Posted by William Charles on June 29, 2016
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Published on June 29th, 2016 | by William Charles

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How To Remove Authorized User Accounts From Your Credit Report

Given that Chase counts credit/charge cards that your an authorized user of when determining if their 5/24 rule applies to you, I thought it would be helpful to look at removing these accounts from your credit report (DEM Flyers has tackled this before, but not all card issuers were accounted for). Obviously this isn’t necessary if you’re never added as an authorized user, but increasingly card issuers are offering increased bonuses for adding an authorized user so chances are you’ve been in this situation before.

[Read: How Does Being An Authorized User Affect Your Credit?]

Before getting started you should first make sure that the authorized user account has been closed (no need to close the primary account, just the authorized user account), as it’s usually not possible to get it removed when it’s still open.

Ways To Remove Authorized User Accounts

To get started it’s important to know that there are two ways to get authorized user accounts removed from your report:

  • Request that the card issuer removes them (normally has to be done by the primary account holder)
  • Request that the credit bureau (e.g TransUnion, Equifax or Experian) removes them

In general it’s going to be much easier to to ask the card issuer to remove the account from a credit report first. This is because if they say yes then they will automatically contact all three credit bureaus and ask them to remove the account. If you contact the credit bureaus, you’ll need to make sure all three remove the account otherwise it might still show on some of your credit reports.

Specific Card Issuers

American Express

American Express is definitely the most difficult card issuer to get authorized users removed from credit reports. Using the chat function simply does not work and calling doesn’t have a much better success rate either, often they will tell you that this cannot be done due to legal reasons. I’m unaware of any law that prevents them from doing this and some represenatives will process it for you, so it seems to be a case of hanging up and calling again (positive data points: 1, 2)

The other option is a dispute with the credit bureau and that has limited success as well:

Bank of America

Calling Bank of America will work but the authorized user account needs to be closed before they will remove it (1). The Credit Karma dispute feature will also work for at least TransUnion according to this data point (1).

Barclaycard

The authorized user account needs to be closed for thirty days before Barclaycard will consider removing it from your credit report. Once this time period is over, you should be able to just send a message requesting the card be removed from your credit reports. This message should come from the authorized user and not the primary account holder (only the authorized user account needs to have been closed for thirty days). Barclaycard state that this will be done when the next statement closes.

Capital One

No idea, share experiences in the comments.

Chase

Removing an authorized user account with Chase couldn’t be easier (probably because they don’t even require a SSN for these accounts). All you need to do is send them a secured message and ask for the account to be removed. The message should be sent by the authorized user that wants the account removed from their credit report and no the primary cardholder.

Citi

Citi will also remove authorized user accounts from credit reports if it’s requested, although only phone requests will be processed. Again this request should be initiated by the authorized user account holder and the account must be closed first. Citi states that your credit report should be updated within 30 – 90 days.

Discover

Update: Readers are reporting that Discover is refusing to do this now.

Discover allows you to get authorized user accounts removed from your credit report by sending them a secured message. For some reason sometimes this is done incorrectly and it’ll show as ‘Closed – Terminated’ on your credit report. Sending them another message should get this fixed.

Synchrony

Removing an authorized user account with Synchrony is very easy via secured message.

U.S. Bank

No idea, share experiences in the comments.

Wells Fargo

No idea, share the experiences in the comments.

Removal Via Credit Bureaus

Equifax

Experian

TransUnion

Easily done through Credit Karma, using their direct dispute feature:

  • Pull up your list of accounts
  • Under each account there is a link to dispute that account
  • Click this link
  • Click “Ownership – I am no longer liable for this account” as your dispute reason

 

 

 



75 Responses to How To Remove Authorized User Accounts From Your Credit Report

  1. Tory says:

    DoC – I removed a Citi AAdvantage Platinum AU from my account via SM (phone not necessary), received SM confirmation and a PDF letter confirming. Haven’t checked to see whether EX has actually removed the AU; I plan to wait another few weeks and dispute with EX if necessary with the letter as proof.

  2. Mordechai says:

    Data point: I did this a few months ago for my DW through experian. Caused it to drop off them all. But her score was dinged harder than expected.

