Virgin Credit

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Hope, May 23, 2001.

  1. Hope

    Hope Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I couldn't think of a more apt description of what I'm trying to ask.

    If you've read my other posts this week, you know my story and that I just found this board (thanks PBM!)

    My oldest son is mentally challenged, in sort of a Forrest Gump sort of way. He has no credit records at all (I checked).

    But he did graduate from junior college and has had a job as a stock clerk at Kohl's department store for just over a year. With his wages and disability income, he earns just over $19k a year. He's 23 yrs old and has no bank accounts. I'm his legal guardian and he lives with me, btw.

    My thought is, if anything happens to me (God forbid), I'd want his caretakers (my brothers and sisters) to not be strapped supporting him. I also want him to have a sense of independence.

    So, here's the plan:

    1) I applied for a NetBank checking account for him, so I can pay off his credit cards online. (Was going to apply for Wells Fargo, but it rejected my IE 6.0b browser).

    2) I applied (by mail for a Chase secured MasterCard) with a $300 money order. I had them mail him the app last week.

    3) Once the MasterCard arrives, apply for a retail charge card from his employer (It's an instant thing if you have a major card)

    4) once the secured card account is shows on a credit report in 2-3 months????

    What else? And what are good solid cards for him to apply to to build first time credit?


  2. Hope

    Hope Well-Known Member

    Forgot to add:

    1) He doesn't have a driver's license, because he can't drive. BUT, on Thursday, I'll take him to get a state issued Photo ID card (same card, except with no driving priviledges). It'll take 2 weeks for the ID card to come back from the state capital in Austin.
  3. DaveLV

    DaveLV Well-Known Member

    I can't think of a more gentle way to put this, so I'm just going to say it. I don't mean it in any sort of mean way at all, and I'm sure I don't understand your whole situation as I've never had kids (mentally challenged or not) and I don't plan to have any. That being said, as I was reading through your message I became more and more appalled that you would be trying to manipulate someone else's credit file without it being their idea, even if it's your son's.

    You could set him up for lots of trouble in the future if you mess this sort of thing up. I probably shouldn't have commented on this at all, but it makes me really uneasy.

    Be careful.
  4. Donna

    Donna Well-Known Member


    I'm glad you're watching out for your son and are concerned about his future. The truth is, of course, that none of us will be here forever and I commend you for helping him plan his life and become as independent as possible. Having said that, I'm not sure that helping him establish credit will alay your fears. In fact, it could create more anxieties.

    How is your son with money? Is he able to save? Does he use the money he has responsibly and wisely? That's a challenge, sometimes, for even those of us who are not at a mental disadvantage. But you know your son and are best in the position to determine what he can handle.

    In my family, I had an aunt who was mentally challenged. But I think her level of functioning was lower than your sons. Even though she made it through the eighth grade, she required a lot of help.

    During the majority of my aunt's life, she lived at home with my grandparents and helped out around the house. Later, when my grandmother became ill, requiring her to be placed in a convalescent home, my aunt was moved to a group home and she began working in a sheltered work shop.

    Like you, my grandmother was worried about my aunt's future. What she chose to do was help her establish savings and conservatively invested most of the money.

    Because your son is still young, this might be something for him to consider, too. In my aunt's case, the money came in very handy later.

    Take care and, whatever you decide, good luck.

  5. Hope

    Hope Well-Known Member

    My son is aware of what I'm doing and trying to accomplish here. Yes, he doesn understand money and has had a savings account for several years.

    My hope--and his--is that he should be able to experience independent living someday, preferably with a roomate or in assisted living.

    That being the case, he'll someday need credit -- even if I'm still alive.

    But, hey, thanks for thinking I'm a crappy person. Sorry you're apalled, but I fought for him 22 and half years ago when the doctors said he wouldn't live past age 5, and again when the school system wanted to shove him into a "controlled environment", and again when the hospitals said there was no point in fixing his lazy eye, and again when no doctor or hospital wanted to touch him when he needed a total knee replacement, and still again when the school system said he was too young, too old, too challenged to learn to read, and still again when they said he couldn't go to college.

    I'm going to go on fighting for him until I can't stand it anymore. He's challenged, not stupid. I'll teach him to handle his online accounts, balance hi checkbook, just like I've done everything else...By my dan self.

  6. DaveLV

    DaveLV Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry you took it that way, but I understand. Money is of itself an emotional topic, and when you factor in what you must have been through the emotions must run even higher.

