The Most Misunderstood Tool For Raising Your Credit Score
We live in a day and age where opinions matter a lot. It doesn't matter if your intentions are good or bad, right or wrong, well-informed or completely misguided - everyone has their opinions and are entitled to them. Even more important to note is that once we've formed an opinion, we tend to stick with it until we acquire evidence that supports another opinion which is better, different, or more practical.
The problem with this is that many of our opinions are not based on direct experience but rather the words of someone else, and the "someone else" who we learned from may have never had a direct experience of their own to form this opinion. This demonstrates that our opinions are often based on empty, inherited, and often completely generic ideas rather than an organized thought process or an intelligent hypothesis. Once we hold an opinion with a certain degree of strength or declare a belief to a certain extent of truth, we greatly limit ourselves from being open to newer and more realistic possibilities. This is a hard fact to accept, whether we realize it or not.
But why are we so concerned with opinions and beliefs? Because they often limit people's ability for growth, success, happiness, and a broader understanding of how construct new ideas and integrate them in positive ways.
As a company who sells authorized user tradelines, we're constantly battling the status quo - at least figuratively speaking. While over thirty-three percent of Americans benefit from being the authorized user on someone else's credit card, many of them believe that it's only legal to do so because the primary cardholder is their spouse or direct family member. This is a perfect example, unfortunately, of being not only misinformed, but passing on the opinion to others that buying tradelines is a bad idea, immoral, sketchy, or even illegal.
Now, understand for a minute that we could discuss and argue the reasoning behind these mistaken ideas or feelings for ages. We can also prove why they're flat-out incorrect... but this article isn't the place for that. Instead, we'd simply like you to take a minute to to consider the fact that YES, tradelines are legal, they do work, and they are a completely legitimate practice for anyone who wishes to take advantage of them.
As long as the buyer and seller are in agreement, becoming the authorized user of a credit card tradeline from a complete stranger is not breaking any sort of law, nor is it a form of bank fraud or credit fraud. On the other side of the coin, if you were to go out and buy tradelines using a false name, attempt to falsify your identity, use the identity of someone else without their permission, or employ a synthetic identity such as a CPN or similar, then yes, you'd be breaking the law and asking for serious trouble.
The problem here is that the vast majority of people are uninformed about their legal right to buy and utilize the credit card tradeline of a stranger, and incorrectly assume that doing so puts them into direct harm, or makes them liable to become a criminal. When we discuss why a large amount of people feel this way, we return directly to the idea of forming opinions or beliefs without first-hand knowledge or direct experience. For this reason alone, authorized user tradelines are the most underrated tool for raising your credit score fast.
It's Not Just About Legality
There are many people who are stuck on the legal concept about tradelines based on nothing more than heresy and fear. However, when educated with evidence and facts to aid in a better understanding of why tradelines are legal and safe to use, they tend to accept it and then raise another concern. For example:
"Okay, so they might be totally legal. But even if they are, it doesn't make it right or moral. I mean, you're basically using the hard work of a complete stranger to make your own financial gains, and that's essentially misrepresenting your ability to achieve your own high credit score".
While this may sound like a decent argument, we must be aware that tradelines are not free. All that "hard work" that was achieved by the stranger is willfully being offered by that person for a price. Furthermore, the money which is paid to this person clearly must be derived from hard work of your own, which therefor invalidates the concept that it's immoral. It's almost equal to saying:
"Sure, you may live in that house and you may say that it's yours, but you paid someone else to build it for you. But me? I built my house with my bare hands, and for that reason alone, the deed to my home is more valuable, legitimate, and ethical than yours."
In a way, it's almost laughable. The home is yours because you made a completely legal exchange for it. It doesn't matter if you bought it, hired a builder, or created it from the ground up using fallen trees from the middle of the forest. At the end of the day, your credit score does not go up without effort - and it doesn't matter if that effort is direct or indirect. As long as you're not harming anyone and not acting with ill intent, there is no wrongdoing.
