Are you still paying for your last break-up

Posted by Richard Catlin in Credit Check on 18 February 2008 - Richard is Marketing Director at checkmyfile.

It may come as quite a shock to some people that previous partners may still be on the scene after all, in a very unexpected way.

If you have been previously married, or have spent any length of time living with a partner, then there is a good chance that you will have applied for credit in joint names. Anything from an application for a mortgage to a request to open a joint bank account will result in a “financial association” being created between you and the joint applicant.

When you apply for credit, lenders will look not only at your own credit accounts and how you have managed them in the past, but also those of the people associated with you. It’s therefore possible that your ex-partner's credit history will be used to assess your application. If their rating isn’t as strong as yours, your own credit rating will be lowered. This could result in a lender turning you down, or at the very least asking you to pay a higher rate of interest.

It’s not solely restricted to ex-partners of course, and we regularly see cases where family members become financially associated, often inappropriately.

Thankfully, if you do discover that someone appears on your credit file who shouldn’t be on it, there are steps you can take to ensure that their credit history doesn’t influence your ability to get credit. As long as you no longer hold any joint accounts with them – a joint mortgage for example - you can ‘disassociate’ (for free), and have them removed from your credit file.

With many lenders currently tightening their belts – or dumping their existing customers as Egg have done – it’s vital to make sure that everything on your credit file is as it should be, without any unwanted third parties. Indeed, Egg has said that the accounts it closed were not as credit worthy as they were previously.

By far the cheapest way of checking and monitoring your credit file is through our Unlimited Access Service, which works out £17.99 a quarter. This includes your full private file from Equifax, and lists anyone still financially associated with you, telling you what the impact on your rating and score is as a result of this. Your private file based on Callcredit data and your public file based on Experian are also included.

Getting Unlimited Access will allow you to check your reports after your disassociation to make sure it has been successful – and ensure that your ex-partner no longer affects you.

Click here to check your file now.

With lenders still with their hands in their pockets, access to a card that has credit card cheques available can be a real contingency to cover any unexpected downturns in your financial fortunes. The current Best Buy credit card which still offers the option to use credit card cheques is the AA credit card. With a Typical APR of 16.9% this is well priced, and at present the card has a 0% balance transfer offer for 12 months (the transfer must be done in the first 90 days of the account opening and carries a fee of 3%) and 0% interest on purchases of fuel and motoring and AA costs for 12 months. There’s also a cashback option of 1% for AA members or 0.5% for non-members, or generous reward points.

It’s been a long time since we have seen a card offer so much from a lender who has a wide lending appetite.

Apply for an AA card now

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