There seems to be a lot of confusion about the difference between a credit card’s authorized user and a joint account holder and debt collector practices aren’t helping any. One of the most common but often least heard of dirty tricks of the debt collections industry is going after a credit card’s authorized user for payment when the main account holder has defaulted on their credit card loan. So let’s clear up a few things. When a credit card holder allows another person to charge purchases onto their credit card, they are classified as an authorized user. Credit card companies allow the main account holder to add authorized users to their credit card account as long as the main account holder (not the authorized user) agrees to take full responsibility for the charges made on that account by the authorized users. On the other hand, a joint credit card account holder holds equal responsibility for repaying any charges made on the credit card. But what is currently happening is that many debt collectors are going after authorized users for repayment because they are hoping that they will just pay the charges even if they are not ultimately responsible for the charges. Authorized users who are facing harsh collections tactics should notify the debt collector in writing that they are not responsible for the charges on that account because they are only an authorized user. Debt collectors are required by law to prove that you are in fact responsible for that debt once your request that they provide proof. If they are unable to prove that you are responsible for that debt then they must stop their collections activities against you.