Credit Card Basics

Removing Authorized User Accounts After a Breakup

Dear Experian,

I broke off a relationship in October 2009 where I was an authorized user on several credit cards. My ex-girlfriend told me she removed me as authorized user. Can I get those accounts deleted off my credit report since I am not legally responsible for those debts? If so, how do I go about doing it?


Dear IMM,

Because authorized users are not responsible for the debt, lenders typically will remove your name from the accounts upon request. If your former girlfriend has not already contacted them, you may make the request yourself. You can then contact Experian and request that the account be removed from your credit report.

As long as the lender has removed your name from the account in their records, they should no longer report that account to your credit history.

Late Payments on An Authorized User Account Will Not Affect Your Credit

Until you can get the situation resolved, you don't have to worry that your girlfriend can ruin your credit if she misses payments. To protect authorized users from debt over which they have no control, Experian automatically removes any authorized user account that contains negative payment history.

Order Your Credit Report to See Whether Accounts Are Still Appearing

You can see whether your ex-girlfriend's accounts are still appearing on your credit history by requesting copies of your credit reports from each of the three credit reporting agencies. You can order your yearly credit report from each company free of charge. You can also request your free Experian credit report at any time.

It is more difficult to remove your name if you are a joint owner of the account and there is an outstanding balance. As a joint account holder you share full responsibility for the debt under the terms of the contract.

In order to be removed from responsibility for the debt, the lender must agree to alter the contract, and they may not be willing to do so.

Thanks for asking.
Jennifer White, Consumer Education Specialist