Being an authorized user on a credit card is a common way for people to build credit or get access to credit when they may not have been able to do so otherwise. However, there may come a time when you want to remove yourself as an authorized user on a credit card.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the steps involved in removing yourself as an authorized user on a credit card, and we'll also provide you with tips on how to improve your credit score once you've done so.
What Does it Mean to be an Authorized User on a Credit Card?
Being an authorized user on a credit card means that someone has given you permission to use their credit card account. There are several benefits of becoming an authorized user on someone’s credit card with excellent payment history, such as:
- Build Credit History: Being an authorized user on someone else's credit card can help you to build your credit history and improve your credit scores.
- Access to Credit: As an authorized user, you have access to credit that you may not otherwise have.
- No Financial Responsibility: You are not responsible for paying off the credit card balance or any fees associated with the card.
Why Would You Want to Remove Yourself as an Authorized User?
Reasons for wanting to remove yourself as an authorized user on someone's credit card can vary. For example:
You Want to Limit Your Financial Obligations
As an authorized user, you are not responsible for paying off the credit card balance or any fees associated with the card. However, if the primary cardholder fails to make payments, their credit score will be affected, which could impact your credit score as well. Removing yourself as an authorized user can help to limit your financial obligations and protect your credit score.
You No Longer Have a Good Relationship with the Primary Cardholder
If your relationship with the primary cardholder has deteriorated, you may want to remove yourself as an authorized user to limit your financial obligations and to avoid any potential disputes that may arise from the use of the credit card.
The Credit Card is No Longer Beneficial
If the credit card is no longer beneficial for you, such as if you have gone on to build better and stronger credit on your own, you may want to remove yourself as an authorized user.
READ ALSO: Authorized Users – Is It For You?
How to Remove Yourself as an Authorized User on a Credit Card?
Step 1: Confirm the Credit Card Company’s Policy
Before proceeding, make sure to confirm the credit card company’s policy on removing authorized users. Some credit card companies require both the primary cardholder and the authorized user to sign a form authorizing the removal, while others only require the primary cardholder’s signature. You can find this information on the credit card company’s website, calling their customer service hotline, or contacting the primary cardholder; if the relationship is still amicable).
Step 2: Ask the Credit Card Company for A Removal
- You can find the number online or – if you have access – on the back of the credit card or on the monthly statement. When you call, be sure to have the credit card number and your personal information ready.
- Once you are on the phone with the credit card company, ask to be removed as an authorized user. The customer service representative may ask you to verify your identity and may also ask for the reason why you want to be removed.
Step 3. Verify the Removal
- After you have requested to be removed, the credit card company will likely send you a confirmation letter in the mail. Be sure to read the letter carefully and confirm that you have been removed from the account. If applicable, check your credit reports as well to confirm that the account has been closed.
- If you remove yourself as an authorized user because the primary cardholder’s high balance or poor payment history was negatively impacting your personal credit, you can also remove the account from your credit report as well by calling, disputing online, or writing a letter for removal with each credit bureau.
How Does Removing Yourself as an Authorized User Affect Your Credit Score?
Removing yourself as an authorized user can have both positive and negative effects on your credit score. Here's what you need to know:
Potential Positive Effects:
- Your credit report may no longer show the credit card account.
- If the credit card account had a high balance or late payments, removing it from your credit report can improve your credit score.
Potential Negative Effects:
- If the credit card account has a low balance and a good payment history, removing it from your credit report can lower your credit score.
- If the credit card account was your only source of credit history, removing it from your credit report can make it harder for you to get approved for credit in the future.
Tips for Improving Your Credit Score After Removing Yourself as an Authorized User
- Pay Your Bills on Time: Paying your bills on time is one of the most important things you can do to improve your credit score.
- Keep Your Credit Utilization Low: Try to keep your credit utilization below 20% of your credit limit. This means if your credit limit is $10,000, try to keep your balance below $2,000.
- Monitor Your Credit Report: Regularly monitor your credit report to ensure that all information is accurate and up-to-date. You can obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once a year.
- Rebuilding? Consider Opening a Secured Credit Card: A secured credit card is a type of credit card that requires a cash deposit as collateral. Using a secured credit card responsibly can help you establish a positive credit history.
- Avoid Applying for Too Much Credit at Once: Applying for multiple lines of credit within a short period can negatively impact your credit score. Space out your credit applications to avoid this.
FAQs About Removing Yourself as an Authorized User on a Credit Card
Q: Will Removing Myself as an Authorized User Affect the Primary Cardholder's Credit Score?
A: Removing yourself as an authorized user will not affect the primary cardholder's credit score.
Q: How Long Does it Take for My Credit Report to Reflect the Removal of a Credit Card Account?
A: It can take up to 30 days for your credit report to reflect the removal of a credit card account.
Q: Can the Primary Cardholder Remove Me as an Authorized User Without My Consent?
A: Yes, the primary cardholder can remove you as an authorized user without your consent.
Q: Will Removing Myself as an Authorized User Affect My Credit Score Immediately?
A: It may take some time for your credit score to reflect the removal of a credit card account, but it should be updated within 30 days.
Q: Can I Be Held Liable for Future Charges on the Credit Card Account After I Am Removed as an Authorized User?
A: No, once you have been removed as an authorized user, you are no longer responsible for any future charges on the credit card account.
Removing yourself as an authorized user on a credit card can have a significant impact on your credit score. Whether you're looking to improve your credit score or simply want to separate yourself from the primary cardholder, it's essential to follow the steps outlined in this guide. Remember to monitor your credit report regularly and take steps to establish a positive credit history. By doing so, you can set yourself up for financial success in the future.