Guide to Financial Associations

Posted by Sam Griffin in Credit Reports on 15 January 2018

It's not uncommon for someone checking their credit report for the first time to notice information that’s out of date or simply inaccurate – but by far one of the most frequent offenders for this is the record of a financial association.

Financial Associations often need to be removed from a Credit Report following a divorce, but there are many more reasons why you might need to disassociate. Find out more about financial associations and divorce.

What are they and why do they affect my finances?

A financial association is an individual with whom you’ve had a real or perceived financial relationship, such as a partner or family member. Such financial connections are created when you take out credit with another person – for example a mortgage or more recently, a guarantor loan. It doesn’t even require you to open the account for an association to be created - simply making an application is enough.

A financial link to this person will subsequently be created and will be shown on your credit report, where it will remain indefinitely, even after the account is settled or closed. This means that unless you specifically request that the record of your associate be removed, your ex-partner’s finances could still be affecting your credit score and creditworthiness without you even realising.

What effect does a financial associate have on my credit report?

You’re not able see details of a financial associate's personal credit accounts on your own credit report (although you can see who they are), but while the association is linked to you, they will impact your own credit applications and vice versa. Lenders, in contrast, will be able to view your association’s entire credit report and will use this when considering an application from you (the permission for this is typically included in the terms and conditions of the credit agreement).

Lenders do this to make sure anyone they consider you to have close monetary ties with isn’t likely to rely on your financial support should they have trouble making their own payments.

This means that having a financial association with an individual who has a high credit score is likely to result in lenders viewing you more favourably, whereas a link to someone with a poor credit score will have the opposite effect, decreasing your own creditworthiness. For this reason, it’s important to ensure you know who you’re financially associated to as this could be the deciding factor in the interest rate you are offered, or even if you are declined outright.

How can I get rid of (or dissociate) my financial associations?

Because financial associations last indefinitely on your credit report (until you manually request their removal), you usually have to contact each of the credit reference agencies separately. That process is much easier with checkmyfile, where not only can you check for financial associations at Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, but our team of professionally qualified Credit Analysts can help challenge and remove any link that should no longer be there.

To do this, it’s simple:

  • If you’re not already a customer, sign up with checkmyfile. In most cases, your report will be available to view instantly after passing security checks. Any financial associations will be clearly displayed on your credit report for you to see.

  • Click the ‘View’ button next to the record of the financial association you wish to remove and follow the instructions on screen – this will start the dissociation process.

  • We will contact the relevant credit reference agencies on your behalf and let you know as soon as we hear back from them.

You can try checkmyfile free for 30 days, then for just £14.99 a month and cancel at any time.

Why might I not be able to get all financial associations removed?

In the majority of cases, old or irrelevant financial associations are successfully removed, but in the odd instance where this isn’t possible, we can tell you which lender is reporting the financial link so you can go directly to the source of the information. Sometimes a lender or credit reference agency will not allow for a financial association to be removed if they believe a link is still in place- this is usually in the form of a joint bank account or mortgage that hasn’t yet been fully paid off.

If you have any questions about financial associations or viewing your own multi-agency credit report, please feel free to get in touch with our team of experts who will be more than happy to help.

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