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Authorized User question

New Member

Authorized User question



I just signed up on myFICO since I am preparing to buy a new car.  In reviewing my myFICO/EQ report (and subsequently checking TU and EX too), I noticed that there is a >30 and >60 late payment on my wife's old credit card on which I was an authorized user.  She (alone) declared personal bankruptcy last year following her small business failing, and the last two scheduled payments from this account are showing as past due prior to the creditor closing the account. 


I never realized that my credit score could be affected as an authorized user, otherwise we would have removed me prior to the bankruptcy.  I am also PO'ed at our bankruptcy lawyer for not pointing this out (and also for telling us to stop paying the account since the bankruptcy was in process, resulting in these "late payments").


So, my question is, is there any way to get this removed from my credit reports?  I have done some research already, but nothing I have read really takes this scenario into account.  For example:


-  I read that you should call the creditor to remove the AU from the account so it stops reporting, but since this account was already closed through bankruptcy, does it even continue to be reported by them, or are the credit reporting agencies simply continuing to include previously reported data?


- If the creditor does still report on a closed account, would they consider (or can they even) remove me as an authorized user?


- If the creditor does not still report as I surmised above, and they simply are reporting historic data, would they consider removing them from my reports if I filed a dispute?


- Also, a general question about FICO.  If I do get these removed from the three agencies, will my FICO score reflect that?  What does FICO use to generate their scores?  Do they use the information from the 3 agencies, or are they a credit agency themselves that I would also need to file a dispute with?


Thanks in advance for any help!


Message 1 of 8
Super Contributor

Re: Authorized User question

Just try to dispute it with the CRAs. If it is an AU account then you can claim that the account is not yours and they'll take it off. 


I'm sure someone here has better knowledge of exactly how to go about doing this than I do Smiley Tongue but if you look at your CRs there should be a "Dispute information on report" button or something. 

Message 2 of 8
Community Leader
Legendary Contributor

Re: Authorized User question

AU is a status of use of another's credit, and is not an account or debt obligation of the authorized user.  The debt on the account could not be discharged under BK by the AU.

Dispute of delinquencies on an AU account are not appropriate by the AU.  The delinquency is charged upon the principal account, and merely reported on yours.

You are not the responsible consumer.

While many recommend disputing with a CRA as "account not mine," I disagree with that approach.  An AU account is, by definition, not an account of yours.

So there is no inaccuracy in reporting to serve as basis for a dispute.  The AU consents to having the credit of another reported to their credit file.


The path is to have the AU status terminated, either by request of the principal card holder, or by request to the creditor.  The CRA is not an arbitror of your consent to accept such reporting, and to remove it as not yours.  They know it is not yours.

Message 3 of 8
New Member

Re: Authorized User question

Thanks for the responses!


I suspected that changing my status as AU user with the creditor is normally the proper way to go.  However, since this account was closed by the creditor (as a result of my wife's bankruptcy, who was the primary account holder), does the creditor even report it anymore?  In other words, is there even an account for the creditor to be reporting anymore, such that asking them to take me off as AU is futile?. 


If so, I would assume that this account's presence on my credit report is from historic reporting when the account was still active, and that the only way to remove it is to dispute it with the CRAs?


Which is correct?  A call to the creditor would probably answer these questions, but I know little about how the credit reporting process works, so I was hoping to get some guidance before I called them so I could speak intelligently about it.




Message 4 of 8
Super Contributor

Re: Authorized User question

Did some searching, the disputing with CRAs seems to be the answer here.



Message 5 of 8
New Member

Re: Authorized User question

Sorry to revive an old thread, but I wanted to ask some advice on how to proceed with a written dispute to Equifax.


My situation is pretty well explained in my OP above from last September.  Rather than writing and mailing in my dispute, I tried online disputes first, with the reason for the dispute being that the CC account was not mine, that I was only an authorized union and was/is not responsible for the account.  EX and TU finished in about 3 days and removed the account from my file as requested.  EQ took all 30 days and told be that they confirmed with my credit union that the account was mine and wouldn't drop it. 


So I called up my credit union where the CC account had been held, and asked if it was possible to remove me as an authorized user even though the account was closed and charged off due to my wife's bankruptcy.  Surprisingly, they said they could and did, so I thought I was all set and resubmitted the dispute, with the explanation that I was no longer listed as an authorized user on the account.


Another 30 days later I get the results back and it again said that they confirmed with my credit union that account is mine and wouldn't drop it, DESPITE on their own dispute results form it now said "Whose Account - Association Terminated" where previously it had said "Whose Account - Authorized User".  Obviously the credit union took me off as an authorized user, but Equifax was still saying it was my account.  So I called EQ and after maneuvering about 73 layer of voice prompt, I finally got to talk (and I use the term loosely) to some call center zombie in Mumbai or somewhere who could barely speak English and obviously didn't know jack.  The best I could get out of him is that he would put in a reinvestigation, adding the notes explaining the situation as I explained it.  


Yet another 30 days go by, and I get the same exact results from my previous reinvestigation.  Still "my account" despite having my association with the account terminated by the credit union.   At this point I try again to call EQ, but now I can't get a live person no matter what I try, and the voice menu eventually tells me that I have to buy another credit report before I can have the privilege of speaking with another useless foreign call center idiot. 


So, before this devolves further into a rant about how I hate EQ and CRAs, I was just wondering if anyone has any advice.  The obvious next step would be to buy another credit report (and it just burns me to even think about having to do that), and to file a new dispute via certified mail.  Is there any way to frame the written dispute letter or things to include that might help get this resolved?  Along with the letter and copy of a new CR with the account highlighted, I was thinking about including, referencing, and highlighting the dispute results that clearly say my association with the account was terminated.  I thought about going back to my CU again, but I don't know what else they could do, they did what I needed them to and since its a closed account, its not like they actively report it anymore.


Thoughts?  Thanks in advance! 




Message 6 of 8
Epic Contributor

Re: Authorized User question

The CRAs are more than likely using e-Oscar for verification and that leaves a lot to be desired.  The concept is good but things that should not get verified all the time.  It could also be that the CU has not updated the way the send information to the CRAs. Tape is most likely.  If it isn't updated there it will continually be re-reported.  I would ask them about that.


Do you live in a community property state? 

Message 7 of 8

Re: Authorized User question

I had an issue with EQ once on a judgement that wasnt mine that they somehow verified was mine then wouldnt accept a re-dispute because they said it was already reviewed. So I opened a Better Business Dispute with them and someone called me from there executive office and I told them what was happening and was corrected within the week.

Message 8 of 8