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Updated on Monday, February 1, 2016
Becoming an authorized, or secondary user, on another person’s credit card can be a good way to build or rebuild credit. The account’s information is often added to your credit file, which can help establish a credit history. The increased credit available to you may decrease your overall utilization rate, which can also boost your credit score.
However, being an authorized user can have a negative effect as well. If the primary cardholder doesn’t pay a bill on time, or owes a lot on an account, your credit could be hurt as a result. Even when that’s not the situation, authorized users may want to get taken off an account if their relationship with the primary cardholder changes.
Requesting The Removal
To request your removal as an authorized user on a credit card account, you’ll usually need to call the card issuers. Only Bank of America and Barclays allows authorized cardholders to request a removal online.
You’ll need to verify the account’s information, which often involves answering a security question or knowing personal information about the primary cardholder. Once you do so, almost all the card issuers allow authorized cardholders to remove themselves from an account. Only at Citi might a secondary cardholder not have the clearance to request the removal.
In general, you can’t make other changes to an account or request the removal of other authorized cardholders.
Card Issuers’ Contact Information
If you’re a secondary cardholder at one of the following financial intuitions, you can call the number listed below to request your removal from an account. Expect to answer several identification and verification questions, although the specific questions vary by issuer.
American Express: Authorized users can remove themselves from an account by calling the customer service line at 1-800-528-2122. You need to provide your name, card number, and answer a security question or have the account’s security pin.
Bank of America: Authorized users can remove themselves from an account online or by calling the customer service line at 1-800-732-9194. You will need to answer security questions that were created by the primary account holder, such as the city they were born in, their first car, or their mother’s maiden name.
Barclays: Authorized users can remove themselves from an account online or by calling the customer service line at 1-888-232-0780. You will need to provide the account number and two of the following: the primary cardholder’s date of birth, Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, or home phone number.
Capital One: Authorized users can remove themselves from an account by calling the customer service line at 1-800-227-4825. You need to provide the card’s number and the primary cardholder’s name and date of birth.
Chase: Authorized users can remove themselves from an account by calling the customer service line at 1-800-432-3117. You need the card number and primary account holder’s mother’s maiden name, or the account’s password.
Citi: Authorized users can remove themselves from an account by calling the customer service line at 1-800-347-4934. You need to provide your name, the primary cardholder’s name, and the security word of the account. With Citi accounts, you may not have the clearance to make changes to the account even if you’re an authorized card user. If this is the case, the primary cardholder will need to request your removal.
Discover: Authorized users can remove themselves from an account by calling the customer service line at 1-800-347-2683. You need the account number and zip code of where the bill is mailed, or the primary cardholder’s Social Security number.
Kohl’s: Authorized users can remove themselves from an account by calling the customer service line at 1-855-564-5748. You will need to verify the account by providing your card number, name, and date of birth.
Follow-Up with the Credit Bureaus and Card Issuers
Getting yourself taken off an account may only be the first step depending on your end goal. If you’re requesting a removal because the primary cardholder’s activity has hurt your credit, or you want the line of credit off your credit file for another reason, you may need to call the credit bureaus or follow-up with the card issuer.
After getting removed from the account, new activity shouldn’t be added to your credit file. Depending on the issuer and bureau, the entire credit line might automatically be taken off your credit report or the credit line remains with a marker that your relationship with the account was terminated. If the account remains, previous positive and negative marks will remain on your credit file and may affect your score.
Even when the process is automatic, it may take 30 to 60 days for your authorized user account to get taken off your credit report. Wait a month or two and then request a free copy of each of your three credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com. If the credit line is still there, you can then follow-up with the credit bureau and file a dispute asking them to take the account off your file.