Authorized User account
Being an authorized user means you can use someone else's credit card in your name. You can make purchases and use the card as if it were your own, but you're not the primary account holder. As an authorized user, you're not legally responsible to pay the credit card bill or any debts that build up.
Becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit card account is a common strategy for improving credit quickly. It works best if the primary user’s card has a long history of on-time payments.
Credit bureau policies
Here's how the three major credit bureaus handle authorized user information that issuers report, as of February 2019, according to the credit bureaus spokespeople.
Why isn’t the account showing up?
Issuer and credit bureau policies can give you a good basic understanding about why a trade-line may or may not be included on your authorized user’s credit reports. But aside from the exceptions laid out in these policies, here are a few other reasons an account might be missing:
Your issuer doesn’t report any authorized user activity.
While it’s common for issuers to report authorized user accounts, it’s not mandatory. “In some cases, although rare, lenders may choose not to report authorized user accounts,” says Rod Griffin, the director of consumer education and awareness at Experian, in an email.
You left out required information when creating the account.
Under the National Consumer Assistance Plan, an initiative launched by the three major credit bureaus, lenders reporting to credit bureaus must report certain information about authorized users, including their date of birth. While you might be able to add someone to your account without providing this information initially, it won’t be reported to credit bureaus unless you include this information. For example, AMEX notes that you can add an additional cardholder without providing their date of birth or Social Security number, but if that information isn’t added within 60 days, the additional card would be closed.
The authorized user account was closed by the issuer.
Issuers generally reserve the right to close an authorized user account if they determine any of the information is fraudulent, or the authorized user didn’t give consent to be added to the account. In some cases, the account might have been closed in error. If the account isn’t showing up on your authorized user’s credit reports and you’re not sure why, call your issuer’s customer service line and ask.