Bad credit on an address myths

Posted by Kirstie Brown in Credit Score on 15 February 2016 - Kirstie is a Senior Credit Analyst at checkmyfile.

When moving into a new house, the thoughts that may go through many people’s minds could be along the lines of “what colour am I going to paint this room?”, or “where am I going to put my wardrobe?”. The thought that may not go through your mind is “wonder how much debt the previous occupant was in?”

Your credit report is vital in this day and age and having a good credit rating is especially important for moments in your life such as buying a house, or taking out a loan to pay for a car, wedding or further education. With all the stress that comes with an application for something like a mortgage, it’s worth knowing what will not affect you.

One of the main things that people are concerned about is whether another individual’s information having an impact on their address, and in turn their credit score. This may be the result of a previous tenant living at your address, your spouse or a family member falling into debt, or living with a person who has had problems in the past.

The good news is that credit agreements are registered to particular individuals rather than to a specific address and as such, a previous tenant or people currently living at your address do not impact your credit file and in turn your score.

The only way that another individual can have an impact on your credit applications is if you are financially associated. This occurs when you hold a joint credit agreement with someone else, for example if you have a joint bank account with your husband, or if you are jointly named on the utility account with your flatmate. Once a financial association has been reported on your credit file, a lender can then decide whether to search the report of the person during your application and if there is negative information reported, this can impact their decision.

If you have previously held joint accounts with an individual in the past but the agreement has now been closed, you can request that the association is removed by the credit reference agencies. If no association is found between yourself and the other person, they can then remove this entry from your report and any negative information would no longer affect your applications.

It is always a good idea to check your credit file to see exactly what is held by the credit agencies and to make sure that you believe that the information is correct. Please be assured that by checking your report, this would not have a negative impact on your score - a ‘footprint’ is recorded to report this access to your file, however this information is not seen by lenders during credit applications.

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