cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

What age can I add my child as AU???

Highlighted
Regular Contributor

What age can I add my child as AU???

My older son is 16, and I want to start him off on the right foot. I have him watch me do my taxes, pay my bills and stay up on my credit reports and scores. 

since they don't teach this in school, he's gonna get this done right from the start by me. I want to add him as an authorized user on a couple cards, but before doing that, is there an actual age by law that I need to wait for???

Message 1 of 10
9 REPLIES 9
Highlighted
Established Contributor

Re: What age can I add my child as AU???

The age depends on the issuing banks rules. It'll probably say it somewhere on the page where you add the AU, or you can contact them, or Google it.

 

Honestly, you don't *need* AUs to have good credit. For most consumers, you can build credit by yourself in months, and with things like auto bill pay, CreditKarma Tax (or any of those other free tax filing sites), things are pretty easy now.

Smiley Embarassed
Message 2 of 10
Highlighted
Valued Contributor

Re: What age can I add my child as AU???

@Dmessina666     I believe that may be decided by the Issuer itself, but it is a good idea to have then as an AU to help them build faster especially if you keep on top of yours.      (which it sounds like you do) that way their Age will be in a lot better position and possibly open more doors/higher starting limits possibly when they do start their own cards.   Smiley Happy      Good luck to you and your son ^^










Message 3 of 10
Highlighted
New Member

Re: What age can I add my child as AU???

My daughter is 15 and I recently listed her as an AU on my Capital One card. 

Message 4 of 10
Highlighted
Established Contributor

Re: What age can I add my child as AU???


@Dmessina666 wrote:

My older son is 16, and I want to start him off on the right foot. I have him watch me do my taxes, pay my bills and stay up on my credit reports and scores. 

since they don't teach this in school, he's gonna get this done right from the start by me. I want to add him as an authorized user on a couple cards, but before doing that, is there an actual age by law that I need to wait for???


Definitely up to the lender as stated previously. To give a few examples of some of the more discussed lenders on the forums, here are some of the age requirements: 


Citi, Chase, Cap1, BOA, and Wells: No age requirement. 

AMEX: 13

Discover: 15

US Bank: 16


Good for you for teaching your DS a form of responsibility that is not always passed down! 


FICO 8 11/20: EX 747 EQ 746 TU 732
"Friends don't let friends earn 1% cash back."
Message 5 of 10
Highlighted
Contributor

Re: What age can I add my child as AU???

This varies signifcantly from bank to bank.

My daughter has been an AU since infancy on some cards (I was overzealous)

Discover, I believe, is 15

AmEx, 13

US Bank 16

 

Many banks have no minimum age, like BBT, Chase, Citi, & Wells Fargo

REDcard $2500 SL
BB&T $11k SL- impulse application
BB&T $11k SL- AU, not on reports- impulse app (wife's card)
Discover $2800 CL- $1k SL- AU, no longer on reports b/c of Experian error (wife's card)
Citi Double Cash World MC $2900 SL- AU- (wife's card)
AmEx Cash Magnet- $3100 SL (wife's card)
BoA Cash Rewards $11k CL- AU (Dad's card)
BoA Premium Rewards $12.3k CL- AU (Dad's card)
PSECU Founder's Card $30k SL- AU (Dad's card)
AmEx Cash Magnet $12.5k SL- AU (Dad's card)
AmEx Cash Magnet $10k SL, CLI after 36hr to $20k
All PIF, frequently before statement close

Goals: Buy a house & get approved for an AOD VISA Signature card (3% cashback)
Closed accounts (I had a long period of inactivity): AmEx clear, Citi ThankYou (previously Driver's Edge), Chase Freedom, Cap One, Discover IT, Lowes Charge (really stupid, huge limit), my 1st REDcard, Buy.com Visa, Children's Place, Kohl's Charge, Angel Card (AU- wife's), Old Navy card
Message 6 of 10
Highlighted
Established Contributor

Re: What age can I add my child as AU???

