Listed as authorized user on mother’s delinquent credit card

Dear Experian,

I was an authorized user under my mom’s credit card. I never used the card. I only “piggybacked” so I could start a credit history. She was unable to pay her card, and I found out today that her debt was charged off in February 2011. I found out about it because I saw it in my credit report. How badly does this affect me? I want to ask to get that debt off of my report. If I do that, will that affect my mother’s report too?



Dear HNA,

If your mom’s credit card account appears on your credit report with a negative payment history it is having a negative effect on your credit scores.

If you are only associated with the account as an authorized user, you may contact the credit card company and request to have your name taken off the account. Because an authorized user is not responsible for making payments on an account, they normally remove you upon request. You can then contact Experian and request that the account be removed from your report.

Removing yourself as an authorized user and having the account removed from your report will not affect your mother’s report. Because she is responsible for the debt, the account will continue to appear on her credit report with the late payment history.

You should verify that you were in fact added to the account as an authorized user and not as a joint account holder. A joint account holder shares equal responsibility for repayment of the debt. If you are a joint holder, the account will continue to appear on your credit report with the associated negative payment history.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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