Costumer Awareness
The Fair Credit Reporting Act
The Fair Debt Collection Act
The Fair Billing Act
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act
The Truth In Lending Act

When you use a credit card at a gas pump, the pump authorizes the purchase for something in the neighborhood of $50 first. So if you have less than $50 left on your limit, the pump will reject your purchase attempt.

What do the ECOA Codes mean?

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) requires creditors who report information about accounts to report it in the names of all people with a relationship to the account, including cosigners or authorized users. To help lenders identify your legal liability on all your credit accounts, credit bureaus add a code to each account, termed the ECOA code. Each credit bureau lists ECOA codes differently, but these are the basic categories:
  • Individual: You alone are legally responsible. This designation gives you a strong credit reference, assuming a good history.
  • Joint: You and someone else - often a spouse - are both legally liable. A joint account is equal to an individual account for building your credit history.
  • Co-signer, secondarily liable: You signed loan documents for someone else to help them qualify for a loan.
  • Co-signer, primarily liable: You took out an account for yourself, but someone else co-signed for the loan to ensure payment.
  • Authorized user: You can use the account and may have a card in your name, but you did not sign the application and are not legally responsible. Because you have no legal obligation, this designation does not help you get your own credit history.
  • Undesignated: No status was reported by the creditor reporting the account information

A or 3

 Authorized user of shared account


Borrower is solely responsible for payment


Co-borrower is solely responsible for payment

I or 1

Individual account for sole use of applicant

J or 2

Joint accounts, contractual responsibility

M or 7

Co-signer primarily responsible for account


No-applicant spouse inquiry

P or 4

Participant in shared account, which cannot be distinguished as a "C" or "A"

S or 5

Co-signer, No spousal relationship


Relationship with account terminated

U or 0, 6