Will helping him raise his credit score lower my credit score?
August 1, 2010 1:57 PM   Subscribe

Posting for a friend: I added my then-fiance's name as an authorized user of one of my credit cards a few years ago. We've broken up but still own a house together, and we need to refinance it. He has been told that it will help if he can raise his credit score, in part by having me take his name off that credit card. Would that lower my (good) credit score and affect our refinancing if that credit/debt is all mine?
posted by lunachick to Work & Money (4 answers total)
Taking his name off the card will have zero effect on the primary cardholder's credit score.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:06 PM on August 1, 2010

No, authorized users aren't in any way connected to credit histories and credit ratings.
posted by halogen at 2:11 PM on August 1, 2010

Best answer: If he is a JOINT cardholder, only closing the account will remove him.

If he is an authorized user, see above.
posted by Sallyfur at 2:50 PM on August 1, 2010

Since you trying to refinance together they are going to look at both of your credit scores so this is a zero sum game. If you qualify only if one of you has a higher score and the other person's does not matter then transferring all the debt to them might work, but they will most likely look at both of your existing debt anyway. Also keep in mind it will not be instant, credit scores can take 1-3 months to update.

Aside from it probably not helping much, I think letting your ex talk you into holding all the debt after a divorce sounds like a recipe for disaster - how do you prove he was going to help pay it off and it isn't all yours? At least buy one of those personal loan kits at an office supply store and get him to sign it at a notary (mailing stores often have them and they are in the phone book) so you are protected.

He may be being wonderful now, but could get a nasty new partner or new addiction or more children with others - I would work to get the house into only one of your names or selling it and splitting the profits. Refinancing together does not seem like a good idea long term. A lawyer could help you look at your options, and you never have to be mean - you can give generous deadlines and keep things very amicable.
posted by meepmeow at 5:38 PM on August 1, 2010

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