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  #1  
Old 07-20-2018, 11:04 PM
Brandy7676 Brandy7676 is offline
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Question Building credit while in prison??

Can a prisoner build credit while still in prison. My bf wanted me to get a card in his name but under my card, just adding him as an additional card user.

My question
  1. Is it legal for a prisoner to use credit card,like to buy their own books on Amazon, to start tying to build credit?
  2. Will my credit company run a criminal background check on him or just a financial check to qualify him for the card?
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  #2  
Old 07-21-2018, 02:20 AM
nygirl17 nygirl17 is offline
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I don't think it's possible and no he can't use the credit card ever. I'm not sure you can even add on another person to your card I guess you could call and ask
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Old 07-21-2018, 05:11 AM
xolady xolady is offline
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No it is not legal and if you add him to your account it is still your account and your credit!!!
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Old 07-21-2018, 06:19 AM
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I had existing credit cards when I was incarcerated and used them occasionally on mail in forms, etc. if he has a home address, he may be able to apply if it is for a credit card solicitation. The problem with that may be getting it through the mail to him while in prison. Also, I believe credit card companies started cross referencing with names of those in prison a few years back, so an application may be rejected because of this. I’m not sure how thorough their cross referencing is. In my opinion, it doesn’t accomplish much trying to “build credit” while in prison. If he has any existing credit obligations, a better approach would be to maintain those accounts with at least minimum payments while incarcerated. Credit can be built after he gets out, especially with a job!
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  #5  
Old 07-21-2018, 07:19 AM
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https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/cred...-build-credit/


Something to think about...if this person is a BF and not a husband you are taking a big risk with your credit. If someone gets a hold of your number they could do a lot of damage in just a few hours. I’d be very careful. Personally, I don’t think prison is the time to establish credit. He won’t be able to use the card often enough to make a difference and if all the transactions are going to the prison that might raise suspicions. Be smart and don’t agree to something that could have a major impact on yourself. Think before you leap.
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyS

Something to think about...if this person is a BF and not a husband you are taking a big risk with your credit. If someone gets a hold of your number they could do a lot of damage in just a few hours. I’d be very careful. Personally, I don’t think prison is the time to establish credit. He won’t be able to use the card often enough to make a difference and if all the transactions are going to the prison that might raise suspicions. Be smart and don’t agree to something that could have a major impact on yourself. Think before you leap.
That's a great site. It seems most cc do report credit for authorized users to the credi bureaus.

I understand he won't be able to physically use the card. but since it would be sent to my address wouldn't I be able to use it for online purchases for him like when I buy his books from online sites?

Technically he wouldn't even have to know the cc number since he can't use it in there.

I was just wondering when it's time for a parole hearing is that something they check? And if so is that illegal?
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:23 AM
Brandy7676 Brandy7676 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nygirl17 View Post
I don't think it's possible and no he can't use the credit card ever. I'm not sure you can even add on another person to your card I guess you could call and ask
I've been added as an authorized user in a previous relationship and it showed up on my credit report which I had to make him remove me when we broke up lol and all my ccc's send me reminders asking if I want to add a user.

I just wondered what type of checks they run on an authorized user i.e. Background, criminal or just credi check
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Free At Last 5 View Post
I had existing credit cards when I was incarcerated and used them occasionally on mail in forms, etc. if he has a home address, he may be able to apply if it is for a credit card solicitation. The problem with that may be getting it through the mail to him while in prison. Also, I believe credit card companies started cross referencing with names of those in prison a few years back, so an application may be rejected because of this. I’m not sure how thorough their cross referencing is. In my opinion, it doesn’t accomplish much trying to “build credit” while in prison. If he has any existing credit obligations, a better approach would be to maintain those accounts with at least minimum payments while incarcerated. Credit can be built after he gets out, especially with a job!
Thanks so much. he's been in since he was 15yrs old. He's 34yrs old now so he never had any credit cards. He's trying to get a head start in building the credit since he'll be out next year.
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandy7676 View Post
I've been added as an authorized user in a previous relationship and it showed up on my credit report which I had to make him remove me when we broke up lol and all my ccc's send me reminders asking if I want to add a user.

I just wondered what type of checks they run on an authorized user i.e. Background, criminal or just credi check
I added mine as AU. No checks or anything. Just know some do and some don't. Mine does, so he has a credit report now.

