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Can a parent ruin your credit with consumer debt?

Most of us in the Washington, D.C., area might expect that a parent would complain about a child ruining his or her credit. What happens, though, when the opposite occurs? When a parent places a child on an account as an authorized user and then fails to pay the bill, the younger party may become concerned about the status of their credit. Not to worry, say industry experts; authorized users are not considered responsible for the balance of the consumer debt on a credit card!

An authorized user is not the same as a joint-account holder. That means that the authorized user can ask the credit card company to remove his or her name from the card account. If the creditor is unwilling to do so, the parent can make the request on behalf of the user.

If you find that you are missing out on employment opportunities because of these credit problems, simply be honest with the hiring party. Explanations about the situation may help you pursue your career dreams. Employers may be willing to take these factors into account when evaluating your credit score.

Authorized users who have seen their credit score dip because of unpaid balances on the card may see their credit improve after being removed from the card account. This may take some time if you contact the creditor directly. However, if you want to make sure that the process moves faster, you can pursue an account dispute with the credit bureau.

In some cases, the only step you need to take to rebuild your credit is to seek resolution to these authorized user questions. If you are still facing financial trouble because of consumer debt, you may benefit from the advice of a Washington, D.C., bankruptcy attorney. These professionals may be able to advise you about various approaches for achieving debt relief.

Source: Fox Business, "Help! Mom Trashed My Credit" Jane McNamara, Mar. 07, 2014

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