You may be older and wiser, but are you aware that tying the knot could still have an effect on your credit rating?
If you’re not sure whether your romantic union could have affected your credit report, there is a way to check. Experian CreditExpert can give you unlimited access to your Experian credit rating and credit report, and will allow you to closely monitor your credit report as it is updated.
The act of marriage in itself won’t change a thing, but sharing a mortgage, bank account or other financial arrangement can, so there are a few things to bear in mind before you legalise your romantic union.
Changing your name shouldn’t mean you should leave out your old name on any application forms after you’re married – in fact, it’s recommended you include your old and new name in order to create what’s known as an ‘alias link’ between both names. This will prompt both names to appear on your credit report in future, allowing the lender to make a more informed decision for when you apply for credit. It’s also a good idea to register your new name (and change of address if applicable) on the electoral roll at your earliest opportunity.
Sharing a financial association with your spouse means you will see each other appear in the ‘Financial Associations’ section of your credit report. Lenders will be able to look up your respective credit reports separately, but only your own credit history will show up on your report.
A bad credit rating could come back to bite you in various different ways, and could even stop you from successfully applying for credit in the form of a loan, mortgage, bank account or credit card. Being associated with someone who has bad credit could also have an adverse effect on your own credit rating.
If you think you or a partner you are associated with my have poor credit, you can check your credit report to see if you’re both financially linked. Remember, just because you’re in a personal relationship and even share the same name and address with someone, does not mean you’ll be associated with each other on your credit reports. In actual fact, your credit reports will only be linked if you’ve both applied for credit together (such as a mortgage or joint bank account) or if you’ve taken steps to inform a lender or Experian that you’re financially linked with each other.
Keeping your finances separate will ensure your credit reports remain separate, but checking your credit report with Experian will not only inform you whether you’re financially linked with anyone from your past or present, but could also help you to take steps that could improve your overall credit rating.
Checking your credit report regularly will allow you to take care of any issues as soon as they arise, and will help you to avoid any unpleasant surprises when applying for credit in the future.
As the UK’s largest credit reference agency, Experian can also help advise you on any questions or credit-related concerns you may have.