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Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future

iced
Valued 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?


Lesson one is don't think of financial health as something that is achieved by having credit cards and a good score. It is not. If you focus on your credit, you may still never achieve a healthy financial position, but if you focus on achieving a healthy financial position, your credit profile will blossom on its own with no additional effort on your part.

 

If you care about future financial health, become a master of delaying gratification and saving aggressively. This conditions you to living below your means, which in turn leads to responsible credit use, which in turn leads to those lofty scores and cards. If you're already living below your means, with your AU history, you should already qualify for an unsecured card from a reputable bank. Grow it a few years, keep saving, and you'll find any other barriers to credit will have already been removed.

 

For monitoring, Credit Karma is fine. Oh no, it's not a FICO score. Whoop-dee-doo, it still shows and alerts on your EQ and TU reports. You can get EX notifications directly from experian.com. That covers monitoring.

Message 11 of 28
celluloid17
Established Contributor

Re: Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future

I think it's awesome that you're asking these questions at 18.  You're already ahead of the curve in that you're thinking longterm about being financially responsible.  Time is your greatest asset now and the choices you make currently can result in big dividends in the future.  

 

You mentioned that you have a savings account.  Where are you or your parent(s) currently banking?  That might be the best place to start since you already have a banking relationship.  Some big banks have "student" cards that are designed for younger people early in their credit journeys.  If you're currently banking with a brick and mortar bank (or if a parent is), perhaps you can investigate what your own bank has to offer? 

 

Best of luck to you!

Message 12 of 28
Kforce
Valued Contributor

Re: Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future


@iced wrote:

Lesson one is don't think of financial health as something that is achieved by having credit cards and a good score. It is not. If you focus on your credit, you may still never achieve a healthy financial position, but if you focus on achieving a healthy financial position, your credit profile will blossom on its own with no additional effort on your part.

+ 100

This forum is more about those that have credit cards as a hobby than learning about financial health.

There are things that you can learn from this forum, however a lot is just hobby related.

 

FNBO 2% Cashback Visa (20k) / Bank of the West Cashback MC (20k) / US-Bank Cash+ (15k)
FNBO Travel Elite (15k) / Citi Double Cash (20k) / US Alliance 3% (20k)
Ficos : 830 / AAoA : 9 yrs / AoOA : 24 Yrs / AoYA : 0
Message 13 of 28
aptiger
Valued Contributor

Re: Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future


@HornedFrog2025 wrote:

 


@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.  


Apple card is a soft pull. Give it a try and see what offer they show you if any. I have included additonal links that are soft pulls to see if they can offer you a card.

 

https://www.capitalone.com/credit-cards/preapprove/

https://www.discovercard.com/application/preapproval/initial

https://online.bbvausa.com/apply/credit-card-prequal

https://www.bbt.com/offers/checkOffers

Message 14 of 28
HornedFrog2025
New Member

Re: Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future


@aptiger wrote:

@HornedFrog2025 wrote:

 


@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.  


Apple card is a soft pull. Give it a try and see what offer they show you if any. I have included additonal links that are soft pulls to see if they can offer you a card.

 

https://www.capitalone.com/credit-cards/preapprove/

https://www.discovercard.com/application/preapproval/initial

https://online.bbvausa.com/apply/credit-card-prequal

https://www.bbt.com/offers/checkOffers


So I am going to apply for the Apple Card. We shall see what happens. I discussed this with my mother today and she wasn't convinced in the benefit of opening my own card. She aired on the side that my one authorized user amex is enough and will build me plenty of history. I know that it does help but it is "lesser" help since it is only an AU. Given that she has 17 years of history with amex(2 of those being with me as an AU), is there any chance of me getting an amex? I know they typically market towards those with established, excellent credit but since there is a history with amex, I didn't know if there was other chances. 

Message 15 of 28
K-in-Boston
Moderator

Re: Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future

There is really no harm in trying for the Apple Card if that makes sense for you, as it's a bit unique in its application process.

 

For Amex, they certainly can be an option but it's quite rare that they end up being one's first credit card these days (more common 30+ years ago).   The worst thing that can happen is they say no and you get a hard inquiry that is wasted.  You definitely don't want to get a lot of those right now, but it's a gamble you will take with most lending products.  

