Wednesday, October 5, 2011

FAQ #24: If my partner is listed as an authorized user on my credit cards, will his credit be hurt?

This is an interesting question, and the answer often depends on how the information is reflected on a credit report. An “authorized user” is someone who is merely authorized to make purchases on an account, but bears no legal responsibility to repay the debt. Some credit bureaus (TransUnion in particular) often do not report credit accounts to the individual who is an authorized user only; but others sometimes do (such as Experian).

Additionally, not all credit card companies report authorized users to the credit bureaus. If you are an authorized user on a credit account, and that account is discharged, there may be a notation in your credit profile that indicates your prior access to an account, and the fact of that accounts discharge in bankruptcy. While an intelligent loan officer should understand the distinction when making a credit decision, it is important to obtain a copy of your credit report if the primary cardholder files bankruptcy in order to understand how that debt is reporting, and contact the credit bureau in writing to correct any errors.

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