Monday, February 8, 2016

New collegian needs a credit card


DEAR HARRY: We have a son who is 17 and will be going away to college in the fall of '14. He will need some type of credit card. We'd also like to have him build up a favorable credit file so he can start out on the right foot when he graduates. A neighbor has suggested that I make him an authorized user on my card. I'm not too happy with this idea because I have a very high limit on the card, and I want to protect myself in case he manages poorly. Can you suggest something to accomplish my dual purposes?

WHAT HARRY SAYS: The easiest way is to get a new card with a lower credit limit, and make him an authorized user. The major credit-reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) will start a file on him at 18 or before. When his data becomes available, a credit score will be calculated for him. From there on, he's on his way. Be sure to keep track of the action on the card, especially the payments. A bad history at the beginning of the game can take a long time to overcome.


Email Harry Gross at, or

write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.

Daily News Personal Finance Columnist
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
Also on
letter icon Newsletter