It's been a while now, but I added my daughter to a gas card and an Amex (for emergencies) when she was 16 and started driving. At the time I did it for practical reasons, I didn't even know about AUs on credit reports. Since both cards backdated, and I had the gas card before she came along, her AoOA is older than she is. As a note, Amex does not back date any more, but did back then.

Scores: Spt 20: EX FICO8 831, TU FICO8 828, EQ FICO8 823
AoOA: closed: 36 years, open: 25 years; AAoA: 11.8 years
Amex Gold, Amex Green, Amex Blue, Amex ED, Amex Delta Gold, Amex Hilton Surpass, BoA Platinum Plus, Chase Slate, Chase Amazon, Chase CSP, Citi AA Plat, Sync Lowes, Sync JC Penney - total CL 145k
Loans: Prosper (20k/3yrs 7.14%), Lending Club (10k/3yrs 5.89%), Chase car loan (35k/6yrs 0.9%)
Message 7 of 10
Highlighted
Valued Contributor

Re: What age can I add my child as AU???

I would suggest working a credit union or your local bank regarding setting up a secure credit in your son's name. From a lender's perspective on an authorized user account the credit history does not belong to the applicant ( your son). Some lenders evaluate that when making a credit decision.  If there is a need for your son to have credit card like going off to college etc then adding him to an account is a possible solution.

FICO 8 EX 794 TU 794 EF 805
Discover IT Opened 9/1990 CL 19,000, JC Penney Opened 10/2008 CL 4700, US Bank Cash Plus Opened 8/2010 CL 12000, Citibank Double Cash Opened 5/2015 CL 11,100, Chase Freedom Flex Opened 09/2020 CL 10,500
Message 8 of 10
Highlighted
Valued Contributor

Re: What age can I add my child as AU???

I made my son an AU on my Walmart card when he was 14 and then made him an AU on my BoA Rewards card when he was 16.

 

Pro tip:

  • You can't check your kids credit scores when they are minors.
  • It is very easy making your kids AU on your cards but you need to double check with the lender to ensure that they are reporting your kids usage to the CRAs.
  • I called Walmart and they weren't reporting his usage to the CRAs. Walmart asked for his Social Security number and date of birth and they started reporting his usage to the CRAs.
  • BoA wasn't reporting my son's usage to the CRAs. BoA informed me that to correct this situation they had a special process to verify minors before they would report their usage to the CRAs. They sent us a form to sign via USPS and need to be returned to BoA via USPS. They then started reporting his usage to the CRAs.

After he turned 18 as a Senior in High School I had him apply for his own BoA Rewards card and he was approved with a starting CL of $1800! He then applied for his own Discover IT card and was approved with a starting CL of $1200! He just left for college a few weeks ago with his own credit cards and yes, those are not student cards so they will grow with him for life as long as he takes care of them.

 

Good luck!


Starting Score: EQ 653 6/21/12
Current Score: EQ 817 3/10/20 - EX 820 3/13/20 - TU 825 3/03/20
Message 9 of 10
Highlighted
Senior Contributor

Re: What age can I add my child as AU???


@Dumbee wrote:

Honestly, you don't *need* AUs to have good credit. For most consumers, you can build credit by yourself in months, and with things like auto bill pay, CreditKarma Tax (or any of those other free tax filing sites), things are pretty easy now.


I agree with this since most people start out with a good scores to begin with, barring any financial mistakes like lates or defaults early in life. So as long as you meet their income requirements you're already on good terms for applying at most Banks, and is why a lot of them now offer Student products. 

 

AU accounts are a nice thing for minors in case of an emergency etc. Building credit really is secondary at that age considering the above points, and as we've leaned from DP's that AU data can be ignored by some banks.

 

The biggest concern is for someone to NOT tank their scores once they it 18 by being lazy and paying late on their obligations. 






Message 10 of 10
Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third party advertisers from whom FICO receives compensation.