My wife added me as an authorized user on her credit card account and I received a card with my name.

The credit limit is still the same and is shared.

I have recently started seeing it in my accounts in Credit Karma. It shows all of the utilization under my name. I was expecting it to show under my wife's account. Is this correct or is this a quirk with Credit Karma?

Or is this something I should fix with TransUnion (because that is where Credit Karma is getting the data in the first place)?

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    What do you think is the problem?
    – quid
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 19:50
  • The problem is that it shows in my report as though my credit utilization is very high whereas if it is her card then it should show up in hers. Much like I'd expect it if it is the other way. And it will impact a loan application in the near future. Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 19:53
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    If you're attached to the account what do you think should show up? I suppose I'm missing something. Do you think this account should not show up at all on your report?
    – quid
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 19:55
  • Yeah I'd expect it to not show up. When I had added my father as an authorized user I was read the terms and conditions and one thing that stood out was that all the payment on the card was solely my responsibility. So my balance and utilization should be impacted, not his, for ex. Likewise in the case in OP. Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 19:59
  • Everything is working as intended, but I agree that it is odd that a person not responsible for payment would have their credit score affected.
    – Hart CO
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 23:00

3 Answers 3


I have recently started seeing it in my accounts in Credit Karma. It shows all of the utilization under my name. I was expecting it to show under my wife's account. Is this correct or is this a quirk with Credit Karma?

Many people add an authorized user to their account (for example a child or a parent) to improve the credit history of the new user. When they add an authorized user the data from the card is then added to all authorized users credit file.

Many people see this feature you noticed as a good thing. It allows somebody that has a thin file to benefit from an account that has a higher credit limit (helping their utilization numbers) and may also help their average age of their credit lines. Of course if the new user goes crazy with the card, and is slow to pay their portion then the score may be dinged or even severely impacted.

It isn't a problem with Credit Karma, because they can only use the data they are given. Unless the credit card company said that person X charged this amount then they can only use the amount and limit of the entire card.


It is correct. That is something that people who are looking into giving loans would want to see. Think about it this way. If someone had paid off all their cards for the last 10 years but each month the payment was only $100 but secretly, they were spending $5000 a month of their spouses credit card, would you want to know that before you lend them money? Probably.

Additionally, depending on who you bank with, you might not need to use Credit Karma because many banks now offer to show you your credit score for free. Keep in mind that checking will not impact your score no matter where you view it because of the recent law changes.

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    I'd argue that that is an additional source of income. And the spouse (in your ex) will obviously see an impact of the $5000 spent every month. Their util will reflect it so and so if it is an agreed upon expenditure, the spending spouse may do whatever with the additional $5000. So as a lender I would like to know but I need not know. In fact in credit card applications they often ask you to mention sources of income that you'd like considered. Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 20:39
  • @perennial_noob yeah, that makes sense but It really is just about them knowing everything, I think. It allows them to cover all their bases. Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 20:40
  • Ok, then to your point, they should be able to mark out how much I spent on my card. That way they can know and account for everything correctly If they don't, then they are counting, against me, all the expenditure that the original cardholder is making (and is free to). If the cardholder is spending $20k on that account (not my business) then whether I spend anything or not that $20k is showing up as my utilization. It is essentially double counting, right? Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 20:46
  • Oh, I did not understand what you meant at first. My bad. Is it counting everything that both you and your wife spend? Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 20:48
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    @perennial_noob - Not all cards can tell the difference between who charges what. My main card (A 2%, no limit, cash back) uses the same acct number for all of us. Another card has 2 different numbers for my wife and me. Even that card shows the full balance as being mine on my credit report. Commented Jun 18, 2019 at 9:28

If the credit limit is shared, what exactly are they supposed to report ?

So you now own a credit card with $5000 limit and $2500 balance. which means you can spend $2500 before the bill comes. Similarly when the bill comes and you have a $2500 balance on the $5000 card the utilization is 50%.

The credit reporting agency doesn't get any additional information. The Credit card reports the balance, the limit and the cardholder whenever they report to the credit reporting agency. They don't report (thankfully) who spends how much and on what.

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