When I was back in college my mom added me as an authorized user to her credit cards. I have now graduated and been paying my own student loans (on time) for the past year. In checking my credit scores, I realized that she is using a large portion of her available balance on these credit cards, but has not made a late payment.

My credit scores are in the low 700's but I am looking to get a car loan in the near future. I was wondering if it would be better to be removed as an authorized user (which would lower my debt-to-income ratio as well as the percentage of my credit I am using) or leave them on there (in favor of a longer credit history--if these two cards were removed my credit history would only be for the past year for my own student loans). I am not sure if losing my credit history would be worse than having a large balance on these cards (since they are paid on time).


  • In case it helps, I believe some car dealers consider anything above 720 as the top tier (they get the best rate). You could probably call some local dealers and ask what their APR thresholds are.
    – Steven
    Commented Mar 23, 2012 at 21:43
  • I did not know that an "authorized user" would count towards the "authorized user's" credit score
    – warren
    Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 17:38
  • You want 2-4 credit cards reporting for your credit, so you could ask your mom to pay down two cards (reduce the utilization ratio) and remove you as an authorized user on all but those two cards. You want those to have a $2500 limit (or more), and at least two years age. Commented Dec 20, 2013 at 2:02

2 Answers 2


Utilization counts for twice the factor as history. My Your Credit Score has a chart showing the components of the credit score. By the way, debt to income is actually not part of the FICO score. Some lenders, especially for mortgages will calculate this, but FICO score is agnostic to your income. Bill Gates would trash his score by canceling all his cards, and opening one new one but using it right to the limit.

Credit Score


Credit Utilization is the more important factor.

I would suggest you "leap-frog" some credit. Secure a new line and then remove your name from the old one. That will keep your utilization correct.

Furthermore, try the CreditKarma.com site and play with the tool they have there to speculate what will happen to your score. You will not see a FICO score, but you will see a representation that is enough to gauge where you sit.

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