Will my wife's debt relief order show on my employment background check?

Dear James,

My wife is going through financial difficulties and is considering entering in to a debt management plan. Would this show on my credit report, or have any impact on me as my employer carries out regular background checks?

Adam, Leeds

Dear Adam,

It’s good to see your wife taking steps to deal with her financial problems. A debt management plan is an informal arrangement with your lenders to repay unmanageable debt over an agreed period of time and, depending on the circumstances, can be a good way to help someone get back in control of their finances.

Because credit reports these days are compiled on people and not on addresses, financial information in your wife’s name should not appear on your credit report and should not, therefore, be visible to your employer if it carries out a background check.

However, if you’re financially linked (by, for example, a joint account) then when you apply for credit the lender could search both reports, meaning her financial situation could have an impact on the decision. Financial links are usually created when people apply for joint financial products together.

It might be good to check your credit report to see whether or not you and your wife are financially linked. If you find you are, you could consider asking us (and the other credit reference agencies) to break the link if you currently have no current financial connections.

You can do this with Experian by filling in this form and providing the requested details. Make sure you also contact the other agencies.

Good luck to your wife getting her finances back on track. (February 2019)


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