Can Victoria’s Secret Help Your Credit Score?

It’s tough to tell which internet advice is correct, but I have read that having different types of accounts help credit scores.

My son JumpStart Jack isn’t getting a mortgage any time soon.  There isn’t a car loan on JS Jack’s Volvo because it was rolling off the assembly line, about the time he was born.  Thankfully, loans are not part of his college education yet.  I’ve read about methods where a loan is taken, and then repaid for the sole purpose of building credit, but that seems like a hassle, and would incur some cost.

What’s left?  Consumer store credit cards.

A consumer store card will add one more no fee account that ages and improves credit.

Which store should I pick for him?  Store cards aren’t likely to have any worthy perks or bonuses. It really doesn’t matter which store, because I don’t want him using the card anyway.

So, which store?

  • Sears? No. Too manly.
  • Banana Republic? No.  Their coupon or marketing scheme might actually tempt him.
  • Victoria Secret.  Perfect.   I just want see the pretty pink card, with his name on it.

Mrs.  JumpStart and I have always enjoyed walking into the Victoria’s Secret store on any mall trip with Jack, just to embarrass him.

The application got the instant approval, and credit line of $750.  They did have one perk that will be great for JS Jack.  Whenever he buys a bra, he gets free shipping!!!

JS Jack is currently 18 and 4 months.  He is an authorized user on 2 of my AMEX cards.  JS Jack has the Discover Student card and the Bank of America Student Cash-Back card.  The graph below shows his credit score according to several credit score monitoring services.

If this technique seems to help Jack’s score, I’ll run it again in a few years for my daughter JS Jill.  However there is no way I’m getting her the VS secret card.  Sears will be her style. (If Sears is still in business.)

Disease Called Debt
Posted in Credit cards.

15 Comments

  1. I wrecked my credit as a college kid with a Visa, and after I’d spend a couple of years paying off the balance, I was able to get a Target card. I used it for years on a once a month trip to pick up $30 worth of toiletries (which I would have bought anyway) and diligently paid it off each month. Eventually, it was transformed into a Capital One Visa, which is still my oldest card.

    Store cards, used with care, do help build your credit history and score. And, used with care, they also get you some minor discounts on things you already buy. The only store cards I now have are Target’s Redcard and a Kohl’s card, but both give me some decent discounts when I shop at those places.

    • My son’s day-to-day expenses are handled with a debit card linked to his checking account. He has never used any of his new recent credit cards. One has a bonus for spending $1000, that we will clear paying tuition, and pay off immediately. I have used his discover card due to 5% cash back at Home Depot this quarter, but I pay it immediately. I picked Victoria’s Secret because I knew the promotions would never tempt him. I also wanted to make fun of his new pretty pink card.

  2. I understand what you are doing, and hopefully you will be successful. Unfortunately, one disadvantage of a high credit score when you are young and poor is that it is easy to borrow money and dig yourself into a hole.

    My young adult kids each carry one of my credit cards for emergencies (which have been defined by me), but I’ve never made them authorized users. They’ve never had a problem using them when necessary.

    • I’ve seen analogies about using credit cards being like playing with fire. There is a mindset that stops people from running up their credit cards. I could go crazy, and charge $50 grand on my card this month, but it will never happen because of my habits. Hopefully frequent money discussions with my kids will teach them to use credit cards to their advantage.
      You are right about a high credit score leading to the danger/power to get loans for expensive cars or expensive apartments/houses. I can’t afford a $45K new car, but I know the car dealer would give me the loan today.
      The same restraint necessary for smart credit card use is necessary for all other financial decisions as well.

  3. I have had a pretty high credit score for a long time – by the end of college – and I only had one credit card all through college. I just charged some things on it and made sure it was paid off each month. I’m not sure you really need a bunch to grow that number – though to be fair, my credit score has jumped up since I started churning, but I think that’s because I went from like $10,000 of available credit utilized at close to 0% to like $70,000 of credit utilized at like 0%.

    • I only began checking my credit score in 2013 when I found credit card churning. I suspect my score was pretty good until, but have no data, and went to college in the early 90’s, so the rules probably changed. I haven’t been able to find any data points for college kids churning decent cards that earn Chase ultimate rewards or AMEX membership rewards.

  4. Clever picking out the retail card that won’t tempt him! Although if he’s already got 2 cards and is an authorized user on 2 others, I’m not sure how much more he’ll need for a good score. I think the most important thing is teaching him how to use that good credit score responsibly. Ideally he will know how to use, but not abuse, it.

  5. Now you just have to hope he doesn’t get a girlfriend who wants to use that card! 😉 I’m hoping our hard road to paying off credit card debt leaves a good mark on my kids’ brains so that if they later use a card to build credit, they don’t abuse it. Learn from my mistakes, kids!!

  6. I’ve recently heard of this way to tune up a credit score. In the Netherlands we don’t have something similar, and using credit cards isn’t very common around here. Although it can be used for positive reasons, like this one, it still amazes me sometimes how much credit cards are used in the States.

    p.s. really good choice of card, hope he will be happy with it 😉

  7. That is genius 😆 Until he gets a girlfriend of course and lends her the credit card. Or he swaps cards with his sister. All kidding aside, I think store cards are a great way to build credit. I built mine via student loans which of course isn’t the preferred choice.

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