How To Remove An Authorized User
Removing an authorized user from a credit card account is fairly simple. Some card issuers have an online portal allowing cardholders to add or remove authorized users at any time. A quick phone call to the issuer is also effective. Give the issuer the authorized users name and tell them the person should be removed from the account.
If possible, notify the authorized user before removal goes through. This way there are no surprises the next time he or she tries to use the credit card.
How To Add And Remove Authorized Users
Each card issuer may have a different process for adding and removing authorized users to a credit card account. So itâs best to find out what your credit card company says.
To add an authorized user to your Capital One card, you’ll need some information about the user like their Social Security number and date of birth to get them set up. Thereâs no additional cost to add a user to your account.
Does Adding Someone As Authorized User Help Their Credit
When you add an authorized user to your credit card account, information from the account like the credit limit, payment history and card balance can show up on that person’s credit reports. That means their credit can improve as a result of being added to a credit account you keep in good standing.
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How Can Being An Authorized User Affect Your Credit
When you’re added as an authorized user to someone else’s credit card account, you can piggyback off their credit. With that in mind, you should really only become an authorized user on an account owned by someone with good or excellent credit . Most major card issuers report authorized user data to the three main credit bureaus Experian, Equifax and TransUnion but you can call your issuer to confirm.
End Of A Relationship
Many couples add each other as authorized users on credit card accounts. This is convenient for joint expenses since either partner can make the purchase using a joint account.
If a relationship ends, its a good idea to remove your ex-partner as an authorized user from your account. Otherwise, they could spend your money without your permission.
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How To Get Added As An Authorized User
Ideally, you will find a close relative with excellent credit who is willing to add you as an authorized user.
In order to get added as an authorized user on someone else’s credit card, the cardholder will need to contact their bank or card issuer and request that you be added to their card account. They will need to provide some basic information to confirm your identity, as well as your name, Social Security Number, date of birth and contact information.
If the cardholder’s request gets approved, you will receive a credit card with your name on it that is connected to the original cardholder’s account. That person may opt to set spending limits on your card, depending on whether the bank allows it. Be sure to work with the main account holder so that you can be aware of any rules regarding card usage and specifics regarding payment reimbursement.
What To Do If You’re An Authorized User On A Card That Hasn’t Been Paid
by James Heflin | Published on Aug. 1, 2021
Being an authorized user can be risky business.
It often makes good sense to ask someone with stellar credit to add you as an on a credit card, especially if you haven’t yet built up a strong credit history. Even if you never use the card, that person’s good habits and years of credit become part of your credit report, sometimes offering a substantial boost. You also benefit from the increase in available credit the account brings, which affects your .
Adding you as an authorized user does create some risk for the cardholder — if you rack up charges and don’t pay, they’re responsible. But what if things go awry in the other direction? What if their stellar credit becomes not so stellar?
Even the most financially stable of us can have trouble. Perhaps an aging parent can no longer keep up with the bills, or a reliable friend loses a job and maxes out their . And if you’re an authorized user on the card? Your credit score will take a hit.
Fortunately, you should be able to remove that information from your credit report. Here’s how.
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What Does It Mean To Be An Authorized User
Being an authorized user means you can use someone elses credit card in your name. You can make purchases and use the card as if it were your own, but youre not the primary account holder.
To make you an authorized user, the primary account holder simply adds your name to their credit card account, giving you authorization to use it. Youll receive a credit card tied to the account, though you wont have all the privileges of the primary account holder. For example, you probably wont be able to make changes to the account, like requesting a credit increase or adding more authorized users.
As an authorized user, youre not legally responsible to pay the credit card bill or any debts that build up. This is still the primary account holders responsibility.
What Makes Up Your Credit Score
Your is calculated using different scoring models, such as the VantageScore and FICO. These are the two most widely used credit-scoring models, and each has its own proprietary metrics and criteria. However, both models have one thing in common: they use data from the major credit reporting agencies to generate your score.
If you want to repair bad credit, it’s important to understand what factors VantageScore and FICO evaluate when generating scores.
