Authorized users on credit card accounts are commonly used in a variety of situations. Parents can use them for children, employers for particular employees, and couples will often set up each other as users on their credit cards. Understanding what an authorized user account means can help people determine if this option is right for them.
Setting up an authorized account
An authorized user account means that the person can use the credit card for their own expenses. Often, the primary account holder will be able to set credit limits for a particular authorized user if they choose, but it is not required. Although the process of adding a spouse to a credit card might not differ much from adding an employee, the potential risks and benefits may differ.
What are the benefits of having an authorized user on the account?
Those who have become authorized users on credit cards find that the opportunity can help them boost their own credit and potentially repair credit scores. Although just being an authorized user is not enough to earn a good credit score by itself, the credit line is noted on the person's own credit history the same way it is noted from the primary card holder. This can help establish an financial track record and give the user a leg up when it comes time to build their own credit or if they need help with credit repair.
Many users also appreciate the ability to gain experience using a credit card and having experience using plastic. In certain situations, such as an employer making employees authorized users, it can also make keeping track of the company finance easier and more straightforward. Couples can use joint cards to build their team credit scores as well.
What are the drawbacks that users should be aware of?
It is critical to ensure that any user added to the card is trustworthy and ready for the responsibility. A user who spends too much, misses payments, or otherwise mismanages the money can hurt the credit score of the primary user as well. Understanding of proper debt management is crucial. Financial difficulties are also well known for their potential to hurt relationships, so any credit card relationship should be carefully considered.
Authorized users on credit card accounts can be very convenient for a number of situations and even help people build credit scores. Like any financial decision, however, it needs to be thought through very carefully to avoid potentially damaging liability. Review the above information and speak with a professional about credit tips to determine whether or not adding or becoming an authorized user is the best decision for a particular situation.
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