Love is blind as they say, and, when you’ve met that special person joint credit agreements become a reality – the real reality is you can severely damage your credit score by doing so.
Mortgages, bank accounts and loans all create a link on your credit file with the person you have applied with.
Once linked, it is possible that their credit report will be taken into account on any future credit applications you make.
If you are giving consideration into entering into a financial association with anyone, it is imperative you are as open and honest with each other as possible about your current financial commitments and your previous credit history.
In this short guide we’ll explain how your credit file can become linked and what you need to do to unlink them.
When do you become financially linked?
Cohabiting is not a factor in your credit files being linked.
The only way your credit file can become linked to somebody else, is by applying for a joint credit agreement with them – such as a loan or a mortgage.
Once you have taken a joint credit agreement, the other person would appear as a financial associate on your credit report.
If you marry someone, the same rules would apply. Marriage doesn’t create any form of financial link, only applying for a joint credit agreement can.
How do I remove a financial link?
There are certain steps you must take to unlink your credit file from a financial associate.
Close joint accounts
Leaving joint accounts open means a financial associate hasn’t been removed from your credit file.
You would need to close down any joint accounts you hold together, or transfer the account to an individual account.
Once this is done the next step is asking the credit reference agencies to place a notice of disassociation on your credit report.
This will stop your former financial associate having any detrimental affect on your credit score further down the line.
Separation and divorce
Separation and divorce does not unlink you from your partner or spouse, you’ll remain financially linked to them.
Until all joint accounts and credit agreements are closed and the financial association has been removed by the credit reference agencies, their future actions – such as taking out more credit – can have severe implications on your credit score.
Where you credit file is concerned, acting on the side of caution is the best possible advice.
Be honest and speak openly with your partner or spouse, taking the time to ensure that applying for a joint credit agreement is going to be of mutual benefit and not detrimental to each other’s credit score.
It really will save a lot of hassle in the long run.
If you are permanently separating from your partner or spouse, it is crucial to act fast and unlink your credit files.
The last thing you would want is someone else’s credit history, impacting negatively on your own credit score and financial future.
Have you ever been adversely affected by someone else’s poor credit history?