DEFINITION of 'Credit Card Authorized User'

A person who has permission to use and/or carry another person’s credit card, but isn’t legally responsible for paying the bill.

 

BREAKING DOWN 'Credit Card Authorized User'

Generally speaking, an authorized user is a person (usually spouse, domestic partner and/or child(ren)) who is able to make purchases using a credit card without having financial responsibility for the card. Depending on the credit card issuer, an authorized user may have his or her own credit card to carry or simply be authorized to make purchases with the primary account holder's card.

In most states, credit card issuers do not view an authorized user as the primary person responsible for the entire debt, even if the authorized user is the person who amassed all or most of the charges on the card. However, the credit card’s activity (payment history, credit limit, available balance, etc.) may affect an authorized user’s credit report and be factored into his or her credit score. If negative activity is weighing down an authorized user’s credit score, some credit bureaus, such as Experian, may remove the delinquent information from an authorized user’s credit file (you may have to file a dispute to have this done).

Authorized users can also typically report lost or stolen cards, receive account information (credit limit, available balance, fees, etc.), make payments and initiate billing disputes. Cards generally do not allow authorized users to close an account, add another authorized user, change the address or PIN, or request a change to the credit limit or interest rate. See Start Building Solid Credit At A Young Age and A Smart Approach To Student Credit Cards for more on being an authorized user. See Credit Report Alert! for advice on monitoring your credit.

 

 

 

Refine Your Financial VocabularyGain the Financial Knowledge You Need to Succeed. Investopedia’s FREE Term of the Day helps you gain a better understanding of all things financial with technical and easy-to-understand explanations. Click here to begin developing your financial language with this daily newsletter.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Secured Credit Card

    A type of credit card that is backed by a savings account used ...
  2. Credit Card

    A card issued by a financial company giving the holder an option ...
  3. Credit Card Balance

    The amount of charges, or lack thereof, owed to the credit card ...
  4. Credit Card Debt

    A type of unsecured liability which is incurred through a short-term ...
  5. Authorized Amount

    A sum that a merchant transmits to a credit or debit card processor ...
  6. Business Credit Card

    A credit card intended for use by a business rather than for ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    Combining Credit For A Happy Financial-Ever-After

    A couple's finances may not always be a match made in heaven. Find out when to say "I Do".
  2. Personal Finance

    3 New Types Of Credit Cards To Look For

    These three types of credit cards are becoming popular with customers looking to pay less fees and build up their credit scores.
  3. Personal Finance

    How Credit Cards Affect Your Credit Rating

    The average American household has four cards, but does that mean more is better?
  4. Investing

    Investing In Credit Card Companies

    This investment requires keeping an eye on consumer indexes and the overall health of the economy.
  5. Personal Finance

    Terrible Credit Score? Try These Credit Cards

    When your credit is less than stellar you have fewer choices. But some are still better than others. Here's our read on which cards to get.
  6. Personal Finance

    Joint Credit Cards: The Pros and Cons

    A joint credit card may sound like an easy way to split the bills, but make sure you know what you’re getting into first.
  7. Personal Finance

    Why Too Many Credit Cards Can Hurt Your Credit Score

    Find out why having too many credit card accounts can adversely impact your credit score if the cards are not managed properly.
  8. Personal Finance

    Does a Lost or Stolen Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score?

    Learn the ways in which a lost or stolen credit card can hurt your credit, and understand the steps you can take to protect yourself if this happens.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How do secured credit cards help me build my credit score?

    Find out how secured credit cards function and why they can be very useful for those looking to build or rebuild their credit ... Read Answer >>
  2. How do I get a higher limit on my credit cards?

    Understand how credit limits work with major credit card companies and things you can do to get a higher limit on your credit ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center