Question about credit check and name on mom's card

debrSeptember 7, 2006

My name is listed on my mom's AMEX card but my mom has responsibility for the card (I'm registered as a second user). My question is about credit checks for myself. I know that my name will appear as associated with that card if a credit check is done, but does that now mean that I am associated with every debt/card my mother has? Thanks.

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I do not believe so. Only for the account on which you have a card. I am not certain, though. You can check your credit report free of charge each year. Be careful of some of these internet sites that offer free credit reports. The FTC suggests you use Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: FTC Credit Site

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 6:16PM
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I know this for a fact. If you are an authorized user, you are only authorized to use the card and the c/c does not report anything about you to the credit reporting agencies. Your mom is solely responsible for the card.

If you became a JOINT user of the card, then you are equally liable for the charges and they report the payment history to the reporting agencies.

How I know this is I am from Canada and married an American. I had no US credit history and they do not take Canadian credit history here even though I had good credit back home.

At first I was an authorized user of dh's cards, thinking they would report the info to the credit bureaus. When I checked my free annual credit reports, tehre was nothing on me. No info whatsoever. It wasn't until dh made the cards joint (and me ultimately responsible for the cards too) that the info was reported to my record. I also have almost the same high fico score as dh. Basically, all his credit history transferred to me and I reaped the benefit of his high score.

Authorized user = no reporting to agencies
Joint user = report to agencies and the user is liable for charges.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 2:04AM
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Thanks for the info, Sparksals-I appreciate it. One thing that I am still not clear about though is this: if I am a joint user on the card, does all of my mom's credit history transfer to me also or just that card. The reason I'm asking is b/c I want to buy a car.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 7:42PM
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It will only report the card that you are a joint user on.
Now some credit cards report authorized users my AT&T Universal Card reports my DH as authorized user.
Also remember if you mom has ever been late on the cards that you are joint holder or authorized user it will show on your credit card as late.
I would reccomend pulling your credit report if you haven't in the past year before you go car shopping so you have no surprises

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 1:39PM
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Debr - If you are a joint user, then yes, your mom's history is part of your credit report, good or bad. All our c/c's were not transferred when I was listed as an authorized user and the history was only put on my credit report when dh made all of them joint.

If you are joint on your mom's card, then she made you equally responsible if she defaults. If she has poor credit, I highly recco you remove yourself from her cards as a joint user, send the request in writing to the CC company as well as all the credit reporting agencies. You need to protect yourself if this is hte situation.

Karla - What is an AT&T Universal card? Is it a credit card?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 4:20PM
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Does anyone know if AMEX reports authorized users? I tried calling AMEX to ask that question but different customer service reps have different answers to the same question....

    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 12:07AM
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sparksals yes it is a credit card. I really like the rewards program they offer. they are updating the website so you may not be able to check them out till Monday. They are "owned" by Citibank.

debr Amex reported DH as an authorized user, but again to be sure pull your credit report it is free if you haven't pulled in in the past year. you have to pay a bit to get the score.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 6:00AM
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sparksals, AMEX reports authorized users just the same as the primary, the only differnce being that they list AU out next to your report. I had a corporate card for work and also a card on my mom's AMEX account. even though the only one i ever used was the corporate, the full balance for each account AND my mom's "travel" account that was associated with her AMEX card showed as 3 seperate items on my credit. just cancelling the card does nto remove them either, with AMEX you also have to have a copy of your credit report and call them to get them to stop reporting the balances to your credit. I had both cards cancelled 3 years ago, yet they still showed on my credit until 2 months months ago when i caught it. this DOES reflect on your FICO, as per the credit bureaus those were what was pulling my FICO down.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 3:27PM
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I was an authorized user on my mother's credit card. After she died, I was going for a home loan and that was the only negative on my credit. There was a balance when she died, which was settled by her estate months later. It showed up on MY credit report at which time I had to contest it and send a bazillion letters, faxes and emails to resolve.
Yes, it may appear on your credit even if you are only an authorized user.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 4:00PM
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