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ardnek421

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Would being added as an auth. user to a card with high limit, low bal, and long age help my score?
My husband and I are thinking about trying to buy a house, and we discovered that his credit score is a few points lower than we'd like. Looking for ways to boost it, Credit Karma's Credit Simulator didn't give us much help, as the main things counting against him are short age of accounts (average is 5 years, longest is 7, as we're both quite young) and high student loan debt, neither of which are exactly actionable. He pays everything on time and has low credit utilization on revolving accounts. Paying off the already-low balances didn't make any noticeable kind of dent, so we're trying to figure out what else we can do.

My score is helped by the fact that I'm an authorized user on one of my dad's cards, which has been open for 30+ years and has a high limit and low balance. This raises the average age of my accounts to 7 years (it would be the same as my husband's otherwise) and drops my utilization. We are trying to figure out if asking my father to add my husband to this "emergency card" as an authorized user would help his score.

The credit simulator has no way to predict what would happen if we could dramatically increase the average age of accounts. It currently thinks that adding a card would hurt his score, as it would further reduce the average age of accounts, but this is obviously a very different situation.

Is there a situation in which being added as an authorized user to a high limit, low balance card that is routinely paid on time and has been open for far longer than any of your existing accounts (and, indeed, far longer than you've been alive) could ever HURT your score, or would it pretty much always help?

To summarize...
Adding this would increase open accounts from 14 to 15
Would decrease utilization from 7% to...something ridiculously tiny.
Would increase average age of accounts from 5 years to 7 years
Would increase longest account age from 7 years to 33 years

Is it a good idea or a bad idea? I suppose I should mention that there's virtually no possibility of this account falling into bad standing or racking up enormous debt, as my father is very responsible.

Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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