It’s tough to find that a card you never signed up for is dragging down your credit and chances for employment, but if you were just an authorized user, you’ll get off easy
Dear Let’s Talk Credit,
My mother put me as an authorized user and gave me a credit card. I never used it. Now she is not able to pay and the account has been past due for over a year. It shows on my credit report. I have a low credit score and can’t get a job that requires security clearance. I never signed for the card. What can I do to remove this from my report? I have lost two great job opportunities because of this. — Maria.
I am sorry that your credit has prevented you from two great job opportunities. This is an example of how your credit report and score can affect much more than your ability to receive new credit. It can also affect employment, leasing an apartment and the rates you pay for some insurance.
Once your name is removed from the account, the card issuer will no longer supply information to the credit reporting bureaus, and the account will eventually be removed from your report. If you want to speed the process along once your name has been removed from the account by the card issuer, you can dispute the account with the credit reporting bureaus. File a dispute online as, “not my account.” The credit bureau will request information from the card issuer and will find that the account is indeed not yours, and then the bureau will remove it. Give it 30 days from the time of dispute and then check your credit reports via AnnualCreditReport.com to assure that the account has been removed.
Keep in mind that if you have other accurate negative accounts on your credit report, removing this authorized user account may not improve your credit as much as you would like.
Readers in this situation should take a proactive approach when job interviewing. Let your prospective employer know what will be found on your credit report, before it is reviewed. An explanation may help prevent your credit information from automatically having you removed from consideration.
Let’s keep talking!