In matters of the heart, you often have little control over who you fall for. But when it comes to money, how does your choice of partner affect your credit report? And how can you combat any potential problems?
Discover the truth about some of the myths you may have heard, here…
Married couples generally maintain two separate credit records and histories. However, if you decide to take out a loan or mortgage with your spouse, all payment history from then on will be recorded on both credit reports. When creditors generate reports, they are required by law to report information on a joint account in both of the account holders’ names.
It is important, therefore, that you discuss your financial positions before getting married. Being aware of your spouse’s credit history can help to maintain a healthy financial position and reduce financial strain.
People often think that current accounts don’t make a difference to credit reports, but this isn’t always true: lenders increasingly take them into account.
Most current accounts in the market can be used as joint accounts and how a shared current account was used may have an effect on credit worthiness. For example, many reference agencies record whether the account was often overdrawn. Banks also share details of current accounts’ overdraft balances, overdraft limits and the status of the account.
A joint application for a credit card, mortgage or other financial product also links two individuals in the eyes of credit reference agencies.
Luckily, being financially linked is an issue which can be resolved fairly easily: closing joint accounts means that potential lenders will only search the file of the individual applying for credit.
Those keen to make an application can check their credit file, before going ahead and informing the three main agencies (Equifax, Experian and Call Credit) if the information is still unchanged.
It’s also possible to ask the credit reference agencies to unlink (or disassociate) the two people that are financially linked or, in the case of a mortgage, to apply for a notice of disassociation. A notice of disassociation lets potential lenders know that the two parties are no longer together. To apply for such a notice, the person has to prove that they have no active financial connection with the other person.
Regardless of your marital status, your credit report is constantly changing, so it’s important to check regularly that it is accurate.