Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Give Yourself Some Credit

For many years, people have been allowed to share their credit cards with authorized users. Husbands have historically done this for their spouses, for example. But there are changes coming to the way credit scores are calculated that could affect millions of people, particularly women. Some criminals have abused the current arrangement of shared credit card accounts, and so the credit bureaus are just eliminating all "authorized user" credit standings across the board. This means that women (or men) who have been married for many years and have always used their spouse's credit cards instead of building their own credit will be the most affected by this change. They could potentially go from having a great credit rating to virtually no credit rating overnight.

The solution to this potential problem is to build some credit in your name now. If you do not have your own credit, consider taking out two credit cards in your name. Perhaps you were already going to buy something on your spouse's credit card, and now you could use your own to build some credit. But please remember this: good credit is your friend, but credit card debt is not.

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