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Which Banks Still Offer Co Applicant (Joint) Cardholders?

- Jan 2, 2022 Building Credit, credit, Credit Card Info3 comments

The best time for starting to build credit was as soon as you turn 18. To keep things exciting, many consumers don’t start building credit early enough, back when the time is right. Rather, they realize they need credit asap when something comes up.

How does a last minute consumer get credit asap? 

Becoming a joint on an existing credit card can help you build your credit in a matter of days. Becoming a joint on a card is as simple as having an acquaintance add you as a co applicant to their account. Once the account is reported to the credit bureaus, it will show up on your credit report.

When you’re added as a joint, the credit history of the account gets backdated onto your report.

If the card has been open for ten years, your credit report will reflect ten years of credit history.

If you’re in a pickle and need to build credit pronto, becoming a joint can boost your credit real quick.

What is the difference between a joint an an authorized user

You’re talking about joints, but we’ve also heard about authorized users. What’s the difference?

Responsibility

The most important difference between an authorized user and a joint is responsibility. An authorized user is not responsible for making any payments on the account, and is not liable to pay even if the primary cardholder misses a payment.

With a joint, though, the primary and the co-applicant are equally responsible to make payments. In a case where the primary fails to make a payment, the bank may collect payment from the co-applicant as well.

Credit

Another difference is how the accounts get reported on your credit report. Both an AU and a joint account will get reported to your credit, but differently. An authorized user account will be marked as AU, while a joint will be marked as joint. 

Many banks will not approve you for a loan or credit card if they see that you have built credit by only being an authorized user on someone else’s account. They want to see some of your own accounts as well. An account that you’re a joint on, because you have all this extra responsibility, is considered your own account and will fly much better with the banks. 

Which may be good, and may be bad.

A joint gets all the credit benefits of the account since the joint is equally responsible for the account. So too, in a negative event, if the primary of the account misses a payment, the joint is equally affected by the delinquency. It’s your account just like it’s the primaries.

So it will also be much harder to dispute a delinquency with a joint, rather than if it would have been an AU. Therefore, I only recommend becoming a joint with someone that you really trust, as you need to keep in mind that any late payment caused by the primary will, unfortunately, affect you equally.

Which banks still offer joint cardholders

Becoming an authorized user on an account is very easy as most credit card issuers offer au’s.

However, becoming a joint is a bigger deal since not too many banks offer joints.

As of this date, a joint is only offered by the following banks. Here’s how to get added as a joint for each one of the banks.

Bank of America

Both parties will need to either call Bank of America together on the phone or visit a Bank of America branch together. The primaries credit will need to be in good standing at the time the joint is added (Bank of America will pull your credit). 

The joint will show up after approval, once the next credit card statement prints.

US Bank

Both parties need to fill out a form. You can download the form online or ask customer service to send it to you. Both parties have to fill it out, sign where needed, and fax it back.  

The joint will show up after approval, once the next credit card statement prints.

Elan Financial (also owned by US Bank)

Both parties need to fill out a form. You can download the form online or ask customer service to send it to you. Both parties have to fill it out, sign where needed, and fax it back.  

The joint will show up after approval, once the next credit card statement prints.

Apple card

You can add a joint through the Apple Wallet app. Both parties will need to have an Apple Wallet account and fill out an application through the Apple Wallet app. 

The joint will show up after approval, once the next credit card statement prints.

Macy's Amex card

You need to call customer service to get a form to fill out. The form has to be faxed back along with the required documentation. 

The joint will show up after approval, once the next credit card statement prints.

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Sam Sam has nearly a decade's worth of experience educating his many readers on everything credit. Sam spends his days checking out credit cards for a full report, from the minute benefit details to the shebang of welcome bonuses. Plus studying the ins and outs of building proper credit. It’s his favorite pastime and he loves sharing it with others.

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3 Comments

  1. Anyone can send here the link to the form for us bank?
    Costumer service don’t know what a joint account is…..

    Thank you

    Reply
  2. didnt understand if bank of america pulls the primarys credit or joints pls rply thanks!

    Reply
    • They pull both

      Reply

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