Credit card advice for someone with no credit history, not student (long-ish post)

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      Hello,
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      I am new to this forum and new to building credit. I have read a number of threads and have gathered a ton of useful information – now trying to figure out what to do in my particular situation.
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      I’m in my late 20s, have never had a CC or loan, no negatives, thus blank credit history and no score. My dad’s poor financial management scared me into living cash only and*taking advantage of*scholarships to college and assistanships in grad school. Now I realize that I screwed myself by not opening credit cards back then.
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      Ideally, would like to buy a house by the end of next year to take advantage of the market conditions and to stop paying exhorbitant rent in NJ. I realize that this might not be possible. I am told I absolutely need a credit score to get an FHA loan, min 620*to 640, and can’t be a co-borrower with no credit score.
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      So, my only option right now is credit cards. Before doing much research,*I*applied for one through my bank*and was rejected due to no credit history. I don’t want any more inquiries and doubt I can get one anywhere (though Capital One*issued my fiance one with no positive history, hmm…).
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      Onto authorized user territory:

      • My mom added me as an AU to her BofA AAA card with a 20K limit. The CS reps*claim it should report but will not help my score…is this conflicting info or are they just referring to the fact that the FICO scoring model may not take it into account? We have the same last name, same*address legally though I rent elsewhere.

      She had one 30 day late in 2008, but I read this might not be so bad, and her account is the oldest I have the option to get on.
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      • My fiance added me to his one year old Capital One with a 2500 limit, no lates. The mortgage guy’s credit repair buddy thinks these still report for non relatives.

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      My questions are:
      Did I do anything terrible so far?
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      Should I stop now and see where I stand in 45 days or should I get a $500 secured card through my bank (PNC)?
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      The idea of getting a secured card now is my concern that AU accounts will not count when applying for a loan (topic for different board I guess).
      But if I wait 2 months, might I qualify for a non-secured card if I have a FICO score at that point?
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      Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks for reading this long post.
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