Authorized user’s credit scores could be hurt if mother doesn’t pay



Dear Experian,

I am an authorized user on my mother’s account. Will it affect me if she misses payments? Will it hurt my credit?

-  SHN


Dear SHN,

Any account that is listed on your credit report could factor in to your credit scores. Most credit scoring models do include authorized user accounts as part of the credit score, although some may not weigh them as heavily as they would an individual or joint account.

As an authorized user, you are not responsible for making payments on the account. Therefore, if there is negative information in the payment history, you may contact the lender and asked to be removed from the account.  That will cause it to be deleted from your report. You may also ask Experian to remove the account, but that would not cause it to be removed from other reports.

However, if the account is paid as agreed, having it on your report can help you to establish a credit history and build a positive payment record.

Thanks for asking.

Maxine Sweet
Vice President, Public Education