Thursday, April 12, 2007

Famous Last Words?

So...I've done one of those things you're not supposed to do.

I've added K as an authorized user on one of my credit cards--the Chase Freedom Visa, with a $1,000 limit--prompted by the fact that he applied for a credit card last night and was turned down for lack of sufficient credit history. "Lack of sufficient credit history," in his case, means "no credit history." Which is great, in that he's reached the ripe old age of 29 without ever having credit card debt, and also slightly problematic, in that at some point he might be interested in buying a house or something.

So I've added him as an authorized user. We've agreed that when Chase sends the card, we'll just cut it up, so he won't actually be charging anything on my account--I'll just be donating my credit history on this account, basically. Hopefully, he should be able to qualify for a card of his own within a few months, and then I can remove him as an authorized user without too many adverse consequences.

I know these are famous last words, but it does, actually, seem pretty foolproof.

10 comments:

SpaceMonkey said...

I was a similar position as K. I got my first credit card last year with no history by getting a secured credit card with a $300 deposit. I had that for about 9 months before I applied for and was approved for an unsecured credit card with a $1,000 limit.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't be doing what you are doing for K, but I'm just pointing out that people do have options when it comes to getting their first credit card.

3 Things About Money said...

It may be famous last words, but I think you are being a total sweetheart. Someone who got to age 29 without credit card debt is likely a good risk. Sometimes it is a wonderful thing to practice trust and believe in someone. It is a risk, but something you have clearly considered.

S/100/30 said...

Wait, why are you supposed to do this? You two live together, right? And you're fairly committed partners? Seems perfectly reasonable that you'd start to manage finances -- my now-husband and I had a shared credit card after nine months of dating.

S/100/30 said...

Whoops, I meant to say "Why *aren't* you supposed to do this?"

S/100/30 said...

And manage -> merge. I really shouldn't be commenting before 9 am...

English Major said...

S, I think it's just about risk. I have to say, I think the "cut up the card" thing minimizes risk fairly effectively, but whenever I do something that conventional wisdom warns against, I have some jangle of trepidation.

We do live together, but I think both of us have something of a sense of transience--neither one of us is interested in a full-on financial merge. We are both, however, interested in offering help where it's needed.

I'm glad you and 3 things think this is a good move.

happy credit card user said...

it is very very nice to hear that there are so kind people!When i had bad credit i asked my close friend with good credit history to be a co-signer. My credit score increased dramatically.

bugbear said...

the reason you "aren't supposed to" do this is that it opens you (the account holder) up to the risk of fraud if your partner turns out to be dishonorable. Anything he charges on the account is legally binding on *you*, not on him. so if he were financially out of control or a user, she would be on the hook for it.

That being said, we don't generally try to insure against *everything*/every possibility in life. A life completely without trust and helping another person is pretty barren. I'd say it was a good decision on her part as long as they have a mutual understanding between them of what is acceptable behavior around the card.

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