Devin M. Davis Reveals 6 Easy Tips for Your Child to Have a Great Credit Score By Age 25
Devin M. Davis, a Senior Credit Specialist, Business Coach, and retired U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, believes that the need for having great credit is never going to go away. “With car loans, apartment rentals, school loans, and mortgages, just to name a few, everyone needs excellent credit,” he says. “If you are a parent, it is never too late to start thinking about how to help your children build their own credit super early, super fast, and, best of all, free.”
“Free” in the world of credit is almost unheard of, but Devin assures parents that building stellar credit for their children is, indeed, free. It is crucial that they do this so that their kids can eventually have their first car, their first apartment, or their first credit card.
“I know what you’re thinking: what about cosigning?” he says. “That’s the cool part – parents don’t have to be cosigners for their children. Instead, by taking some easy steps, they can help their children have close to an 800-credit score by the time they are 25. I have seen it happen, and I’ll show you how it’s done.”
Step 1: Get your children into the public record
The first step, one of the most crucial, is to enter your children into the public record by going to the website www.optoutprescreen.com, which is the official Consumer Credit Reporting Industry website to accept and process requests from consumers to Opt-In or Opt-Out of firm offers of credit or insurance.
“By doing this, banks and lenders can easily verify your children for faster approvals rates. By opting in, you might even start getting some offers in the mail. I would start doing this when your children are around 17 or 18 years old,” Devin advises. “This is a great way to get them on the right path to good credit.”
Step 2: Open a bank account for your child.
The second step is to help your child open up a checking and/or savings account early in their teen years. “Most banks will let children have accounts starting at age fourteen so long as the parents are co-owners,” he says. “This has multiple advantages. First, it’s another way for children to quickly get into the public record. Second, it gives them structure and helps them learn about proper money management, all of which are key to building great credit by the time they are in their twenties.”
Step 3: Encourage your child to get their first job.
Getting a job as a teenager will be huge. Devin advises that in order to build excellent credit, your child should start working as early as possible so that they get into banking systems. “That trail of steady income will help build a positive picture for the banks to consider when deciding whether or not to give your child a car loan, for example.”
Step 4: Consider allowing your child to be an authorized user on your credit card.
“This is called tradelines or piggybacking,” Devin explains. “In order to add them to your credit cards, you must have a perfect payment history and a debt utilization ratio that is under 30%. A credit card history that is more than two years old would be the best scenario. You can allow your child to become an authorized user when they are sixteen for most banks.”
Step 5: Put a household bill in your child’s name.
When your child is around age 16 or 17, consider putting a bill, such as the Internet or phone, in their name. This simple step allows them to experience the responsibility of paying a bill on time each month as well as be entered in the public record.
Step 6: Help your child get a secure credit card.
“This is different from your traditional credit card, as it must be backed by a cash deposit from your child,” Devin says. “Most banks will issue these when a person turns eighteen, and it’s an effective way to build strong credit.”
The takeaway for parents concerned about their children’s credit scores
It is never too early to set your child on the road to having strong credit as an adult. “It is one of the biggest gifts you could ever give them,” Devin believes. “With some research and preparation, you can set them up to have a nearly perfect credit score by the time they are in their mid-twenties.”
Devin M. Davis is a retired U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and self-made entrepreneur who has built several successful businesses, including a business coaching company and a financial services business. As the author of Business Credit Secrets and the builder of Boost Score Now, he has taught and studied finance, credit, business, money, motivation and leadership for many years. Devin is using what he knows about attaining success to help more people understand that there really are no elevators to success – only the stairs that they choose to walk up, one step at a time.