Today I'm answering three credit card questions that landed in my column inbox.
My wife had a credit card with a retail store. She listed me as an authorized user. I was not aware of this. She let this card go and it got charged off. (It was only $250. If she had told me about it, I would have probably taken care of it). Now it is showing up on my credit. It is the only bad thing on my credit. Do you know how I could get this removed?
Dan, ask and you should receive. You can either ask the bank that issued the card to remove you as an authorized user, or dispute the authorized user account with the credit reporting agencies. Writing in her column for Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus, Maxine Sweet says, "Creditors will typically remove you as an authorized user upon request because you have no responsibility for payment. Experian also will remove the account from your credit report at your request or if you are no longer reported as an authorized user."
You'll need a recent copy of your credit report ordered from the agency you've contacted to dispute the account. You can check all three of your credit reports for free at AnnualCreditReport.com.
My daughter just graduated from college and would like to open a credit card account. Her first application was denied, citing lack of credit history as the reason. This lack of credit history is the exact reason why she wants to open an account, as she anticipates that she will need a good credit history to rent an apt. in the near future. Do you have any suggestions?
Annoying Catch-22, isn't it? Luckily, she has options. Secured credit cards, retail or gas cards, and even some prepaid cards can help her establish a credit history. My story, "Best ways to establish credit" explains the pros and cons of each product.
What is the best rewards card for someone who doesn't carry a balance and has perfect credit? Cashback is preferable. Lowcards.com and cardratings.com are too vague.
Eric, the best credit card for you will depend on your spending habits. For instance, Blue Cash from American Express will give you a 5 percent cash-back rate for "everyday purchases" and 1.25 percent on other purchases, but only after you've spent $6,500 during the year. If you're not a heavy spender, racking up $1,000 or more in monthly charges, cards with tiered reward rates probably aren't the best choice. My story, "What is the best cash-back reward card?" offers some card suggestions based on your usage level.
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