Is it illegal to add authorized users for piggybacking credit?

Many sites have addressed whether its illegal (or legal) to adding authorized user tradelines for the purpose of piggybacking credit. Nothing’s really new, but we figured a fresh 2018 article on the matter is warranted.

Why would adding authorized users to tradelines be illegal?

People immediately jump to the “is X legal” inquiry. This is strange, because I haven’t seen one thing (in many years) which tends to indicate that piggybacking is illegal. I suppose, in the most stretched argument, it’s safe to assume the credit benefits from piggybacking credit with authorized user tradelines is an unintended consequence of law. However, it is – despite being unintended – a consequence of law. That is, it – according to all authorities – is legal.

Could adding authorized users be illegal?

Well, if you do it legally, no. If you do it illegally, yes. What does that mean? Let’s take three examples.

  • Misrepresentation. One of the only arguments I’ve heard that kinda makes sense is the “misrepresentation” argument. Clearly, the credit information added to your credit repair (from the tradeline) is not yours. This is irrelevant. Everyone in the world knows the account is not yours. It specifically says “authorized user.” I.e., not primary. I.e., “Hey, bank! This account is not mine.” Far from misrepresentation, authorized user is a designation that specifically says the account is not yours. You’re misrepresenting nothing.
  • Primaries. Different from “authorized user” tradelines, there is supposedly “primary tradelines.” Well, we know there’s primary tradelines. But, I am referring to people that claim to sell primary tradelines. I.e., pre-existing lines of credit in good standing which you can buy and put on your credit report… in your name. This is insane and it doesn’t exist. Also, since you didn’t establish the history, this, in fact, would be a misrepresentation. This could be, then, illegal.
  • CPNs. What if you added “legal” authorized user tradeline to a credit profile number, which is a fake social security number. Well, that’s simply using something legal to break the law. I.e., using legal tradelines on illegal social security numbers.

What about authorized user without permission?

If someone were added to a tradeline as an authorized user without someone’s consent, there could be issues. If someone were added as an authorized user without permission, there could be issues. Does this rise to illegal behavior? Not sure. My guess is no, but we should ask an attorney.

Worse case scenario, you can simply dispute and remove the authorized user account by contacting the credit bureaus. So, there really isn’t much harm done. So, if someone added you as an authorized user without your consent, don’t sweat it. Heck, if it is a good account, enjoy. Kidding, you should probably get it off of there because it could turn bad in the future. I¬†was added as an authorized user without my consent. My wife had added me. I greatly enjoyed the surprise, because it made my scores shoot up.

Hopefully that was helpful!

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