Buying authorized user tradelines is an investment in your financial future. Make sure you are getting the most out of your purchase by asking yourself the following questions first.
Age is one of the most important factors in your credit history, so it is important to understand what your own average age of accounts is and how that metric could be impacting your credit. It will also play a role in determining which tradelines you should add to your account.
Calculating your average age of accounts is easy. Just add together the ages of all of your revolving accounts (e.g. credit cards) and divide this total by the number of accounts. For example, let’s say we have four accounts and their ages are 2 years, 4 years, 5.5 years, and 6 months. Here’s how we calculate the average age of accounts: 2 years + 4 years + 5.5 years + 0.5 years = 12 years / 4 accounts = 3 years average age of accounts.
You don’t even have to do the math yourself if you use our Tradeline Calculator. Just put your information into the calculator and let it do the work for you.
Not sure how old your accounts are? You can pull your own credit report for free (without hurting your score) on websites like Credit Karma.
Your utilization ratio, or the ratio of the debt you owe to the total credit limit of all your revolving accounts, is another important influence on your credit score to be aware of. Your utilization contributes about 30% of your credit score, so high utilization can drag down credit, even after tradelines are added. Therefore, it’s important to calculate your utilization ratio before buying tradelines.
Here’s how to do it: add up all of the debts you owe on your revolving accounts and then add up all of the credit limits of each of your revolving accounts. Take the total amount that you owe and divide it by your total credit limit to get your ratio.
If you’re not a big fan of math, you can check your utilization ratio and find out how adding new tradelines might affect it using our Tradeline Calculator.
Even if your overall utilization is relatively low, individual credit cards with high utilization can still hurt your credit. Adding a tradeline can affect your overall utilization as described above, but will not solve the problem of having one or more cards with high utilization individually.
If you can easily pay down your balances to get the utilization to be 20% or lower, that would be money well spent, because you are lowering your utilization ratios to a level that is considered to be better for your credit. On the other hand, if the amount that you owe is quite large and you are not in a position to significantly lower your utilization right away, then perhaps getting a couple of high limit tradelines may be the easier route to go. Either way, utilization ratios are very important and should be taken into consideration when buying tradelines.
A credit freeze or fraud alert will block access your credit file, which prevents any new information from being added to your credit report. Therefore, if you have placed a credit freeze or fraud alert on your credit file, new tradelines will not post. Be sure to check whether you have a fraud alert or credit freeze before purchasing a tradeline and contact the credit bureaus to remove it if necessary.
While the length of credit history only makes up about 15% of a score, age also goes hand-in-hand with payment history, which is the most valuable factor in credit scoring. The more age an account has, the more time it has had to accumulate a positive or negative payment history. All of our tradelines have a perfect payment history, and together, age and payment history make up 50% of a credit score. Therefore, we believe age it is better to prioritize age in most circumstances.
However, there are some cases in which people choose to prioritize the credit limit of a tradeline over its age. Be sure to carefully consider your personal situation and what is most important to you.
If you are buying tradelines from a reputable business, the tradelines should all be from reliable banks, have perfect payment histories, and have low utilization. Since these factors are going to be about the same for each card, the two main things to consider when choosing tradelines are age and credit limit. The credit limit factor is important because it can affect your overall utilization ratio. While individual cards with high utilization can still have a negative impact on your credit, getting your overall utilization as low as possible can still be very beneficial.
Additionally, depending on your goals, the credit limit can be an important factor if you are trying to establish a history of higher-limit accounts in your credit file.
As we stated previously, the age of a tradeline is extremely valuable, and in most cases, it is more important than the credit limit. This is because a seasoned tradeline will contribute not only to your length of credit history but also add a long period of a perfect payment record. As we said earlier, these two categories together make up half of your score, far outweighing the other categories. Therefore, a good general rule of thumb is to buy the oldest tradelines your budget allows for.
