December 2nd, 2013

How Does Being an Authorized User Affect My Credit Score?

13 Comments | Twitter | |

In this Credit Karma FAQ video, Bethy and Ezra (and some special guests!) tackle another commonly asked question in our Credit Advice Center: “How Does Being an Authorized User Affect My Credit Score?” In short, it can help it… but it can also hurt it. Check out the video to learn more!

Bottom Line:

An authorized user is someone who “piggybacks” off someone else’s credit, usually a friend or relative. If someone wants to build his credit and isn’t eligible for favorable rates on his own, he can find someone he trusts and who he knows has good financial habits. Then, he can ask that person if they’ll add him as an authorized user to one of their accounts.

If both users pay the bills on time and have good credit utilization, both scores could rise. But if both rack up debt that can’t be paid off, both scores could suffer.

Disclaimer: This video provides general information about credit and is not intended to advise about your personal financial situation. Consult a financial, legal, or other professional adviser. In other words, someone who’s not a video.

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  1. How can I find out about the account that went into collections

    Brenda Pressley at 1:14 pm on December 2, 2013
  2. Jenna

    Hi Brenda,

    We’re not a credit bureau, so we don’t have extensive insight into your credit report. We’d recommend visiting to access your three, free, government-mandated credit reports each year and learn more about the account that went into collections.

    Jenna at 1:16 pm on December 2, 2013
  3. I was linked to a credit account as a authorized user. But since I have gain my on credit, I was taken off as a user. My question is that the credit card is showing on my karma report. the balance is in my total but the account is not linked. how can I get the total removed. And show my correct accounts and balances. It has been over 6 mos since I have been removed and it does not report on my credit anymore. Thank you

    Dorothy at 5:27 am on December 5, 2013
  4. Jenna

    Hey Dorothy, we pull all of our information straight from TransUnion, but we’d be happy to look into your account further if you email Thanks!

    Jenna at 8:26 am on December 5, 2013
  5. there are 2 credit cards on my credit karma account that no longer belong. they were my exs’. how do i get them removed ?!?!?

    thank u – cherie

    cherie at 3:46 am on December 29, 2013
  6. Jenna

    Hi Cherie,

    First, we’d recommend making sure you were actually taken off of those credit cards. If you weren’t, have your ex take your name off of those cards. If you already were, then we’d recommend disputing the incorrect information directly with the credit bureaus. You can learn how to do so here:

    Jenna at 7:36 am on December 30, 2013
  7. Will being removed as an authorized user increase my credit score? Does the balance at time of removal affect my credit score?

    jfamily at 5:53 am on February 8, 2014
  8. I’m in the same boat. my wife is piggybacking on some of my accounts and for some reason even though I’m using a credit card but paying off as I go, my score stayed the same but hers dropped 22 points. I do not get it…

    carlos at 4:17 pm on October 4, 2014
  9. My friend just added me as an authorized user on his America Express card to help me improve my scores. He some times make purchases that exceeds 50 % of the card limit but he always pay the bill off each month. How can that impact my credit score.

    Lorna at 1:47 pm on May 4, 2015
  10. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Lorna – Check out our advice center to see if there are other members with the same concern.

    Enola Guerrero at 11:46 am on May 5, 2015
  11. Will cancelling credit cards hurt my credit score?

    Terri at 2:06 pm on July 9, 2015
  12. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Terri – Our advice center is great for questions and concerns like yours. You can check out our advice center here:


    Enola Guerrero at 11:23 am on July 10, 2015

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