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Macy's AMEX joint account process now an HP for Secondary?


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So my mom is willing to add me as a joint (not authorized) user for her vintage 92' Macy's account (AMEX since 11'), which I have understood per old CB threads to be a process that pulls only *her* credit report, which is well over 800. 


However, a "Consumer Credit Specialist" at Macy's informed me this would be a HP on *MY* credit. Obviously, if my credit were good enough to qualify for the card on my own I would be applying on my own 😛


So...I suppose this process has changed to be a HP for the secondary account holder :(  I was really hoping to avoid Capital One to prove I could handle a big girl card. shucks.

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1) How did they inform YOU of anything?  They should only be in communication with the cardholder.

2) Easiest way to add people as an AU is typically online. 

2a) You are not seeking to be added as an AU, but rather as a JOINT cardholder, which necessarily means you have to be creditworthy as you are being added in a capacity that leaves you responsible for the entirety of the account. 

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As an applicant to be a joint account holder, any bank is going to HP (no matter how strong the credit of the other account holder).  However, the stronger credit of both proposed account holders is the one that is likely to sway approval.


I'll speculate that the only time the credit of the weaker account holder might prevent approval would be if there substantial defaulted, unpaid obligations that are potentially subject to judgement, potentially impairing that person's ability to cover debt.  Even then, I'm not sure it's a factor.


In other words, I suggest you go ahead and let them do the hard pull.  I particularly stress that advice if you merely have past delinquencies on file, but no defaulted debt.


Having noted @centex's question, I'll note that the credit scoring of AU accounts, where the AU doesn't share the same address of the main cardholder, is sketchy at present.  There is good anecdotal evidence that such accounts are ignored for FICO scoring, under at least some models.  But, as I said, it's a sketchy situation.


Given the possibility that an AU account may not help improve one's FICO score, were I credit building at this time and I had the opportunity to establish a joint account, I definitely would pursue the joint account over a AU, if feasible.  What's truly notable here is that there are extraordinarily few creditors that accept joint credit applications these days.  For example, Bev and I share a PNC VISA as a joint account that was opened in 2013.  They no longer offer such an account to new applicants

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To clarify, I’m definitely not *surprised* they would want to HP my credit, I just thought I would mention it because the last threads I can find re: Macy’s AMEX Joint accounts are from 10+ years ago, when I guess the HP was for the primary account holder, and no inquiries were made as to the secondary’s credit. Just thought I’d note the change in case anyone else is looking for this info.


@get.randy …. Exactly what @hdporter said.  Despite having ~100k in available revolving credit from AU accounts (Experian even praises me for my “7%” utilization), my rejection notices from Discover’s prequal always say “Proportion of balances to credit limits too high.” They are pulling EX, but they know damn well that my personal utilization is 96% (My personal revolving lines are, sadly, a 10k charge-off and a $400 secured card.)


And that is as it should be. Proving you can be responsible with credit should involve….being (the person) responsible for credit 😛 I should have to prove myself, I was just hoping I could do it without involving Capitol One. And the fact my mom holds one of the few cards that allow for joint status seemed too good to be true.


@hdporter thank you so much for your suggestion...the last think I would want is for her account to suffer because of my past mistakes. Even if they approved me, I worry they would slap her with a CLD or something... I just don't know. I'll stick with the AU route for now and see if I can crack 650 in a few months? Not that wasting the HP is a big deal, since there is nothing I qualify for outside of Capitol One at the moment...

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53 minutes ago, user1982 said:

@hdporter thank you so much for your suggestion...the last think I would want is for her account to suffer because of my past mistakes. Even if they approved me, I worry they would slap her with a CLD or something... I just don't know. I'll stick with the AU route for now and see if I can crack 650 in a few months?


I understand.  But there is no way that a joint account with you is going to come back and hurt her credit, unless you maintain excessive utilization or are delinquent on that account. 


The very worse case, if they subsequently tighten up the line, is she drops you from the account and applies for reinstatement of the former limit (and then you can go the AU route).  But that's a "contingency plan" I don't think you'll actually have to resort to.  Keep in mind, if they're going to see a problem of any type, it'll pop when they consider the joint account app -- if they're inclined to lower the CL, they'll advise what's necessary to approve and, if confronted with a possible CLD, you just withdraw the request -- and go AU.


Now, if someone else steps in and warns you of significant possible adverse consequence to the joint account (for either you or your mother), then I certainly look for you to weigh that in the mix of input you've received (and sometimes it's reasonable to be cautious).  But without such input (I don't interpret any other post as warning you off), trust in the word of experience. 


As discussed, there are good reasons to expect that becoming a joint owner on the existing account will help much more than becoming an AU.  Furthermore, not to invoke bad spirits, a joint account can survive the passing of one of the account owners.



Edited by hdporter
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Why be added as a Joint rather than an AU?

Things have changed over the past couple of years and AU accounts are not always considered by potential creditors.

There was once a time when a few AU accounts that were a couple of years old would make you gold. That ship has sailed. Most banks now will ignore AU accounts in good standing when you apply for credit.

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