Beware of this collector trick – credit card co signer vs. authorized user
If you owe money on a credit card that has been turned over to a collection agency, chances are excellent that the collection agency is not only pursuing you but any authorized user. Be careful about this and know the difference between an authorized user and a co-signer. One of these persons is liable on the debt and the other is NOT. Collection agencies love to blur the distinction because they really don’t care from whom the money comes to pay the debt. If they can harass someone successfully into paying the debt, all the better. You read my blog. You follow my blog. You are an intelligent person and are educated about your rights.
A co-signer is someone who agrees to be liable for a debt to the same as extent as debtor who originally applied for and obtained the credit. For example, many parents co-sign for their kid’s cars. If the kid stops making the payment, the parent gets dunned for the money.
An authorized user of a credit card is simply someone who has permission to charge goods and services to the debtor’s account. This person is NOT liable on the underlying debt.
If you get a car from a collection agency demanding payment for a debt on a credit card, simply asking the nice collector to provide you with proof as to your status on the debt; e.g. co-signer or authorized user. If the collector cannot produce any such proof, ask them to have no further contact with you and to have a nice day. Yes, this can all be accomplished nicely.