Remove Yourself as an Authorized User on a Credit Card

a woman cuts up a credit card
••• Image Source / Getty Images

Being an authorized user on a credit card gives you all the privileges that come with using the credit card without the responsibility of making payments toward the balance. Many credit card issuers report authorized user accounts to the credit bureaus, which means the account history will appear on your credit report, too.

How Being an Authorized User Affects Your Credit

The account history on an authorized user account can help your credit if the credit card is managed well - all the payments are made on time and the balance is kept at a reasonable level. However, late payments and high balances can hurt your credit score even though you're just the authorized user.

Removing Yourself As An Authorized User

There are a few reasons you'd want to be removed as an authorized user. Perhaps the account is hurting your credit score and your ability to be approved for other credit cards and loans. Maybe you're ending your relationship with the primary account holder and you want to eliminate all ties. Or, you may have been added to the account without your permission.

To remove your name as an authorized user, start by calling the credit card issuer and simply asking them to remove you from the account. Depending on the bank, you may be able to request this change even though you're only the authorized user.

Some credit card issuers require the primary account holder to make these kinds of account changes. In that case, you'll have to ask that person to call and have you removed from the account.

However, if the primary account holder can't call for you, e.g. you are no longer speaking, and the credit card company won’t remove you without the primary account holder’s permission, you can use the credit report dispute process to have the account removed from your credit report.

Once you're removed from the account, you'll no longer be able to make purchases on the credit card account. Shred any physical copies of the credit card to reduce the risk of fraudulent purchasing being made on the account. The primary account holder is responsible for all the purchases you made on the account, even the ones you made. (There may be an exception for spouses in community property states.)

If, after removing yourself as an authorized user, the account still appears on your credit report, you can dispute the account to have it removed. The entire history of the account will drop off your credit report and will no longer be used to calculate your credit score.

Different Process for Joint Accountholders

You can only remove yourself this easily when you're an authorized user. As joint account holders, you are jointly liable for the credit card balance and you cannot simply remove your name from the account. Instead, you'll have to pay off the balance and then request that the account be closed. Unless the joint account was opened fraudulently, e.g. the other person signed your name without your permission, you also cannot remove it from your credit report.