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My credit history

January 20th, 2015 at 08:50 am

I thought I'd share a little bit more about myself: I didn't get my first credit card until I was 25.

My junior year in college, my parents added me as an authorized user to one of their credit cards. The reason was that I was going to spend a month abroad for school, and I thought it would be easier/safer to be able to use a credit card for purchases rather than trying to deal with traveler's checks. My parents agreed after I promised to pay back everything I spent on the card.

After I got back from the trip, my parents said I could stay on the card as long as I continued to pay off my purchases. I think it made them feel better knowing I had a credit card in my wallet just in case. I still mostly used cash for purchases, but every month my mom would forward me a copy of their credit card statement will my purchases highlighted, and I would send them a check. So I guess I had a credit card from the Bank of Mom and Dad.

When I graduated from college, I planned to buy my first car. I had enough money saved so that I could pay cash for the car, but I decided to finance a small portion of it to help build my credit. But I was denied a loan because of my lack of credit history. My dad agreed to co-sign the loan for me (again, so I could build my credit), but then we found out that he would have had to have his name on the car title. Which meant he could have been liable if I were to get in an accident. So instead I paid cash for the car.

A few years later, in graduate school, I tried to apply for a student credit card. My application was denied, again because I had no credit history.

Finally, one day I was depositing my paycheck at the bank, and the teller asked me if I would like to apply for a credit card. I told her that I would probably be denied, but she said there was a note in my account that I was pre-approved. And that's how I got my first credit card.

3 Responses to “My credit history”

  1. MonkeyMama Says:

    Interesting!

    My parents helped me apply for a credit card when I was 16. I am sure they had to be co-signors but the limit was very small. (Maybe not, I don't remember ever taking them off as co-signors? Unless we did it fairly early on? Too long ago to remember the details!). Anyway, they just wanted me to build my credit and to learn credit card responsibility. I have never been turned down for a loan or a crdit card. We bought our first home at 23. (Other than that, just paid off credit cards monthly and never applied for any other loans).

    I don't know how it will be for our kids - things have changed a lot. Will see what our options are once they have work and income.

    My parents were always very debt adverse, but you know, they lived in a time where it was hard to get credit cand wasn't much of an option anyway. Especially as to getting through college and buying their first cars. As college ducated professionals they were offered a LOT of credit, and I think they saw the trend towards easy credit and just wanted us to be VERY careful.

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    I can't remember when I got my first credit card, but I do know that it was a USAA Visa, which I still have. I don't remember having any problems with it, but now that I've read this post, I think I should ask them sometime when I opened the card up.

  3. snafu Says:

    I got my 1st CC at 16 y/o when working in the Credit Office in our city's largest department store as part of high school's 'models' program. Staff bought a huge amount of stuff due to staff discount up to 25% , way more than they earned since only the major department managers were full time employees.

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