My previous post detailed a bunch of steps taken immediately after my son JumpStart Jr.’s 18th birthday, but the post was mostly filled with setbacks. After another week we have made a little progress.
Bank of America
One major setback was the instant decline on the Bank of America credit card application. Under the building credit category, Bank of America had 3 cards listed. After the instant rejection, I was second guessing my choice of cards. There were a couple of secured credit cards with 39$ annual fees, but I just couldn’t resist trying for a card that came with a bonus and no annual fee. We considered calling the BofA reconsideration line, but hadn’t made a call yet.
Fortunately, a few days later a letter came from BofA and it looked thicker than normal. It contained the normal pages that explain why they could not open a line of credit. It listed his credit optics score at 484. Credit scores range from 300 to 850. Last week we were unable to get a credit score with Credit Karma and inside the USAA site. 484 seems to be a random number, and I suspected he would start closer to 300, but I guess no credit history is better than bad history. My credit card rejection letters are always based on too many recent account openings, but as expected the reason given for JumpStart Jr. was lack of credit history.
The next couple pages contained an offer to open the credit card with a guarantor. I had never heard the term guarantor, and I assume it means cosigner. We filled out the enclosed forms, I signed, and we got the envelope in the mail the next day. I don’t know if BofA will pull my credit, or just use my history with the bank. There wasn’t an obvious warning of a credit pull, as a guarantor. I also do not know if it will count against me for the Chase 5/24 rule. I’m not concerned, and don’t see myself restraining my applications to 5 in 24 months anyway.
The letter came so quickly that BofA must have mailed the letter the day of the application. They deserve credit for their efficiency in offering another option. It would have been nice to see the offer electronically sooner.
My previous post also included details about a live online chat that was initiated with USAA. Last week I concluded that the first USAA rep was very helpful. He informed me that the youth checking account would automatically convert to an adult account within a few days. Unfortunately after a week nothing had happened.
The representative instructed us to close the old savings account and open a new adult savings account. We were in the process of opening the savings account online, and I was surprised when the option came up to include a checking account. Funding options included transfer from his other accounts. We opened a savings and a checking account funded by his old youth savings. His home screen looks kind of sloppy now with 4 accounts including a zero balance youth checking and zero balance youth savings accounts. I couldn’t find a way to close these online.
Last week the 2nd representative that was supposedly the credit card expert couldn’t recommend a card for our circumstances, but simply told us where to look for a list of all USAA’s cards. We decided against trying for a USAA credit card at this time.
I have always loved USAA and I am baffled by their lousy customer service on this one day, but at least JumpStart Jr. has a couple of new adult accounts established.
Current progress at age 18 and almost 2 weeks.
- Credit score 484.
- Authorized users on father’s AMEX card.
- New BofA credit card with father as a guarantor.
- Opportunity to earn 215$ in travel reimbursement through BofA travel rewards points.
- New adult USAA checking account.
- New adult USAA Savings account.
I’ll keep watching to see if credit reporting services begin working. I’ve been on the watch for an easy savings account bonus. In early June, I’ll choose a second credit card for an application. The colleges will be announcing decisions soon as well.