The FIRE movement has been steadily gaining steam in the realm of personal finance recently. Proponents of FIRE, which stands for “Financial Independence, Retire Early,” aim to retire at a younger age than most folks.
They do this by saving and investing aggressively so that they can more quickly reach financial independence, which is the point at which their living expenses can be covered by the returns from their investments.
Financial independence means no longer having to work, hence the early retirement part of the equation.
What you may be wondering right now is, “What do tradelines have to do with any of this?”
The answer is that selling tradelines can be a fantastic source of supplemental income that can help people reach financial independence (FI) sooner. Some of our credit partners pay their mortgages with the money they earn from tradelines!
If you want to know more about how selling tradelines can help you achieve your FI goals, then keep reading for our take.
One of the first questions people have about selling tradelines is whether it is legal to do so. If you are concerned about the legality of tradelines, our article, “Are Tradelines Legal?” should put your mind at ease.
To sum it up, not only did the U.S. Congress uphold the rights of consumers to benefit from authorized user tradelines, but the banks themselves actually encourage the practice of piggybacking for the purpose of boosting credit scores. Therefore, it is safe to assume that tradelines are legal.
If you are interested in FIRE, chances are you enjoy finding creative ways to “game” financial systems and dreaming up hacks to earn extra money, which makes you an excellent candidate for selling tradelines.
However, you may still have some valid concerns about the ethics of buying and selling tradelines.
For example, is it unethical for consumers to take actions (within the legal limits of the law) in order to positively affect their credit score?
We argue that it is not unethical to do so, and in fact, it happens all the time. If you are reading this because you are interested in FI, then you have almost certainly taken actions to manipulate your own credit score, and possibly even someone else’s score.
There are many ways that people manipulate credit scores, such as opening up new credit cards to establish more lines of credit, transferring or paying down credit card balances to lower the utilization ratios, and more. Piggybacking credit via authorized user tradelines is just one of the many common methods that people use to try to affect their credit.
Furthermore, as we revealed in “What Happened to Equal Credit Opportunity for All?” the credit scoring system is inherently discriminatory, and it often does not provide a reliable measure of a borrower’s ability and willingness to repay an obligation.
That’s why we believe that everyone should have access to the same opportunities when it comes to building credit, regardless of whether or not they were born into financial privilege.
This is all to say that you can feel confident that you are not doing anything unethical by choosing to sell your tradelines. In fact, you are helping to create equal credit opportunity for those who have historically been discriminated against by the credit bureaus.
If you are still feeling unsure, we recommend reading our article on The Ethics of Tradelines.
Selling tradelines is the perfect complement to a FIRE lifestyle.
Firstly, as someone who is striving for FIRE, you may have a lot of available credit that you don’t find yourself needing to use, which means you could potentially sell tradelines on several of your credit cards without affecting your spending power very much. (Plus, if you were to end up needing to use your credit later on, you could always stop selling one or more of your cards for a while.)
In addition, selling tradelines is a logical next step to accompany the popular practice within the FI crowd of maximizing credit card reward bonuses.
It’s a perfect strategy for those looking to hack credit card rewards: open up a rewards card, meet the minimum spending requirement to take advantage of the signup bonus, then simply let the card age until it can be enrolled in a tradeline program.
Once you earn those signup bonuses, after about two years, you will be ready to earn even more money using your cards—by renting out your authorized user tradelines.
If you calculate the hourly rate you could earn by selling tradelines, it becomes clear that this is one of the most lucrative side hustles out there.
You may have seen it referred to on some notable personal finance sites as the “$1,000 per hour side gig.” In “How to Make Easy Money Selling Tradelines,” we explain how this is possible based on the commission per card and the amount of time spent working.
The commission you earn per AU spot depends on the age and credit limit of the tradeline. The higher the age and the higher the credit limit, the higher the commission. You can start selling your cards after they have been seasoned for two years, but as your cards get older and you apply for credit limit increases, you can even bump up the commission over time.
Since you could earn anywhere between $35 and $350 per AU spot, and it only takes a few minutes of work per deal, this can easily work out to thousands of dollars per hour.
As an example calculation, let’s assume that adding an AU takes two minutes, removing an AU takes two minutes, and the average commission is around $150 per AU position. $150 for four minutes of work comes out to an hourly wage of over $2,000 per hour!
Of course, you will likely only work an hour or two a year selling tradelines, but earning an extra $1,000 or more each year is not bad for a side hustle that only takes up an hour of your time!
First, you’ll want to do plenty of research and make sure to choose the best company to sell your tradelines. It’s important to go about this side hustle responsibly and safely, so choose a company that is trustworthy and compliant with regulations.
If you are interested in selling tradelines with Tradeline Supply Company, LLC, just navigate to “Sell Tradelines” and enter your contact information into the form to receive our current commission schedule and instructions with the next steps.
If you would like to speak with a live person from our team, you can also give us a call at 888-844-8910.