Piggybacking Credit

By: Heather Hanks May. 13, 2019

Building your credit can be hard, especially if you have never borrowed money before. Piggyback credit is a way to build your credit if you are just starting out. It involves becoming an authorized user on someone else's account. You can piggyback on credit cards to build your credit or establish a credit score if you don’t have one. By using a piggyback credit card, your credit history will be recorded. As long as you and the primary account holder practice good financial behavior, your credit score will go up. The credit piggyback service is ideal for young adults who want to start building credit but are not ready to take out their own credit card yet. It's also ideally suited for someone who has a history of bad credit and is looking to get back on the right track. Here’s everything you need to know about how becoming a piggyback credit authorized user can boost your credit, and how to get started.

What is Piggybacking Credit?

What is piggyback credit? Credit building piggyback is a term used to describe a process that occurs when a primary account holder adds an authorized user to their line of credit. Authorized users are allowed to use the credit card to make purchases. They are also expected to pay off their credit card usage as a primary card holder would. The only difference is that the credit card is not in their name. Piggyback on credit cards is commonly used by parents and their adult children who are new to credit building. Once the primary card holder adds an authorized user onto their account, the entire credit history of that credit card will appear on the user’s credit report. This can either positively or negatively affect their score. The idea is that using a piggyback credit service will positively contribute to a person’s credit score. The credit piggyback process is not always recognized by all banks. Some credit extenders will let you add an authorized user to your account but will not report their activity to the three major credit reporting bureaus. It’s important to make sure your bank complies with piggyback credit services so that you don’t waste your time. This is because the only way to build your credit using piggyback for credit is to have your credit lender report your activity as an authorized user.

Piggyback Credit Services

Piggyback credit cards are designed to help you build credit by adding your name to someone’s account. By doing so, you gain access to their credit as an authorized user. An authorized user has all the perks the primary account holder has. The only difference is that they are not responsible for the account. In other words, if the authorized user defaults on their payment, then the primary account holder is responsible. A credit card piggyback is a way of carrying someone financially on your credit account until they get back on their feet and can take out their own line of credit. A piggyback credit score is not exactly a shared score, but the person on your account may be able to see your usage. This is because the primary account holder’s activity appears on the authorized user’s credit report. Using piggyback for better credit is a great way for beginning credit card holders to learn the ins and outs of credit. This is especially true if a parent adds their adult child on their account. The authorized user can use piggybacking to practice making timely payments and get in the habit of using a credit card for purchases.
This occurs when someone pays to piggyback off your account. It can also mean that you pay to become an authorized user on a stranger’s account. Working with a professional company means that you will be protected against identity theft or other concerns of working with a stranger. This type of piggybacking is known as for-profit piggybacking and it should only be done through a professional agency to protect your information.
A piggyback loan credit score can be used to help you get a mortgage or buy a car. Most major purchases depend on your credit score. Using piggybacking services can help ensure that you get the best rate possible when you make a major purchase by keeping your credit score up. A piggyback mortgage credit score can ensure that you get to purchase the home you want in the area you want it in. Having poor credit may result in having to buy a home or rent one outside of the price range or area that you’re comfortable with.
Using piggybacking can help boost your credit even if you have none to ensure that you receive the best terms possible when making a purchase. Your credit score can affect the home you buy, the car you drive, and even what type of job you land. This is because some employers will check your credit score before offering you a job or raise. It is a good idea to use a credit score piggyback service to ensure you’re where you need to be before applying.

Piggybacking for a Higher Credit Score

You can piggyback your way to a higher credit score. First, you’ll need to make sure the primary account holder is signed with a bank that will report your credit history. There is no point in becoming an authorized user on an account that you will not benefit from unless you are not concerned with boosting your credit score. Most banks or lenders offer piggybacking as a way to boost your credit score if you’re a first time borrower. This is because they know you are less of a risk to them if you default on your payments. The primary account holder will be held responsible if you cannot pay. To piggyback your way to a higher credit score, you’ll want to make sure you use your credit card wisely. Do not make big purchases that you cannot pay back. Aim for small monthly payments that don’t pose a financial threat. After approximately three to six months of making on-time payments, you should expect to see a credit score develop if you don’t currently have one. It can take longer to piggyback your way to good credit if you currently have bad credit. Piggybacking is best used to boost your credit if you don’t have any. This is because negative credit items will remain on your report forever unless you fight to have them removed. It will take longer to boost your credit if you already have several negative items on your credit report. Starting from fresh as an authorized user on a piggyback account allows you to build from a clean slate.

Always check with the bank or credit lender you are working with to ensure that your activity will be reported. It’s also a good idea to make sure the activity of the person you are piggybacking with shows up on your report, too. This allows you a credit boost simply by association. On the other hand, your credit activity may show up on their account, too. Use this as motivation to make good financial choices to avoid ruining the relationship of the person you are piggybacking with, especially if you know them personally.

