Where Did This Credit Score Come From?

Help, Billfold, I’m very confused. I just checked my credit score for the first time expecting, I don’t know, any empty dusty corner where a credit score might be (I just graduated college in the spring and had no credit card of my own or other means of credit-building). But I worked up the nerve to look as I will need it to find a new place to live and I mysteriously HAVE A CREDIT SCORE. It is in a range that Google tells me is actually a good credit score, which is where I started to get suspicious. Well, as it turns out, there is a note on the report that I have a certain amount of debt that I do not have, as well as a much larger line of credit that I have (well, would have, because I don’t have a line of credit right now). I’m guessing this is because for the semester I studied abroad, I got a credit card with my name but attached to my parents’ account. Otherwise I have no plausible explanation. How do I fix this? Do I fix this? Please help, I’m baffled. — K.

It sounds like when you studied abroad, your parents made you an authorized user on one of their credit cards, giving you access to their line of credit and the chance to help you start building a credit profile. So your guess is right! The balance and credit line that is on their card should show up on your credit report, so just talk to your parents to confirm that you’re still an authorized user on their account and make sure the balance and credit line is correct. If it all matches up, you have nothing to fix. If there is a mistake, you can dispute the errors. Enjoy the good credit score, and good luck on the apartment hunt!

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2 Comments / Post A Comment

erinep (#4,236)

My parents are amazing all around and one of the best things they’ve done for me as an adult is give me a card on their account when I was a senior in college (eight years ago now). It used to be mostly for gas for trips to visit them, and the biggest use of it continues to be me buying Christmas gifts for my parents, from each other, so it’s generally a surprise for the both of them. Anyways, I had a few rough patches in my finances after college and have seriously rebuilt my score in the last year, and I paid off all my debt myself. But having that card on there saved me from getting too far in the hole on my credit score. Ilu mom and dad.

notpollyanna (#2,841)

My credit history is longer than I’ve been alive for similar reasons. My mom had an account, put me on as a user, then I split off onto my own account, but the account age was still listed as my mom’s account age.

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