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B3-5.3-06, Authorized Users of Credit (10/30/2009)

This topic contains information on authorized users of credit

Authorized Users of Credit

When a credit account owner permits another person, typically a family member who is managing credit for the first time, to have access to and use an account, the user is referred to as an authorized user of the account. This practice is intended to assist related individuals in legitimately establishing a credit history and credit score based on the account and payment history of the account owner, even though the authorized user is not the account owner.

Consideration of Authorized User Accounts

For manually underwritten loans, credit report tradelines that list a borrower as an authorized user cannot be considered in the underwriting decision, except as outlined below.

An authorized user tradeline may be considered if:

  • another borrower in the mortgage transaction is the owner of the tradeline; or

  • the borrower can provide written documentation (e.g., canceled checks, payment receipts, etc.) that they have been the actual and sole payer of the monthly payment on the account for at least 12 months preceding the date of the application.

If written documentation of the borrower’s monthly payments on the authorized user tradeline is provided, then the payment history — particularly any late payments that are indicated — must be considered in the credit analysis and the monthly payment obligation must be included in the debt-to-income ratio.

An authorized user tradeline must be considered if the owner of the tradeline is the borrower's spouse and the spouse is not a borrower in the mortgage transaction.

These requirements do not apply to loan casefiles underwritten through DU. For DU requirements, see B3-5.3-09, DU Credit Report AnalysisB3-5.3-09, DU Credit Report Analysis.

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