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Credit Card Applications » Questions » User Questions » Limited/Bad/Fair Credit » I have a thin, limited credit file. I paid off two car loans years ago, but they longer ...

I have a thin, limited credit file. I paid off two car loans years ago, but they longer show on my credit history, where I have just one good account and no negative accounts. I’m an authorized user on my fiancée’s Chase card, and she just made me a joint holder on her American Express. What credit cards allow for co-signers, so that I can be the primary account holder?

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Leo Zhu

You’d like to apply for a new card, under your name only, but you think you might need a co-signer in order to get one –is that correct?

Most cards will allow you to apply with a co-signer – often this is done by college students, who have their parents co-sign – but are you sure you really need one? You seem to have looked at your credit history, but what is your credit score? Do you have income? If you have a regular income and your credit score is above 620, you can probably get a credit card on your own, without a co-signer.

Being an authorized user on your fiancée’s cards should help your credit history too, as long as she is making regular payments and not maxing out her cards. If you don’t have any negative information on your credit report, as you say, then your credit score should be in pretty good shape. Don’t look at the number of accounts you have – look at your credit score. Here’s a guideline of the breakdown for what’s considered good, fair, excellent, and limited:

  • 850-720 – Any score above 720 is very good or excellent.
  • 719-680 – A score above 680 is good.
  • 679-620 – Scores in this range are considered fair or average.
  • 619-580 –Credit scores below 600 are considered sub-prime, and anything under 619 will be called “bad,” “poor” or “limited” credit.

Take a look at the Credit Card Navigator on our home page and fill in your credit score, along with your other credit card criteria, to find a card that’s right for you.

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