Don't ignore the financial pain of a failed relationship
Almost one in five Brits have been hurt financially by their partner, research reveals.
As many as 17% have seen theirs and their partner's credit ratings negatively impacted by their relationship, according to credit rating agency Experian.
Among them, 12% of people have been impacted by a current or former partners' bad credit rating, and another 5% admit to adversely affecting their partners' credit worthiness.
Finances - and credit reports in particular - become tangled up when couples take out a joint bank account or a mortgage. Such financial links show up whenever individuals apply for credit - so poor financial behaviour of one partner can negatively affect the other for a six-year period.
Of those whose finances had been negatively affected by their partner, a fifth found it more difficult to get a mortgage and that when they were able to secure a home loan, they were charged a more expensive interest rate.
A further 22% were unable to get a mortgage altogether and 24% found getting a credit card more difficult or expensive.
While the financial impact can leave damage that lasts much longer than the relationship itself, only 3% of people have ever filed a note of financial disassociation - something that can be thought of as a 'credit divorce' in that it informs lenders that the individuals are no longer a 'financial couple'.
In fact, 24% of people don't know what financial disassociation is, according to Experian, meaning many Brits may still be unknowingly financially linked to their exes.
To get a former partner removed from your credit report, you should contact all three of credit reference agencies them - Equifax, Experian and Callcredit - as they can all hold different information about you, according to the Debt Advisory Service.
Peter Turner, managing director at Experian Consumer Services, UK & Ireland, said: "Setting up joint finances can be one of the biggest commitments you can make in a relationship."
He added: "For those whose relationships sadly end, it's important to ensure any joint finances are also separated to regain financial independence. If the mortgage is the only remaining joint debt with your ex-partner and you've lived apart from more than six months, you can still ask us to break the link between your credit reports. The effect of this will be to stop any information about your ex affecting your credit rating in the future which can be a big step in moving forward."
A report containing detailed information on a person’s credit history, a record of an individual’s (or company’s) past borrowing and repaying, including information about late payments and bankruptcy. It also includes all applications a person has made for financial products and whether they were rejected or accepted. Your credit report can be obtained by prospective lenders to determine your creditworthiness.
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.