When you become an authorized user, you join another person's credit card account and can then use it to make purchases. Ideally, the account is added to your credit report and the primary cardholder's good credit management helps you improve your creditworthiness.
All major issuers NerdWallet surveyed reported authorized user activity to the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — in some form. But some noted that they don't report information if the primary account includes negative information or if the authorized user is under a certain age.
What is an authorized user? An authorized user is an additional cardholder on someone else's credit card account. You have a credit card in your name that is linked to the primary cardholder's account.
If they do report authorized user accounts, you will typically see the account appear on your credit report within a couple of months after you are added to the account. If they do not report authorized user accounts and you are trying to build credit, you may consider opening a secured credit card instead.
Being an authorized user can affect your credit in a few ways. The accounts that you're an authorized user on will likely appear on your credit reports — most, but not all, credit card issuers report account activity to an authorized user's credit reports.
According to a 2018 study done by Credit Sesame, people who had a fair credit score saw their credit score improve nearly 11% just three months after becoming an authorized user on someone's credit card.
You can typically get points back over time by building your credit score with your own credit accounts. If you're the primary account holder, removing an authorized user won't affect your credit score.
The most straightforward way to find out if you're an authorized user on a credit card is to call the issuer of the credit card in question and ask them directly. You can find the number on the back of your credit card.
Most travel credit card companies report to the Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit bureaus that you are an authorized user. However, some only report to two of the bureaus. The national credit card issuers that report authorized users to at least one bureau include: American Express.
How long does it take for an authorized user to show up on a credit report? If this information is reported, it will typically show up on your credit score in around thirty days. However, some lenders do not report authorized users to credit bureaus, in which case the authorized user may not appear at all.
Yes, Capital One notifies the credit bureau when authorized users are added to any credit card account. This can be an easy way to help build someone's credit history. However, you should think twice if you plan on applying for multiple credit cards in the near future or the primary cardholder has fair credit.
To remove an authorized user, call the number on the back of your credit card to reach the card issuer's customer service number and request the authorized user to be removed from the account.
An authorized user builds credit when the credit account holder maintains responsible credit habits that help a credit score grow, such as making on-time payments and paying off balances in full.
In and of itself, adding an authorized user won't impact your credit. You won't see a negative ding on your credit report, and your score won't dip after you add your spouse, your mother or your teenager to your credit card account.
While most major banks do report to all three credit bureaus—Experian, TransUnion and Equifax—some may choose to report to only one or two, and some may not report at all. Even if a lender does report your account to Experian, there's no guarantee they'll also report your authorized user's information.
You're generally able to remove yourself as an authorized user by calling the credit card issuer and requesting the change. You may also be able to ask to remove yourself from the account online, depending on the company.
Call the issuer and ask to have your name removed as an authorized user. It should take only a few days, and the issuer will cease making reports under your name to credit bureaus. At some point, that account should vanish from your report entirely.
Am I liable to repay the debt? No, being an authorized user generally does not obligate you to pay the debt. If a debt collector insists that you co-signed the account but you believe you did not, you may request that the collector provide evidence, such as a copy of a contract that you signed.
Yes, adding children as authorized users can help their credit scores. It's up to the primary cardholder to maintain a healthy credit score so the authorized users can reap the benefits.
An authorized user is someone who is allowed to use someone else's credit card. The person who owns the credit account is called the primary cardholder. Authorized users may be issued their own credit card with their name on it, but the account belongs to the primary cardholder.
Make your spouse an authorized user on your credit card
By someone as an authorized user on your credit card account adds your credit history to their credit report. The effect is most powerful when you add someone to an account with a great record of on-time payments.
The effect on your credit is the same, even if the account holder never gives you the card to use. If you cannot qualify for a credit card on your own, being an authorized user can help you beef up your credit history and can help with "credit age," a scoring factor.
All of your charges will show up on the card's statements, so the account holder will be able to view your activity, where the transactions were made and the amount of your purchases.
In most cases, you'll need to provide the authorized user's date of birth and Social Security number (SSN) 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.
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.