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Equifax Illegal Ban On Authorized User Accounts

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New Member

Equifax Illegal Ban On Authorized User Accounts

There are a few posts on this forum which report that Equifax is no longer allowing "Authorized User Accounts" to post on their credit reports and this has just occurred on my credit report.

 

I've known about the way to use this method to help get better scores and decided to try this by having my wife, friends who had credit cards they were not using, and family members help me understand this method of building a diverse profile.

 

I had my wife add a few of hers just as a teaser test to learn on one Citi Bank Diamond Visa which she decided to add our boys and daughter onto as well as our since we were doing this for the first time.

 

She did the same for a Comenity Bank Victoria Secrets charge card, and a Target RedCard and the results of the efforts; were that these accounts reported as expected on all three bureaus. Equifax, TransUnion and Experian for myself and the others.

 

The impact these additions had on my scores were negative verse positive as I had cards of my own already reporting which were published as Type Individual and figured the limits she added were not enough to make a positive difference in score as the legend suggests and this was tested and measured using the Myfico and direct scores from all three bureaus with the exception of TransUnion that uses Vantage Score where as MyFICO provides a FICO score over the TransUnion dataset.

 

The cards which my wife added to my report were CitiBank Diamond $200.00 CL, Comenity Victoria Secrets $300.00 CL, Target RedCard $300.00 CL and this added a total of $800.00 in credit to my report and should have had a positive impact on my score to some degree but did cause my score to drop. The cards my wife added had zero balances and this experiment did appear to impact my average age of accounts in a very negative but not decrease my credit utilization ratio on any of the FICO models MyFICO's 28 scores revealed.

 

Now what do I have on my report besides her additions?

Zero late pays

14 major credit cards with 48% average utilization

7 department store charge cards with 11% average utilization

3 personal loans with average debt to limit ratios of 78%

2 auto loans with average debt to limit ratios of 69%

12 hard inquires

0 public records

0 collections

0 mortgages

 

So I took this experiment to the next level and recruited my friends and family members to help me see what this might to do help my credit scores and all of them agreed under the condition which my wife agreed to; and that was that I make the payments on whatever I charge after getting the cards which of course is only right.

 

So now I reveal the first family member who adds me to his Chase that had a $30,000 limit and zero balance with 8 months history in pays as agreed. I thought for sure this might do a little something, but the results were exactly the same as my wife’s results. The utilization ratio was not affected at all, but the average age of accounts was impacted which resulted in a decrease in credit score rather than an increase since my oldest account was 10.9 years and prior to adding "Authorized User Accounts" had an average age of 3.9 years and FICO 8 scores of 589 Equifax, 602 Experian, 571 TransUnion. Scores after adding my wife’s cards were FICO 8 scores of 580 Equifax, 591 Experian, 562 TransUnion. Scores after adding my family members Chase card were FICO 8 scores of 569 Equifax, 554 Experian, 568 TransUnion.

 

I didn't stop there next I went on to add another family members American Express Card that had a $30,000 limit and zero balance with 2.8 years in history which had the following effects on my scores FICO 8 scores of 587 Equifax, 600 Experian, 570 TransUnion.

 

Next up was my friends Capital One Card with $30,000 limit and zero balance with 4.6 years of history which had the following effects on my scores, FICO 8 scores of 585 Equifax, 620 Experian, 621 TransUnion.

 

Next up was another friends Barclays Card with $7,000 limit and 8.6 years of history which had the following effects on my scores, FICO 8 scores of 581 Equifax, 612 Experian, 626 TransUnion.

 

So next I paid the balances on my own credit cards down to 30% the level everyone says is (good enough) and had the following effects on my scores, FICO 8 scores of 592 Equifax, 624 Experian, 631 TransUnion.

 

At that point I ran the FICO analyzer tool to see what it suggests I do in order to improve my score it said to pay my revolving debt down over the next 24 months at $123.00 a month to achieve FICO 8 scores of 702 Equifax, 728 Experian, 724 TransUnion.

 

Now here comes the illegal part of my threads title, the Authorized User Accounts started disappearing from my credit report on only Equifax without a notice being sent to me as would be required by FCRA section 605.

 

When I call Equifax to inquire on why this has happened they stated it would be something I need to ask the furnisher of the records since Equifax only publishes what the furnisher provides for them to publish.

 

So, I said fine I will call the creditor and find out and once speaking to the appropriate people am told by the furnisher that they have been reporting it each and every month to all of the people listed on my wife’s AU list without fail and that there was no trouble they were aware of on their end.

 

I then asked for a letter from them saying as much of which they joyfully agreed to do and faxed it even instead of mailing at my request. I then thought to have my wife check the status of the kid’s credit reports because she and I subscribe to Equifax family plan which allows for us all to have access to the monitoring services. We check their reports and all the accounts she added off her cards show up on the kids Equifax report no problem at all.

 

So now armed with this information I call Equifax back again and request to speak with the fraud department instead of customer service and was told that what was reported by the furnishers had to be an error on the furnishers end because Equifax don't see the accounts in question even showing up on my report and I said of course you don't that is why I'm calling you now.

