How do I check or help establish a credit report for my 16 year old daughter?

My daughter is turning 17 in May and she has been interested in building a good credit file. She already has a checking account with my wife's cosign and a debit card. How can I help her establish a credit report and how can we check her credit report? I have tried it online at experian and transunion and equifax, but it says you have to be 18 or older to do it. it is recommended to check your child's credit report to verify there isn't any identity problems. but how can I do that if you have to be 18 or older to check it out? please help me, she is very responsible and is a total adult. she actually tries to help me with my finances! how can i help her with her credit? she has tried to apply for build-credit credit cards, but again you have to be 18 or older. HELP!

9 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well, you could check with your credit card company and see if she can be added as an authorized user on the credit card. but since she's not quite 18, I'm not sure that will work. Besides emancipation, (which I seriously doubt that you'll want to do) You're going to have to tough it out . But another thing is to check to see if secured credit cards are offered where your daughter does her banking. If she's still not able to do that, I would suggest saving up so that when she does turn 18, she can put a sizable deposit down to secure a line of credit. And if she's responsible like you're saying she'll have an unsecured card in no time!

  • 1 decade ago

    Relax! The rules vary from state to state, but you can't generally have a credit card, checking account or even a cell phone in your name until you're 18. Therefore you can't establish a credit history because you can't legally do any of the things that establish credit.

    As you stated, you can't even check her credit history, and even if you did it would say "no data" or "more information needed" because she doesn't have a credit file or any history. Also, identity theft risk is very low--a theif couldn't really use her identity or SS# for anything, since minors can't even open those simple accounts.

    When she turns 18 (or 17 in some states), check her credit report (as I said, it'll come up "no data"--unless her identity has been tampered with for some reason--at which point you can address it). Then open her up a credit card; you may have to put your name on it too at first, but make sure she's the primary on the account. She'll have established a credit history in no time.

  • 1 decade ago

    It is a federal law that minors cannot contractually financial obligations. 14-years ago when I was 17, I owed money to Columbia House and I had a small loan. Once I turned 18, all that was wiped clean.

    Credit and financial companies offer “lines of credit” to minors with an adult co-signer. However, the minor does not have any obligation to the line of credit. It is more to teach them how to manage money.

    I recommend contacting one of the three credit agencies to make sure her identity is not stolen. Each agency has a website (listed below) with contact information. Good Luck.

  • 1 decade ago

    Wait till she turns 18. Cosign on a car or a credit card. This will help establish the foundation of her credit. Remember though, if she fails to make the payment. It will effect your scores. So teaching her the value will help in the long run.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    There's a reason you're supposed to be 18-- becuase thats the age in which she can enter legally binding contracts. She cant establish or get credit until then.

    However, there is a 'trick." If you have your own long-standing, good history credit cards, add her as an authorized user. They'll issue a card in her name, which you dont have to give her. Most cards report history to an authorized user. (I know, it doesn't make sense, but trust me, they do). She gets insta-history when they do this-- all of your good payments, long history, etc. So only add her to "good" accounts!! When she's 18 she'll already have long standing accounts and can get her own credit cards.

  • 1 decade ago

    As to the credit card I am 19 years old and I have had this one since I was 16:

    I am sure that there are other places that do similar things but that is the one I had.

    As to the credit score I know that sometimes the banks will do them so that might be your best bet.

  • wizjp
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    There isn't anything you can do to build anthing else for her untill it is legal for her to sign her name and be responsible for the signature. So far so good.


  • 1 decade ago

    put her on one of your credit cards - the one you've had the longest that you use but never carries a balance

    btw - that's awesome, you're lucky

    Source(s): been down the credit road
  • 1 decade ago

    good question. she is too young to have her own card, so add her to one of yours. then keep good records showing her buying -- and paying! -- habits.

    also, she can have a bank savings account in her name. again, keep good records showing how she saves, how she spends.

    good luck!

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