My sister just applied for a credit card and got denied. Shes never had a loan, always paid her current credit card in full every month, and should have essentially perfect credit (though maybe not much of it). After denial, we ran a credit report and found she is an authorized user on one of our parents credit cards.

That card is in good standing with no missed payments, but in the past 10 months over $50k has been charged to that credit card and my sister only makes ~$33k in 10 months.

Will lenders see this and calculate her debt to income ratio (DTI) at 151% and thus deny her loans or other lines of credit? Would it be worth removing her as an authorized user (she has never even used the card) and attempting to dispute with the credit bureaus and remove it from her credit history?

  • "After denial, we ran a credit report", but did she get her credit score?
    – RonJohn
    Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 13:58
  • "in the past 10 months over $50k has been charged to that credit card and my sister only makes ~$33k in 10 months." What's the current balance on that card?
    – RonJohn
    Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 13:58

2 Answers 2


Lenders are required to send you an Adverse Action notice any time they deny credit based on data they obtained from your credit report. That notice should give a high level reason for the denial. It usually shows up in the mail shortly after you're denied. Have her keep an eye out for that letter, and if she doesn't get it soon, have her call the bank and ask for it. Or, she could just call the bank and ask them to explain the denial. Sometimes they won't give specific information, but it certainly doesn't hurt to ask.

It's important to note that a credit score doesn't include DTI, that's calculated separately based on income information you provide when you apply. But, as you've discovered, some issuing banks will report a credit card loan for all authorized users, not just the primary on the account. Other banks don't, but it sounds like you've already determined the literal answer to your question, since the loan is showing up on your sister's report.

It's also worth pointing out that "perfect" credit history doesn't inherently mean "great score" - if you have only ever had one or two loans, even if they've had perfect on-time payments, you may still find that your score isn't that high. Especially if utilization on those loans is really high, duration is short, and they're the same type of loan - both credit cards - versus having a diverse history of different loan types.

If your sister no longer wants to use that credit card, she could have your parents call their bank and remove her as an authorized user, which would (likely) cause the account to drop out of any credit score factors based on current accounts.

She may also want to find a local credit union or customer-focused bank and sit down with them to have a discussion about her credit report, if she's having trouble understanding it. Some institutions will offer free counseling services even if you're not actively looking to start new accounts with them. Or, consider enrolling in creditkarma or other online services that provide explanation of your score.


You're generally able to remove yourself as an authorized user by calling the credit card issuer and requesting the change.

The potential perks of being an authorized user are big, but so are the pitfalls. Removing yourself as an authorized user when necessary is a step toward thoughtful, vigilant financial proficiency. Your sister will be responsible for any charges that are made on the account by them as long as she remains an authorized user. So, it's best to play safe.

Whether or not that will directly affect the credit score depends on how the account is currently impacting the score. And that's a little bit hard to measure because it depends on everything else on your sister's credit report.

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