There are many reasons to add an authorized user to your credit card. It’s a convenient way to allow a family member to make purchases and boost their credit score if they have poor or no credit history. But there may come a time when you want to remove an authorized user from your credit card account. Thankfully, most issuers’ remove authorized user process is fairly straightforward. Keep reading as we detail what you need to know about removing an authorized user from your credit card.

Why would you want to remove an authorized user?

You might have any number of reasons for wanting to remove an authorized user from your credit card. Perhaps the individual no longer uses the card, and there simply isn’t a point in keeping it active. Occasionally, authorized users misuse the card and make too many purchases for which they are not legally responsible, causing the card owner to want to revoke their access. In other cases, a couple could be breaking up or getting divorced and separating their finances. In the case of a business card, you’ll want to remove any employee that leaves the company as an authorized user on corporate credit cards.

Remember that authorized users can’t be forced to pay for any of the debt they accumulate on credit cards for which they are not the primary account holder. You will solely be responsible for paying any charges on time, and your credit score will be impacted if they aren’t paid — even if the authorized user racked up the debt. In fact, the authorized user might not even have access to account statements to track how much they are spending on the card.

We should note that if you currently have an authorized user on your card, you’ll want to closely monitoring the account so that you can remove the user immediately if they are not responsible with the card. It’s better to remove an authorized user sooner than later if you suspect that they may rack up too much debt in your name.

How to remove an authorized user

Contact the issuer: The first step in removing an authorized user is to call your credit card issuer. This is often the only thing you really need to do to remove an authorized user from the account. The bank will be able to immediately render the card inactive so that it can no longer be used to make purchases.

Get written confirmation: To cover all your bases, you may also want to get written proof that the bank has removed the user from your card. Ask your bank over the phone how to do this when you are removing the user from the account. You may need to send a letter to the bank’s designated correspondence department.

Inform the authorized user: While not technically a requirement, it’s a good idea to inform the user you are removing from the account that they will no longer have access to your card. This will give them a chance to find alternative forms of payment and switch over any subscriptions or recurring monthly charges.

Monitor your credit report: You should be doing this anyway, but continue to monitor your credit report after you have removed an authorized user from one or more of your credit card accounts. This will make sure that the user has, in fact, discontinued using accounts in your name and will catch any possible errors by the bank or credit bureau.

Remove yourself as an authorized user: In some situations, you may be the authorized user on someone else’s credit card and decide you want to be removed. The best way to do this is to ask the primary account holder to remove you. However, sometimes the credit card owner can’t be reached or doesn’t want to remove you from the card. If this is the case, try calling the bank to see if they will remove you without the account holder’s permission. If this is unsuccessful, you’ll have to dispute the account with the credit agencies. You should contact all three bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – and file a dispute either online, by mail or over the phone.

Ask if the account will remain on your credit report: If you’re an authorized user who is being removed from a credit card account, ask whether the account will be removed from your credit report immediately or whether it will remain there. Your credit score may go up or down pending any changes, so it’s important to keep an eye on your score and be prepared for a change in your score.

Removing an authorized user from a credit card account is a fairly simple process that can be done in just a few minutes over the phone. The Chase remove authorized user process, for example, requires you to simply confirm your personal details and provide the authorized user’s name. If you decide you need to remove an authorized user from your account, don’t put it off. Acting immediately will prevent the user from continuing to use your card, accumulating debt that only you will be responsible for paying off.