Before piggybacking on someone’s credit card, let’s define what it really is…
This is when a company will charge a fee of hundreds of dollars to add someone like you onto someone else’s trade line as an authorized user in an attempt to boost their credit score.
But when it comes to piggybacking, you don’t get to know the primary card holder.
They’re complete strangers. You just get paired up with them.
Sounds good, right?
Well, maybe wrong…
This can be a risky endeavor.
We don’t advise being added as an authorized user unless you Know & Trust the primary account holder.
2 Main Potential risks:
- FICO discourages credit piggybacking, aka “tradeline renting.”
- Which means, they can take away points instead of adding points to your credit score.
- Piggybacking in this manner may cause you to be vulnerable to ID theft, if the company decides to use your data without your knowing.
- Most companies will want your date of birth, legal name, and Social Security number when you apply for a piggybacking service.
Let me ask you a question:
Just say you’re unfamiliar with the tradeline company, or you’re unsure of how they secure their data, are you sure you want them to have access to your personal identification information?
If you’re rebuilding credit, consider doing this instead of piggybacking off of someone you don’t know:
- Have a parent or close friend cosign a loan
- Apply for a secured credit card like the Discover Secured credit card, OpenSky credit card, or the Capital One Secured credit card
- Apply for a credit builder loan like Chime Credit Builder
- Try to get your rent payments reported to the credit bureaus using one of thes 3rd-party rent apps:
And most importantly, the best way to build your credit is to be sure to treat any new credit accounts you open responsibly.