VantageScore 4.0 Scoring Model
VantageScore prioritizes total credit usage, balance and available credit. Basically, the model first evaluates the amount of credit you have available to use and how much of it you’re using. Using 30% or more of your available credit can lower your score since lenders usually consider it a red flag.
Other factors considered include your credit mix, payment history, credit history length and new accounts.
FICO Scoring Model
The FICO score is the industry standard its the oldest credit scoring model and what most lenders use to evaluate a person’s creditworthiness. FICO’s scoring has five categories, each with a percentage value indicating how much weight they place on each:
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Which Credit Card Companies Report Authorized Users
Most of the biggest credit card issuers in the United States report additional users to all three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
In most cases, you’ll need to provide the authorized user’s date of birth and Social Security number for the credit bureaus to update their file. American Express, Bank of America and Discover, for example, require this information in order to add an authorized user. Chase, on the other hand, doesn’t require an SSN to add an authorized user .
Removing Yourself From Someone Elses Account
Even if the primary cardholder wont remove you as an authorized user, you can get yourself removed from the account. The best way to do this is to contact the credit card company and ask that they remove you as an authorized user. If the card company wont do it, you can go through the dispute process with the credit bureaus to get the account removed from your report.
If you do this, make sure to destroy the credit card so you dont accidentally use it to make purchases. You could be guilty of fraud if you make purchases on a card that you are no longer an authorized user of.
Weigh The Pros And Cons
The potential perks of being an authorized user are big, but so are the pitfalls. To avoid disappointment, and jeopardized credit, pick your primary account holder carefully. Then pay close attention to their account usage and payment history. If it’s time to cut ties, know that there are other options for getting started with or improving credit. Removing yourself as an authorized user when necessary is a step toward thoughtful, vigilant financial proficiency.
Why Might You Decide To Remain An Authorized User
The above steps are for when the primary cardholder is not using the card responsibly. Otherwise, though, there are generally several potential benefits to being an authorized user:
It helps you build credit. As long as the primary cardholder is responsible, you stand to benefit, because all that good credit information can flow onto your credit report as an authorized user.
Its a convenient option. Youll get access to a credit card without having to go through an application process. This can be especially helpful if you dont have an established credit history and would qualify for only a limited number of cards.
Again, youre not liable for the debt itself. Most credit cards do not hold an authorized user responsible for any debt incurred on the card.
Note that being an authorized user is different from being a co-signer or joint cardholder on someone elses credit card. Both co-signers and joint cardholders are completely liable for paying the card off if the other cardholder fails to make payments.
Most major issuers dont allow cardholders to add a co-signer or joint cardholder.
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Building Your Credit The Smart Way
Being added as an authorized user on another person’s card may help you establish a credit history or build your credit. Yet cardholders and authorized users’ on-time, late or missed payments will be added to both parties’ credit reports, so it’s important that cardholders and authorized users see eye to eye. Be mindful of the following as you consider whether to get added as an authorized user:
- Confirm with the account holder that the card’s full payment history will get reported. They may need to check with the credit issuer or credit reporting agencies to confirm.
- Work together to maintain the card account in good standing. Don’t spend more than you are able to reimburse the main account holder.
- Agree to a spending limit and plan to ensure that the main account holder is able to make consistent on-time payments. This payment history is one of the factors that can contribute to an increased credit score for the authorized user.
- Manage the card’s total utilization by keeping your credit card debts low.
As you begin to build your credit history, your experience as an authorized user can help you improve your credit score, but it can also help you understand how credit is maintained. By proactively engaging with your credit, you can grow your credit score as much as you grow your credit knowledge.
Rights And Restrictions Of An Authorized User
All major credit card issuers let primary account owners assign additional cardholders. Authorized users dont have to go through a qualification process because they are never account owners. Instead, they are guests invited by you.
The credit cards they receive have the same account numbers as yours but are imprinted with their names. Users are legally permitted to make transactions, and very often can report lost or stolen cards, review and discuss account information with the issuer, initiate billing disputes and make payments. Some may even be able to complete a balance transfer.
As the primary account holder, and depending on the issuer and card, you may be able to set a lower limit for authorized users so they dont have total access to your credit line.
