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The technique of becoming an authorized user on another person’s credit card is a popular way for people to improve their credit scores. It will help your score, but you need to act responsibly when using the card. Spouses, children and parents can benefit from being authorized users.

If you are thinking of asking a spouse or parent to add you to their account so you can piggyback your way to a higher credit score, keep these things in mind:

  • The primary cardholder should have a low debt-to-credit utilization ratio and plenty of available credit.
  • The primary cardholder should make sure their credit score is a minimum of 700 – otherwise, it may not be high enough to boost your credit.
  • The primary cardholder must understand that they will be ultimately liable for any debt the authorized user incurs on their card.

Before you use this technique, think carefully about all the implications and be sure that the primary cardholder understands and is comfortable with the idea of adding an authorized user.