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Consumer Credit

Equifax research reveals that 1 in 4 would ask their partner to share their credit report before taking on new finance

By CreditMan Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Just a week before Valentine's day, leading instant online credit information provider, Equifax, has released new research which suggests that when it comes to money matters, the head is ruling the heart for many couples.

The latest Equifax research, conducted amongst over 1,000 users of the Equifax Personal Solutions credit report services, reveals that more than 1 in 4 (27%) consumers would ask their partner to share with them their credit report before applying for a joint credit agreement such as a mortgage or loan. Women appear to be more likely to ask to see their partner's credit file, at 28.9%, compared to 25.9% of men.

"Of course, only the individual concerned can access their credit file", explained Neil Munroe, External Affairs Director, Equifax. "But what this new research does seem to suggest is an understanding amongst many couples that any joint finances will affect both their credit histories."

It might not be the most romantic conversation for Valentine's day, but Equifax is urging couples to share details about all credit commitments, including any debts, especially if they share any joint financial accounts or are about to open a joint account.

"If you have a joint financial agreement with a partner, then their credit information will be linked to yours for as long as that agreement exists", continued Neil Munroe. "This is because lenders look at all the financial commitments someone has when new credit is applied for - and if there are joint financial agreements they are more than likely to look at the credit history of the partner too.

"That's why if you are planning to take out any joint financial agreements - whether it's a mortgage, finance for the family car or just a mobile phone agreement - it's really important to be upfront about any financial agreements. And if you already have joint finances, it's especially important to be honest about any late payments."

The Equifax research also revealed that that almost 1 in 5 consumers admitted to previously keeping details of a personal loan or credit card debt secret from their partner. Although there also appears to be a greater realisation that if you are in a relationship you need to be completely honest about any financial difficulties you might face. Over 87% of respondents said if they started to fall behind on credit repayments in the future they would tell their partner.

Equifax offers a free online credit check, where you can view your personal credit report, including any joint agreements you may have. The Equifax Credit Report, with the facility to access credit information for the first 30 days free, gives consumers a valuable insight into their credit status. Accessible simply by logging onto it is designed to help individuals understand their credit file and see what lenders see to assess new credit applications. It also includes expert tips and advice to help consumers take the right steps to manage their finances and navigate through life's challenges.

If the customer does not cancel before the end of the 30 Day Free Trial, the service will continue at £6.99 per month, giving them unlimited online access to their credit information and weekly alerts on any changes to their credit file. It also includes an online dispute facility to help them correct any errors on their credit file simply and quickly.

1051 adults who were married or in a relationship responded to the Equifax survey, December 2011