Credit Myth No. 3

Myth No. 3: “Piggybacking" doesn't work anymore.

“Piggybacking" is another word for getting added as an authorized user on someone else's credit card account. By doing this, you're essentially "piggybacking" off of their positive credit history.

In a nutshell, this is an old credit repair strategy where one person gets added as an authorized user to another person's credit card, and that new account gets reported to the new user's credit as if it was his or her own account. It's a great tool that can help people in a ton of ways:

  1. It adds to their length of credit history.
  2. It shows positive payment history.
  3. It helps with your credit card utilization ratios.

yes, this strategy still works today. Simply have a close friend or family member call up their credit card company and add you as an authorized user (NOT as a joint user, because then you'll be liable for the debt on the card).

This strategy has been abused by credit repair companies in the past, so the new version of the FICO scoring model, called FICO '08, supposedly has a way to check if these authorized user accounts are ‘legitimate' or not. How exactly they do this is undisclosed, but it probably has something to do with cross referencing the two people in another database and seeing if there is any relation. However, the good news is that very few lenders are actually using FICO '08. Most still use the old, antiquated versions of the FICO algorithm.

So to sum it all up, piggybacking still works and is a great, quick tool to build credit scores for most people!

Click here  to read previous entries in our credit myths series.

Greg Vogel is a Consumer Credit and Debt Advocate. He is a FICO and credit reporting expert with the goal of putting himself out of a job through creating awareness and education about the exploitative nature of the Credit and Debt industry. Wellness Credit advocates for consumers in the credit world and repairs credit to raise FICO scores.

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