 

With Amex there are two misconceptions you may have, however.  Your status as an authorized user will have absolutely zero bearing on your acceptance as a primary member other than its contribution to any Experian FICO 8 credit score which may be available for you.  Otherwise, you are completely unknown to Amex.  Also, since you were added to the card after 2015, you will not have inherited the full account history on your credit reports (assuming that the account is present at all on them, which you have not been able to verify - it's quite possible that this account is not appearing on your reports) and instead the card will have been reported with an opening date equal to the date in which you were issued an authorized user account.  This is unique to American Express as almost all other lenders will attribute the entire account history and opening date to AUs.

Message 16 of 28
aptiger
Valued Contributor

Re: Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future


@HornedFrog2025 wrote:

@aptiger wrote:

@HornedFrog2025 wrote:

 


@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.  


Apple card is a soft pull. Give it a try and see what offer they show you if any. I have included additonal links that are soft pulls to see if they can offer you a card.

 

https://www.capitalone.com/credit-cards/preapprove/

https://www.discovercard.com/application/preapproval/initial

https://online.bbvausa.com/apply/credit-card-prequal

https://www.bbt.com/offers/checkOffers


So I am going to apply for the Apple Card. We shall see what happens. I discussed this with my mother today and she wasn't convinced in the benefit of opening my own card. She aired on the side that my one authorized user amex is enough and will build me plenty of history. I know that it does help but it is "lesser" help since it is only an AU. Given that she has 17 years of history with amex(2 of those being with me as an AU), is there any chance of me getting an amex? I know they typically market towards those with established, excellent credit but since there is a history with amex, I didn't know if there was other chances. 

 

I think you should try Apple card since it's a soft pull. Soft pull means no hard inquiry on your credit report. Lenders can't see that you applied for it . Try to get pre qualified for Amex using the link below. That has no impact on your score just to check unless you do proceed with the application.


https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/check-for-offers/

Message 17 of 28
ChrisCulpepper
Established Contributor

Re: Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future

Congrats on your birthday and (I assume) starting college at TCU!

 

I did the same thing that you are doing, for our daughter (19 last year and has three cards including Hilton AMEX, and 750 scores).

 

Since you don't scores yet, and can't sign up for Credit Karma, first goto Fort Worth City CU and get an account and ask for a starter credit card.  After that reports, then sign up for Credit Karma.  Once you have scores, then do what APtiger suggested and check the AMEX preapproval, you should get a decent card there.

 

Then wait a few months, maybe summer, and get one more card, some have suggested the Apple.

 

Then you should be on your way.

 

 

Goal: 700's by 11/1/2015 (all baddies will be gone)
Message 18 of 28
SouthJamaica
Super 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?


My advice would be:

 

1. Wait until FICO scores start showing for you.

 

2. If they''re > 700 go for an unsecured card; if less go for a secured card.

 

3. Join a credit union.

 

 

Message 19 of 28
HornedFrog2025
New Member

Re: Just Turned 18 - Setting up my future


@ChrisCulpepper wrote:

Congrats on your birthday and (I assume) starting college at TCU!

 

I did the same thing that you are doing, for our daughter (19 last year and has three cards including Hilton AMEX, and 750 scores).

 

Since you don't scores yet, and can't sign up for Credit Karma, first goto Fort Worth City CU and get an account and ask for a starter credit card.  After that reports, then sign up for Credit Karma.  Once you have scores, then do what APtiger suggested and check the AMEX preapproval, you should get a decent card there.

 

Then wait a few months, maybe summer, and get one more card, some have suggested the Apple.

 

Then you should be on your way.

 

 


Thank you! You would be correct in assuming I am going to TCU this fall! Go Frogs! I was able to sign up for Credit Karma, no scores according to Transunion and Equifax but new files exist so that's good. So for giggles I tried Experian again and whataya know, I have a FICO 8 736! I might go by FWCCU sometime this week and talk to someone, they are definitely more likely to be lenient with a starter card. I have had an account there before but it has probably been 5 years. 

Message 20 of 28
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