Managing credit and debt in long-term relationships

Managing credit and debt together is crucial when you’re in a relationship – check out our Credit Cafe video here with guest Hannah Maundrell from money.co.uk

Linked finances
First, the myth-breaker. Getting married, being in a personal relationship with someone, moving in together and even having the same surname do not actually link up your credit reports. Credit reports do however become linked if two people have actually applied for credit together.

Essentially if you didn’t share a mortgage, a bank account or apply for any other shared financial arrangements beforehand, getting married isn’t going to make you any more financially linked.

How your credit report shows it
Your credit report will show you if and how you are financially linked. It will only contain your financial information, but will show the name of anyone you share a financial connection with – known as a financial association. Lenders will be able to see their financial information too and may use this when making a lending decision about you.

If you do change your surname, then including both new and old names on any new application for credit creates an ‘alias’ link between the two names. This allows both names to appear on your credit report, so the lender would then include both names on credit checks it makes.

Steps towards financial harmony
It’s best to be honest with each other about both your financial past and future goals. Shared responsibility for household bills, and working together on a regular budget, can make for a more harmonious time.

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