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Which card to add my son as an Authorized User??

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Which card to add my son as an Authorized User??

My son is 18 years and will be going into college for the next year for 4 years to become a nurse.
I would like for him to have the best credit possible when graduates and begins his working / professional career.
I have already added him as an authorized user on my Discover It card ($2000 limit) and because of this his credit score in in the mid 700s.
That is is the only item appearing on his report.

I have 2 other credit cards and I like to add him as an authorized user to just one of them but not sure which one to use.
He is extremely responsible and I have no concern in any way about how the card will be used.....this is purely about building credit.

Card 1 is a Capital One Platinum card with only a $500 limit but the account has been open for 2.5 years.
Card 2 is an American Express Magnet card with a $6,000 limit but only been open for 5 months.

For his credit building purposes.....would it be better to add him on the card with the lower limit but the account open longer....
or the card that has a much higher limit but hasn't been open as long.

What's more important I guess is the question....available credit / ultization......or average time accounts have been open.

Keep in mind that it will be 4.5 years before he will be employeed with income and then he will apply for a card in just his name.

What would you recommend?
Thanks so much in advance.




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Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Which card to add my son as an Authorized User??

The Capital One will back date. The Amex will not.


My most prized tradeline.
Message 2 of 11
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Re: Which card to add my son as an Authorized User??

Having had experience as an Authorized user on an account, I would say if you want to help your son.  Keep payment history perfect and debt ratio low or if they are high, pay them off every month. 

EQ 812 / TU 802 / EX 818 (Before the credit sprees will update soon)
Message 3 of 11
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Re: Which card to add my son as an Authorized User??

All my cards are and always have been paid off every month.

I do understand now that American Express doesn't back date....but that card has only been open for 5 months anyways....
and it will be 4.5 years before he's actually going to applying for his own credit.

I'm thinking the American Express card would be better to add him to since the limit is much higher....
but do you think the Capital One card would be better since it's been open for 2.5 years longer and will back date??

Message 4 of 11
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Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Which card to add my son as an Authorized User??

Yes, the Capital One would be better.
He can always get his own card. He'll probably qualify for his own Discover now being a college student.

He can go to Discover's prequals site and see if he qualifies.


My most prized tradeline.
Message 5 of 11
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Re: Which card to add my son as an Authorized User??


@Gmood1 wrote:
He can always get his own card. He'll probably qualify for his own Discover now being a college student.

He can go to Discover's prequals site and see if he qualifies.

This sounds like great advice to me. He could be building his own 4 years of credit history instead of/or in addition to using yours. My daughter is an AU on a couple of my cards, but odds are she'll outlive me by decades and her own history will live on while mine will eventually drop off her account. That's one reason she recently got a couple of new cards in addition to one she's had for years already.

 

As an aside on the AU, if you're doing it purely for credit score reasons there is no need for him to even have the card, you can hold onto it yourself.

Scores: Apr 20: EX FICO8 787, TU FICO8 813, EQ FICO8 Bankcard 801, TU V3 820, EQ V3 820
AoOA: closed: 36 years, open: 25 years; AAoA: 11.8 years; 1 30 day late in 2013
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 6 of 11
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Re: Which card to add my son as an Authorized User??


@ASuperDad wrote:

I'm thinking the American Express card would be better to add him to since the limit is much higher....
but do you think the Capital One card would be better since it's been open for 2.5 years longer and will back date??


Size of credit limit should not matter.  If a person is thinkig about size of credit limit as a benefit of an AU card, it means he's got a bunch of existing CC debt.  The solution to carrying CC debt is to pay it down, not to increase limits.

 

The AU score boosting technique is all about sharply increasing a person's Age of Oldest Account by being added to an old, clean card that can be kept at an extremely low or zero balance.

 

Since he already is an AU on your Discover card, you should only add him as an AU on other cards if they are much older than the Discover card.

Message 7 of 11
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Re: Which card to add my son as an Authorized User??

He doesn't have any real income....he does make some money as a Fencing Director but it's only about $250 a month...is there any student card he could get without a reportable income??

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Re: Which card to add my son as an Authorized User??

Great advice already given. I'm merely chiming in to concur

 

In my opinion, he would be best served to get his own card even if it is a secured card. This way he'll build his own credit and have a good foundation (AoOA and AAoA) when he graduates. AU accounts help but only in a limited way. They can be really helpful for age and to a lesser degree utilization. However, the accounts you are considering are not very old. 

 

TLDR see if he qualifies for an unsecured card of his own. If not, get him a secured card and if he manages it well he'll be set up nicely by the time he gradurates.


Message 9 of 11
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Re: Which card to add my son as an Authorized User??


@ASuperDad wrote:

He doesn't have any real income....he does make some money as a Fencing Director but it's only about $250 a month...is there any student card he could get without a reportable income??


Both of my kids just got their own Discover Chrome Student (they also qualified for the Discover IT but opted for the Chrome version due to simplicity at this stage of their "credit education").  Both are listed as AU on our cards.

 

My youngest is a HS senior, but dual enrolled in the college she will be attending this Fall (important to note she is a full-fledged college student here, as it probably matters).  When applying as a STUDENT, the Discover site said that any scholarships awarded to them can be counted as income.  The only scholarships she knowingly has at the moment is a state scholarship that pays 100% tuition based on merit.  We used that along with her tutoring income to come up with a low income (not even 5-digits).  She was instantly approved for $1250 SL.  Keep in mind that they do require showing what college they attend (hers combined with others many years ago and change their name, but the old name was all that was listed in the drop-down list).

 

If your son isn't in college at this time, then you may need to wait until they get their college ID.  Not sure if they check this or not, but to be safe I suggest waiting.



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