credit cards

Repair credit score in 2 steps

Don Taylorq_v2.gifDear Dr. Don,
My fiancee and I pulled our credit reports in anticipation of purchasing a home. When I pulled my credit report, I was surprised to learn that my parents made me an authorized user on several accounts, some of which had negative payment history that was negatively affecting my credit score.

How can I get myself removed as an authorized user? Will removing me as an authorized user remove this negative history from my credit report?
-- Steve Storied

a_v2.gifDear Steve,
There are two steps to take. First, get your parents to remove you from the accounts where you are an authorized user. You could contact the creditors and ask them to remove you from the accounts as an authorized user, but creditors often insist on only letting the primary account holder make this change.

Second, contact the consumer reporting agencies -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion -- to have the authorized user payment histories removed from your credit report. When you are removed as an authorized user, the account and the payment history of the account can be removed from your credit report.

Because your credit score is based on what's in your credit report, having the negative information drop off your report may help your credit score. But if you don't have much of a credit history besides the authorized user accounts, having them drop off your credit report could result in a lower score.

To ask a question of Dr. Don, go to the "Ask the Experts" page, and select one of these topics: "Financing a home," "Saving & investing" or "Money." Read more Dr. Don columns for additional personal finance advice.

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