Credit Information and Personal Finance Resources | Credit One Bank

Credit One CentralTM

Explore ways to manage your credit and finances with Credit One Central. These informational articles and resources can help guide you in your everyday life.

Cosigning On A Credit Card Or Loan – Credit Building Blocks

Cosigning On A Credit Card Or Loan – Credit Building Blocks

Building credit can be challenging—particularly if you’re young, new to the world of credit, or if you’ve experienced credit issues in the past. You need a history of using credit responsibly in order to get credit, yet you need to be extended credit in order to establish a reliable credit history. So how do you get around this seeming Catch 22?

One option is to add a cosigner.

What Is a Cosigner?

A cosigner on an unsecured personal loan—a loan based on creditworthiness instead of collateral, such as an unsecured credit card or student loan—is entering into a legal agreement wherein they agree to be held responsible for paying the balance of the account should you default. And unlike a joint account or joint credit card, where both parties have access to funds or can make purchases, on a credit card with cosigner, a cosigner typically has no charging privileges.

Who Makes a Good Cosigner?

A good cosigner candidate should ideally be:

  • Someone who believes in—and trusts—you. It’s important for a cosigner to trust you to pay your debt because, should you fail to do so, they will be held responsible for the outstanding balance.

  • Someone with good credit. If your prospective cosigner’s credit is not better than yours, adding them as a cosigner probably won’t help your chances of getting credit.

  • Someone financially stable with disposable income. If the worst-case scenario happens, and you default, your cosigner should be able to absorb making the payments or paying off the outstanding balance without going into debt themselves.

Cosigning Pros & Cons

There are three main advantages to the cosigner arrangement, one for each party involved:

  • The borrower increases their chances of getting credit they probably couldn’t secure on their own.

  • The lender feels more secure about extending credit, knowing they have two responsible parties to minimize the risk of default.

  • The cosigner gets the satisfaction of helping someone they care about in need.

Most all of the disadvantages with the arrangement are borne by the cosigner:

  • The cosigner is liable for the debt. The primary account holder may get the loan or credit card, but if you’re a cosigner, you are every bit as responsible as them for paying off the balance.

  • If the borrower makes late payments or defaults, it can damage the cosigner’s credit. Even if you’re not the one making late or no payments, as the cosigner, it will be reflected on your credit report too.

  • Cosigning could prevent you from getting credit of your own. Other lenders may see you’re a cosigner for another debt and be unwilling to extend you credit based on that obligation, due to potential impacts to your credit utilization ratio or payment history.

  • It’s difficult to be removed as a cosigner. Once you cosign a loan or credit card, there are only a few ways to have your name removed from the account.

Another Option: Become an Authorized User

Adding a cosigner is not the only route to go if you’re having a hard time getting credit—you may also want to consider being added as an authorized user to another person’s account. This is not to be confused with an authorized signer, a term that typically pertains to checking accounts. Just like with a cosigner, there are advantages and disadvantages associated with being or having an authorized user on a credit card.


  1. It can be a good way for the authorized user to build a credit history—if the lender reports the authorized user to the credit reporting agencies, which not all lenders do. Credit One Bank, for example, only reports an authorized user’s account activity if that person is the primary card member’s spouse.

  2. Authorized users cannot be held responsible for any outstanding balances on the account, including purchases they make.

  3. The primary account holder may derive satisfaction from allowing the authorized user to have a credit card of their own and, if applicable, build a credit history.


  1. If the primary account holder makes late payments or defaults, and the lender reports account activity on the authorized user, it can actually damage the authorized user’s credit.

  2. An authorized user typically has no authority to make account changes. These are usually reserved for the primary account holder, including removing the authorized user from the account at any time.

  3. The primary account holder is solely responsible for all purchases on the account, so even if the authorized user agreed to pay for their purchases, if they don’t, the primary account holder is liable.

A Serious Decision

Asking someone to be a cosigner on a credit card or personal loan is not something to be done lightly. Nor is it something a cosigner should enter into without first contemplating all of the rewards and the risks.

If you’re in a situation where adding a cosigner seems like your only option, you may want to look into ways to improve your credit score or to start with a credit card designed for people with challenged credit before taking the plunge. But if you choose a cosigner, or choose to be someone’s cosigner, choose wisely. It’s a decision that could affect your credit for many years to come.


« Return
This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified tax advisor, attorney or financial advisor. Readers should consult with their own tax advisor, attorney or financial advisor with regard to their personal situations.
Credit One Bank Testimonials

Customer Testimonials & Success Stories

Looking to reach your financial goals? See how Credit One Bank helps people purchase a house or car, handle emergencies and build their credit.

Read More

See If You Pre-Qualify Today

With a Credit One Bank Platinum Visa®, you'll earn 1% cash back on eligible purchases, terms apply, and receive many benefits like free online access to your credit score and $0 Fraud Liability.

In less than 60 seconds, find the card that's right for you!

Credit One Bank Credit Card

 Terms of Use 

Credit One Bank maintains our various websites (hereinafter referred to as "website") as a service to our customers and visitors in order to provide information about products and services and to facilitate communication with us. We require that all customers and visitors to our website adhere to these Terms of Use. By accessing our website and any of its pages, you indicate your acknowledgement and acceptance of the Terms of Use set forth herein without limitation or qualification. We may revise the Terms of Use at any time by updating this posting. You should therefore visit this posting to review the Terms of Use from time-to-time as you visit the website. For the purposes of these Terms of Use, references to Credit One Bank include its affiliates, directors and employees.

