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What is a tradeline and how do they help my credit score improve?

First, we should start with the obvious, buying a tradeline or being an authorized user does not bring permanent holistic positive changes to your credit report.  Only credit repair does.  Credit repair meaning disputing factual inaccuracies on your credit report.  Getting those inaccuracies off and building tradelines that are your own is the most positive way for a new fresh higher score that you and your creditors can trust.

You can buy tradelines whether buying them is legal or not is debatable.  Many credit repair firms and tradeline vendors sell them as part of their services.  Some people in the credit repair field call it fraud.  I do not, and I do not believe it is.  I believe that the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) allows you to place people as authorized users on your credit cards. This was intended to allow stay at home wives with less credit built to have their spouses credit to be equal to theirs. 

If you need a credit score boost to buy a car or house discussing this with a well-trusted family or friend that you would like to be placed on their account as an authorized user can be a good idea. First, you should show them your credit report to let them know you are up on your payments currently and actively cleaning your credit report.  Someone allowing you to ride their credit is a great privilege and should be taken seriously.

I recently added a friend as an Authorized User to a credit card.  I did not issue him a card, nor would I issue anyone a card ever.  Authorized Users gone awry one of the main reasons that people need credit repair.  Once he has obtained his lending for his purchase (the car) I will take him off the card. He will now have an installment loan to help him to continue to build credit.  All he must do is make his payments on time to continue the positive momentum forward for his credit score to improve.

There is the negative side to being added to an irresponsible person tradeline.  If they made late payments, you also inherit their late payments and this could easily defeat the goal of having a better credit score, payment and credit history.  If you decided to ride someone’s card you might even want to pay for a credit report to make sure they are paying on time or at least have them get a free one at  There is also the possibility of the person being responsible with payments at the beginning and while you are an Authorized User missing a payment.  Either way, pick the person whose card you want to be an Authorized User well to prevent additional problems with your credit.

Now from a financial coaching aspect, we don’t recommend putting the cart before the horse.  We think it’s always best to put 20% down on a car and pay it off as fast as possible.  We also believe you should put as much down as possible when purchasing a home also.  Paying PMI is money best spent on your retirement. Still, sometimes there are cases where you need access to better credit quickly and this could be a great help when you don’t have the time to wait. If you have questions about tradelines or being an Authorized User please don’t hesitate to contact us your credit repair agency in Utah, Wasatch Smart Finance.

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