Everything else is on hold until he comes home.
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:01 AM
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When he gets home, get him a secure card, self lender acct, and fingerhut if he has trouble with a store card. They have a credit rebuilders program.
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nygirl17 View Post
I don't think it's possible and no he can't use the credit card ever. I'm not sure you can even add on another person to your card I guess you could call and ask
When you get your statement, it asks if you want to put someone as an authorized user. My credit history went back to 1991 (i was 12 then) because my father added me his to build my credit.

It doesn't hold much weight anymore, esp for a mortgage. You have to prove you are paying the bill.
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandy7676 View Post
Thanks so much. he's been in since he was 15yrs old. He's 34yrs old now so he never had any credit cards. He's trying to get a head start in building the credit since he'll be out next year.
Tell him to wait and to apply for a secured credit card when he's released. He's not going to be able to afford a car or a home right away Any way so it's best to just do it the legal way. Work for a few years and use that card and build his credit then go from there.
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Old 07-21-2018, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandy7676 View Post
Thanks so much. he's been in since he was 15yrs old. He's 34yrs old now so he never had any credit cards. He's trying to get a head start in building the credit since he'll be out next year.
If he’s been in for that long he wouldn’t even have a credit history at all. Adding him as a AU will do little, if anything for his credit.
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Old 07-23-2018, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onedayatatime13 View Post
I added mine as AU. No checks or anything. Just know some do and some don't. Mine does, so he has a credit report now.

Everything else is on hold until he comes home.
So it's okay legally for a prisoner to establish credit while on the inside? Again I'd use it for buying his own commissary and books.

Just curious when he goes to parole do they are you his name & look down upon him using cc while in there
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandy7676 View Post
So it's okay legally for a prisoner to establish credit while on the inside? Again I'd use it for buying his own commissary and books.

Just curious when he goes to parole do they are you his name & look down upon him using cc while in there
He is an authorized user on mine. I didn't open anything new.

He may not be able to use upon parole. He may. Will depend on his PO.

Unless he had stuff prior that you can maintain, you are to have to wait. AU do report, but some lenders don't look at them the same or as a real line of credit. I left suggestions above for when he gets out and what you can do.
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:55 AM
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My spouse added me to his credit card (big limit amount and always gets paid off) and it greatly helped my credit.

We are going to do that for baby girl, to build her credit for her, so she'll start off in good shape. I know a lot of parents who do it.

It's the same as being a co-signer, whatever the other person does affects you as well.
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Old 07-25-2018, 11:45 PM
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I have somewhat often added a girlfriend as an authorized user on my credit card, without giving them the card. At one time AU's were usually not listed on a credit report except for American Express, but now you usually have to provide the AU's social security number, and it is indeed reported.

I know that when my ex-wife got her green card, I added her to my Amex and within a month she had a 750 credit score. Because I had an Amex for 19 years, the credit bureaus calculated her score as though she had a 19-year credit history.

Of course, you need to maintain a perfect payment history on the card you're joint on.

If you don't give the AU the card number, it would be pretty much impossible for them to use the card. And I can't think of any reason why it would be illegal or a violation of any prison rule to have an open credit account. When someone is convicted, are they required to close all their credit accounts? No. USING the card might be a different matter, depending on the institution.
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Old 07-27-2018, 10:01 PM
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I have applied for and received for my husband at least 2 new credit cards, with me as the authorized user while he has been in prison, without issue. There is no cross reference to his social security number with him being in prison, or if there is, they clearly don't care. One was an Amex card, one was a Chase. I continue to use credit cards where he is the primary cardholder without issue.

If you want the guy to build up credit without risking yours, then you should try to get him approved as the primary account holder. Making him an authorized user under you, doesn't affect his credit at all, it only helps/hurts yours. As the primary person is the responsible party. If you have a joint card, that is a different story, but if he is not your husband, I would not take that risk.

What you can do is co-sign a card for him, where he is the primary and you're backing it, and he can get approved that way. Since he has been in since the age of 15, he probably has no credit, however, if you are POA you can order a free credit report for him and check his score.

Ironically, my husbands score has actually increased since he has been away. One of his credit cards (Discover I think) provides a credit score for him each month. It did go down 5 points this month, but last month it was the highest it's ever been. Go figure.

Even a checking account/debit card will be a way to establish credit once he gets out.
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