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No More Score Boost For Authorized Users On Credit Reports

Updated on January 28, 2010

No More Benefit For "Authorized User" On Credit Reports....


When someone finds a loophole in the IRS rules, you're going to see a bunch of folks exploiting it until the IRS figures it out and takes the loophole away from you. was nice while it lasted huh? The same thing has happened with "authorized users" in regards to increasing your credit score by "piggy-backing" off of another's positive account rating.

The following is the definition of an Authorized User: "Person permitted by a credit cardholder to charge goods and services on the cardholder's account, but who is not responsible for repayment of the debt. The account displays on the credit reports of the cardholder as well as the authorized user."

Originally, the purpose of an "authorized user" was to allow a family member or close relative to be added onto your account and that person was allowed to make charges against that account. This was especially helpful for young adults trying to establish credit for the first time. A parent would add their teenager onto an existing account of theirs and typically, this would be the first type of charge account a young person would have. With the parent's guidance, they could teach their teenager the advantages and disadvantages of using credit, along with teaching them the responsibility that comes along with it. If they managed this type of account well, then it would reflect as such, in establishing a credit history and a good credit score to go along with it. This practice enables a person to qualify for things that they wouldn't, under normal circumstances, qualify for, which constitutes a form of fraud.

Of course, scammers found this loophole in the credit scoring system and decided to abuse it for monetary gain. In the past few years, these scammers would solicit people who needed to establish or re-establish credit and they would be offered the opportunity to piggy-back off of someone else's positive account, (that they didn't know) for a fee. Once they were set up as an authorized user on this account, that person's account and the credit history that went along with it, would automatically reflect on the authorized user's credit report and would therefore generate a good credit score for them.

Unfortunately, because of this abuse, Authorized User accounts are no longer a contributing factor in credit scoring, so they will no longer benefit the authorized user in that respect. These types of accounts are still available thru creditors, and they will still reflect on the owner's credit report and the authorized user's credit report, which will show the account's history, but the greatest benefit of the account reflecting in the credit scores is now history.



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