I got an authorized user account and my scores fell, can you tell me why?
Good question. If you are going to ask a friend or family member to add you to one of their credit cards you should make sure that the subject credit card meets certain criteria. Otherwise you will get no credit repair benefit. Or, as you have discovered, your scores may actually fall.
The Right Criteria
An authorized user donor account should have a relatively low balance relative to its limit and be at least two years old. Ideally, for credit repair purposes, the card will only be twenty percent utilized. It is worth keeping in mind that this card will affect your credit as if it were your own. If your donor charges the account up to its limit, your scores will tumble, and your credit repair benefit will vanish.
Try to Extricate Yourself
The good news is that if the authorized user account is not working for you, your donor may call the credit card company and have them remove you from the account. As soon as the account is removed the damage will be reversed. One small note of credit repair caution, if the donor should default on the card you may have a hard time extricating yourself. Some credit card issuers refuse to cancel an authorized user status on defaulted accounts.