Benefits of Piggybacking Credit

You may ask yourself, “Why would I want to piggyback my credit?” Most people become an authorized user because it's an easy way to boost credit. Piggybacking credit allows you to benefit from making good financial choices without having to take out a credit card yourself. This can come in handy if banks won't extend you a credit card or you have never taken out credit before. It may take as long as six months to establish credit in your name, but piggybacking credit should not cost you a dime other than the purchases you make on the account. The majority of the responsibility will fall on the primary account holder.

Here are some of the primary benefits of piggybacking credit:

  • You can boost your credit score without taking out a credit card
  • The primary account holder is responsible for the account, not the authorized user
  • You do not need to use the account to benefit from becoming an authorized user. This is because as soon as you sign on to become an authorized user on someone else's account, their credit history shows up on your report. This means that you will automatically be extended a credit score because your name is tied to this line of credit. Some people choose to do piggybacking and don't make any purchases, but they still boost their credit score just by having their name on the account.
  • You can boost your credit score just by becoming an authorized user
  • Becoming an authorized user means that you have full access to the credit card without the responsibility of paying it off if the primary account holder defaults
  • Becoming an authorized user helps you establish credit history and teaches you how to practice making payments on time so that you become a responsible credit holder in the future

Potential Risks of Piggybacking Credit/Potential Drawbacks of Credit Piggybacking

There are some potential risks and drawbacks of piggybacking credit. The most important factor is that some banks do not report your activities as an authorized user. This means that although you are allowed to use the credit card on the account, your activity will not affect your credit score. This is a problem if you are using piggybacking as a way to boost your credit. Always be sure that the bank or credit provider you are working with reports your activity to the three major credit reporting bureaus. Even if the bank only reports your credit to one of these three agencies, your credit score can go up. Some banks will only note the activity of the primary account holder. If this is the case, then you would need to take out an account in your name in order to boost your credit score.

Here are some other potential risks and drawbacks of credit piggybacking:

  • Piggybacking with an irresponsible primary account holder may negatively affect your credit score as their credit history may show up on your record
  • You can ruin the relationship with your loved one that you are piggybacking with if you don't make timely payments and hurt their credit score
  • There are many scammers out there, which makes it crucial to go with a professional tradeline company
  • It may take up to six months before you see improvements in your credit score or establish one in the first place
  • Not all banks or lenders participate in piggybacking credit, which means you will need to look into this before signing on as an authorized user to someone else's account
  • Piggybacking may backfire and can be hard to get out of if you are not careful and view all terms before signing on as an authorized user to a tradeline account

Two Types of Credit Card Piggybacking

There are two primary types of credit card piggybacking. The first is traditional piggybacking, which occurs when both parties know each other. The second has called for-profit piggybacking. This occurs when someone pays to be on someone else's account as an authorized user.

Traditional piggybacking

Traditional piggybacking tends to be the most common among people who know each other. For example, a parent may choose to add their adult child to their account as an authorized user so that they can establish credit. Traditional piggybacking can also be used by close friends and other relatives who are in need of credit but cannot get a credit card themselves. In most cases, traditional piggybacking involves two parties who know and trust each other. This kind of piggybacking can be dangerous because any negative credit items may appear on both parties accounts. This can damage your relationship with your loved one or friend if you default on payments and their credit score drops as a result. Always make sure you can trust the person you sign on to your account before doing so.

For-profit piggybacking

For-profit piggybacking tends to involve a third-party tradeline company that connects two people who do not know each other. Most of the time, a person will pay a professional company to be added as a piggybacker to someone else's account. This allows both parties to benefit from having more credit items appear on their report, but only if they are good. For example, someone who makes late payments can negatively affect their partners credit score. Working with a professional tradeline company ensures that your information is safe and secure. It also ensures that you don't have to worry about identity theft or someone else seeing your personal information. This type of piggybacking is beneficial if you want to boost your credit score without asking a friend or family member to allow you to piggyback off their account. You'll still get all the positive benefits a piggybacking without having to worry about ruining a relationship with a loved one if you fail to meet payments. A professional tradeline company will ensure that all parties involved are responsible and that your information is secure. It's never a good idea to work with someone you don't know unless a professional tradeline company is involved.

Piggybacking Credit Process

Are you looking to piggyback for credit card purposes? You can do so in three easy steps.


First, identify whether you want to partake in traditional or for-profit piggybacking.

Ask loved ones or family members if they are interested in allowing you to become an authorized user on their account. Once you find someone to work with, you can move on to step two.


Find a bank that is willing to add you on to someone else's account as an authorized user.

If your loved one already has an account but their bank does not allow the service, then you want to search for professional trade line company. Once you find a professional company, contact them and inquire about buying a tradeline for piggybacking purposes.


The final step is to fill out an application and secure your spot is an authorized user on someone else's account.

Once you are approved, you can begin to use your new line of credit to help build your credit.

Is Piggybacking Legal?

Have you ever asked yourself, “Can I piggyback my credit score?” The answer is yes! Piggybacking is legal according to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act 1974 and the Federal Reserve Board Regulation B. Some banks or credit lenders encourage the use of piggybacking. You determine whether or not your bank provides this service by visiting their website and searching for the term “authorized user.” This can help you learn how to add someone to your account as an authorized user or how to piggyback off someone else.