 

So I gave her the report confirmation numbers from my archive logs of all past reports right straight from their own direct Equifax website and she says that her system does not show those accounts which I gave her yet I was looking right at them at the same time and just for good measure downloaded a fresh copy live on the call while speaking to her to double check if something maybe was changed and sure enough the reports matched exactly what I had before I called yet she says it does not show up on her end.

 

So I say that it's very strange you don't see any record what so ever these accounts ever reported to my file with you yet I hold evidence of the contrary and you don't think that I deserve to know the reason these accounts once existed and were removed without the required administrative notice the furnisher or the reporting agency must send before removing something positive from a consumers credit report?

 

Deny, Delay and Defend. A Wonderful tactic

 

She said we don't do anything to remove any accounts provided to us by furnishers of credit data and that she assures the problem is still on the furnishers end and that I need to have them investigate the matter with them not Equifax and I said there is just one problem with that thinking. I told her that it appears your trained to tell people things in this fashion because it appears you really don't want to do any work on investigating something I've just requested you to and mentioned to her is something Equifax's policy clearly allows for if a consumer wishes to direct the credit reporting agent to request an investigation over the phone  verse stating it must be in writing but that I'm asking for information in discover having no firsthand knowledge why this has happened.

 

She said I told you I don't have any information to give you as there is no evidence these accounts ever existed on our systems as you allege and therefore cannot help you in this matter anymore.

 

I rebutted that response by saying just wait a second and calm down and listen to the common sense I'm about to convey regarding that response.

 

Even if I give you the benefit of the doubt and accept this problem is on the furnishers end you would at least be able to allow me to use your document upload option or fax while still on the line with you to prove to you I possess credit reports that reveal something else is in fact true and therefore once you are able to see with your own eyes must at least be able to explain why the accounts no longer exist on my file.

 

This is because anyone who removes records must follow a process that the law requires both furnisher and reporting agent must do according to satisfaction of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Equal Opportunity Credit Act.

 

I go on to say that under no circumstances can Equifax say they don't have control over their own systems or governance of its own policies and furthermore the way the laws are upheld and enforced for the protection of the consumer is impossible.

 

She says that she will have to investigate why this is and still suggested that I contact the furnisher as it appears to be a problem they are causing. She effectively was ignoring all I just revealed to her over the phone regarding the way things must be handled and investigated by data managers like Equifax. She then said she had to end the call as we were on the phone for over two hours and that she had other calls with real issues to deal with.

 

The problem with any consumer who tries to investigate their issues the following links reveal that congress has already decided not to allow any changes to FICO scoring when "Authorized User Accounts" are used to help consumers seeking to rebuild their credit.

 

The reality is consumers are not trying to build credit they are trying to prove their payment performance as technically credit is not being built; rather its reputations that are being built and there are not enough ways to report this payment performance on one’s credit report to help consumers overcome the automatic assumptions being waged against them by lending institutions leading all to this kind of treatment

I being a person who has zero wrong with his report meaning from a pure derogatory perspective am a normal middle-income man who does not have issues or real needs to use such methods as “Authorized User Accounts” to accomplish my life goals as I already secured the credit I need from loans, autos and credit cards at the best rates possible before my scores dropped as a result of using the credit and doing exactly as the FICO analyzer told me to.

 

The lenders are telling us to seek counseling that suggests we as consumers follow the guidance offered by FICO analyzers to the degree we desire to achieve. This is the first variable to mention for everyone is so different and what they seek to achieve with credit is leveraged by these companies that build the mouse traps we all get stuck in by using the FICO tools and the problem with this guidance is that if you’re a guy like me who does not want to pay a penny more interest than I should have to for loans and credit cards you’re going to do exactly as it tells you to just as I did.

 

This tool says that high achievers do XYZ where it covers any measured area the FICO algorithm judges our payment performance on for example one of the suggestions I shared with my credit union agent when trying to get these action items completed was that FICO tools say I need to open 21 accounts in order to be a high achiever because that is what I wanted to be and she said that is crazy and that no one needs this.

 

I said you told me to seek advice and the advice I should follow was FICO therefore in doing so have now put myself in a position that if I needed a loan for emergency family issue because of factors in the way my score is calculated and earned doing as the tools suggests is required to be a high achiever lands one like myself in the position of being unworthy of any kind of credit aside from sub-prime type. With everything that I owe from credit cards and loans it’s less than 6% of my disposable income after all non-credit debts are paid so after I pay everything every month I have 61 percent of my income left to do as I please with; hardly a bank risk.

 

Another thing the lenders say to me is you'll be fine you don't have to watch your credit utilization that much just keep it under 50% and you'll be fine so long as you pay your bills on time as this was said when I asked for large credit limits to help me become a high achiever and that in my 35 years I've had over 25 accounts at one time which I managed perfectly but that the credit reporting agencies deleted from my files after 10 years causing for me to have to prove my reputation and worthiness all over again making it impossible under most circumstances to ever get the number of years needed to earn the 850 mark.