  3. JP says:

    So if you don’t have chase card anymore how can you sm them for removal? Call is the only option I think.

  4. Kelly s says:

    I did this with all our chase accounts. I was required to send in a letter in writing to chase. They sent me the template. First I had them remove my husband as user from my 5 accounts. Then I had to,print off form letter they emailed to me and include the account numbers. I mailed that in a few weeks ago to the address they gave me. They said the letter was required to get them to request removal from credit report.

  5. Jeff H says:

    Not sure that I want to be dropped as AU because TransUnion and Experian with dormant AU accounts has available credit total higher resulting insignificant lower utilization rate than Equifax.
    A couple of AU accounts have been closed a couple of years now. Primary card holder deceased .. accounts paid in full prior to death.
    Result was lower total available credit on Equifax. Those closed accounts are still reporting on TransUnion and Experian.
    My only actions were with the card issuers to close the accounts of the deceased. No action with credit bureaus.

  6. Stephen says:

    This would’ve been great a month ago. Getting my wife ready for a Chase binge recently. Removed 5 AU CCs on her account the past few weeks. It usually only takes a week or less. Experian is the biggest pain to work with, but TU and EQ are easy. Just cancel the AU on your account and then file a dispute with the Credit Reporting agencies and bam, you’re done. My wife is now 3/24 and was 8/24. I think she will be applying for business cards and Chase the rest of the year so we can get all the Chase cards once at least.

    • Nick says:

      Thanks for this information, did you remove the AU accounts from TU, EQ, and EX via their respective dispute portals?

      Curious if you attempted to do so via the credit card issuer directly?

      Thanks for sharing

  7. escot says:

    Many thanks William for the.timely post, though I’m a tad confused on a key detail or two.

    Happens my wife last month via SM to Discover had me removed as authorized user — from the card…. (I had been added about this time last year, b4 the chase 5/24 stuff) Appreciate your advice now that I/she ought still request that my status as authorized user needs also to be expunged from the credit bureau record. (Am I reading you correctly that she, as the primary account holder, is to do this on my behalf?)

    Above, under the discover heading, you noted:

    “Discover allows you to get authorized user accounts removed from your credit report by sending them a secured message. For some reason sometimes this is done incorrectly and it’ll show as ‘Closed – Terminated’ on your credit report. Sending them another message should get this fixed.”

    How do you suggest that I (the former authorized user) or the spouse (the current primary account holder) word the original request? What status am I/she requesting? Or are we requesting that the previous AU status be removed?

    Again, given that I’m no longer an authorized user on the account, I’m guessing I won’t be able to transmit a SM (even though wife is fine with it)…. and so again, is the request being made by the still current primary account holder — on behalf of the former authorized user? Or is that even possible?

  8. Andrew says:

    I removed myself from being an AU on my wife’s American Express account, and it came off my credit report, but when I removed my wife from my account, it didn’t go away, and now she just got denied for Sapphire. Annoying!

  9. Mordechai Gubitz says:

    I actually know somebody that knows how to add several AU with History (The amount of history will depend on your age, if one is 30 years, he’ll add AU with 5-12 years history. I’m sure you know if one has a credit card with 10 years history and adds a AU the AU will get the entire 10 years history {COPY & PASTE}) And than he has a way to close the AU card and make it report on your credit report as Terminated BUT not closed, in fact it’ll be in the Open section.
    So if you go to Credit Karma, Experian or Equifax, and you go to the section/category of “OPEN ACCOUNTS” you’ll see all the AU accounts there even it’s really closed! (Transunion doesn’t categorize open and closed accounts, unless your using a Transunion subscription).

