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Is my credit rating affected by my partner?
Published 29 January 2017 by Emily Bancroft
Find out if your other half could get you rejected for credit.
When you apply for credit, the lender will look at lots of different things when they’re deciding whether or not to accept you. They’ll look at whether you’ve had any CCJs, whether you’re on the electoral roll and they might even look at your partner’s credit rating. And if your partner’s had problems with borrowing in the past, the lender might reject you.
But when can your partner’s credit rating – or credit score in the UK – affect you? We’ll take a look at everything you need to know and what to do if you split up.
Have you got joint credit?
If you’ve ever taken out a joint credit agreement with your partner, their information will appear on your credit report. This includes if you’ve ever had a loan or mortgage together, and even if you have a joint bank account. And if you’ve ever had a joint CCJ, this will create a financial link too.
You won’t have a financial link just because you live with someone or you share bills together. And if you take a joint credit card together, this won’t create a financial link. That’s because there’s actually no such thing as a joint credit card – you can only add another cardholder to an existing card.
Having a financial link with your partner isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just means that details of their credit history can appear on your report. If you and your partner both have good histories of borrowing, there’s nothing to worry about. In fact, if you’ve never borrowed and they’ve got a good credit history, this can help to improve yours.
But if your partner has a lot of debt or missed payments, they might find it harder to get any more credit. And if a lender sees the financial link between the two of you, they could turn you down for borrowing too.
If you’ve split up
You’ll have a financial link to anyone you’ve ever taken out credit with – even if you’ve now split up. So if your ex has bad credit and it’s stopping you from borrowing, you should get a ‘financial disassociation’.
This is where the credit reference will remove the financial details of your ex from your credit history. When you next apply for credit, lenders won’t see a link between the two of you anymore.
You can apply for a financial disassociation from the three credit reference agencies – that’s Experian, Equifax and CallCredit. The reference agencies will check to see why you want to disassociate yourself from the other person but as long as you don’t still have any credit agreements with them, they’ll remove their information from your credit report.
Want to improve your credit history? Find out how to rebuild your credit score with our blog.