It's important to understand your financial associations and keep them up-to-date, as they can have a big impact on you and your credit score.
A financial association is someone you have a link to through shared or joint finances. For example, if you are equally responsible for paying the credit card, utility bills, rent, or even insurance.
If you share finances with someone, they'll be recorded on your report as your 'financial associate'. And companies may check their credit history when deciding whether to approve you for the credit you’ve applied for. This is because your financial associates may affect your ability to repay debt. For example, if your partner's been made bankrupt, companies may be concerned that you'll need to help them repay their debts before you can repay your own.
When’s a good time to check financial associations?
Big life events are a good time to check your financial associations, including things like:
- You want to change banks, utility suppliers, or your mobile phone provider
- If you want to get married, entering a civil partnership or even just moving in with a partner
- When you’re moving house or buying your first home
- When someone who you may be financially connected with has died
- If you're getting a divorce, or have broken up with a partner
- You're looking to take out credit, eg loan or credit card
Can you get financial associations removed from your report?
If you no longer have a shared financial associate it may be wise to contact the credit agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and ask for a ‘financial disassociation’ to be created in your file. This means that any link to that person will be permanently removed from your file and their spending behaviour will no longer impact your credit score.
Remember your credit score reflects how responsible you are with credit and impacts your ability to borrow money. Even if you financial associate has a good score, you should also look after your own, because:
- If you have a low score, it can negatively affect your partner's ability to get credit, even if you're not applying together.
- Companies may reject an application for joint credit (e.g. a shared mortgage) if just one of you has a low credit score.
- If you break up, get divorced, or your partner passes away, you may need to apply for credit as an individual.
For more credit or rental info - check our resources section.