COPYRIGHT - The information and materials contained in the website, including but not limited to text and images herein (excluding certain images licensed from third parties) and their arrangement are © Copyright 2015 by Credit One Bank. The information and materials contained in the website may not be copied, displayed, distributed, licensed, modified, published, sold, used to create derivative work or otherwise used for public or commercial purposes without the express written permission of Credit One Bank.

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY - We use our best efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information and materials on the website, however, information and materials on the website are provided "as is" without any warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. Furthermore, we make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of the information. The information and materials on the website may include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. From time-to-time we may amend, change, add, delete, update or alter the information and/or materials contained in the website, including information regarding the products and services described or offered on the website, without notice. We assume no liability for any errors or omissions in the information or materials contained within the website and expressly disclaim any responsibility to update the information or materials contained within the website. By using the website, you acknowledge that we specifically disclaim any liability for any direct, indirect, special, unsolicited or consequential damages, losses or expenses arising out of your access to or use of the website, even if we have been advised of the possibility of such damages, including liability associated with any viruses or software which may impact a user's equipment.

GOVERNING LAW - You agree that your use of the website shall be governed by all applicable Federal laws and the law of the state of Nevada.

INFORMATION SUBMISSIONS - All information and materials (including but not limited to feedback data, documents, questions, comments, and suggestions) you submit to us via the website or email shall be deemed to be the property of Credit One Bank and may be used by us in a manner consistent with our Privacy Policy. We shall be free to reproduce, use, disclose, exhibit, display, transform, create derivative works and distribute this information and materials to others without limitation. Furthermore, we shall be free to use any ideas, concepts, know-how or techniques contained in such information or materials for any purpose whatsoever, including but not limited to developing, manufacturing and marketing purposes. Application information submitted to us shall be treated confidentially to the extent required by applicable law or as disclosed in the application and/or supporting materials.

ADVERTISING DISCLOSURE AND LINKS TO OTHER WEBSITES - We do not provide, endorse, nor guarantee any third-party product, service, information, or recommendation available through links from this website. The third parties providing products and services available through this website are not affiliated with us and are solely responsible for their products, services, information, recommendations, and all other content on their websites. We shall not be held liable for any third party's failure with regard to such advertised products, services, and benefits. Many of these advertised products and services are not FDIC insured, nor bank guaranteed. By responding to offers advertised on this website, you may be communicating information about yourself to the company that provides such product or services - for example, that you are a Credit One Bank customer. Please be aware that these third parties may have a different privacy policy than ours. Their website(s) may also provide less security than ours. We encourage you to check individual offers, products, and services to become familiar with any applicable restrictions or conditions.

 Security & Fraud  

We are committed to protecting the security of your personal information. We list some activities below that we perform in order to safeguard your data and some tips that you can follow to protect your security.

What We Do:

  • We employ industry-proven standards and technologies to protect information in our computing environment.
  • We protect our systems and networks from the Internet with Firewall systems.
  • We use 128-bit SSL encryption technology to protect sensitive information that is transmitted over the Internet.
  • We maintain a Global Digital Certificate signed by Verisign® that assures you are, in fact, communicating directly with Credit One Bank.
  • We control access to your information inside our company by limiting employee access to systems and data.

What You Should Do:

  • Protect your Username and Password. Avoid choosing easily guessed words or numbers. Avoid writing your Sign In information in a place where others can view it.
  • Use the "Sign Out" button to Sign Out from Online Account Access upon completion of your session and close your browser.
  • Do not use email for account-specific questions. Email is not normally encrypted and your account information could be intercepted.
  • Review your statement information regularly for unauthorized transactions.

Alerts Regarding Phishing and Web-Spoofing:

  • Phishing is an Internet scam (spoof) in the form of an email or pop-up box. The emails and pop-ups link to sites that look like well-known legitimate businesses and ask you to provide and confirm personal, financial, or password information.
  • Legitimate businesses do not ask for this information unless you initiate a request for a service. Please DO NOT RESPOND to these emails requesting personal identity, accounts or password information.
  • Scam emails often contain misspelled words, poor grammar, awkward or unprofessional writing and typos.
  • Be suspicious of urgent or alarming appeals that request security information.

Fraud Alerts:

  • Credit One Fraud Alerts messages are provided to you at no cost. You will not be charged for alerts received.
  • Message frequency varies, as they are only sent when there is suspicion of fraud.
  • Mobile carriers are not liable for delayed or undelivered messages.
  • For help send HELP to 89283.
  • Send STOP to 89283 to end future fraud alert messages.
  • For support contact us at 1-877-825-3242.

To learn other ways to avoid email scams and deal with deceptive spam visit the Federal Trade Commission site at


You are leaving

If you the 'Continue' button, you will be directed to a third-party website unaffiliated with Credit One Bank, which may offer a different privacy policy and level of security. Credit One Bank is not responsible or liable for, and does not endorse or guarantee, any products, services, information or recommendations that are offered or expressed on other websites.

the 'Return to' button to return to the previous page or 'Continue' to proceed to the third-party website.

Return to Continue