How can my teenager build her credit history?January 26, 2013: 6:30 AM ET
Will making my 16-year-old daughter an authorized user on my credit card build her credit history? – V. Parikh
Yes. Using such a "credit card with training wheels," says credit expert John Ulzheimer, is the best and most common way for a young person to build credit. The big three reporting agencies will start a file on her — either right away or when she turns 17 (policies vary). FICO, the leading credit score provider, will calculate hers once the agencies make her data available. (Equifax will do so at age 16, TransUnion at 17, and Experian at 18.)
If you pay your bill on time and keep your balance in check, she'll build a history that will help her later. When she's 21 (or 18, with proof of independent financial means), she can apply for a credit card on her own.
— Lauren Gensler
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