When love makes the grade, how can it link your finances?

Itís not long now until the nation becomes enchanted by that annual carnival of love in mid-February. Many of us will spend big on dinner, nights out and even rings. But when you choose to formalise your union, how can it actually affect your credit status?
Getting married in itself doesnít change anything. If you didnít share a mortgage, a bank account or have any other shared financial arrangements beforehand, then the mere act of saying ìI doî at the altar is not going to have any impact. However, certain things are worth bearing in mind.
Name changes ñ if you have changed your surname, then itís a good idea to include both new and old names on any new application for credit. This creates an ëaliasí link between the two names, which would allow both names to appear on your credit report going forward. The lender would then include both names on any credit check it makes. Itís also worth registering to the electoral roll in your new surname as soon as possible.
Joint accounts - If you do share or open up a financial connection, then each of you would see the otherís name in the section of your credit report entitled ëFinancial Associationsí. Although lenders would then be able to look at both your credit reports, your own credit report would show only your own credit activity.
Different credit statuses ñ Should you be concerned that your husband or wife may have poor credit, itís a good idea to check your credit report to see if and how you are financially linked.  Being in a personal relationship with someone, and even having the same surname, does not link up your credit reports ñ and neither does living at the same address. Credit reports only become linked if two people have actually applied for credit together (eg: a joint bank account, a mortgage with two names on it) or they tell Experian or a lender that they are financially connected.  
As long as you keep your finances completely separate, your credit reports will stay separate even if you live together or share the same surname. By checking your credit report you can see if you are linked or not, and the steps you could take to improve your credit rating. You can see your credit report and Experian Credit Score whenever you want, as part of Experian CreditExpert membership.

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