    So although this article is very useful for certain purposes, keep reading to see when it’s worth “NOT TO REMOVE THE AU”

    So after he had 5-7 AU on his report with 6-12 years history, although they were all CLOSED they were still reporting as Open, he applied for a Capital One personal Venture card and got a instant approval for 20k, than applied for a Capital One Business Card and again Instantly Approved for 20k. Then applied for BoA Personal and was Approved for 25k after calling in and speaking a hour with a analyst. Then applied for a BoA Business Card and got a Instant Approval for 10k. Then Applied for Citi, Barclays, Chase, PenFed, Discover and some Department stores and were all DENIED.
    But than Applied for Amex Blue and got an Instant Approval for 19.3k (interesting #) Then applied for US Bank Business card which was approved for 2k, he called in to have it reconsidered for 25k (be aware, NEVER ask for more than 25k on a single card with US Bank since you’ll need to send in Financials, But if you do have Financials, the sky is the limit, also be aware when you request a reconsideration for a higher limit they’ll pull another HARD INQUIRY, but from Transunion) End result he received a counteroffer for 20k from Us Bank, so from no credit he ended up with 99.3k from this trick, because all the AU account were OPEN, although by the section where is says “Responsibility, didn’t say Individual, but nor did it say AU, all it said WAS Terminated.

    (then he waited 7 month without applying for anything and got 8k from Discover, 33k Chase, 27k Amex Business, 50k PenFed, and some Increases from his exciting accounts)

    If anyone knows how to Close a AU card, and instead of Removing it, just have it report as Terminated, please comment, as I’m very curious how to do it.

    Thanks

  10. Mordechai Gubitz says:

    Removing AU through disputing it from the Credit Bureaus Directly can have SEVERE consequences. The main one would be, perhaps you removed a Bank of America AU, and a few month or few years later you got approved for your own Bank of America credit card, it will 80% of the time not report to that credit bureau that removed it a few month or years ago. And that’s BAD!, although some like it because they don’t have to worry about there score dropping when they max out. But there’s other ways around. For starters, let it report, and after a few month get a BoA business card which wont report, and enjoy both worlds. (BTW, with BoA the business analyst are able to move from your personal credit limit to the business, but not the other way around.{A few years ago, you were able to move from business to personal} If anyone knows or had success moving from business to personal in the past year please comment).

  11. Mordechai Gubitz says:

    If one wants to add a AU for the sole reason of getting the extra points, you can add a random name, you can give a random address, and even the creditors who ask for Social and DOD perhaps Capital One or Bank of America, it can be done when you call it. However on the original application I don’t recall any creditor allowing you to add a AU without making you fill in the Social and DoB. (Actually State Farm doesn’t ask for social and DOB for adding AU on the original application, {Interestingly it’s a card I never see anyone mentioning, Nationwide Insurance also offers Credit Cards, which you have to call in to apply} I guess this site is more about the rewards) State Farm credit cards actually has an amazing feature where if you use the cash back to pay Insurance Premium it’s double, another great feature, lets say you get approved for 30k limit which is so far their max, and you wan’t to make a big purchase, lets say 12k, you can separate that from your bill, and pay it off without interest over a certain amount of years SUBJECT TO CREDIT APPROVAL!

  12. Kenetta says:

    How is the account added to the AU if the SSN is not provided?

    • Kenetta says:

      I meant yo say, how is the account added to the credit bureaus if the SSN for the AU is not provided.

    • Mordechai Gubitz says:

      2 ways. If you call in and say “I would like to add my mother, since she moved to USAa, she came from Israel, and I don’t have asocial yet, they have a way to do it on their side, I’ve done it 100 times. 2nd way is, just give any number, so lets say your social it 128-44-8156, give them 182-33-8656, that’s it. They really don’t check!!

  13. GC says:

    What about removing an AU from your credit report when you are both the primary account holder as well as the name on the AU account? I recall reading reports elsewhere of people doing this successfully while keeping the AU account open, since the holder of each account is one and the same. Anyone have experience with this?

  14. Prashanth says:

    DP: My Amex additional card was closed in 2013 and without any request from my side the card was removed from Equifax and Experian. I had to request Transunion and they did it without any issues.

  15. Andy says:

    Just a DP – I activated my wife’s new MB Plat card over Amex chat, and then just for curiosity sake, I asked if my husband’s (me) authorized user cards could be cancelled on her other cards. The rep had no problem doing it. No need to call in or to open an inquiry with the credit agencies!

