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Does Piggybacking Still Work

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I remember when the CRAs stopped the practice of piggybacking; using someone else’s good credit to be an authorized user on his or her revolving credit account (usually a stranger who paid a huge fee). The result was that the good credit would tremendously help the person with bad credit.

I also remember that there was a huge uproar because of this blanket action against spouses who were in no way trying to “piggyback” on an account that belonged to a total stranger. And I remember the CRAs relenting on the issue so people can now piggyback if and only they are piggybacking with their spouse.

However, I have been so out of touch with CRA developments that I don’t know what their current position is on the issue.

So does someone’s good credit still help their spouse’s bad credit if the spouse with bad credit becomes an authorized user? If so, how does a CRA determine if an authorized user is a spouse? And how does someone with bad credit ensure that he or she will still reap the positive benefit of a spouse’s good credit?

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  • 2 weeks later...

If it's a spouse, it must be reported the same on both files, even if one of the spouses is only an Auth.

Federal Bank Regulation B (ECOA)

sec 202.10 (a)-1

"... A creditor that furnishes credit information shall designate:

...Any account to reflect the participation of both spouses if the applicant's spouse is permitted to use or is contractually liable on the account..."

As for non-spouses, FICO 08 was supposed to fix the piggybacking of perfect strangers. How they do that, I don't know.

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