Your ex-partner could damage your credit rating, Brits warned
Millions of people remain financially linked to their former partners, even after they have closed down any joint accounts.
Around 11.7 million people have taken out a financial product with a person they’ve later separated from, according to credit checking service ClearScore.
But this could still have an impact on your credit rating as if you apply for joint credit with someone, such as a joint account or a mortgage, your financial histories can be linked together. This means lenders can view the other person’s credit score when assessing whether to lend to you in future – and this link remains for six years after the product has been closed.
More than two-thirds (69%) of people surveyed were unaware of this fact, even though it could potentially impact their ability to take out financial products in the future.
In some instances, a person could be refused credit because their ex-partner has got into financial difficulties since they split up.
Of those people who are aware of the impact of joint accounts, just 6% understand that this link remains in place for six years.
Justin Basini, chief executive of ClearScore, says that people can ask credit reference agencies to remove any link between them and former partners.
“Millions of people risk being haunted by the financial ghosts of partners past,” he says. “Even if your own credit report and score are in rude health, the way you are viewed by lenders can be negatively affected by your ex partners. When a relationship ends, it’s your responsibility to uncouple your financial records.”
Your credit score is a three-digit number (ranging from a low of 300 to a high of 850) calculated from the information in your credit report. Your credit score enables lenders to determine how much of a credit risk you are. Basically, a low credit score indicates you present a higher risk of defaulting on your debt obligations than someone with a high score. If you have a low credit score, any products you successfully apply for will carry a higher rate of interest commensurate with this risk.
A report containing detailed information on a person’s credit history, a record of an individual’s (or company’s) past borrowing and repaying, including information about late payments and bankruptcy. It also includes all applications a person has made for financial products and whether they were rejected or accepted. Your credit report can be obtained by prospective lenders to determine your creditworthiness.