Credit Advice

The difference between “individual” and “signer”

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Credit Advice

The difference between “individual” and “signer”

Dear Experian,

On a credit report listed under “responsibility” what is the difference between individual and signer?

- USC

Dear USC,

There are a number of ways you can be associated with an account. Those associations reflect your level of responsibility for the debt and so are listed under “responsibility” in your credit report.

Individual responsibility means you alone are responsible for the entire debt. A signer shares responsibility for the debt with a cosigner. The signer is the primary account holder. However, the cosigner has agreed to repay the debt in full if the signer does not.

You may also hear the term “joint.” A joint account holder has the same responsibility as a cosigner, but the term is usually applied to revolving accounts, such as credit cards, rather than installment accounts, such as a car loan.

“Authorized user” is another common account association. An authorized user has permission to use the account, most commonly a credit card, but is not responsible for repaying the debt.

Thanks for asking.

- The "Ask Experian" team

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