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Which Credit Cards Allow Co-Signers?

Which Credit Cards Allow Co-Signers?
Written by Publishing Team

Applying for a credit card with a co-signer — anyone else who agrees to share responsibility for fees charged on the card — is a good way to build a positive credit history.

In the past, applying for a credit card with a co-signer was a popular way to increase your odds of being approved. Unfortunately, most major credit issuers have gradually 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 Apple Card, allow you to create a joint credit account with someone else.

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

Credit card issuers that allow co-signers

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

In the past, it was probably possible to apply for a credit card with one of the co-signers if you were applying with 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.

However, people who apply for Bank of America credit cards have another option. Once your Bank of America credit card is approved, you can request that another applicant be added to your newly issued credit account. If the participating applicant is accepted, you will both share legal responsibility for all fees charged to the card. This is not the same as applying for a credit card with a co-signer, but it still allows you to share a credit line with someone else.

Issuers that do not allow co-signers of credit cards

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

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

Alternatives to finding co-signer

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

If you have bad credit or a limited credit history and aren’t likely 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 quickly is to become an authorized user of someone else’s credit card. When you become an authorized user, you receive permission to make purchases on someone else’s credit. The account holder is responsible for all payments and any outstanding debts.

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

Becoming an approved user is an easy way to get good credit for someone else while building your credit score, especially if you are a student or a young person who is not old enough to open your own credit card.

Apply for a joint credit card

In some cases, you may be able to apply for a co-branded credit card. Joint credit cards are exactly what they sound like: a credit card jointly issued to two people (couples, for example), who are both legally responsible for any debt owed on the card. All activities on the card are reported to the cardholder’s credit reports, which means that if you both use your shared card responsibly, you both can receive a credit boost!

Only a few credit cards, such as the Apple Card, allow joint accounts. If you are considering becoming a co-owner of a card, make sure that you are prepared to take full responsibility for any fees charged on the card. Also, make sure every payment is on time, regardless of who is making the payment.

Apply for a secured credit card

If you want to apply for your own line of credit – without becoming an authorized user or looking for a co-credit card – consider applying for a secured credit card. These credit building cards require a small security deposit against a small credit line, allowing you to prove that you can handle credit responsibly.

Once you demonstrate your ability to make payments on time and manage your micro credit limit, most credit card issuers will return your security deposit and upgrade you to an unsecured credit card. Secured credit cards can be rewarding—particularly if you choose a card that offers cashback rewards, such as the Discover it® Secured Credit Card.

Consider credit cards for people with bad credit

Do you want more options? You may want to take a look at our lists of credit cards for people with bad credit and credit cards for people without a 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 Petal® 1 “no annual fee” Visa® credit card, which uses factors such as income and payment history Billing to determine eligibility, it offers cashback rewards on select purchases and allows cardholders to earn a credit limit increase after six months of card ownership.

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 approved user, applying for a secured credit card or looking for a card designed to help people build credit. Once you have your credit line, be sure to practice responsible credit habits to create a positive credit history and build your credit score.

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