Is your ex ruining your credit score? How their transactions could be impacting you

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Credit reports are considered individually, however, in some cases where a person is financially linked to their partner, their name can show up. And in the event that the relationship sadly doesn’t work out, it could prove to be important to ensure this link is removed from one’s credit report.

“You can also be financially linked even if you are not making applications for joint credit.

“Whilst breaking up with a partner will not directly affect your credit score, any joint financial obligations can cause problems.

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“The end of a relationship and even a divorce will not influence your status or ‘financial association’, the link can only be removed when the credit agreement is ended or amended, and this is where things have the potential to get messy.”

So, how can a person successfully disassociate themselves financially from an ex?

“Firstly, check your credit report straight away to make sure that your partner has not put you on their credit accounts without your knowledge,” Mr Stringer said.

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“Additionally, this will give you a good indication of which accounts you will need to close or amend to remove any financial association.

“You can also set up fraud alerts on your accounts so you will be notified should there be any activity that would suggest identity theft.”

Mr Stringer went on to suggest swiftly closing joint accounts and credit cards following a split.

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“Close joint accounts and credit cards with your ex-spouse or partner as quickly as possible to prevent any disputes over payments,” he said.

“Think about mortgages and cars which may be registered to one person, or if your ex is an authorised user on your credit card, they may be able to make payments which you might not be happy about.

“In the case of a divorce, you may need to sort out how your assets are divided with a solicitor or financial advisor.

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“Note that changing your name after a divorce will not impact your credit score and you will remain financially linked to your ex until the link is removed.”

Having closed these accounts and cards offering financial links, there’s further action to take.

“Once you have closed or amended all shared accounts, ensure you contact the credit reference agencies to request the financial link is removed from your credit report,” Mr Stringer said.

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“Until this happens, any transactions from your ex-partner could potentially impact your own credit report.

“Mortgages are slightly more complicated to deal with then you break up with a partner however there are usually several options for what happens to your shared property.

“Unless disputes on how to proceed arise, the process should be relatively simple.

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“You can split the equity if you decide to sell the property, or if one person wants to stay in the property, they can take over the mortgage payments provided they can afford it.

“If this is the case, you should talk through your options with your mortgage lender to discuss payment options.

“Then a solicitor will need to be involved so that ownership of the property can be transferred.”

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Furthermore, Mr Stringer highlighted how seeking advice from a qualified financial advisor could be worthwhile for some.

“Breakups can be stressful periods, therefore, knowing how to protect yourself financially is crucial to prevent any negative financial implications,” he said.

“Like any big financial decision, you should always consult an expert or financial advisor if you are unsure.”

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