  16. Justin says:

    I’m confused about this line for Chase cards:

    “The message should be sent by the authorized user that wants the account removed from their credit report and no the primary cardholder.”

    Are you saying that the authorized user would need to create a Chase.com account for their AU card? I didn’t even know that was possible.

  17. PG says:

    Am I reading this correctly that with Citi, the primary cardholder has to totally close the credit account? There’s no way to just remove the authorized user (& the card from the AU’s credit report)?

    Does you just mean, the AU account has to be closed before it goes to the credit bureaus for removal?

    • The AU account needs to be closed.

      • joe says:

        What exactly do you ask CITI? I just removed myself as an AU from 2 of my spouse’s accounts from CITI. I asked if I can also have the AU account be removed from my credit report…

        The rep seemed to think that by virtue of closing the AU accounts, they will automatically not be in future credit reports. She is basically saying they will no longer send information about this account to the credit bureaus going forward. If on the other hand the account is closed, while you are an authorized user, it will remain permanently.

  18. Mandrake says:

    What if I’ve added myself as an AU to my own Amex cards, any idea on how that would be treated/reported by the various credit bureaus? Would thost AU cards count against the 5/24 rule?

    • joe says:

      They allow you to add YOURSELF as an authorized user?? did you do this for amex offers?

    • DC says:

      Discussion on DDF suggests they do – they’re treated like any new account. They’ve certainly brought down my AOA. You can apparently call the bureaus and ask them to remove them from your report since they’re basically duplicate accounts, but I haven’t tried yet.

  19. Susan4 says:

    Question. How do I get myself removed as an AU after the account has been closed? Husband’s account shows as closed but still listed in my credit report.

  20. Me says:

    Discover is a PITA. They answer with responses like “Removing an Authorized User’s name will only remove the account from future reports. It will not affect the information already appearing on their credit file.”

    • Me says:

      Discover is definitely unwilling to remove the credit report entry:
      “I’m very sorry we are not able to remove the information we have already sent to the credit bureaus. We are required to report accurate information to the credit bureaus so we did report [the authorized user] as an Authorized User to the credit bureaus.”

  21. Justin says:

    Hi, I’m hoping for some clarification on the 5/24 rule: Does Chase consider any new card you have as a strike against you for the 5/24 rule no matter how you got it? Or is it that they just can’t distinguish it on the credit report whether it is your card or you are just an authorized user?

    The reason I think this might matter is because if it’s Chase authorized user cards that are putting you over 5/24, Chase should obviously know where all these cards came from.

    • They can distinguish better authorized user and primary cardholder, automatic approvals will count all authorized users – but you can get this overturned on recon. It’s YMMV based on the rep you get though.

  22. Susan4 says:

    Since posting above re getting AU removed from closed account, I have been successful with Chase and Citi. No luck with Barclaycard. I am the AU on daughter’s closed account. Neither of us has an open account with Barclaycard, so I called. Rep told me (after check with supervisor) that the only time they will request credit bureaus remove AU is if the account is open or mistakenly shows as open.

  23. JW says:

    Even easier to remove AU with Discover. Go to “manage” tab, then “manage authorized users”, then remove them.

  24. austinpop says:

    DoC – great article. Wondering what you would suggest for my situation. I want to remove a Citi AU account in my name. The account was opened with my wife as primary, and immediately closed after she found out she wouldn’t get a points bonus for the card.

    So the account is closed – both primary and AU. I also only have the 1st 12 digits of the card number, since I don’t even have the cards anymore.

    So should my I (as AU) call Citi, try to find the account, and then ask them to remove my AU account from my credit report? Or at this point, would I have better luck just disputing it on the credit bureaus?

    Thanks in advance.

  25. austinpop says:

    It’s all good. Citi was able to find the account, and assured me they had put in the removal request to the credit bureaus.

    Thanks again.

  26. Jeff says:

    I am batting 0.000 with this! Amex redirected me to their credit bureau department, who told me that when the authorized user is a spouse, the account cannot be removed from the credit report. Chase, Citi, and Discover were all happy to remove me from my wife’s accounts but would were not willing to remove the accounts from the credit report. I suppose I can try again but does not seem promising.