 

She said why would the credit bureaus delete these accounts did you close them? I told her no I had all my credit in the form of loans because my real-life experience with old FICO models and suggestions was that if I used more than one credit card beyond 6% I would never be able to get approved for anything and when the loans I took out over the years were paid off after the accounts became10 years old the credit reporting agencies deleted them.

 

Therefore, in order to never let that happen again learning from my mistakes I need to get credit cards and or revolving lines of credit that are 94% higher than what I really want or need to use so that I can accomplish the same degree of credit worthiness I had before the credit reporting agencies sent me back to the stone ages forcing me to start all over again.

 

I've mentioned this because when these things happen having the help of a method such as "Authorized User Accounts" would really help a man like me recover and I'm not the only one. But these scoring models are changing all of the time and it appears all insurance, financial and banking organizations are doing everything they can to make it harder to achieve the never disclosed qualifying criteria any consumer would need to know in order to be assured 100% they gain funds (from approvals) for anything in this forced game of monopoly were all forced to play.

 

I don’t know why it seems no one questions why something so simple can’t be shared before someone pulls a hard inquiry. Banks should be required by law to fully disclose what exactly a consumer must do to assure an approval but instead they do everything they can to make it subjective and clear as mud and then use excuses on why they have to change it to make it harder when people start getting too good as figuring it all out.

 

I have a major problem with institutions that manipulate the appearance of things in the name of peace and security for the consumers protection to prop-up their policy decisions and make it appear all of these changes made are for innocent reasons centered around protecting the consumer when operationally it's the exact opposite in the real world.

 

Further it appears that when banks are doing things they should be doing to us as consumers no one is ever punished and there credit ratings are bullet proof and reputations never suffer regardless of the wrongs they do while we are always required to answer to phyco-minded executive rulers who are so paranoid of what might happen to them if something happens to us that these changes in scoring and other policies must happen; yet the reality is over the last 10 years it was the banks doing the most criminal things and the paranoia they exhibit these days is just part of the rouse for them to continue to pay the fines doing the crimes as they have enough money to get out of jail free.

 

 

 

Beware of the abuse that is being played on all of us who engage in the use of "Authorized User Accounts" the banks and credit agents don't appear to want to play an honest game of monopoly.

 

The experts say there is risk in this and if it's not people you can trust doing this with it's going to cause the ones doing it the most risk and none for the bank because everyone knows what happens when you don't pay your bills and what life you won't be living if you don't follow the rules of their game “Monopoly” which none of us know really how to successfully play because the banks don't want to tell anyone what the rules are and how to succeed at it in the first place.

 

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4 REPLIES 4
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Senior Contributor

Re: Equifax Illegal Ban On Authorized User Accounts

Creative rant for sure, leave out the conspiracy parts and the political hits and the gaming the system by adding AU accounts from various sources (not necessarily family) and it boils down to your high 500's to low 600's scores which shows a problem in your credit profile and not just the seemingly high utility. Oh and all 3 primary CRA's use FICO scoring, perhaps not in the version they'll sell you on their sites (such as VantageScore which is available for free from CK) but in what is provided to potential lenders, and granted there are various versions of FICO scores.  

 

I'm not going to go step by step through the points you profess, although I did read your full post. My suggestion is if your goal is to improve your scores that you do it through the well proven and versed methods as outlined throughout these forums (there are thousands of posts on rebuilding, how scoring works, how to improve or maximize your scores, etc.) 

 

Good luck and I mean that.

 

Message 2 of 5
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Moderator Emeritus

Re: Equifax Illegal Ban On Authorized User Accounts

@FICO_Informer

 

First, Welcome to MyFICO

 

Second I had to delete about 5 paragraphs of your post because they violate MyFICO's Forums Terms of Service.  Specifically the ToS prohibits:

 

  • Discussions including race, nationality, sex, religion, politics;

Please refrain from comments that are political in nature. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

 

 

Message 3 of 5
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Legendary Contributor

Re: Equifax Illegal Ban On Authorized User Accounts

FCRA 605 does not require the CRA to send notice to a consumer whenever information is removed from their credit report/file.

Thus, the assertion that they are violating section 605 does not appear to have any basis in the statute.

However, if you feel that there is a violation, then you can file a formal complaint with the CFPB and obtain their administrative review of your position.

 

Additionally, authorized user accounts are NOT, by definition, accounts of the consumer.  They are accounts of another consumer that are permitted, under CRA policy that is not regulated under the FCRA, to be added to the file of a consumer provided they include the ECOA code of authorized user.

 

There are no statutes regulating the addition and removal of AU accounts of another party in the credit file of a consumer.

The AU process is purely administrative, and thus it is unclear as to how removal is considered "illegal."

 

Message 4 of 5
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Valued Contributor

Re: Equifax Illegal Ban On Authorized User Accounts

Welcome to My Fico..

 

The above replies covered almost everything..

The one thing I would add is; perhaps there is some type of algorithm that detects when a profile is gaming the system.

Having multiple AU accounts from multiple sources is gaming the system IMHO. 

 

Honestly depending on the scope of that behavior it could border on fraud.Smiley Sad

 




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