Authorized User Account
Being an authorized user means someone, usually a friend or family member, adds you to their credit card account as an additional user. You inherit the credit history of the account without holding any obligations to the account itself. An example of this is a parent adding a child to their credit card as an “authorized user” for emergency purposes.
Adding an authorized user is as easy as calling the credit card company and telling them you would like to add an additional user.
A few years ago, the popularity of authorized user accounts hit their peak. Word was out that being an authorized user could improve your credit score by about 100 points almost instantly. Because boosting credit scores was so simple, more and more people were jumping on board.
Lenders were not happy about the boost in scores for authorized users. They felt the credit scores were fake because the authorized users did not earn the credit history themselves. Fair Isaac Corp took notice to these complaints and altered their scoring model in the FICO ’08 upgrade. Although they are not open about the details behind the scoring model, Fair Isaac Corp made it clear that a credit score benefit still exists for authorized users with a valid relationship to the cardholder.
Credit Repair Aid
Although being an authorized user does not replace the need for building your own credit history, it still maintains a benefit. We believe that having a family relationship with the cardholder will allow you to gain full benefit from the account’s history. FICO ’08 strives to prevent people from taking advantage of the system, but being a “legitimate” authorized user can still improve your credit score during credit repair.