Credit scores can be affected by lots of things, but you might not know how your living arrangements play a part. In this quick read we’ll look at how your current and past living arrangements matter, and why it’s important to make sure credit reference agencies know you exist.
It's who you're 'financially linked' to. If you're sharing a house with your friends and your finances are totally separate then you've got nothing to worry about.
However, for easy bill-paying, lots of housemates and couples open joint accounts when they move in together. Situations like this create something called a financial association.
When you apply for credit - providers will take a look at who you're associated with and their financial situation in addition to your own. In short, if your partner or friend has a poor credit history then you're better off keeping your finances separate.
Here are the products that create a financial association; joint accounts, joint loans, joint mortgages, some energy bills.
If you're divorced or separated, or clinging onto a joint account with your ex then you've got to make like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin and de-couple yourselves.
Any financial products you're sharing need to be closed down before anything else. So, if you've got a joint account, then close it. If you're still sharing a mortgage then you'll need to talk about a buyout or reach an agreement to get these put in one person's name.
Then get a 'Notice of Disassociation' with the three big credit reference agencies. You can do this online with Equifax and Experian, and by emailing TransUnion.
Whether you're living alone or sharing accomodation, you need to be on the electoral register to prove that you exist to credit reference agencies.
Without being on the electoral roll, credit providers can't verify that you exist and you are who you say you are - so they're unlikely to offer you credit.
It might not seem like a priority when you're moving home but it's one small thing that can make a really big difference. Get your National Insurance number handy and register online at Gov.Uk.
Our articles cover a wide range of mainstream financial products and employee benefits. Terms and conditions of each product may vary depending on your provider. Please ensure you check the specific terms and conditions of any financial products and employee benefits available to you from your employer.