It’s easy (and free) to add a Chase Freedom authorized user. Just sign into your Chase.com account, click “Things you can do,” and select “Add an authorized user” from the “Account Services” menu.
Then, provide some basic info about the authorized user, customize a few settings and you’re done. Your authorized user will receive his or her Chase Freedom card in 7 to 10 business days and will be able to charge purchases to your account after activating the card.
There are no restrictions on who you can add as a Chase Freedom authorized user, not even a minimum age requirement. So, this is a great way to help your kids build credit, for example.
Here’s how to add a Chase Freedom authorized user:
Yes, authorized users do build credit. You can actually build a good or excellent credit score just as an authorized user on a credit card. When you become an authorized user, the account is added to your credit report, which means on-time payments by the primary cardholder will help you build good credit history. But because authorized users are not responsible for paying the bills, credit scores don’t give authorized user accounts as much weight. So you won’t build credit as fast as an authorized as you would with your own credit card account.… read full answer
Still, the fact that most credit card companies don’t have a minimum age for authorized users, means becoming one is a great way to build credit before you can get your own account. But there are a few positives and negatives you should know about before becoming an authorized user.
Here’s how authorized users build credit:
A friend or family member adds you to their credit card account as an authorized user.
The credit card account gets added to your credit reports, just like if it were your own account.
The issuer gives updated account information to the credit bureaus on a monthly basis.
Your credit standing improves if the account owner has on-time payments, low credit utilization and other signs of financial responsibility.
Your credit gets hurt if the account holder behaves irresponsibly.
You can get an account with negative information removed from your report, since you aren’t responsible for making payments.
Authorized users do build credit, but that credit can be good or bad, depending on how the primary accountholder manages balances and bill payments. So you only want to become an authorized user on an account owned by someone responsible.
But in the event that an authorized user account does end up hurting your credit, you can dispute the account to get it removed from your credit report. That’s because any mistakes made won’t be your responsibility.
Finally, you’ll build credit faster if you also have your own credit card account that you use responsibly. You can get a starter credit card once you turn 18 years old, as long as you have enough money to pay the bills.
If you have bad credit and are worried you won’t get approved, try applying for a secured credit card. Secured cards require security deposits, but they have the highest approval odds of all credit cards and accept people with bad credit.
Legally, there is no minimum age for an authorized user on a credit card. That’s because authorized users aren’t entering into any kind of contract or borrowing money in their own name. But some credit card companies have their own requirements. Barclaycard along with American Express authorized users must be at least 13 years old, for example, while Discover requires authorized users to be at least 15 years old. The minimum age requirement for authorized users 16 years old for PNC Bank, while Wells Fargo and Synchrony requires authorized users to be at least 18 years old. None of the other 15 largest credit companies have minimums, though. You could make a newborn an authorized user on your account if you want to. … read full answer
No matter how old the authorized user is, adding one is an important decision. On the one hand, it’s a great way for a young person to build credit before they’re old enough to qualify for their own account. But on the other hand, the primary accountholder has to be comfortable assuming responsibility for any charges the authorized user makes.
Here’s the minimum age for an authorized user on a credit card:
If you’re worried about an authorized user being irresponsible with your account, several banks allow you to manage your user’s access to credit. For instance, you may be able to set individual spending limits or get alerts when the user makes new purchases. Sometimes, you can even make it so that all purchases must be approved by you before they go through. That way, you can give someone young experience with credit while still laying down restrictions.
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