Removing an Authorized User From Your Credit Account

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Being an authorized user on a credit card gives you the privilege of using the credit card without the responsibility for making the payments. That means the credit card issuer can't sue you for an unpaid account balance.

Some credit card issuers report authorized user account to the credit bureaus, which could help your credit score as long as the credit card is used responsibly and payments are being made on time each month.

However, a negative account history with an authorized user account, e.g. late payments and high balances, can hurt your credit score even though you're not technically responsible for making those payments. If an authorized user account is hurting your credit score, you'd want it removed from your credit report.

Two Ways To Remove an Authorized User Account

One approach is to call the credit card issuer and asked them to remove you from the account. Also request that they remove the account from your credit report. It could take a month for the update to reflect on your credit report. You won't get a notification of the change; instead, you'll have to manually check your credit report to confirm the account has been removed.

When you're an authorized user, you don't have the authority to make changes to the credit card account. The credit card issuer may require the primary accountholder to call and remove you from the account.

The second way to remove an authorized user account from your credit report is to dispute the account with the credit bureau. Use this step if you can't get the credit card issuer or the primary accountholder to remove you from the account. You might have to dispute with the credit bureaus if the authorized user account is still on your credit report even after you've been removed.

Once the credit bureau processes your dispute and updates your credit report, they're required to provide you with a free copy of your credit report showing the change.

How Will the Change Affect Your Credit Score?

There's no way to predict how your credit score will be affected by removing the authorized user account from your credit report. You could gain or lose points, it depends on the other information on your credit report. Use a free credit scoring service like CreditKarma.com or CreditSesame.com to monitor changes to your credit report. Regardless of what happens after the authorized user account is removed, you can continue to improve your credit score by making timely payments on all your other credit accounts.

When You're the Primary Holder on an Account With an Authorized User

If you're the primary account holder for an account with an authorized user, you'll have a harder time getting the account removed from your credit report, even if the authorized user was the only one using the account. That's because it's your account, not the authorized user's. The credit bureaus have the right - and responsibility - to report accurate credit information. So, unless there's something wrong about the account listing, you'll probably have to live with any damage done to your credit.