You might be able to use credit card piggybacking to boost your credit score a little bit, but it doesn't always work as planned. This is because there are several problems involved with piggybacking credit. First, not all credit card companies will report authorized users activity. They may only report the activity of primary account holders. Even if you are using the account to make purchases and pay them off in a timely manner, this activity might not show up on your report. The only way to ensure that your activity will be reported is to become a primary account holder yourself.
Piggybacking credit card users may find that this method even backfires on them. This is because your activity may be reported on behalf of the primary account holder. In other words, they will get credit for your good financial behavior. It's a good idea to call the credit card company beforehand to ask how reporting is handled to prevent this from happening. This information might be confidential, but it's worth asking about if you're concerned about your credit.
You will also want to keep in mind that piggybacking with an irresponsible primary account holder could hurt your credit. If the primary account holder fails to make payments, this could be negatively reflected on your credit report. Additionally, it could be difficult to become accepted as an authorized user. This is because the primary account holder knows that your activity could hurt their credit, too. If you hurt the other person's credit, it could ruin your relationship with that person. This is something that not even a parent may not want to get involved in with their own child.
As an authorized user, you will want to avoid joining an account with someone who has bad credit. This is because your scores could be negatively impacted be a primary users activity if they act irresponsibly. Likewise, their credit can be impacted by your irresponsible behavior. If you notice that the primary account holder becomes irresponsible, then you may want to call the lender and have your name taken off the account. You may also want to contact the credit bureaus to make sure this activity isn’t reflected on your credit score. If it is, you may need to take additional steps to have it removed. You may even need to hire a credit repair service.