How much of a person’s credit history carries over to an authorized user?

Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question “Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?”


Many people with good credit may consider naming someone else as an authorized user on a credit card or other credit account, an attempt to build up the score of the other person. One question that many have is how this process works and, more specifically, how much information will carry over from one person’s credit history to the authorized user. Does good information come with the bad? How about past credit problems, such as a bankruptcy? To find out more, keep reading.


Credit Card Charlotte Bankruptcy Attorney Mecklenburg Debt LawyerWhy consider an authorized user?


Why would someone consider adding an authorized user to his or her credit card? Often this is to help build a positive credit history for the user, either because the person has no credit history or prior negative history. Adding someone as an authorized user can help that person by providing solid payment history (assuming payments are made on time), so long as the credit card company reports authorized users to the credit bureaus.


Will a previous bankruptcy filing show up on authorized user’s history?


If the goal is to help the authorized user, it’s important to understand what information carries over from the primary account holder to the authorized user. By naming an authorized user, the only information that should overlap between the two parties is the details associated with the shared account. That means only the payment history and details associated with the account that the authorized user is named on will appear on the authorized user’s credit history.


If the primary account holder filed for bankruptcy protection several years before, he or she would still have the bankruptcy noted on his or her credit report. In fact, the bankruptcy filing will hang around for a number of years, depending on the type of bankruptcy at issue. If the primary account holder filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the filing will remain on his or her credit report for 10 years. If the filing was for a Chapter 13, the bankruptcy will hang around for 7 years. Regardless of whether it was a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13, the authorized user has nothing to fear. Only the history associated with the shared account will overlap, not any of the bad (or good) things that happened before.


What can you do if there’s a mistake?


It is not at all uncommon for the credit report agencies to make a mistake and it isn’t unheard of for one to report a bankruptcy or other issues from the past of a primary account holder to the history of an authorized user. Should something like this happen, know that you are in the right and address the error as soon as possible. Simply file a dispute with the credit bureau or bureaus that made the mistake and ask that the bankruptcy or other information be removed at once. A previous bankruptcy appearing on an authorized user’s credit could cause substantial harm and should be addressed quickly which is why running your credit report annually is highly recommended.


If you find yourself needing the services of a Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC find additional resources here. As professionals who are experienced at handling all kinds of bankruptcy matters, our attorneys will provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.



About the Author

Kyle Frost Bankruptcy Lawyer Student loan attorneyKyle Frost joined Arnold & Smith, PLLC in 2013 where he focuses his practice on all aspects of civil litigation and bankruptcy, including: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, home loan modifications and landlord-tenant issues.

Born and raised in upstate New York, Mr. Frost attended the University at Albany on a Presidential Scholarship, graduating magna cum laude with a double major in Political Science and Sociology.  He went on to attended Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston Salem, North Carolina.

Following college, Mr. Frost spent over a year teaching English in South Korea. He worked in a private school in Seoul developing curriculum, English programs, and educating both children and adults that were interested in learning a new language.

In his spare time, Mr. Frost enjoys homebrewing, fishing, and travelling.






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