It is now (and has been for some time) possible to share credit with others and to get paid for it; Piggybacking credit is a thriving industry.
The sharing community is here. It’s here to stay. And, it’s likely to get bigger as it expands to more and more industries. But, surely there are some limits. Take one’s personal credit, for instance. Could you imagine an industry in which parties are connected through a broker to share their credit? Well, imagine no more… it’s real.
And, as crazy as it sounds, it’s a fairly common practice which has been around for decades.
Then again, it was crazy to hitchhike 10 years ago. Now, we have a digital thumbs up and a perfect stranger snatches us up in their vehicle. Uber is on-demand transportation. Superior tradelines is an on-demand credit boost. But, how?
It’s quite interesting, actually.
A spousal authorized user is where it began.
In order to understand it, let’s take a few steps back. In your credit report, you have accounts (like credit cards, etc.). Those accounts are called “tradelines.” You may have heard of co-signing, but there’s something else called “authorized users.”
Unlike a co-signer, the owner of a credit card can add anyone else as an authorized user to that account.
When that happens, the account history associated with that credit card is reported to the authorized user’s credit report. When that happens (and assuming the account is in good standing), the authorized user’s credit score increases.
In other words, the account (or tradeline) added is superior to the accounts already on the authorized user’s credit report. This is why the scores go up and this is where the term originated.
“Piggybacking” credit commercialization.
Piggybacking credit was originally intended for spousal authorized user tradelines (again, “tradeline” just means an account). But, because of the way the law (or, technically, the regulation) is written and because banks do not distinguish between spousal and non-spousal authorized users, anyone added as an authorized user can receive the same benefit.
In other words, you could add a perfect stranger to your credit card as an authorized user for the purpose of increasing their credit scores. As you can imagine, this is a value to the authorized user. As such, the practice of piggybacking credit was commercialized.
Buying superior tradelines (i.e., good credit).
There are companies which broker the relationship between those with good credit and those who need it. The transaction is relatively simple for the consumer and the credit “donor.”
- The credit donor establishes and maintains a relationship with the broker.
- The consumer finds the broker online.
- The broker coordinates with the parties, holding the funds in trust (like escrow) until the transaction is complete. Meaning, until the consumer is added as an authorized user by the donor. Once complete, the donor gets paid and the broker takes their cut.
Staying in the lane.
Sorry for the continual “Uber” puns, but in the case of piggybacking credit, there are lanes, legally. The entire practice is based on the law. It is recognized as legal. However, legal things are used illegally all the time.
There is a new – and fraudulent – scheme of adding tradelines to fictitious social security numbers, call synthetic identity.
Uber is perfectly legal, but some drivers have broken the law. In the same way, tradelines are perfectly legal, but some consumers have broken the law.
Sharing credit is here.
Ultimately, piggybacking credit is an amazing tool. Because laws allow it and because it is commercialized, you could share credit with others or benefit from someone sharing their credit with you.
Buying superior tradelines is one of those industries where all parties involved benefit from each other and not at the expense of each other.
The sharing community is here.
Credit sharing joined that club.