This moral aspect of the tradeline argument is not an easy one for us to discuss. But don't be mistaken - it's not because we believe we're doing something wrong. In fact, our feelings are quite the contrary. As a company, we are aiding two parties - the buyer and the seller. They are both benefiting from the transaction. Our goal is to ensure a smooth, secure, legitimate, pain-free, and completely legal process that successfully satisfies the needs of each party while acting as an intermediary. We hold a strong, preofessional, and well-respected level of expertise in this particular industry and it will not be changing - that's the way it's been since day one.
Banks, Lenders, And Higher Institutions
It's been known for quite a long time that banks are not fond of their cardholders selling the status of an authorized user to someone. Unless your credit card contract strictly prohibits this practice, you are free to do as you wish. However, almost every credit card contract known to man states that the issuing bank reserves the right to terminate the card at any given time, with or without explanation.
Banks have almost always portrayed the buying and selling of credit card tradelines as being wrong, however, it's not something that's under their control. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 strictly prohibits credit bureaus from discriminating based on marital status, and to make a long story short, this means that anyone who is an authorized user on a credit card should be reported as so, with their credit report (and score) reflecting that status. In other words, even if you're not married to the primary cardholder, it doesn't matter. It is the legal duty of the credit bureau to report your status without discrimination, and to this day, there has been nothing they can do about it..
Banks and credit unions often refer to this as a deceptive or dishonest practice, but it's one that's protected by law. Therefore, at worst case it would be considered a loophole. As we mentioned previously, over a third of Americans are an authorized user on someone else's card. While the majority of them may be family members or spouses, the equal credit opportunity act has never been amended nor does it contain any verbiage which touches on the subject of disallowing or preventing strangers to be counted as an authorized user. The absence of this text is what actually makes credit bureaus liable for reporting any authorized user status that is passed to them from a bank. Interestingly enough, when adding an authorized user to your credit card, the issuing companies have historically very rarely asked to whom the tradeline is being extended.
In addition, FICO themselves have tried and failed at attempting to prevent non-family authorized users from being eligible from being reported on their reports, and congress quickly struck down their argument that it was unethical or immoral. You can learn a lot more about this here, where we discuss in depth that No, Buying Tradelines Is Not Illegal. Don't worry, we cover it all.
The bottom line is that banks, lenders, and various financial institutions - as well as other institutions who should offer non-biased input - often use tactics to create a fear of committing a crime by buying or selling tradelines. Some of them have incorrectly and blatantly claimed that this is bank fraud, and that federal charges could be brought against you. If that kind of "opinion" doesn't sway you away from tradelines, we're not sure what would. However, again, it's a mere opinion. And if we look at their intent, it seems that this is more than just an opinion - it seems to be not only misinformation, but intentional disinformation.
When You're Ready To Raise Your Credit Score Fast, Start Shopping
Tradelines are available in all shapes and sizes, theoretically speaking at least. You can purchase cards with very high credit limits which will bring your total credit limit up, or you can purchase very old cards which will lengthen the average age of your credit substantially. You can also blend the two together, but more than one tradeline, or, buy a package of tradelines.
While the force the propel your credit score upward is not the same as if you were the primary cardholder with the same history, being an authorized user offers a solid hit that sends your credit score flying in the upward direction. Rises in credit scores of 150 points are not unheard of. However each credit profile is different, as is each card history and each individual's situation.
There are many complex factors that come into play when determining a credit score. The algorithms frequently used by credit bureaus are constantly changing, and nothing is set in stone. The one thing we do know is that authorized user tradelines do work, they do count as a positive mark on your credit score, and although credit bureaus have been saying they're putting an end to this practice for ages they've not done a thing to prevent it from being a completely viable tool for rapidly raising your credit score.
Not only do tradelines work, but they work very well and very quickly. This is especially true for those who already have a nice clean score and a great history of payments without any negative remarks, delinquencies, or similar issues.
If you're ready to learn more or get your own, you can learn more about how it all works by reading more of our blog articles, or reading our complete guide here (it's extremely detailed, and you'll find everything you need and then some).
Whatever you decide to do is your choice, but please understand that knowledge is power and your financial future lies in your hands - not the opinions of others.
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