I recently had a discussion with a woman who was trying to get a credit card through her local area bank, and to her surprise, she found out that she had invisible credit. She thought that since her name was on her husband’s credit card, that it was okay to cut up her old credit cards that were in her name. The thing is, once she stopped using her original credit cards, she stopped building her credit. She didn’t apply for the credit card with her husband, she was just added as an authorized user. Her name wasn’t on any bills either as her husband tended to take care of the finances in their home. She was devastated that she didn’t realize this sooner and had let her credit score become invisible.
The good news for her is that she didn’t have bad credit. She just didn’t have credit. It’s a lot harder to restore your credit after years of bad decisions than it is to rebuild it from an invisible state.
In order to rebuild her credit, she would need to apply for a credit card. The thing is, it’s nearly impossible to get approved for a credit card if you are credit invisible. Therefore, my suggestion would be to apply for a secured credit card. A secured credit card would give her access to credit, just like any other credit card. The only difference is that she would need to provide security funds as collateral before she could receive her card and access her credit. They are very easy to get and she would be able to start building her credit immediately.
Once she receives her new credit card, it’s important to pay her bills on time, every time. I would suggest just using it for groceries and paying the exact same amount as soon as she gets home using an online banking app. Also, she shouldn’t get too close to her credit limit. Experts advise keeping your use at no more than 30 percent of your total credit limit.
Credit is a tricky thing. If you don’t know how to build it, or how to ruin it, you could be in for a rude awakening one day.