How Being an Authorized User on Credit Cards Can Benefit You
Updated: Feb 2
Building credit might feel challenging if you're just starting out in your financial path or have bad credit. How can being an authorized user on credit cards help you develop a credit history when you can't even get a loan or a credit card?
Adding oneself as an authorized user on another person's credit card might help you establish and develop credit.
Even though there are a few principles to consider since adding yourself as an authorized user to an account that isn't in good standing may have an impact on your credit score. As a result, it's critical to evaluate all aspects of this process before deciding if it's appropriate for you.
What does that really mean to be an authorized user on someone's credit card?
Someone who has been granted permission to use another person's credit card is an authorized user. The approved user receives a card in their name connected to the original cardholder's account once the actual cardholder signs off on the authorization.
The authorized user is unlikely to obtain a credit card bill on a monthly.
On the other hand, some cardholders can separate authorized user spending from the rest of the balance statement, allowing the cardholder to see which expenditures were made by whom.
Who is qualified to become an authorized user?
Authorized users are usually cardholders' relatives, primary caregivers, or trusted persons, although anybody may become an authorized user on another's a credit card.
Is there still a minimum age for being an approved user?
Even though there isn't a legal minimum age for authorized users, most banks have minimum age requirements.
Are there any spending limitations for authorized users?
Authorized users will be subject to the card's credit limit, and if their bank or issuer permits it, the original cardholder may impose spending limitations for the authorized user.
Is it necessary for authorized users to pay credit card bills?
The original cardholder is ultimately responsible for any charges made on their card by an authorized user.
How adding yourself as an authorized user may help you gain credit
It is unnecessary to run a credit check to become an authorized user on someone else's card. Banks and card issuers, on the other hand, frequently disclose the card's whole payment history, including the identities of each individual card user, to the three major credit bureaus: Equifax(R), Experian(R), and TransUnion(R).
The authorized user method works as a credit-building strategy in this way. You don't need strong credit (or any credit) to become an authorized user, but you can start building a positive credit history if the bank or issuer discloses your card's entire on-time payment history to the credit agencies.
As an approved user, here's how to build your credit.
Consider the following three details while establishing your credit history as an authorized user:
You can be listed as an approved user: by requesting a friend or family member with excellent credit. This can be obtained by contacting the bank or credit issuer of the primary account holder. Authorized users' card payments are not always reported to credit reporting bureaus by all banks and card issuers. Check with the primary account holder before proceeding with the approval procedure to ensure that your payment history will be disclosed.
Pay attention to a payment plan: Although the primary cardholder is responsible for paying the bill, any missing or late payments will reflect on both partners' credit records. Make careful to speak with the primary account holder to verify that a safe payment plan is in place to avoid late or missing payments, which might harm both the primary cardholder and the authorized user.
Collaborate closely with the primary account holder: It's critical not to exceed the credit limit on their card. Be careful to set spending restrictions to allow a shared card account to function without negatively impacting the primary cardholder's credit usage percentage. Multiply your total debt by your total credit limit to find out how much credit you're utilizing. It's important to remember that the authorized user does not have to use the card to profit from the original account holder's excellent credit.
Is there a difference between a co-signer and an authorized user?
While getting enrolled as an authorized user on credit cards is not the same as being approved for a credit card with a co-signer, they are both ways to establish credit if you have little or no credit. There are a few key distinctions between adding an authorized user to a card and applying for a card with a co-signer: