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farsider

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I'm authorized signer - why on my report?
When my dad was alive, I was his POA and was an authorized signer on his accounts. Some of his card companies showed up on my reports, some did not. Now I am an authorized signer on one of my companion's accounts and all of a sudden it's showing up as my debt.

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Policies have changed about this over the years. But the current, virtually universal, policy of the credit bureaus is to report the accounts on an authorized users record and (for scoring purposes) to treat those debts as yours even though you're under no legal obligation to pay them.

It's an outrageous practice. But from the creditors' point of view, it has a good purpose. If your companion runs up too much debt or becomes delinquent, having his/her decisions affect your credit means that you're more likely to pressure him/her into getting the account in good order again. Or even that you'll pay the bill yourself to save your own credit.

Very, very unfair -- but very useful. The only way to avoid it is to get your name taken off those accounts.

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