Getting out of 'fair' terriority - authorized user & paying multiple cards

Getting out of 'fair' terriority - authorized user & paying multiple cards
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Hi guys… hopefully someone can give me some insight on this in an effort to improve credit as quickly as possible. S.O. has marginal credit history. We have been working on it for 6 months, paid off cards completely, closed store/bs cards out, and brought it up from ~580 to ~680/690 range. She now has 2 cards, ~$4k total cl. We now pay one $50 bill a month one of the cards just to show active and regular payments. I want to get her up to par and start qualifying for legit cards and into card/bonus hacking like me. So looking for advice on how to improve hers quickly as reasonably possible. Main derogatory marks are some missed payments over the past few years and high cl usage ratio prior to 6 months ago.

My credit is solidly in goat territory - 840+, I have just added her as an authorized user on one of my accounts that has high CL and open 8+ years (has not reported yet so I do not know what the score effect will be yet). Questions are:

  • Will adding her as an authorized user on multiple cards help with score? IE if I add her on my five longest running open and highest limit accounts will that look significantly better than her on just one account as an AU?

  • On the 2 cards in her name… will making regular payments on multiple cards help more than payments on one card? (And we are talking paying off every month)

TIA for the help


Hi wx_ccna141 and welcome to the NerdWallet community!

The authorized user may not help as much as it would if she had less of her own credit history. I am not sure adding her to multiple accounts will help very much more. The late payments DO hurt, but the further they fade into the past with no late payments since then, the better it will be. And adding positive information really helps.

Credit utilization stops hurting credit scores as soon as the new, lower credit utilization is reported. There is NO danger in paying the bill in full every month. That will not hurt her score at all. She might be able to lower her CU further by making “micro payments” during the credit cycle to keep her credit utilization as low as possible. People with the best credit scores often keep their CU at under 10%.

If she has no installment credit, a credit-builder loan can be a good idea. Having more than one type of credit can help, but it’s not nearly as important as on-time payments and low credit utilization.

One more piece of advice: As her score improves, keep the cards open until she can qualify for a card with better terms. And unless they have fees or there is some other compelling reason to close them, consider keeping them open.

Good luck, and please let us know if we can help further.