Being Removed from an Account After Cosigning

Dear Experian,

I am a cosigner and the secondary user on a credit card. I am not the primary user. I want to get my name off of the credit card. I called the credit card company, and they will not remove me. Is there a way to remove my name? The primary user tried also, and they still won't do it.


Dear WKN,

The credit card provider required a cosigner for the other person because he or she did not qualify for the credit card alone. By cosigning, you agreed to make the credit card payments if the person you cosigned with did not.

The other individual almost certainly would have to qualify for the account alone before the credit card provider would consider altering the contract and removing you as a cosigner. The company probably is reluctant to change the contract because it is not comfortable with the ability of the other individual to manage the credit card and make payments on time based on their previous credit history or their lack of credit history.

Your best option is to work with the other person to pay off any existing balances and close the account. The person would then need to apply for a new account in their name only.

People often fail to understand the commitment of cosigning for a credit card or other loan. It is not something to be taken lightly. As a cosigner, you accepted full and equal responsibility for the debt under contract. The account will appear on your credit history along with any late payments.

As a result, if you cosign for someone, you are in a sense putting your good credit history in their hands. Before you do, be absolutely certain that they will manage the account responsible and always pay the bills on time.

Thanks for asking.
The "Ask Experian" team