18 Jun 2019

Using Credit Tradelines to Navigate Recession & Tariffs


Fifteen years ago on December 26th, a giant tsunami flattened the islands of Nicobar and Andaman in the Bay of Bengal. The causal earthquake was the 3rd biggest ever recorded. It was the deadliest tsunami in history, killing 230,000 people across 14 countries. But a week or so after the tsunami, members of the ancient Jarawa tribe on Nicobar made contact with the local government, informing that all 250 members of their tribe had survived. They would not say how they survived, but anthropologists postulated the tribe’s knowledge of movement regarding the wind, sea, and birds. What does this have to do with buying an au tradeline, or any tradeline, or tradelines at all?

When an economic downturn happens, that is when you want to have all emergency avenues in place. We are not equating the horrifying destructiveness of 2004’s tsunami with a recession, but depending on how bad it is, you could find yourself in dire straits if you don’t have access to credit. But let’s back up a second. What even is a tradeline?

What is a Trade Line?


If you are not savvy about your credit, you will want to get a login to creditkarma.com. This site is free, provides Trans Union and Equifax, and updates every 7 days. Everyone should have a login.
But, if you look at your reports, in any capacity, anything that reports to the credit bureaus is a “tradeline.” This includes student loans, credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, etc. When we talk about trade lines for purchase, we mean authorized user tradelines. Most credit cards offer AU spots. The banks love AUs, it means more possibility of racking up charges, and thus, interest payments. But for our purposes, we rent AU data, which causes scores to rise. If you add a tradeline, several credit factors are affected: total accounts, utilization, payment history, and length of history.
This is why they are so valuable, and at times, expensive, because they can jump your score a hundred points, and sometimes well over that. Being so valuable, who can sell them?

Who Has the Authority to Sell a Tradeline?


Anyone. Anyone can sell a tradeline. It is not a regulated area of the financial industry. Many parents add their kids on their credit cards once their kids reach 18. This is the same thing as adding a tradeline onto a report, being added as an AU onto a credit card. Most of the time you will buy seasoned tradelines online unless you have a friend or relative willing to add you. But even then you want to be cautious:

We see people with spouse’s/friends’/relatives’ cards on their reports that are maxed out, missing payments, brand new, etc

All of these scenarios will be detrimental to your scores. So where do you get them?

Where is the Best Place to Buy Tradelines?


As previously mentioned, you’ll likely be buying them online. You want to make sure you are purchasing from a reputable seller. One who has contracts, online reviews, and transparent guarantees so you know what you are purchasing. If you are wondering how to add tradelines to your credit, then the best idea is to consult a professional.
Every person’s situation is different, but if you are in a position where you have poor credit, no credit cards, and are living paycheck to paycheck (even if you make good money), it is always good to be prepared for an emergency. With bad credit, if a major recession hits and you have to pay for things without an income, a credit card is one of the only ways.
We certainly don’t advise it, but if it’s an emergency, you will be glad you have the ability. If you are in a position that is not an emergency, and you’re wondering how long does it take for trade lines to post, it can be quick, even as fast as 7 days, though an average is 2 weeks.

We don’t like to engage in Chicken Little “sky is falling” talk, but right now, the Chinese are devaluing their own currency to mitigate the trade war tariffs. The U.S. cannot do that. There are many other factors at place in the economy, but a recession will hit eventually. That is the nature of our boom/bust economy. The 2004 earthquake caused the earth to vibrate up to 1 centimeter, which doesn’t seem like much, but obviously the results were disastrous. An economic downturn has many small factors that lead to big crashes. Are your accounts ready? Is your credit ready? Unlike the Jarawa predicting the tsunami, no one has the ability to predict the market, or a crash. If your credit is not good, you will want to talk to us. We have some of the lowest priced seasoned tradelines.