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New Member
ETownHome2014
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎09-09-2007

Mom opened a card in my name

Hi - I pulled my credit reports and saw that there was a credit card opened in my name. I've never had a credit card. I'm 99% sure it was my mom. It was opened through a small credit union back home that I have been a member for 12 years, since I was 14, and my mother has been a member of since forever. It was a joint bank account because I was a minor when it opened. I took her off of it when I was in college. The balance of the card is $350 and the limit is $500. The payment history has been stellar, although the balance did go up to $612 at one point, which is not good for your credit score from what I understand. My first instinct was to call and berate her and have her pay off the card and close it. But then I realized how bad my current financial situation is. I can't get approved for any credit because my payment history and credit score are terrible. And I think it's true that in order to get credit, you need credit. So maybe I should have my mom continue to use the card, decrease the balance and continue making on time monthly payments, but also try to increase the credit limit so that my available credit will be higher. Looking at my debt to credit ratio, 95% is debt. So increasing the credit limit on this card will help in that respect. Does this plan make sense? What would you do? Any advice would be much appreciated.

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Established Member
pwehnert
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎01-08-2012

Re: Mom opened a card in my name

I would cancel her card. Get a new one for myself that you can use and tell her to give you the money to pay off the card.
Valued Contributor
dalebb
Posts: 1,424
Registered: ‎08-28-2010

Re: Mom opened a card in my name

not sure what i would do,, i would b upset that is 4 sure

Senior Contributor
Wolf3
Posts: 3,198
Registered: ‎01-24-2010

Re: Mom opened a card in my name

The first question is?   Why did your mother do this?

Established Contributor
lithium78
Posts: 929
Registered: ‎07-30-2011

Re: Mom opened a card in my name

What your Mom did is considered fraud.  You can't be legally held responsible for her charges.  I would talk to her immediately about paying off the account so you can close it and if she refuses you'd have to consider legal action.  It's tough to do something like that when you are dealing with your Mom, but it's a slippery slope to the destruction of your credit.


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SoulMaster
Posts: 981
Registered: ‎11-08-2011

Re: Mom opened a card in my name

[ Edited ]

lithium78 wrote:

What your Mom did is considered fraud.  You can't be legally held responsible for her charges.  I would talk to her immediately about paying off the account so you can close it and if she refuses you'd have to consider legal action.  It's tough to do something like that when you are dealing with your Mom, but it's a slippery slope to the destruction of your credit.


+1.  You may also need to get a police report as it's not only fraud, it's also Identity Theft.

 

In addition, I'd immediatley put a fraud alert / security freeze on all the CRAs.  Letting them know you've been a victim of identity theft (which is why you may need the police report).

 

In certain cases, and this isn't legal advice (see the disclaimer in my sig), if you know about the fraud and fail to report it, you may become an accessory and be liable for it anyway.

 

-SM

 

Edited to add: P.S. It sucks that your mother is the one who did this to you, but it really doesn't matter why... when it comes to finances, the emotion needs to take a back seat, or you're in for a really rough ride.

 

Also, if you get it popped, you CAN get credit.  There are plenty of starter cards for people with no history.

 

 

I am not an attorney and none of what I write should be construed as legal advice. For legal advice please consult an attorney.

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New Member
ETownHome2014
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎09-09-2007

Re: Mom opened a card in my name

I'm not sure why she did it. I don't think it was to be malicious or hurtful towards me. Just poor decision making, which seems to run in this family when it comes to finances. I was hoping to resolve this situation by allowing her to keep the card open in a way that it could help my credit score. But the general consensus so far is to have her cancel it and open a new one in my name. I'm flying home next week for a family celebration, but looks like my mother and I will need to have an awkward conversation :smileysad:


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Regular Contributor
gijoe4500
Posts: 232
Registered: ‎05-12-2010

Re: Mom opened a card in my name

Why cancel the card?  Why not just take control of the account, and no longer let her use it?  Get rid of any cards in her name, maybe even call them and tell them you lost your card and want one with a new card number on it issued to you.

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Mega Contributor
Creditaddict
Posts: 18,854
Registered: ‎10-23-2007

Re: Mom opened a card in my name


lithium78 wrote:

What your Mom did is considered fraud.  You can't be legally held responsible for her charges.  I would talk to her immediately about paying off the account so you can close it and if she refuses you'd have to consider legal action.  It's tough to do something like that when you are dealing with your Mom, but it's a slippery slope to the destruction of your credit.


legal action for a $300 balance! sorry no.

I probably would not allow her to continue to charge on it though, the fact that she needs your credit to get a card and a card that only has a $500 CL she is not able to pay off in full each month shows more issues if you ask me.

but since the credit you have appears to have some issue too not sure you would be able to get this cu to go higher on the limit. pay it off and leave it open.

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Established Contributor
2NE1
Posts: 996
Registered: ‎12-06-2011

Re: Mom opened a card in my name

 

I know how you feel, my mother opened a cable acct (without my knowledge) using my SSN, the acct went to collections cause we moved and I didn't know that until I saw my CR... I did take care of it (without knowing about the PFD deal) so now it's sitting there on two CRs, I've been trying hard sending GW letters to get it removed but no luck so far. Hopefully you're able to fix your CC issue!


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