Let’s talk money, honey

Half of all couples discuss money matters at least once a week

UK, 18 July 2019: Over half (56%) of Brits in a relationship discuss their finances at least once a week, according to new research from Experian.

One in ten (12%) couples even have a money chat as often as once a day. But it can take some time for these conversations to start. Partners said that 1.5 years into a relationship was the most appropriate time for them to begin discussing their finances.

While established couples are regularly talking about their finances, 70% don’t know their partner’s credit score. Alongside this, there is a lack of awareness on how financial associations are formed between them and the impact they can have on an individual’s chances of being approved for credit. 

A financial association is a link that ties two people’s credit reports together, usually when they apply for a bank account or joint credit. Lenders can look at financial associations when making credit-lending decisions – for both individual and joint applications – which means they may check your partner’s credit history. 

A third of those in a relationship are unaware that opening a joint bank account (33%) or applying for joint credit together (34%) will create a financial association on their credit report. Yet three in five (58%) couples currently share a bank account, so they are in fact financially linked on their credit reports.

Such misunderstandings also mean partners think that certain actions create financial associations when in fact they don’t, which include:

  • Sharing a joint council tax bill (40%)
  • Living at the same address as your partner (38%)
  • Checking your eligibility for a joint loan (35%)
  • Paying child maintenance (16%)

James Jones, Head of Consumer Affairs at Experian, comments:

“It’s encouraging to see that so many couples are comfortable to discuss financial matters with their partner. Just like sitting down to do a weekly shop, discussing weekend arrangements or watching a series on Netflix – or Love Island – couples should regularly discuss their finances to ensure they are achieving their financial goals. However, many are missing a trick by not discussing their credit scores, which give a holistic view of their credit report and are a guide to how lenders may view them.

“Understanding yours and your partner’s credit score and history is an important step, especially for those that are considering moving in together or buying their first home.

“Similarly, taking the time to understand how you can become financially linked to someone – and checking your financial associations – can help avoid future disappointments such as credit refusal or not getting the best rates.”

James Jones from Experian shares his top 5 myths of financial associations on credit reports.

James’ top five myths of financial associations

Myth 1: My partner can only positively impact my credit score.

Financial ties cannot affect your credit score however they can have a positive or negative impact on your credit applications. Lenders may look at your partners credit history when making credit lending decisions. So, for example, if your partner has a positive credit history, lenders can view your credit applications more favorably. If your partner has a bad credit history, missed payment, or debt, it could affect your own borrowing capabilities.

Myth 2: Becoming an additional cardholder on someone else’s credit card will create a financial association

Credit card applications are different in that only one person (the person applying) is credit checked. As an additional account holder, you can use the main applicant’s credit limit but it is their sole responsibility to ensure all payments are made in full and on time.

Myth 3: Buying a pet together can create a financial association

While caring for a pet can bind two people together – and require a lot of care and commitment – it does not create a financial link on your credit report.

Myth 4: Checking your eligibility for a joint loan will create a financial association

Before applying for credit, it’s worthwhile checking your eligibility for credit products through credit comparison services such as Experian’s. Such services give you an indication of your chances of credit approval and so only ever leave a soft search on your credit report – meaning it won’t impact your score and won’t create a financial link until you apply.

Myth 5: Sharing the same address will create a financial association

It’s easy to think sharing an address will create a financial tie. However, unless you apply for joint accounts your reports will not be linked together.

Notes to Editors

Methodology

The research was commissioned by One Poll using 2,000 respondents who are in a relationship, polling a representative selection of the UK population. The survey was in the field from 28/06/2019 until 03/07/2019.

Media Contact

Priya Sahib, PR Manager Consumer PR, Experian UK&I

Tel: 07816 491152 / Email: Priya.Sahib@experian.com

Weber Shandwick for Experian

Tel: 020 7861 0762 / Email: experian@webershandwick.com

About Experian

Experian is the world’s leading global information services company. During life’s big moments – from buying a home or a car, to sending a child to college, to growing a business by connecting with new customers – we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organisations to prevent identity fraud and crime.

 

We have 17,200 people operating across 44 countries and every day we’re investing in new technologies, talented people and innovation to help all our clients maximise every opportunity. We are listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and are a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

 

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