What credit cards allow co-signers?

Applying for a credit card with a co-signer, that is, another person who agrees to share responsibility for charges made to the card, is a good way to build up a positive credit history.

In the past, applying for a credit card with a co-signer was a common way to increase your chances of approval. Unfortunately, most major credit issuers have phased out this option. However, Bank of America allows you to add a co-applicant to your credit card after your application is approved – and some credit cards, including the Apple Card, allow you to create a joint credit account with another person. .

Here’s what you need to know about co-signers, co-applicants, and joint credit cards, as well as other options for people who want to build credit fast.

Credit card issuers that allow co-signers

As of January 2022, none of the major credit card issuers we contacted allow co-signers.

In the past, it may have been possible to apply for a credit card with a co-signer if you applied to Bank of America, USAA, or US Bank. However, we contacted these issuers in January 2022 and confirmed that Bank of America, USAA and US Bank no longer allow co-signers on credit cards.

That said, people applying for Bank of America credit cards have another option. Once you have been approved for a Bank of America credit card, you can request to add a co-applicant to your newly issued credit account. If the co-applicant is accepted, you will share legal responsibility for all charges to the card. It’s not the same as applying for a credit card with a co-signer, but it still allows you to share a line of credit with another person.

Issuers that do not allow credit card co-signers

None of the major credit card issuers we contacted allow credit card co-signers.

We contacted each of the following credit card issuers in January 2022 to confirm that they do not allow people to apply for credit cards with co-signers:

Alternatives to finding a co-signer

Since most credit issuers no longer allow people to apply for credit cards with co-signers, you’ll need to research other ways to access credit.

If you have bad credit or a limited credit history and are unlikely to qualify for one of the best credit cards, here are some ways to build credit without a co-signer.

Become an authorized user

One of the best ways to build credit fast is to become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card. When you become an authorized user, you receive authorization to make purchases on another person’s credit account. The account holder is responsible for all payments and any debt incurred.

Most credit card issuers report authorized user accounts to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). This means that every time the account holder makes a payment on time, for example, it appears as a positive record on your credit file, which increases your credit score.

Becoming an Authorized User is an easy way to take advantage of someone else’s good credit while building your credit score, especially if you’re a student or young person who isn’t old enough to open your own credit card. credit.

Apply for a joint credit card

In some cases, you may be able to apply for a joint credit card. Joint credit cards are exactly what they sound like: a credit card issued jointly to two people (spouses, for example), who are both legally responsible for any debt incurred on the card. All card activity is reported on both cardholders’ credit reports, which means that if you both use your card together responsibly, you could both receive a credit boost!

Only a few credit cards, like the Apple Card, allow joint accounts. If you’re considering becoming a joint cardholder, make sure you’re prepared to take full responsibility for all charges to the card. Also, make sure that every payment is made on time, regardless of who makes the payment.

Apply for a secure credit card

If you want to apply for your own line of credit, without becoming an authorized user or looking for a joint credit card, consider applying for a secured credit card. These credit cards require a small security deposit in exchange for a small credit limit, allowing you to prove that you can manage credit responsibly.

Once you’ve demonstrated your ability to make payments on time and manage your small line of credit, most credit card issuers will return your security deposit and assign you an unsecured credit card. Secured credit cards can be rewarding, especially if you choose a card that offers cash back, like the Discover it® Secured Credit Card.

Consider credit cards for people with bad credit

Want more options? You may want to check out our lists of credit cards for people with bad credit and credit cards for people with no credit history.

Many of these cards are secured credit cards, but these lists also include unsecured cards designed for people hoping to build or rebuild their credit, such as the Visa® Petal® 1 “no annual fee” credit card, which uses factors such as income and bill-paying history to determine eligibility, offers cash back on select purchases, and allows cardholders to get a credit limit increase after six months of ownership from the menu.

The bottom line

Even though most major credit card issuers no longer allow credit cards with co-signers, there are still ways to build credit, even if you have a low credit score or limited credit history.

Consider becoming an authorized user, applying for a secure credit card, or looking for a card designed to help people build credit. Once you have your own line of credit, be sure to practice responsible credit habits to build a positive credit history and build your credit score.

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