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July 5, 2011 / thegirlwhotooktheleap

Building Credit.. and my first 4th of July!

So yesterday was my first 4th of July celebration, and I spent it with my in-laws. It was a great day and I truly enjoyed it. We spent the day swimming and then watching the fireworks.. πŸ™‚ I feel so blessed because so many good things are coming my way! I am leaving soon for Georgia, and soon I will be going to Virginia and North Carolina for the first time. πŸ™‚ After that, we are moving to Bloom so that I can prepare for school.. these are all very exciting!!! Β πŸ™‚

So I realized that there is another important task for all new immigrants to the US. We need to establish and build our credit score! Why you ask? Because we won’t be able to take out any loans without having some credit history.. I am very wary of credit cards but this is simply the only way we can establish credit.. Just use it wisely! This all came about because I received an offer from Capitol One the other day, but it had such crappy rates! The APR was 24% which is horrible, but for someone like me with no credit history, can you really complain?

I decided not to take it, instead I will make myself become a joint owner and not just an authorized user on my hubby’s credit card, this will allow me to “piggy-back” on his excellent credit score. After that, I will probably get a secured credit card on my own someday, or a real one just to supplement it. (This part is debatable.. maybe I can just rely on the piggy-back thing solely??) Β The goal is to build an excellent score so that in two years we can buy a house and a new car πŸ™‚

Hope our plan works!! πŸ™‚ Any advice from money gurus out there would be great!

Hope everyone is having a great day and I will let you guys know when my GC comes in the mail!! It will be so exciting πŸ™‚

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3 Comments

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  1. Tara / Jul 5 2011 11:24 am

    So happy for you guys and hope you have a great trip through the south!

    As for the credit building, there are lots of ways you can do this. Tim can add your name to accounts for wherever you live, like the electric and cable bills, and that helps too. Capital One kinda sucks to start off with a credit card, but it was my very first real credit card in college and I started off with bad rates too and a low low limit of $200…and now I have a near perfect credit score. Everyone has to start somewhere. If you do take out your own credit cards, you’re better off doing it from a bank like Capital One than those tempting store credit cards. The good thing about Capital One is you also build rewards when you charge things. I only charge what I know I can pay off the same day out of my checking account, so I never had to pay interest, but I get gift cards every few months for stores like Target in amounts ranging from $25-$50, all because of this credit card’s rewards. Like you said, the important thing is to be smart about it. Never spend more than you can pay off right away!

    The whole “piggy backing” thing is a good idea. That’s how I was able to help Nate’s credit after a few problems. Be careful with that though because if he’s had any late payments in the past, those still go on your credit report, even if you weren’t added until much later. And if for some reason he cancels the card or it even gets stolen and needs a replacement, that lowers your credit score too (yes, it sucks that when your card gets stolen it lowers your score a bit…happened to me last summer…ugh). You also have to make sure that neither of you spend too much because optimally you should never have more than 30% of the limit taken up on a card.

    Well I think that’s all the advice I have for now lol. You can always ask more questions too if you like. Since I’m working on an MBA and I really enjoyed my finance classes, I’m trying to become an expert on this topic too. Good luck!

    • Tara / Jul 5 2011 11:40 am

      Oh and you totally don’t have to post that lol that was just to be helpful if you want to read it πŸ™‚
      Don’t worry about it though, it doesn’t take too long to establish credit. And since so many people have really bad credit after the financial crises of the past few years, as long as you don’t have any blemishes on your report (which I’m sure you don’t), you’ll be fine πŸ™‚

      Good luck with everything and have a safe trip!

      • thegirlwhotooktheleap / Jul 9 2011 10:14 am

        As always, you have awesome advice! Thanks, Tara!! Hope to see you again, soon!!! πŸ™‚

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