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Applying for a Credit Card


paz

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Apparently new financial laws are making it very difficult if not impossible to get a credit card using a mail forwarding address. I am concerned because all of our credit cards have my husband as primary card holder and me as an authorized user. These accounts are closed upon his death so I'm trying to get a credit card in my name to avoid the possibility of this financial vacuum. Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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What address are you using for your existing credit cards? Why not update your current accounts and change from authorized signer to co-owner?

 

Authorized users vs. joint account holders

There are two ways to share a credit card account with another person: You can be an authorized user or a joint account holder. The liability for the payments differs greatly.

"Authorized users piggyback on the credit of a friend or relative," says Cate Williams, vice president of financial literacy for Money Management International, a nonprofit credit-counseling agency. These users are entitled to use the credit extended to the card holder, but have no legal responsibility to pay the bill.

Joint account holders, on the other hand, actually share ownership of the account and both are liable for repaying the debt. A joint account must be opened by the account holders at the same time. "It's literally like a joint liability account," Gupta says. "The advantage is that both credit histories get updated, and both account holders are legally responsible for the debt."

When it works

Getting added as an authorized user on a friend's or family member's account may seem like a no-lose situation. Credit is extended freely, and payment is someone else's responsibility. In some cases, authorized users with limited or bad credit are able to use that status to build their own credit, as the credit history of the account owner can be reported on the authorized user's credit report. (If you're an authorized user, check with the credit bureaus to be sure the card is being reported on your credit report.) The complete article here: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/sharing-credit-card-accounts-1.aspx#ixzz3U08WAiK8

As we travel a lot we want to insure our credit stays secure and take advantage of the free credit reports:
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires EACH of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. The FCRA promotes the accuracy and privacy of information in the files of the nation’s credit reporting companies. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, enforces the FCRA with respect to credit reporting companies. CLICK HERE for more info.
You could spread them out to receive one each quarter to stay aware of your credit status and ahead of identity thieves.
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We also use Escapees and we each have separate cards in our own names, always have had it set up that way. Where do you do your banking - that would be the first place I would go to get one to get started. The problem may be that since you have never had a card in your name, you don't have a sufficient credit history?

 

Barb

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My wife opened a new Macy's account using our MyDakotaAdress address. Within a couple of weeks she received a letter explaining that she needed to provide a residential address and that if this wasn't done within 30 days the account would be closed. She called the number provided in the letter and told the person who answered that she wanted to give them a residential address for the account. She then gave him our daughter's address but didn't offer than information to him, nor did he ask. He entered the information into her account and thanked her for calling since they are required to have this address information on file in order to be Patriot Act compliant. The entire phone call took less than 5 minutes.

 

Obviously, this experience can't be directly applied to other creditors but it is consistent with some other recent posts which reported similarly successful interactions. It appears that at least some creditors are recognizing that they can be Patriot Act compliant without making an ordeal out of the process.

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Apparently new financial laws are making it very difficult if not impossible to get a credit card using a mail forwarding address. I am concerned because all of our credit cards have my husband as primary card holder and me as an authorized user. These accounts are closed upon his death so I'm trying to get a credit card in my name to avoid the possibility of this financial vacuum. Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated.

If there's a balance on the accounts the creditor will be more than willing to let you assume them.

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This discussion brings to mind a slightly different issue.......

 

If you have a bank account (checking, savings, CDs, etc.) in ONLY one members name and that member should pass, the bank will lock that account. Check your accounts and make sure you are BOTH owners of the account!

 

Lenp

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If your present credit cards are joint accounts, check with the credit card company as many of them do not freeze due to the death of one of the owners. We have opened several credit cards using the Escapee's address service and never had any problems, with the most recent one being only two years ago.

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To all who replied...thank you! We were certainly remiss in not being joint account holders of our current credit cards. Didn't even know we could have done that. Our checking account has always been in both our names, so we're safe there.

 

The credit card problem seems to have its origins in WHEN I applied. The new law that requires a permanent residential address went into effect in the last year or so, so any mail forwarding address comes into question if it is considered a business address (even if the states recognize the address as legal for driver's licenses or vehicle registration).

 

In order to be joint account holders now, we would have to apply together and we still run into the address problem.

 

This is most certainy a caution to anyone not yet on the road full-time, and tt's certainly a cunumdrum with no solution.

 

Credit unions may be a possibility. Will look into that.

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That same new law that requires them to verify your identity & address, also includes a specific exception allowing folks who have no fixed physical address, to supply the street address of a close friend or relative. That address is just for complying with the law, the account may still be under your mailing address.

 

 

The credit card problem seems to have its origins in WHEN I applied. The new law that requires a permanent residential address went into effect in the last year or so, so any mail forwarding address comes into question if it is considered a business address (even if the states recognize the address as legal for driver's licenses or vehicle registration).

 

 

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Many years ago, before computerized banking and dirt was new, the new account clerks had a booklet with samples of all the states ID's and a list of "mail drops" in their area. If your ID didn't match what was in their book or your address was on the "mail drops" list they would not open and account. I think they still do the same thing but it is on the computer when they input your information and it is automatically cross checked there. If it is a mail drop they may not be allowed to process the new account any further.

 

I did think that as long as both people went into the bank to add a "co-owner" to an existing account that the new signer would just have to present ID and sign a signature card?

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