    • Maahi says:

      Are you able to remove from the credit report? What is the outcome?
      I initially said spouse and they said the same thing that it cant be removed. I HUCA and i told roommate, but it was notated as spouse from earlier call so now it sent to supervisor review. I am worried whether i put unnecessary attention to my account.

  27. Physician Assistant of Credit says:

    Data point– was an AU on an amex personal card, the AU card was canceled last week per my request to the primary card holder, I submitted a TU dispute on creditkarma yesterday, and to my extreme surprise, I got an email from credit karma today saying my the dispute had been resolved. I logged onto credit karma, and in fact the account was removed from my TU report. On the other hand, I previously used the same process to remove a citi card from my account, which took nearly a month to show as resolved on credit karma, though going directly to transunion, the card was off my report in 1 day.

  28. Chris says:

    Disputed directly with all three credit bureaus to remove AUs:
    Amex: Removed from TransUnion and Equifax, but not Experian (the one that matters the most!)
    Barclaycard: Removed from all three
    Citi: Removed from all three

    Why would Amex allow the removal on TU and EQ but not EX? I’ll try again (if possible) and see what happens.

  29. Rahul says:

    I disputed my authorized user account (one at a time x 2 accounts) via Transunion on Creditkarma, and both AU accounts have been removed. But they still show up on Equifax, and are not removed from Equifax credit report of mine.

    What to do in this case? Will they be removed automatically and if yes, in what time frame?

    If not what do i do?

    Please help with proper guidance.

  30. Sparky says:

    I’m an authorized user on my wife’s chase freedom. Do I need to remove that in order to be eligible for the signon bonus? I’ve never owned the card before. I want to get the signon bonus before product converting some of the annual fee cards to it.

  31. Sousie says:

    My capital one card is still active I think but not sure cause I haven’t been paying my bills and do I need to close the credit card? My husband is already off the account as the AU please help

  32. sam says:

    if remove 2 accounts (authorized user) will it affect to my score? only short term? real affect?
    thx

  33. Chris says:

    DP: My wife called to remove me as an AU on her Sapphire. It was no problem, but the rep quoted a month for the account to be removed from my credit report (since they had just sent the data to the bureaus).

    Once she was done, I immediately called in and asked for it to be removed. They transferred me to a specialist that took care of it and he quoted 3-5 business days.

  34. Prem says:

    SHITTYBANK has no foolproof plan to get AU removed from the AU’s credit report (unlike chase and Amex WHO have a speacil credit bureau unit who handles such requests).

    I called shittybank and they kept beating around the busy yada yada etc

    So what should i tell them (i might have energy left for one more final call with shittybank)…..and if they cannot do it, what is the last option to remove from all 3 credit agencies?

  35. Marco says:

    Regarding Removing an authorized user account with Chase. You wrote that ” secure message should be sent by the authorized user that wants the account removed from their credit report and not the primary cardholder”.

    But how do you do that ?
    I’m an AU on my DW’s Chase Sapphire Preferred but it doesn’t appear in my Chase account?
    Moreover, primary cardholder applied for the AU. Shouldn’t they be the only one with authority to anything on their account?

  36. ES says:

    DP: Thanks, Doc! Lightning fast success so far!

    “Dispute Results From TransUnion
    TransUnion received your request on Jan 08, 2017 and completed their investigation on Jan 09, 2017. Please review the results carefully.”

    The results were to remove two AU listings on my husband’s CR.

    I almost did not file the dispute through CreditKarma – thinking going directly to TU wold be faster – but using the form on the TU site was more clunky than doing it through CreditKarma. I remain astonished that a request filed in the afternoon on a Sunday was appropriately handled by 9PM on Monday!

    I filed the same requests with Experian and Equifax, neither of which have handled it to date.

    • ES says:

      Just updating what’s happening with this effort.

      Equifax – Received the results stating they agreed to remove one AU but not the other. However looking at the actual credit report, they apparently removed both!

