Introducing Tradelines: Authorized User's Hot Sister!
The first time I heard about the Authorized User Tradelines credit building hack, I honestly wondered if it was too good to be true.
As It turns out, it is 100% legit!
And, if you want to improve your credit, it is something that you need to be doing right now!
Any person can add YOU to their credit card as an authorized user, and you will start building credit by piggybacking on their account.
But for some people, they do not have a person in their life that makes sense for them to become an authorized user.
Turns out the authorized user strategy has a hot sister... Tradelines.
In the authorized user strategy, you ask a friend or family member to add you as a user on their credit card. Tradelines are similar, but you pay a cardholder to add you as a user to his/her card.
By being added as an authorized user through family or a Tradeline, your credit report will be positively affected in the major credit score categories of: payment history, an increased credit availability, additional credit mix, length of credit, (especially if it is an old credit card, the best you can hope for!) number of credit accounts and your revolving credit to debt ratio.
In less than two minutes, I am going to be able to give you a good foundation and understanding of Authorized User Tradelines and how to use them to build your credit score.
The What And The How Of An Authorized User Tradeline
The first step will be to identify some potential family members that could be a good fit to add you to their credit card as an authorized user.
You will need to keep in mind that if they fail to make a payment on time or max out their credit card, these actions could hurt your credit history and score for many years.
So, the type of person you want to look for will have a good credit score and love you enough to add you to their credit card account.
Typically, you will ask your parents or a family member to add you to their account that has been opened the longest amount of time and has the largest credit limit.
If they agree, immediately have them call their credit card company (you don’t want them to have time to rethink their decision).
Ask them to contact their credit card company by phone and request a new card in your name.
They will need to provide the service representative with your full name, social security number and your date of birth.
A week or two later, a credit card will come in the mail to the given address with your name on it.
Within thirty days, you should see their credit card history and information on your credit history at the three major credit bureaus.
It is that simple.
You have two strategies to consider when you speak to your family about adding you as an authorized user to their cc account.
#1 – Go Big!!!
If you choose this option, you will ask them to add you to their credit card as an authorized user and ask them for the credit card.
The potential problem with this route is that your parents may say, ‘No’ because they will be responsible for paying your credit card bills and they may not be willing to take on that risk.
#2 – Go Safe...
Building credit is about just that, and you don’t need the credit card, you need your credit card account history to build your credit.
Ask them to add you to their credit card account and burn your credit card when it arrives in the mail!
People are much more open to helping their family and friends get ahead in life when there is little risk to themselves.
Unless you have a long history of being responsible or the agreeable family member is very gullible, I’d suggest you tell them upfront you do not want the credit card but just their credit history.
What Do Tradelines Have To Do With Authorized Users?
Tradelines and Authorized Users are essentially the same, except, you do not know the person who owns the tradeline (aka credit card).
I know you are not going to believe this, but in the United States of America, if you have a credit card with perfect payment history, you can go to a third party like Tradeline Supply Company who have authorized user tradelines for sale.
What this means to you is that if you cannot find someone who will add you to their credit card as an authorized user, you have another option.
As we discussed earlier, there is a lot of risk to your credit if the authorized user account holder you choose doesn’t make their payments on time or maxes out their credit card.
Something you really need to consider is the credit history of the family member who is offering to add you to their account.
If they fail to make a payment on time or max out their credit card, your credit history could be negatively affected.
Which is why considering an authorized user Tradeline for sale as an alternative, sometimes makes more sense because...
- 1You don’t have to ask a family member for a favor that may end up costing you a bigger favor in return. (You’d have to help them move so long as you were on their credit card... guess it depends how often they move?)
- 2You don’t have to worry about how much they charge on their credit card each month.
- 3You don’t have to worry about them missing a payment and it hurting your credit score.
Why I Think Tradelines Are A Better Choice
For those of you who don’t know, I have had a rough couple of years and have been slowly working my way back to a 700 credit score.
If interested you can read more about my story... Mark's Journey To A 700 Credit Score.
One of the steps we took was to have my brother, Chris Huntley (I think he calls himself the ‘Head Knocker’ around here) add me to his credit card as an authorized user.
This was great, he has an excellent credit score of around 800, and our Mom handles his accounting and I know she pays his bills on time.
I thought this was the perfect person to add me to their credit card account; huge credit limit of 25K and the account had been opened a few years.
Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax all recognized my addition to his card within a week, and I saw about a 20-30 credit score increase within two weeks.
Then my brother went out and charged to that very credit card an $18,000 Star Wars themed car wrap for his Prius.
I know what you’re thinking...
Was it original Star Wars or the Disney Star Wars?
I’m joking, but, original of course, my brother, is no sell-out!
Do you want to know what happened to my credit score when my brother darn near maxed out his credit card?
It tanked, like 40-60 points, in seconds, gone.
When I called him to find out what he had spent all that money on and what it did to my credit score he responded the only appropriate way for that moment.
'May the force be with you.'
Then it took him a few months to pay off his Star Wars wrap which continued to drag down my credit score.
The force was definitely strong with that one!!!
What an A-hole, right?!?!?!
No, of course not, the man had a dream of a Star Wars theme wrapped car and is living that dream, albeit, disturbing, and on credit but, he’s living the dream, none the less.
It’s his credit card to do as he pleases, he has an 800-credit score and doesn’t care how a once in a lifetime purchase may affect his score for a while, however, it affected me, and the same thing could happen to you.
This is a cautionary tale and why I recommend that you consider a Tradeline, instead.
What’s Nice About Tradelines
I like Tradelines for two reasons:
#1 You Get To Choose The Max Credit Amount
#2 You Get To Choose The Length Of Credit History
Obviously, the more credit and the older the credit card, the more the Authorized User Tradeline for sale will cost you.
But there are multiple cards to choose from that you can sort by credit amount or length of history and find one that meets your needs and budget.
The real question you need to ask is if you have a family member that you trust with good credit.
If you do, then, you need to decide if you are willing to ask them to add you as an authorized user to their credit card account.
If you are not willing to ask or if they say, ‘No,’ no biggie.
You can check out the tradeline options by going to the Tradeline Supply Company or clicking the link below.
Mark B. Huntley, a personal finance writer who has contributed to such publications as Forbes, is a former finance and consumer advocates attorney who lost everything in the real estate crash in the late 2000s. Credit Knocks was inspired by the trials of his credit building experience and the desire to help others understand the easy steps necessary to improve one’s credit score.