Keeping track of our credit report is an essential part of our lives and the key to our financial successes for lending. Your credit report is in essence, a detailed examination of your responsibility and stability of your lending history.
It gives potential lenders the opportunity to read through all of your previous borrowing history and how you managed credit, in order for them to make an informed decision on whether or not to lend to you.
The problem is, sometimes your credit history is linked with somebody else’s and it can affect yours, sending it into a downward spiral and negatively impacting your chances of future lending. This may seem unfair, but it can be due to decisions that you’ve made on somebody else’s behalf in the past.
This is why it’s so important to remain vigilant of your credit report and check the accuracy of the reporting. If you notice any inaccuracies, it’s vital that you dispute them immediately – with both the lender and the credit bureau.
One of the more common reasons why your credit history may be linked with another person’s is being financially associated or linked with that person. This is typically somebody you’ve held a financial obligation and connection with such as a spouse or friend that you’ve lived with.
This is normally due to submitting an application for credit in both your names, such as a mortgage or credit card or where both parties have agreed and placed their names together on something like an energy or telephone bill.
These financial associations last and will remain on your credit report indefinitely, regardless if you haven’t seen or dealt with that person in decades. This is why you may notice these financial associates on your credit report.
If you do notice this and you’re no longer connected to that person financially, it’s vital to inform the credit bureau.
Although being financially linked with somebody who has a strong credit history will certainly be beneficial, it’s the complete opposite if you’re linked with a person who has been irresponsible with their finances and can negatively affect your credit score.
All you’ll need to do is provide the credit bureau with a request for disassociation and if they find in your favor, you’ll have that person removed from your credit report for future reference.
There are often times where you have connected yourself through a credit card to another person. One example is where you may have agreed to someone as an authorized user on your credit card. This is when you allow more users to use your credit card but also agree to take financial responsibility for their spending.
The same would apply if you were placed as an authorized user on somebody else’s credit card.
Another reason could be if you’ve agreed to be a co-signatory (or guarantor) for somebody’s credit agreement to a lender. This is where you’ve agreed to be financially responsible for somebody if they fail to meet repayment obligations to their loan or credit card agreements.
Often, these decisions are made to help a friend or family member who may find it difficult to attain credit for themselves and if it is done responsibly, it can benefit both parties’ credit score.
However, it can negatively impact yours if the person goes into arrears and misses payments (one of the worst factors on a credit report). This applies vice versa if you have asked for a co-signatory.
Error On The Credit Report
Although this isn’t very common, errors on credit reports certainly happen.
There’s a multitude of reasons for this, but the most rational reasoning is due to a mismatch of your details with someone who may share your date of birth, name, previous addresses, an error when the lender puts your details into their database or somebody has committed financial fraud against you.
You might have changed your name legally and someone else who shares this name is having their financial report placed on yours. That is very rare, but it does also happen.
Again, this is why it’s vital to keep checking your credit report frequently and if you notice anything untoward – you must raise a dispute immediately.
PEP (Politically Exposed Person)
This does not necessarily refer to you as a person but rather your name. If somebody who shares your name or a close variation to your name is on a foreign list or database, recorded as politically exposed.
Your credit may not necessarily be affected by this, but you’ll want to get this removed as soon as possible, in case of fraud or identity concerns.
The Extra Person Is You
It’s possible that an alias is placed onto your credit report. This could be due to a name change through marriage or legally changed – and one of your financial institutions has been informed and altered it.
This will mean that both of your names (old and new) are appearing as two people on your credit report. This shouldn’t affect your credit rating as such, unless your financial association to your ex partner is still linked to your credit report.
However, you’ll still want to inform the credit bureau about your name change, in order to keep it consistent and accurate.
There are also times where a lender will incorrectly place your details onto a credit report and rectify the error with what is known as a correction. The problem is, sometimes the errors remain on the credit report for 6 weeks or so.
Can You Sue Someone For Damaging Your Credit Score?
If a party has breached the Fair Credit Report Act, there may be grounds to sue. However, you should consider that this could be a lengthy legal process. Not only that, but it could be quite costly. This should be held as a last resort, as there are more simple methods of restoring your credit score.
The Important Things To Remember
There are various reasons why your credit history is being linked to another’s, such as being previously financially linked or through errors on your report by a lender. It’s crucial to remain up to date with your credit report to avoid any problems!