Authorized Users Don't Help Your Credit

QUESTION: Anna in Los Angeles is calling because her brother wants her to place his name on her credit card as an authorized user in order to improve his credit score. If she does, will it improve her score in any way?

ANSWER: It does not improve his credit score. He’s wrong. It will affect your score because he’s going to do stupid things with your card because you were dumb enough to put him on your card, and it’s going to screw you up. It doesn’t help his credit because he’s not the owner of the debt. He’s not liable as a user.

Let me give you an example. I have debit cards all through this company—like 60 of them—that my employees use. They are authorized users on those debit cards. It does not help their credit at all.

Why would someone give him credit or raise his credit score for using your credit? He’s not paying the bill. He’s not liable on the bill. Your credit score is affected by things where you have paid your bill on time on debt. That’s not in his name. An authorized user shouldn’t even show up. Sometimes they do, but they’re not even supposed to show up on the credit bureau report. He’s just barking up a tree. A) He’s gotten bad information, and B) if you’re silly enough to let him do this, you deserve the pain that’s going to come to you.