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CREDIT REPORT SERVICES AND ONLINE EXPERT HELP ARE FULLY OPERATIONAL - PHONE LINES ARE CLOSEDCOVID-19 STATUS

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PHONE LINES ARE CLOSEDCOVID-19 STATUS

Other names on my Credit Report

Posted by Sam Griffin in Credit Reports on 19 February 2020

Your Credit Report is a detailed record of your financial history – one that is central to all sorts of major life events, like applying for a mortgage, a new car, or even a job. Unexpectedly finding another person’s name on your Credit Report can therefore understandably cause a bit of a shock.

The vast majority of data on your Credit Report should relate to you, but often there are cases where another name is included – either accurately or inaccurately. We’ll go through all other names that can show up on your Credit Report, what they mean, and what can be done about them.

Other names on your Credit Report

Financial Association

The most common example of another person’s name on your Credit Report is a ‘Financial Association’. These are people with whom you’ve been considered to have a financial relationship. Usually spouses, partners, or family members, a link will be made between you both when you submit a credit application together (a joint mortgage, for example) or if you are jointly named on an account (shared gas or electricity, for example).

That’s how Financial Associations are made but why might it still show on your Credit Report long after the account has been closed? These links remain indefinitely, even if you are no longer in contact with the named individual. This means it’s fairly common for people checking their Credit Report for the first time to find former financial associates – even old friends or flatmates.

Having a Financial Association on your Credit Report means that whenever you apply for credit, the other individual’s Credit Report may be assessed alongside yours to aid the lender’s decision. In short, a Financial Association with someone who has a strong Credit Report can help your applications while being linked to someone with a poor Credit Report can harm your chances.

There’s no way to know what data is included on a Financial Association’s Credit Report (you can see who you’re associated to, but none of the data relating to their own Credit Report) so you can’t know for certain whether a Financial Association is helping or hindering your creditworthiness. In general, if you know the link between you is no longer ongoing, you should have the link removed to ensure your Credit Report is fully up to date and accurately represents your current financial status.

Thankfully it’s fairly straightforward to have Financial Associations taken off your Credit Report – especially if it’s done with expert help. You just need to contact the Credit Reference Agency (CRA) that supplied your Credit Report and submit a disassociation request. The CRA will then look to see if the link is active. If no ongoing financial connection between you is found, the Financial Association will be removed.

It’s worth noting that there are four Credit Reference Agencies in the UK – three of which, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion hold information concerning Financial Associations – so you’ll want to check your Credit Reports at each of them to be thorough. Our Multi Agency Credit Report can save you time by collating your complete data from all CRAs in one easy-to-use format.

We can even raise disputes on your behalf with the Credit Reference Agencies to have Financial Associations removed from your Credit Report. Just send us a secure message through your account once your report has been generated and one of our professionally qualified Credit Analysts will advise you on removing the other name.

It’s the UK’s most detailed Credit Report and you can try checkmyfile free for 30 days, then just £14.99 per month, which you can easily cancel online whenever you like, or by freephone or email.

Accounts with a name you don’t recognise

If you’ve spotted an account that you don’t recognise in the payment history section of your Credit Report, there’s a chance it may relate to another individual. Errors like this are rare, but they do happen.

The way to know for certain is to check the recorded name on the account – if the name is your own, then chances are it’ll simply be an account you don’t recognise so you’ll want to contact the relevant company to find out more about it. If the suspicious account has a different name reported, then it’s safe to say it relates to another person.

In this instance, it’s very likely that the account data has been mismatched to your Credit Report due to similarity of your details – your name, address, and date of birth (usually a mix of all three) will be very similar to the other person and their data was added to your Credit Report in error.

This occurs because of the way Credit Reference Agencies load information to people’s Credit Reports using a technique known as ‘fuzzy matching’. In most cases it means that if a lender incorrectly reports your name (with a typo, for example) the reported account data will still find its way onto your Credit Report rather than be lost. In rare cases, it means another person’s name and account are added to your Credit Report. This type of issue can affect family members with the same surname while sharing an address, as the personal details between data subjects is similar.

Just like with Financial Associations, checkmyfile can raise disputes on your behalf with all Credit Reference Agencies to have these names removed from your Credit Report. If you’re concerned another person’s account is showing on your Credit Report, just get touch via secure message, phone or email and our professionally qualified Credit Analysts will be able to dispute the data at all relevant CRAs on your behalf.