    Let me try another angle that's sure to get me in trouble but shows the empirical angle I'm trying to take. Many of us here, me included, are here because we've had problems with credit. The credit industry has spent gazillions of dollars trying to predict which of us will be able to handle credit again once we've rebuilt, and which of us are doomed to repeat our past mistakes.

    All of us would like to think that once we can get a fresh start we will behave differently. Statistically I'm sure a lot of us are wrong.

    What would I do if I could start over and have control of a brand new clean credit profile. I'd tell you at first that I'd do great, but the experience of hundreds of thousands of people before me say that I might not. I'd like to think I'm the exception -- but you never know.

    From what I recall from an earlier post, you've had some pretty serious credit problems in the past. So, we're not talking about Alan Greenspan offering to take control of your son's financial future here. When you do what you are asking about, I wish you the best. I'll be right here to help you as much as someone who has also had credit problems can. I'll be 100% supportive. But you have to at least consider the chance that there exists the possibility you might do some damage you do not intend.

    I'm sure you don't have warm fuzzy feelings for me right now, and that's ok. There's no point asking in a forum like this one for advice if you've already made up your mind and you're not willing to consider opinions that differ from yours. I didn't say you were a crappy person, and if you can read hidden meaning like that into things I say, you might need to take a look at your own opinion of yourself. From the miniscule knowledge I have of you, I think you must be pretty ok to have taken on the challenges you've faced in life. If deep down you feel otherwise, don't blame me.

    Remember, in the long run my advice is worth what I've charged you for it.
  7. Geo

    Geo Well-Known Member

    Regarding your initial question. You have to get another secure card (Capital One, Providian-Aria, FCNB or whatever) because Chase (also citibank) does not
    report the secured card to the credit bureaus.
  8. Tuit

    Tuit Well-Known Member

    My hat is off to you....Your post speaks loud and clear of how much you care!!!
  9. Hope

    Hope Well-Known Member

    Thanks very much Geo. This is the information I was looking for. Not, as DaveLV thinks, advice on whether I should.

    So we'll continue to do some research on the best methods to build his credit so he can one day go out on his own. He's actually pretty excited about it and we've set up his computer so he can do some research on his own (thanks to the high school keyboarding classes and his work at the store.)

    And DaveLV I seem to recall that you were "apalled" by my actions. That doesn't bespeak of your glowing esteem for me, so I don't believe I got the enuendo wrong. Perhaps you should rethink what you wrote.

  10. Cadillac408

    Cadillac408 Well-Known Member

    My 2 cents...

    I understand where DaveLV is coming from and I know he means no harm. I see his point clearly.

    I, on the other hand, am a single parent of 2 boys and I know how important it is to teach them to be independent and self sufficiant (that is what my mother as a single parent taught me). I plan to tech them how to be responsible adults (mentally challenged or not).

    Also, I feel that as parents we need to set good finacial habits that our children can model after. When I was growing up, we were not as fortunate as other families but the one thing that I do remember is that my mother always sat down and created a budget for the month. She wrote down all expenses, made a detailed grocery list (equipped w/ prices!), and paid utilities the best she could (my mom had no credit cards). She set a great example for someone who had next to nothing. Yes I have had problems in the past with bills (not becuase of misusing my money...because of having no money) but I feel that my mother's example rubbed off on me. On the other hand I have friend's who parents where not good financial roll models and it definately wore off on them. Just today I went to lunch w/ a girlfriend and she nemtioned that she had to pay her cell phone bill (which was late of course) at the cellular place as we were driving by it. I was like, why don't you just mail it? She couldn't because it was due that day! She is use to paying her bills on the day that they are due (most of the time in person or over the phone). She does this because that's how her mom does things. Her mom will wait until she gets a 48hr notice from PG&E before she has one of her kids drive down and pay it for her! Not because she's broke, becasuse she's too lazy to take her check book out, right a check, put a stamp on the envelope and mail it before the damn due date!

    I, on the other hand run things differently becuase me and my babies can't be in the dark w/ no electricity. I have some sort of on-line bill pay with most of my bills. When I'm notified that they are available to view and pay, I pay them ASAP! Any bill that I have to mail, as soon as it comes in the mail I write a check and mail it ASAP! I understand that most people are not this fortunate to do this but I like it this way. I don't have time to be messing around with my credit, etc. I keep plenty of money in my checking account to do this. I also budget my money very well...for the most part ;-) Don't get me wrong, it took a minute for me to get to this point. I remember the days of balancing my check book to the PENNY and then getting pissed at BofA for bouncing my check because I was $0.50 short!

Share This Page