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SanFranciscoDave

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Wife is an authorized user of a credit card, but has no credit report.
Hello. Very unique situation here.

My wife and I are Canadian, but have lived and worked in the US for approximately 2 years. I have essentially flawless credit in Canada, but due to information-sharing laws between the 2 countries, our credit information does not transfer over to the US, and I had great difficulty initially acquiring credit upon moving here. When trying to initially apply for credit, there was no credit report associated with me and my Social Security number.

I now have quite good credit (I don't have my Experian score, but my Transunion and Equifax scores are in the mid-700s), deriving primarily from my good payment history on my two primary credit cards that I use.

On those same credit cards, my wife is an Authorized user. I spoke to the credit card companies, and all of them noted that they report out information on my wife as an authorized user, and so it should be attributed to her and helping establish her credit.

However, they do not have her social security number, only her name. Both credit card companies told me that they simply report out her name and that the relevant systems at the credit agencies simply "have ways" of properly associating that with her specifically (ie. based on name, address, information in the public record, etc.).

That process does not appear to be working, as I tried to pull a credit report for her, and determined that she has never had a credit report. I recall that I had a similar issue when I was trying to build credit, and none of the utility companies (who performed credit checks on me prior to granting me service) could find any trace of me in the public record, and I had no credit report.

While this is a bit humorous (as SHE is the one that pays off our credit card bills each month from HER bank account), I am concerned at the lack of credit history she has built for ~2 years of disciplined payment history.

It seems as though the systems are not able to identify and attach this credit information to her if no record of her currently exists with a matching credit report. Are there any steps that we should take so that this information is attached to her? We contacted the credit card companies to provide them with her SSN, but they noted that they do not report that information out.

So we are left with the issue that her being associated with the credit card is being reported out by the credit card companies, but unfortunately not being recognized by the credit bureaus. Any thoughts?

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It is advisable that a husband and wife have separate credit cards with the other as authorized users. Cards taken out jointly makes both of you responsible for the debt. As an authorized user you are not responsible for the debt on the card. Only the individual owner is responsible for the debt. If something happens, death, divorce, etc. The authorized user is not responsible for the debt on the individual's cards.

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The advice already given was good advice, but let me add, have your wife get a secured credit card soley in her name, that would be a good start in the right direction.

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SSN

Helpful to 3 out of 4 people

The credit reporting agency won't have a file on your wife unless they have her SSN on file, that is what they would use as her primary identification. Without that there is no way for them to retrive identifying information on your wife.

The credit card companies know this, that's why when you apply for a credit card they want your SSN, that's what the credit reporting agency is going to want when the credit card company requests your credit report. If your wife is also on the card they should have gotten her SSN when you originally applied for the card. Credit reporting agencies, when checking a persons background will simply input the proper SSN and go by whatever information comes back that's associated with that particular number. If nothing comes back, they won't have anything. They're not going to use just her name to try to track down information. To many people have the same names, they would have to try to track them all down and then try to figure out who's who. That's one of the reasons why they have individual SSN's.

Here's what I'm thinking, and please don't get alarmed, but, as I already stated, the credit card companies know this, they may have violated Federal regulations or law by issuing a financial instrument to an individual without obtaining their SSN. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure that they did. That's probably why they gave you the BS story about credit reporting agencies simply "have ways"  just using her name.

You might want to talk to a lawyer or at the least, have an American friend or if possible someone from your place of employment go with you to your local police station and inquire about it through them. That shows good faith and no intent on your part should the credit card compnay(s) have done something that they weren't suppose to. They may not have, I don't know. You need to get that figured out though, I know that. 

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Build two seperate scores and live happi

Helpful to 2 out of 5 people

in this modern age why would you want to have a joint credit score?  There is no benifit that I can think of.  Better to have seperate banking and credit accounts.  If you build two credit scores and one gets cookedfor some reason beyond your control you can use the other credit history.  How many times have you heard of people having their credit destroyed by a vindictive spouse? Build two seperate scores and live happily ever after.

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