Bad credit on an address myths

Posted by Kirstie Brown in Credit Score on 9 January 2020 - Kirstie is a Senior Credit Analyst at checkmyfile.

When moving into a new house, the first thoughts that go through your mind could be along the lines of “what colour am I going to paint the kitchen?” or “will my wardrobe actually fit in the bedroom?” You may not immediately ask yourself “I wonder how much debt the previous occupant had!”

Your Credit Report is vital in this day and age and having a good Credit Rating is especially crucial for those important moments like buying a house, or taking out a loan to pay for a car, wedding or home improvement. With all the stress that comes with an application for something like a mortgage, it’s worth knowing what can affect your chances of being accepted.

Can someone else at my address affect my Credit Rating?

A common worry when it comes to Credit Reports is whether a former occupant at an address can impact the person currently living there and harm their Credit Score.

The good news is that credit agreements are registered to specific individuals rather than to an address and, as such, a previous tenant or other people living at your address shouldn’t impact your Credit Report unless you have a financial connection to them.

What if we are financially linked?

The only way that another individual can impact on your credit applications is if you are Financially Associated. This occurs when you hold a joint account with someone else, or have done in the past. This could be a joint bank account with a spouse or even being jointly named on a utility account with a flatmate, as just two examples. Once a Financial Association has been reported on your Credit Report, a lender can then decide whether to search the Credit Report of the other person during your application and, if there is negative information reported, this will likely harm your chances of being accepted.

If you have previously held joint accounts with an individual but the agreement has now been closed, you can request that the Financial Association is removed by contacting the Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs). If no active link is found between yourself and the other person, the CRAs can remove the Financial Association from your Credit Report and any negative information on that person’s Credit Report would no longer affect you. Because financial associations will remain on your Credit Report indefinitely, it’s important to check for yourself that everything is correct. Just because a relationship ends, it doesn’t mean that the association does.

We can dispute Financial Associations with the CRAs on behalf of our active subscribers, so if you’re looking to have an old associate removed, feel free to contact our professionally qualified Credit Analysts.

How do I check my Credit Report?

It is always a good idea to check your Credit Report to see exactly what is held by the CRAs and to make sure that the information is correct. Please be assured that checking your own Credit Report has no negative effect on your score – you can check your own information as much as you like without penalty.

If you haven’t already, you can check your Multi Agency Credit Report with checkmyfile free for 30 days, then just £14.99 per month. You can cancel easily online, by freephone or email at any point. Importantly, our Credit Reports are the most detailed in the UK, including your complete information from the four Credit Reference Agencies so you can see everything in one place.

Updated 09/01/2020 by Sam Griffin

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