Most credit issuers furnish account information to authorized users and once listed, the account activity will be factored into that persons . As long as you handle the account well by making all payments on time and keeping the credit utilization ratio low, the authorized users credit history and credit scores benefit.
To start, draw up a set of rules. For example, you may expect the authorized user to:
- Repay you for all or a portion of the charges
- Shop only at certain stores or buy specific things
- Not charge more than a fixed amount each month
- Contact you before making the transaction to get your permission
- Use the card only in extreme emergencies
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Who Can Be An Authorized User
Becoming an authorized user depends on two things: the account holder and their credit card company.
First, card issuers set their own policies. So they may have rules about who can be added or how old authorized users must be. From there, a lot of it is up to the cardholder.
As long as theyâre willing, there are many reasons a cardholder might add an authorized user. One is to try to help another person build credit. Parents might do it to teach their children about credit. Or someone could add their partner to help simplify their finances as a couple.
Whatever the relationship, trust is key. Once an authorized user is given access to an account, they typically can use their cardâwith or without permissionâuntil access is revoked. So it might be a good idea to talk about budgeting and spending beforehand.
How Many Authorized Users Can Be on a Credit Card Account?
The number of authorized users that can be on a credit card account depends on the issuer and their policy. Credit card issuers set their own policies, so the answer may differ from issuer to issuer.
Common Credit Report Errors To Look Out For
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, these are the most common errors consumers find on their credit history:
- Wrong name, address or phone number
- Accounts from someone with a similar name
- New credit accounts opened by someone who stole your identity
Incorrect account status
- Accounts wrongfully labeled as open, past due or delinquent
- Accounts that wrongfully listed you as the owner instead of authorized user
- Wrong date for the last payment received, date the account was opened or delinquency status
- Same debt listed multiple times
- Information that is not removed, despite already being disputed and corrected
- Accounts that are listed multiple times, with different creditors
- Incorrect credit limit
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When To Remove An Authorized User From Your Account
While you dont need to offer a reason to the credit card issuer when you nullify the authorized user relationship, there are some sensible motivations to do so, including:
And if an authorized user wants out of the arrangement? That person can leave your account at any time without your permission or knowledge by making a request over the phone to the credit card issuer.
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The Decision To Remove An Authorized User
It’s often not an easy decision to remove an authorized user from your credit card, especially because the person is likely a close friend or relative. But it’s crucial to protect your finances and maintain control of your debt balances. That may mean having an honest and upfront conversation with the authorized user about your intentions and feeling empowered to make the call that’s best for you.
How To Tell An Authorized User Its Over
While theres no law or policy that stipulates that you must inform the person that you are removing them from your account, in many circumstances, its a good idea.
If you have an authorized user who has abused the privilege, you need to remove the person from your account, said Beverly Harzog, credit card expert. Dont scold the person but do explain why. This is an opportunity to educate someone about how credit works. And also discuss how irresponsible behavior with your credit card impacts both of your credit scores.
In the event that youre removing the person from your card for a positive or neutral reason, or its a personal decision that has nothing to do with them, simply explain your change of plans. Provide a date for when youll be taking that action so they can prepare, especially if they want to apply for a credit card or loan in their own name.
When you inform the credit card issuer that you are removing the authorized user from your account, the issuer will usually send a dispute form to the three : TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.
John Ulzheimer, Credit Expert
Timing is important, Ulzheimer said. Authorized users should apply for their own cards while the card is still on their credit reports. If you remove them from your account, the card will be deleted from their credit reports so any value it gave them will be lost.
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How Being An Authorized User Impacts Your Credit
Depending on the financial habits of the primary cardholder, becoming an authorized user can be good or bad. If the account holder makes payments on time and keeps balances low, your credit score can go up. Thats why becoming an authorized user is often recommended as a way for students, young adults, or those with a rocky credit history to begin rebuilding their credit.
On the other hand, if the primary cardholder regularly makes late payments, fully utilizes the cards balance or carries a large balance, the credit bureaus could use this information against the authorized user.
Late payments could show as derogatory marks on your Equifax and TransUnion credit reports. Your credit score could also suffer due to a high , which is the second most important factor in determining your credit score.