Post # 1
I have a credit card that I’ve had for 3 years (Discover, no annual fee, cash back) Never a late payment, always paid in full. I have a couple grand of a credit limit, which is great, because I never get near 50% of my limit, or if I do, it’s for a few days when I’ve put a vacation or other large purchase on it, and then immediately pay it off.
Fiance has a credit card of MAYBE a year (Chase Freedom, cash back, no annual fee) I told him he needed to get one to start building some credit! He still only has a credit limit of $500.
We both plan on keeping our personal accounts and personal credit cards for personal purchases, but plan on combining for household expenses and having a joint savings and joint checking account for bills.
How should we go about getting a joint credit card? Should I add him to my current line of credit? Should we open another card / different card together? I’m going to be the one managing finances so I’m not worried about having a joint account, just don’t know the logistics of it! Any suggestions from US bees?
Post # 3
My Darling Husband and I do not have joint accounts, but we do have a joint cc. It just makes things easier for household expenses like groceries and paying for dinners when we go out. I just added him to one of my cc.
Post # 4
Well there are two ways to go with a joint card.It depends on so many things that I think would be personal to your credit histories and personal preferences/comfort level.
1. you both apply, and it is truly a joint card because both of your names are attached to the credit- that means that if he has poor or little credit you guys won’t qualify for much at first
2. You add him as an “authorized user” to your card (or vice versa). The card is only in one person’s name, and only their credit history matters or can be effected. You are solely responsible for the $$
It sounds like you are in great standing with your current card. If you decide to do the joint account I would consider applying for a second card through them-you would be more likely to receive a higher credit limit. If you want the simplicity of one card you can usually roll a balance over to a new card.
Post # 5
@weddingnerd: Thanks so much for this!
I don’t think he has bad credit, I just don’t think he has as many lines of credit available as I do, or the length of history, so my score may be better, but as far as I know he has always paid on time (or maybe once was a day late because it slipped his mind… ah men). But I would feel fine being the only one responsible for the payments.
My questions is, though, if he is an authorized user on my account/my current card… will that line of credit also HELP his credit score, since I plan on paying in on time all the time. I just know that one day when we try to buy a house, both credit scores will be taken into account, and I’m trying to help him build his!
Post # 6
@love108: If he’s had his card for at least a year, I would tell him to open up another card that’s just his. If Chase approved him for a Freedom he’s probably going to be approved for a similar card (check out the Amex Blue Cash Everyday or Discover It).
I would also call and ask Chase for a credit limit increase – he can tell them that he wants to work on building good credit, and also he has an upcoming wedding so he’ll be spending more (even if that’s not necessarily true). You can always ask for more of a limit and they’ll give you what they can 🙂
If you’re going to do both, I would do them on the same day so that when one or the other looks up his credit, they don’t see the hit from the other! (Hope that makes sense.)
Post # 7
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Something to consider. If you open up a new, joint card, it will dewcrease the average age of your accounts, which will negatively impact both of your scores for a period of time. That’s not a big deal as long as you are planning to hold off on any big financing purchases for a good while (e.g. car loan or mortgage loan). But if you are planning to take out a big loan soon after opening a new card, the downward adjustment of your score may increase your interest rate on the loan. It’s something to consider as you figure out your 5 year plan. And also remember that any joint loans will have an interest rate based on the lower of your 2 credit scores, so a reduction in his already lower score may be a bigger deal than a reduction in your already higher score, depending on exactly what his score is and how close it comes to pre-set cut-off points used by lenders.
I agree with a PP that your SO may want to ask his current CC for an increase in his limit to improve his credit used/credit available ratio.
Post # 8
@lovekiss: THanks so much for this. No big spending for at least 3 years (no loans, etc). So is it still a better idea to add him as an AU instead of opening or adding him as a joint user/account? I’m not worried about soon-to-be-loans, just the long term improvements on both of our credit. I guess if we opened a joint account and had a higher interest rate beacuse of his lack of credit, we pay off every month so it wouldn’t be an issue, and I would think, with being joint, it would increase both our scores?
ETA: I’m going to have him check Credit Karma tonight to see what his score actually is. Mine is 745.
Post # 9
@love108: I added my fiancee to one of my credit cards. Does not bother me one bit. I trust her completely with my money. Also it’s a plus for her because I have excellent credit.
Post # 10
@love108: If he is an authorized user on your card, that will NOT affect his credit in any way, only yours. So if you’re interested in building his credit you guys should either primarily use his card or open a new one together.
Post # 11
@howsweetitis: in my experience that is not the case. We are authorized users on a number of each other’s credt cards, and the AU cards show up on the credit report just like all of our personal cards. They also factor in to your AAoA, util, on-time payments, etc. etc. etc.
Post # 12
@cranraspberry: Oh hmm, that’s not what they told us when we added each other as authorized users, but that’s certainly possible. I know the card that I’m an authorized user on doesn’t show up on my Credit Karma report, but those aren’t really official, so who knows.
Post # 13
@howsweetitis: maybe it varies by bank?.. We are AU on Chase and Amex cards, and those both report and show up on creditkarma. Mystery!
Post # 14
I would personally keep things separate financially until you get married.
Post # 15
@love108: my Fiance and I have separate accounts, one joint checking for wedding and we opened a joint credit card as well. It works out Good for us… We use the points from our credit card towards trips and stuff 🙂