A Rough Lesson

Steve's dad opened a credit card and made Steve an authorized user. His dad is delinquent on the card, and Steve is receiving collections notices about it. Does he owe this money?

QUESTION: Steve in Georgia says his dad opened a credit card a few years ago and made Steve an authorized user to help him pay for expenses while he was in college. His dad is now delinquent on the card, and he’s receiving collections notices about it, and it’s on his credit report. Does he owe this money?

ANSWER: No. An authorized user is not liable. The account is in your dad’s name, not yours. You are just allowed to use the credit card. You never signed anything.

Now, Chase has no ethics and they are not above trying to collect from someone who doesn’t owe the money. They know you don’t owe the money, but they are not above trying to get you to pay them. They’d probably try to get me to pay it if they could.

Get them to remove you as an authorized user. Send them a letter, certified mail, return receipt requested, so you have proof of it. Tell them that if they do not remove you as an authorized user immediately, you are going to sue them.

Technically, you should not be reported to the credit bureau. But you can report anything, even inaccurate information to the credit bureau. You as the consumer have rights on removing things on the credit bureau that aren’t associated with you. Someone else’s account that you are not liable for should not be reported. Even though they routinely do it, they shouldn’t because you are not legally liable for the debt when you are just an authorized user.

I would challenge that as an error on your credit bureau. The problem is that the stupid people at Chase will keep downloading this information onto your bureau as long as they can because they will try to bother you and bully you into paying a bill that you really don’t owe by any stretch of the imagination.