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I have a good credit score (780) while my husband has a 645 due to a bankruptcy in 2005 which was brought about by student loan debt (he is now completely debt-free–very unusual for student loan cases but he was extremely lucky and had special circumstances). He’s applied for a few credit cards, cards that supposedly don’t need great credit but he keeps getting turned down.

If I add him to one of my cards will it help improve his credit score? Will it harm mine? Will it do anything to either of our scores?

3 Thoughts on Adding husband as authorized user to credit card?
  1. Reply
    April 21, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Adding him as an authorized user, never add someone as a joint user to your card accounts, to one or more of your cards will definitely help improve his scores, as long as the card account(s) you add him to have been kept in good standing. You should request that the creditor report the account on your husband credit reports, and, you can even request that no card be sent to the AU.
    The simple act of adding him as an AU will have no bearing on your credit or your scores.

  2. Reply
    Dan B
    April 21, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    It’s not likely a CC issuer will add your husband as an authorized user to your personal CC account. Authorized users are not responsible for the debt on the card, only the primary card holder. If the bank approves, your husband will be added as a co-owner. The reason is a co-owner can be held responsible for the debts on the account. CC issuers like to have a second source of payment if the primary source defaults or dies (without having to go to the estate).

    Your credit is your credit. His credit is his credit. But if either one of you goes ballistic and fails to pay the card, both scores will take a hit.

  3. Reply
    April 21, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    If he’s trying to improve his credit he should stop applying for cards. Many creditors will reject you for having too many hard pulls. Many consider 2 recent hard pulls too many. Capital One’s ‘no hassle’ and ‘new comer’ cards are good sub-prime cards that don’t require a hard pull to see if he ‘may’ qualify. I say ‘may’ because the soft pull preapproval isn’t a guarantee. Getting rejected on a soft pull is better then rejection on a hard pull. Just google ‘Capital One preapproval’. Last I checked the site was 3-5 spots down. He can also try Orchard Bank which offers a secured card that has a high APR and high Annual Fee but as far as I know turns very few people down. He can hang onto that for a while and after a year of keeping the balance low, paying it off on time and so on he should be able to qualify for better cards. Also as far as your husband being an AU on your cards, it will help his credit. This was a common practice up until a few years ago (called piggybacking). After the recent reform the only people this practice is benificial to are those that would have legit reason to be an AU (spouse, child). I wouldn’t recommend having a card issued to him just to prevent issues.

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