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What You Need To Know About Being an Authorized User on A Credit Card

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  Braden Mathews, Author December 19, 2019

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  • What is an authorized user credit card?
  • Why does this sound too good to be true?
  • Who can be an authorized user?
  • What to do before adding an authorized user to a credit card.
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Getting or adding someone as an authorized user credit card can be a great idea or a terrible idea. You just really have to make sure what you’re getting yourself into when going through the authorized user process. If you are being added as an authorized user credit card, you would want to make sure the person that is adding you as a user is knowledgeable about credit. You can get excellent credit history from someone like this. Or you can get a terrible credit history if the person has little or no credit knowledge at all. Authorized user credit Card

An authorized user is someone who is allowed to use a credit card that is not the original account holder. For example, if my mom has an excellent credit history, and I want to start building my credit score. She can add me as an authorized user on her card. I will get the credit history for every month since she has had the card.It would not be necessary for me to be issued a hard copy of her card.. This is like adding my name to an account. 

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Well, because it is. This can also be an easy way to destroy your credit. If you have the authorized user credit card, you are not in control of the account holder’s credit consumption. You can get a credit card if your family member wants you to have one. In the event the account holder decides to max out their card and not pay it for a few months, you are in need of some serious rescue. Say bye-bye to that perfect credit score you worked so hard on. 

But what if you are the account holder? Well, I would advise the account holder not to give the authorized user credit card to the authorized user. Why? Because the authorized user clearly does not have a positive credit history, if any.  

Authorized user credit Card

Say you add JimBob as an authorized user, and give him a copy of the card. JimBob has no idea how credit works but decides to buy a fancy new Samsung TV anyhow. This new TV JimBob put on your card cost around $1,500, and your credit limit is $2,000. The next month when it is time to make a payment, JimBob pays the monthly minimum. Thank god he paid off $25, and you’re stuck with the other $1,475 plus interest. Guess what happens next?

  • Say Goodbye to your 800 credit score
  • You owe amount plus interest (Likely more than 15%)
  • JimBob still has no idea that he destroyed your, and his, credit
  • You didn’t even get the cool TV

This sounds like a lot of fun, right?

 

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Authorized user credit CardWell, anyone. The better question is, who should be an authorized user? People who you trust or people you’re willing to call out on their bad habits. Here’s the thing: we all make mistakes. But who is going to listen to you before they make mistakes? That’s the real question. If someone wants to be an authorized user on my card, I put them through a little credit class first.

I want to make sure anyone I am willing to assist isn’t going to hurt me. Not to mention, I want to put some fear in them before I give them access to my credit card. I have cut people out for less.

 

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Before Authorized User Credit Card, the first thing to look at is yourself. Do you think you are responsible with enough to manage a credit card? If the answer to this question is no, I think it’s obvious what the next steps are. How often do you check your credit score? How often do you check your credit card balance? If the answer to these questions is less than a couple times a week, you’re going to want to work on your own habits before someone else’s.

If you answered positively to these questions, the next question is to ask the same about the person who you are adding as an authorized user. 

Authorised user credit CardThe next thing to consider is the cost to add an authorized user. Reach out to your credit card company and see if it costs money. For some cards, it does, and for others, it does not. Some cards may even have incentives if you add an authorized user. Just make sure this is all taken into consideration when adding an authorized user.

Don’t be afraid of removing someone from an authorized user credit card! If you are the authorized user, don’t be afraid to remove yourself. If someone is hurting your credit, cut them out and that should teach them a lesson, better yet save more people of dealing with that kind of baggage.

 

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This can be a great way to gain credit and help someone else better their credit. People should be very careful about who they choose to add as an authorized user on their credit card. The hardest part for people with credit cards is self-control. When you add another person as an authorized user, you have to be wary of their restraint as well. If you are the authorized user, be considerate of the person allowing you to be on their account. If that person is kind enough to put you on their card, you should be kind enough not to abuse them. If you do abuse their card, then you surely lack some serious morals.

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