Does Removing the Authorized User on a Credit Card Affect Your Credit Score?

You can typically name anyone you like as an authorized user.

You can typically name anyone you like as an authorized user.

Removing an authorized user on your credit card doesn't do anything to affect your credit score directly. However, it's possible your authorized user was damaging your credit by using the card irresponsibly. In that case, removing the user can actually help you improve your credit over the long run.

Authorized User

An authorized user gets all of the benefits and privileges of being a credit card holder without the legal liability to pay off the debt. Being named an authorized user of a credit account with a good payment history can be a great benefit, particularly for someone with a limited or spotty credit history. However, it doesn't affect the original card holder's credit.

Excessive Debt

You may want to remove an authorized user from your account if he is a spendthrift. The FICO credit-scoring model allocates 30 percent of your score to the amount of debt you have, with higher debt levels generally translating to lower scores. If your authorized user runs up the debt on your account, your score will suffer even if you haven't charged a dime. Cutting off your authorized user in this scenario can allow you time to pay down your debt and restore your credit score.

Joint Accounts

An authorized user account is similar in many ways to a joint credit card account, but there are important differences. The primary one is that an authorized user has no legal responsibility to repay the debt, while a joint card holder does. Although an authorized user account typically appears on a credit report and adds to the user's credit history, some scoring models do not weight authorized user accounts the same as joint credit accounts, according to Experian.

Effect on Authorized User

Removing your authorized user will have a much greater effect on the authorized user than on you. Your authorized user will no longer get the benefit of your credit history on his report and will have to build his own. Of course, if you had a bad payment history or excessive debt use yourself, your authorized user may actually benefit by being removed from your credit history.

 

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