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Can I stop my husband’s mess hurting my credit history?

 

Dear James,

 

My husband has such a low credit rating that he has been refused credit. We have a joint mortgage, but otherwise our finances are separate. I have just applied for a small loan and have been turned down because my credit rating is low 'by association'. I have always managed my finances extremely well and have never been late with a single payment. Before we married my credit rating was high. However, I knew nothing about the financial mess my husband got himself into and yet I am being judged on his credit history. How can I set about clearing my name and restoring my credit reputation please? 

 

Julie, Ipswich

 

Dear Julie,

The financial link through your mortgage means that your credit reports are intertwined in the eyes of lenders. It is possible to live together as a couple without creating a financial link, but most couples do take on joint credit commitments and, as a result, do link up their credit ratings. Credit reports stretch back six years and lenders will not differentiate between credit history created before and after you get together. This is why we strongly encourage cohabiting couples to review their credit reports openly together at a very early stage, to help make sure no nasty surprises emerge later on. In terms of what you can sensibly do now to improve the situation, I think the best advice I can give you is to sit down with your husband and go through his credit report, to try to identify where improvements can be made. Adverse information doesn’t appear forever and as far as credit ratings are concerned time is a great healer. If you and your husband want personal guidance on the steps he may be able to take to boost his credit rating, our CreditExpert service includes a score intelligence section to help get him on the right track.

James Sign

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