shifting gears, I know there is no rush at all but I want a good start. I have been considering a credit card in my name only. While I know I am unlikely to qualify for an unsecured card, I have looked at secured cards, specifically the Capital One Secured and Discover Secured. I have a feeling I won’t qualify for the Discover Student cards even though I would like to. Someone also recommended the Apple Card because I have a significant relationship with Apple(11 years and $15k+ in purchases) and because they use household income(not just mine). I don't think I would qualify though because I don't have enough history. I have a consistent small-medium income to support a card. However, verifying this may difficult as most of it is cash or not in my name. Luckily, I have a large savings account but I know this won’t count as income for an application. Knowing that I would likely get a credit limit of $200 or less on a Cap1 /Discover, I plan to only put Spotify premium on the card which will be auto-paid.  What are your thoughts, ideas, tip, tricks, opinions on my situation?


WelcomeSmiley Happy

 

I just to clarify that Credit Karma does not inflate scores or show incorrect scores. What they offer are a legit scoring system called Vantage  and though not used by most lenders can be used by some especially Synchrony and their new Vantage 4.0 . What Credit Karma likes to do is push cc recommendations because they get paid to do so so take those recommendations with a grain of salt.  Best of luck on your journeySmiley Happy

Message 10 of 23
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