Credit Advice » Debt » Credit Cards » Impact of Authorized User vs. Joint Account

Impact of Authorized User vs. Joint Account

Dear Experian,

I added my roommate onto my credit card and lost my job. I had difficulty paying it off and it was closed. Now, her credit has been affected. I didn’t even tell her that I added her, and she never used the card. What can I do to restore her credit?

– GNW

Dear GNW,

It sounds like your roommate was added as an authorized user only. If this is the case, then correcting the issue should be relatively easy.

Authorized users are not responsible for making payments on the account. Therefore, you should be able to call the credit card company and request that her name be removed. Your roommate can then contact the credit reporting companies and request that the account be removed from her credit report.

If you added your roommate as a joint account holder it will be more difficult to restore her credit history.

As a joint account holder she would have contractual responsibility for the debt. In order to remove it from the credit report, the credit card provider would have to alter its contract with you to remove her as a responsible party before the account could be removed from her credit report. Because you have had difficulty repaying the debt, they may not be willing to do so.

Deciding to share an account with anyone should not be done without careful consideration. As you’ve discovered, even when well-intended, financial difficulty for either of you can end up hurting both of you.

Thanks for asking.
The “Ask Experian” team

Review Your Free Experian Credit Report Today

Good credit begins with knowing where your credit is today. Get started with your free Experian Credit Report, updated every 30 days on sign in. No credit card required.

Get Started for Free
Have a Question for Experian?

Your privacy and the information collected here.

Introducing Experian's Financial Data Matching Technology

Experian uses its vast data resources to match you with a credit card that's the perfect fit for you and the life you want. Isn't it time to start using a credit card that gives you more of what you're looking for?

Sign UpBrowse all credit cards.

What Should You Know About the Dark Web?

Learn more about what the dark web is, and why it should matter to you as a part of your identity protection strategy.