Another reason you want to go for older tradelines is that tradelines that do not have sufficient age can actually hurt your score by decreasing your average age of accounts. If your average age of accounts is 3 years, for example, your tradeline should be a minimum of 4 years old, but ideally much higher than that if the goal is to see a significant difference. If you buy a tradeline that is only 2 years old, your average age of accounts will decrease, which could damage your credit score. This is why it’s critical to do the calculations using our Tradeline Calculator before making a purchase.
Once you have determined what your priorities are, you will be better prepared to choose the right tradelines for you. If you want to increase your average age of accounts or extend the age of your oldest account, go for the older tradelines. If you are more focused on credit limit or utilization, check out our higher-limit tradelines.
Payment history makes up 35% of a credit score, making it the most important component. It is crucial that any tradelines you add have a perfect payment history, because even one missed payment can do serious damage to your credit. All of our tradelines are guaranteed to have a spotless payment history.
Obviously, a tradeline will only be effective for you if it is superior to the other tradelines that are already in your credit file. The safest bet is to look for one that is significantly higher in age and/or credit limit than what you already have in order to affect your averages as much as possible.
It is difficult to affect an average, especially when there are already several accounts in your credit file, so adding a tradeline that is only marginally better than your existing tradelines may not have the desired effect. Make sure to invest in a high-quality tradeline that has real potential for results rather than just adding more of what you already have.
The reporting period of a tradeline is when the bank reports the tradeline to the credit bureaus, which is usually around the same time each billing cycle, with some fluctuation. You should see any new tradelines you purchased on your credit report once their respective reporting periods have passed.
Since processing payments and adding authorized users takes time, there is a “purchase by” date that tradelines must be purchased before if you want them to report in the upcoming reporting period. You can still purchase tradelines after their purchase by date, but keep in mind that they may not post until the next reporting period.
The bank that the tradeline is from is important because many banks do not accurately report authorized user data to the credit bureaus. The tradeline needs to come from a bank that has proven to report AU data reliably in order to be sure the tradeline has the best chance of posting. Also, if you have any outstanding collections or have filed bankruptcy with a certain bank, this can prevent tradelines from posting successfully, so you will need to avoid tradelines from that bank.
Since everyone’s credit file is complex and unique to their situation, it can be difficult to know whether it is best to buy multiple tradelines or one very high-quality tradeline. If there are budget constraints, it is usually most effective to purchase one premium tradeline rather than multiple tradelines that are less powerful. However, there are other situations in which multiple tradelines might be a better choice.
Just remember that tradelines are always going to be relative to your current credit file. If you are not sure how many tradelines you need, our article can help guide your decision.
Many tradeline companies tell their customers to claim the same address as the primary account holders of the tradelines, even though they do not live there, in order to increase the likelihood of the tradelines posting. Essentially, they are asking their customers to commit fraud and lie about their address. This illegal tactic is commonly known as “address merging.” If a tradeline company does address merging, all parties involved could be implicated in fraud, so savvy authorized users will want to avoid such unscrupulous companies.
Similarly, companies often sell tradelines for “credit profile numbers” or “credit privacy numbers,” known as CPNs. We have written at length about the dangers of CPNs, but to summarize, using a CPN instead of your real social security number to apply for credit is identity fraud and a felony offense. Beyond that, so-called CPNs are often SSNs stolen from other people, especially children, which means these companies are involved not only in fraud but also identity theft.
Clearly, a company that is committing fraud by merging addresses or working with CPNs is not one you want to do business with.
The most important part of the process of buying tradelines is being able to trust the company you are working with. After all, you want to be sure you won’t get stuck with tradelines that are low-quality, are overpriced, or don’t post well. Plus, you want to be certain your tradeline company provides secure online transactions and takes extensive measures to prevent fraud. Watch out for unethical and unprofessional tradeline companies, and make sure to choose one that you trust and that will treat you with integrity.
If you find these questions helpful, or if you have any questions you think we should add to the list, comment to let us know!