Adding Trade Lines – Good or Bad?


Considering how hard it is for even people with good credit to qualify for financing there have been a multitude of people offering to add trade lines to your credit. Does this really have an impact on your credit score? What are the pitfalls?

You have seen the Craigslist ads stating that they can get you a $25K trade line with a 2 – 4 year history added to your credit report within weeks. They charge anywhere from $500 to a few thousand dollars.

There are 2 types of trade lines offered and the difference between the 2 is substantial. Both are considered unethical to say the least.

Most offer “Authorized User” trade lines. This is where the primary credit holder allows you to be added to their account as an authorized user. A card is issued but never sent to you. As a result of adding the trade line to your credit your profile score can increase significantly. However, there are several pitfalls:

It is a violation of the credit card agreement to SELL this to a third party. This is unethical at the very least. If the credit card company discovers this they will close the account and you will be left with nothing. Also, if the primary card holder defaults on his arrangement YOU will be left with HIS bad credit.

The second form of trade line offered is a “Primary User” trade line. This is where you are offered a trade line reporting that you are the primary account holder. THIS IS COMPLETELY ILLEGAL. The credit issuer has not approved you as the primary account holder so this is CREDIT FRAUD.

My suggestion is to either have a family member add you to a trade line or forget the whole thing. You have heard the old saying “If it seems too good to be true, it is”. This totally applies here.

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Reader Comments

Luis Nestler on April 29, 2013 at 11:25 pm

According to credit fraud statistics, credit fraud and identity theft are a small part of overall credit card spending in the United States. Losses due to default far exceed those caused by fraud. However, if credit fraud or identity theft happens to you, it can be overwhelming. Victims may be protected financially, but they are forced to experience major inconvenience. Ultimately, we all pay for credit card fraud in terms of higher prices, higher interest rates and extra inconvenience.^.

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