A new practice in the credit card industry is making signing up for a credit card for the first time a little bit harder.
Discover is the latest credit card company to stop allowing new credit card applicants to do so with the help of a cosigner. (For those with existing accounts, there will be no change, but as of December 2016, this practice won't be allowed for new applicants, a spokesman for Discover said.)
Many other banks and card issuers had already discontinued the practice, making the ability to sign up with a cosigner rare.
A cosigner can help someone with a lower credit score be approved for a card; both the cosigner and the applicant become equally responsible for paying the account’s bill. Failing to pay the bill can also hurt both parties’ credit.
Chase stopped allowing new applicants to use cosigners in 2013, and Citi hasn't allowed cosigners for more than a decade. American Express also doesn't allow cosigners.