How does a spouse establish a credit Rating

As a 74 yr. old with a pretty good credit rating, and in waning health; How does my wife establish her own credit rating. We have rented our entire 39 years of marriage and the only thing we have ever purchased was a used car 9 years ago. Would she have to purchase something in her name? Would it have to be something that would require credit approval?

I am interested in this, too.

First of all, if you haven’t already ,check out what her credit currently looks like via CreditKarma or some other free service. She may actually have a credit rating and some activity on her reports.

I would recommend against purchasing something just to get her credit established. Best thing to do would be to apply for a credit card in just her name. Capital One and other banks have some great choices. In fact, once you are in Credit Karma they will probably give you a suggestion as to what card she would have a good chance of getting approved on (they of course get a kickback if you go that route, but it doesn’t cost you anything).

It doesn’t have to have a large limit, $300 or $500 would be fine. Find one that pays a little cash back on purchases if you can. Then just charge a tank of gas or a grocery trip every month and (very important) pay it off in full as soon as you get the bill. Keep your balance around 10% of the total limit.

If she doesn’t have a FICO score this will establish one shortly (within a few monthly cycles). If you already has one, this should make it start going up.

It takes time but this will help build it up. Good luck!

Thank you sir, excellent advice. I’ll look into that route.

I wanted to add that if your wife doesn’t have any credit, an alternative is to add her as another user to your credit card. This will help her start building her own credit. Once she built her own credit open a new card in her name only.

Keep in mind that the joined account will affect both of your credit, so make sure you pay off the balance every month.