Politically Exposed Persons

In very rare cases, you may also find another name marked as a ‘Politically Exposed Person’ or PEP for short. In most cases these names should match yours closely, although you may find a slight difference, such as a different middle name, for instance.

It’s important to note that Politically Exposed Persons entries do not relate to you as an individual. If you see a PEP entry on your Credit Report, it just means that a variation of your name is matched to someone who is recorded on a Politically Exposed Persons register (which are taken from domestic and foreign government databases).

A PEP entry does not necessarily mean you are politically exposed, just that your name has been matched to someone who is.

What this means in practice is that someone with a relatively common name, might have multiple PEPs from all over the world.

If you aren’t politically exposed, having a PEP entry is unlikely to affect your credit applications in any way. At most, you might undergo an extra identity check so the lender can rule you out as being politically exposed (and therefore vulnerable to bribes, etc. all to fulfil their anti-money laundering and responsible lending practices). This extra due diligence can be achieved by looking at your address, date of birth, occupation, and more details.

Your own name, but with variations

A common issue for people checking their Credit Report is finding another name, which is clearly a variation of their own. This might be a misspelling or an old surname you no longer go by. Either way, these are generally nothing to worry about too much, especially if you recognise any associated account information, but there are steps you can take to keep your data consistent.

Aliases

Aliases are other names by which you’ve been known. Often these are maiden names, surnames held before a divorce, and shortened versions of your name. In general, aliases are no cause for concern, especially if you know you’ve used that name variant before.

An alias is created when you change your name on one of your accounts. The relevant lender will then share the new name with the CRAs and an alias is created.

Having an alias on your Credit Report helps ensure that your data is complete whenever you undergo a credit check.

Say for instance you apply for credit under your new married name, but some of your existing lenders still hold your accounts under your maiden name. Not to worry, because your alias means all information under the maiden name will be added to your Credit Report anyway, ensuring that nothing is missed.

Aliases are just an extra measure to ensure your Credit Report is complete. If you have a habit of applying under different variants of the same name (such as Tom and Tommy and Thomas) you may find aliases for each name. Again it’s nothing to worry about – they’re just on your Credit Report to ensure the data is complete.

Finding a misspelt alias usually reflects where one of your lenders has simply made a typo either when holding your name on its records or when it shared the name with the Credit Reference Agencies. You can dispute incorrect aliases with checkmyfile – we will contact the relevant Credit Reference Agency for you and request it takes the incorrect spelling off.

Credit Reference Agencies can remove old aliases if there isn’t any active information under those names any longer. If they find active accounts under your disputed alias, they won’t be able to take it off, but they will tell you which company holds the active account, so you can contact it directly to request the account is closed or your name on the account is updated.

Accounts with your name spelt incorrectly

If you find that your name has been misspelt on one of your accounts, it’s best to contact the company you hold the account with to request it updates its records. It should amend the error and report the new information to the Credit Reference Agencies for it to show correctly on your Credit Report. Lenders tend to share information on a monthly basis, so it might take up to six weeks for a lender’s correction to show on your Credit Report.

A typo in your name isn’t a reason to worry, especially if the account is showing on your Credit Report, but it’s best to keep your information correct and up-to-date.

What other names do not mean

Seeing another name on your Credit Report is very rarely a sign of fraudulent activity.

In general, fraudulent activity against you is undertaken using your own details, so finding another name on your Credit Report won’t necessarily mean fraud has taken place. Seeing a Financial Association, account data under another person’s name, a Politically Exposed Persons entry, an old alias, or incorrect spellings are not themselves reliable signs of fraud.

Actual signs of fraudulent activity are accounts in your details that you don’t recognise, a linked address that you don’t recognise, or a CIFAS fraud warning. All of these are included on your Credit Report, so you can check the data easily for yourself.

How do I check my Credit Report?

There are four UK Credit Reference Agencies that can hold different information, so you’ll want to check your Credit Report at each of them to ensure no stone is left unturned. checkmyfile makes this process hassle free with our Multi Agency Credit Report – the UK’s most detailed – with complete data from Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, and Crediva.

You’ll easily be able to check for other names on your Credit Report. If you have a question or would like to dispute the data, just send a secure message to our Credit Analysts through your account and they will handle the rest.

You can try checkmyfile free for 30 days then just £14.99 per month, which you can cancel anytime online, or by freephone or email.

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