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Spouse doesn't use credit, but has a good score. How to thicken the file?

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Spouse doesn't use credit, but has a good score. How to thicken the file?

Credit karma score is 750. Zero hard pulls. 9 years average age of account. Only four accounts on file, so Credit Karma says it's a thin file. Two credit cards (not their own; they're just an AU on mine). One mortgage, which the mortgage company initially wanted to exclude them from, but I'm glad we did not.

 

One derogatory collection account: somehow we missed a $40 bill (I don't think we ever got it) that went to collections awfully fast, but we called and paid that off immediately and the collection agency says they submitted a deletion request.

 

We're looking at a new mortgage in the next year or so.

 

Basically, spouse pays cash for everything and is highly unlikely to carry and use plastic. I'm thinking about suggesting they open 1-2 cards and just put one of the utility bills on them and then autopay it every month. 

 

But wouldn't that substantially decrease the AAOA? And wouldn't the hard pull be a hit? 

Message 1 of 5
4 REPLIES 4
Contributor

Re: Spouse doesn't use credit, but has a good score. How to thicken the file?

My husband is the same way. I just let him do his thing. It is his credit score (which is far better than mine).

Yeah, I know it affects the family, but why force someone to use credit if he or she isn't comfortable doing that?
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Message 2 of 5
Frequent Contributor

Re: Spouse doesn't use credit, but has a good score. How to thicken the file?

A couple of cards wouldn’t hurt, and would probably help a bit in the long term. Check out prequals and see if anything pops up.

As long as you don’t go crazy with adding a bunch of cards, average age won’t take a huge hit. Inquires will have a minor effect as well.
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Message 3 of 5
Valued Contributor

Re: Spouse doesn't use credit, but has a good score. How to thicken the file?


@D3ZYnu wrote:

Credit karma score is 750. Zero hard pulls. 9 years average age of account. Only four accounts on file, so Credit Karma says it's a thin file. Two credit cards (not their own; they're just an AU on mine). One mortgage, which the mortgage company initially wanted to exclude them from, but I'm glad we did not.

 

One derogatory collection account: somehow we missed a $40 bill (I don't think we ever got it) that went to collections awfully fast, but we called and paid that off immediately and the collection agency says they submitted a deletion request.

 

We're looking at a new mortgage in the next year or so.

 

Basically, spouse pays cash for everything and is highly unlikely to carry and use plastic. I'm thinking about suggesting they open 1-2 cards and just put one of the utility bills on them and then autopay it every month. 

 

But wouldn't that substantially decrease the AAOA? And wouldn't the hard pull be a hit? 


Hi D3Znu - welcome to the forums! 

 

The first card won't hurt their scores; it will actually increase their scores for adding a revolving account for which they are the primary account holder.  So don't worry about reducing AAoA or inquiry hit for the first card addition.    Subsequent accounts can ding a bit, but generally, FICO is rewarding for the first 3 primary revolving accounts and any lost points due to AAoA reduction will be regained fairly quickly.   Since you think you'll be seeking a mortgage next year, I'd recommend just adding one card for now and letting it age a full 12 months prior to mortgage apping. 

 

Also -- you mention your Credit Karma score -- I just want to make sure you realize that CK offers scores based off the Vantage 3 model - they are not FICO scores and not used by lenders to make credit decisions.   You should be monitoring your FICO scores and, specifically, your FICO Mortgage scores.   Vantage scores respond differently to changes to one's credit than FICO and are often much higher / lower than your FICO scores.   Credit Karma is great for monitoring changes to your reports, but the scores may be ignored.   Also, Credit Karma weighs certain aspects of credit differently -- so when it says 'thin file' -- that's by Vantage 3 model standards, not necessarily FICO.  Vantage models recommend having 10+ accounts -- but this is not at all necesssary for optimal FICO scoring.   3 (primary) revolvers and 1 installment is all that is needed for optimal FICO scoring.  

 

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Message 4 of 5
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Spouse doesn't use credit, but has a good score. How to thicken the file?

Really his mortgage scores will be fine without that collection.

 

If it's just your AU's you can manage the revolving utilization on his file, so you're only really talking about loss of rewards which isn't enough to pick a fight over imo.

 

Mortgage scores AU's count the same as individual account holder ones so opening up a new account won't help but might hurt, almost assuredly will if that collection comes off and he's back in the pretty scorecards.

 

If you have other high quality AU's can just tack him on to those too, but having him build his own seems like an argument that doesn't really need to happen when we're talking mortgage underwriting.  The risk is in the future the GSE's switch to something other than the FICO 04/98 models they use now where AU's might not count... it's admittedly worth trying to hedge that but if you're going to be in the forever house soon might not be relevant.




        
Message 5 of 5
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