My partner and I are hoping to get a mortgage and buy a house in the next few years. A potential problem is that I have essentially no credit history and thus I have a low credit rating. (My partner has a very good credit score.)
The reason is that I have never had to go into debt and things like utilities and credit cards are all in my partner's name. As an immigrant, I have no history in the US from before marriage.
The entirety of my credit record in the US is two rented apartments and a denied credit card application two years ago (because I had no credit history). Both my partner and I work and have saved up about $200k towards a deposit.
I want to know what we should do to maximize the chance that we will get a good mortgage deal 2-3 years from now.
Some more specific ideas: Does it make sense for me to take out an unnecessary loan simply for the purpose of building a credit record? Would it make sense to get a no-frills credit card? (Would I need to heavily use the credit card to build credit? My partner's credit card gets 2% cash back, so I exclusively use that as an authorized user.) Should some of our utilities be transferred into my name?