Article by Kirstie Brown - 20th August 2020

Changing Your Name After Marriage

Once the wedding ceremony is finished, you’re probably exhausted; excited to enjoy your honeymoon; dive into the wedding gifts; and prepare to send out seemingly thousands of thank-you cards to distant relatives. It’s easy to delay some of the less exciting activities, like contacting your lenders to give them your new name, but is it worth putting it off? Should your Credit Report lie at the bottom of your list of priorities? Not if you plan on applying for literally any type of credit with your new spouse.

Who should I update my name with?

The most important organisations to contact after you change your name are HM Passport Office, DVLA, your lenders and utility suppliers, and your local council’s Electoral Roll office.

Updating your name with HM Passport Office and DVLA is needed to ensure that your newly issued passport and driving licence correctly show your new married name. Using this ID can then help you to change your name with other organisations like lenders.

Your lenders, utility suppliers, mobile phone provider, insurance providers, and really any companies that you hold monthly accounts with should be contacted so you can change your registered name with them too.

Finally, your Electoral Roll listing should be updated with your new name.

Ensuring that your accounts and Electoral Roll listing are registered to your new name is vital if you intend to apply for credit using the new name, anything from an overdraft to a joint mortgage with your other half. If you try applying for credit using your new married name without having first informed your lenders and local council of the name change, your application could run into trouble when the prospective lender is unable to find your Credit Report – due to the information still being registered to your old name.

If you want to make sure that the information on your Credit Report appears under your new name, be sure to tell your lenders and local council so they can record your new name correctly.

How do I inform them?

The best way to update your name with lenders and your local council is to contact them directly. You should be able to find contact details in emails or postal correspondence.

Changing your name on your official documents and with your lenders can be a hassle at worst and inconsistent at best. In order to update documents such as passport and driving licence, both HM Passport Office and the DVLA require the original marriage certificate to be sent away. You can contact them directly for specific requirements.

Lenders may also require a copy of your marriage certificate. Other companies may be happy with a photocopy of the certificate and some may accept a letter or email. Depending on how many accounts you need to update, this can end up taking quite a bit of time. Be sure to contact each company directly to see what they need from you.

It’s also important to remember to contact your local council to update their records – they will then be able to update your Electoral Roll listing to show in your married name. Once updated and published, this entry can take up to three months for it to appear on your Credit Report.

Many people underestimate how vital your Electoral Roll listing is for a successful credit application – if you are not registered, or are listed under a different name or address from that provided during the application, this can result in your application being unsuccessful.

Do I need to update the Credit Reference Agencies with my new name?

It’s a bit of a misconception that you need to update the Credit Reference Agencies yourself. Providing you tell your lenders, utility suppliers etc., and local council about your new name, they will report the new information to the Credit Reference Agencies for you. Your accounts and Electoral Roll listing will then be registered to your new name, meaning they can be found by lenders whenever they run a credit search on your new name.

Put simply, you shouldn’t need to update anything with the Credit Reference Agencies yourself as long as you’ve told everyone else.

Will a name change hurt my ability to take out credit?

Changing your name will only hurt your chances of a successful application if you neglect to tell your lenders and local council. As long as you do this, changing your name will have absolutely no harmful effect.

Those that don’t contact their bank, lenders, and local council to change their registered name may be surprised when they are declined for credit when applying with their new married name.

If you apply for credit using your married name while all your details are held under your maiden name, a lender will be unlikely to find any history of borrowing in these details because they don’t yet associate the two names as being for the same person. Lenders want to be as sure as they can that the repayments will be made on time, with little or no history to support this they may be reluctant to provide the credit facility.

By updating your lenders with your married name, they can change this on their system and update the Credit Reference Agencies, normally within four to six weeks. Once updated, an Alias can be reported on your Credit Report, which will link all information at the Credit Reference Agency in that particular name format. This will then ensure a comprehensive Credit Report is seen by potential lenders so that you would not be knocked back unnecessarily.

So, while your actual Credit Score would not be directly affected by change of name, not updating your lenders and council can result in an unexpected rejection. Although this task may not be at the top of your list, it is certainly worth sorting out sooner rather than later to avoid any hassle in the long run.

How does a name change appear on my Credit Report?

Once you have changed your name, your maiden name will appear on your Credit Report as an Alias. Aliases are names that lenders have previously associated with you, to make it easier to find your Credit History regardless of whatever name you now go by.

When you have informed the relevant parties about your change of name, it’s recommended to check your Credit Report to make sure that your name is updated accordingly.

You can see the UK’s most detailed Credit Report with complete information from all three Credit Reference Agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – free for 30 days, then just £14.99 per month.

Sign up is quick and cancellation is easy online, anytime.

If you have any questions about changing your name or what it means for your Credit Report, feel free to contact one of our professionally qualified Credit Analysts, who are available to help through your account.

Updated by Sam Griffin on 20 August 2020

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