      Experian – Results state my dispute was “processed.” “Processed” is said to mean they either deleted or updated the CR. However absolutely nothing has been changed on the CR for either AU. Both AUs are still there.

      Will call Experian and see what they say. May also call Amex although when the AUs were initially cancelled Amex said they would remove them from the CR.

      All this effort is to hopefully get my husband ready to apply for a CSRes in branch in March. Given how these credit bureaus work, I am glad that I am not trying to update, remove or correct something that’s a lot more important to my credit history 😉 .

  37. Daniel says:

    Interesting DP here for Amex AU removal from Equifax. Sent a dispute to Equifax for 2 AU accounts. One was removed and the other they refused to remove.

  38. MontyFC says:

    @DOC

    If an account has already been closed, is there a way to remove the entry from authorized user’s credit report? Should I be contacting the 3 bureaus directly?

  39. Will says:

    I was an AU on my wife’s Amex PRG. When she closed the account, the AU account automatically dropped off of my EQ report, but not TU or EX. I called the Amex Credit Bureau Unit and asked if they could remove my account from the other two. The rep seemed like he was interested in helping me, and asked what the relationship was between me and the primary account holder. I told him it was my spouse. His reply seemed to imply that he could not remove it because of the spousal relationship do to ‘federal guidelines.’ I went ahead and asked for TU to remove it, which they did within a week or so, and I just initiated a dispute with EX. Time will tell…

  40. ajpl says:

    DP: disputed a terminated AmEx AU card through Credit Karma and it was removed from TU within a couple days. It was removed automatically from EQ. Still waiting on my dispute with EXP (about a week now).

  41. ajpl says:

    DP: was able to get an AmEx AU removed from a credit report by disputing on TU via CreditKarma (took 2 days) and on EXP directly through experian.com (took several weeks).

    It *might* have helped that AmEx reported a single AU card twice, so I was able to tell the bureaus that “I am not responsible for this account”, “AmEx agreed to close it”, and “these are erroneous duplicates”.

    Also of note: I called AmEx’s credit bureau department directly last week, and they refused to remove the AUs when I said the AU was my spouse. I called back and said the AUs were a “business associate” and they agreed to remove both AUs for me. They said it would take 48 hours, but after several days the AUs were still on there. Not sure if it would have processed eventually because the EXP dispute beat them to the punch today.

  42. Rhea says:

    Creditkarma has changed their website appearance where now you do not see option to click on when cards were opened date wise.

    Do you have any idea how to see that again, especially for chase 5/24 info?

  43. Josh says:

    Data point for barclaycard – I tried both calling (multiple times) and sending a secure message but ended up having to send a physical letter through USPS to get the history as authorized user removed from my credit report. Here is the answer to the secured message with the address that I had to send the letter to:

    “Please be advised that we will update your credit report 30 days after your billing cycle closes on the 24th of each month. If you notice any information is not being reported correctly on your Credit Bureau Report, you should file a dispute with the Credit Bureau Disputes:

    FCRA Credit Bureau Disputes
    P.O. Box 8803
    Wilmington, DE 19801
    Please include the following information with your dispute:

    Account Number
    Contact Information – Name, Address and Phone Number
    Specific information that is being disputed with an explanation on why it is being disputed
    Any supporting documentation or other information reasonably required to substantiate the dispute (i.e. portion of consumer report, police report, fraud, or ID theft affidavit, court order or statements)

    Please allow us 30 days to complete an investigation of the dispute and we will mail a letter explaining the outcome. In regards to this, we ask that you review the contact information you have with us. To do so, select the ‘Your profile’ tab on the home page and choose the ‘Address & telephone’ link. You may then click the ‘Edit’ link under the ‘Address & telephone’ text should this information need updating. Please be advised that you may update all your contact information online, as long as you have your card available and the 3-digit security code is readable. We hope you find this information helpful.”

    It took about 30 days or a little less to get it removed – or at least until it wasn’t showing up on credit karma anymore. I think it was about 2 weeks until I got a response in the mail to my letter requesting removal.

    Chase was much easier – I just had to call and verify my information and it was able to be taken care of over the phone. I also got a letter in the mail confirming removal.

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