Whether you want to buy a new car, apply for a mortgage, or even apply for a job, a credit report plays a part in so many life events. A credit report details your financial history, and it can be quite confusing and worrying to spot another person’s name on there, even if it is somebody you know.
While most of the data on your credit report will pertain only to you, sometimes other names may make an appearance. Sometimes their names are present for a reason, but sometimes it’s just an error. Below, we’ll take a look at why other names may appear on your credit report and what you can do to remove them if needed.
The main reason why your mom’s name in particular might appear on your credit report is something called Financial Association. If you’re connected to somebody by Financial Association it simply means that you had shared financial responsibility with them.
This is usually spouses, ex-partners, family members like parents (as they were once financially responsible for you), or even roommates. If you took out a joint mortgage with a spouse or ex-partner, or opened a joint account to pay household bills with a roommate, then they will appear on your credit report.
But what about if accounts show up on your credit report that were closed long ago? Unfortunately, these connections will remain indefinitely, no matter how long ago the account was closed and even if you’re no longer in contact with the person you had joint financial responsibility with.
Having a Financial Association on your credit report means that the credit of that other person will be judged alongside yours to help a lender make a decision about whether to lend to you. If the person you have a Financial Association with has good credit then this is good news for you!
However, if they have poor credit then that can have a negative impact on your lending.
Unfortunately, while your credit report will show you who you have a Financial Association with, it won’t reveal to you the credit of that other person. However, if the account is closed, and you are no longer linked to that person, you can have the Financial Association removed from your credit report, so it doesn’t negatively affect your credit.
This is rather easy to do too. All you need to do is contact the Credit Reference Agency who issued your credit report and put in a request for dissociation. The agency will then investigate if the link is active, and if no ongoing financial connection is found, then the Financial Association will be removed from your credit report.
Why Does My Name Look Different On My Credit Report?
Another common issue people encounter when checking their credit report is finding variations of their own name. Sometimes this is the result of a spelling error, while sometimes a name you no longer go by is displayed, such as a maiden name.
While this can be confusing, it’s nothing to worry about, especially if the account information under this name is one you recognize. However, to keep your credit report consistent and accurate there are things you can do.
These are names you have been known as before. The most common examples would be a maiden name, previous married names, or even just shortened versions of your first name. Aliases are generally nothing to be worried about, especially if you recognize the name variant.
Aliases are created when you change your name attached to an account. The lender will then pass the new name onto Credit Reference Agencies and this is how an alias appears on your credit report.
Really, having an alias ensures that the data on your credit report is complete, and that all bases are covered the next time you apply for a credit check.
For example, if you’re newly married, and you apply for credit, but some of your lenders still have accounts under your maiden name, then having an alias will mean that these accounts get taken into consideration on your credit report, so no stone is left unturned.
The same can be said for different variations of your first name. If you frequently shorten your first name, like changing Joseph to Joe, or Joanna to Jo, then an alias will take these shortened names into account to ensure your credit report is complete.
If you see an alias on your credit report that is spelled incorrectly, it’s simply the result of a typo made by your lender when handing your information to a Credit Reference Agency. Which brings us onto our next point.
Accounts With Misspelled Names
If you check your credit report and see that your name has been spelled incorrectly by one of your lenders, you can contact the lender to update the account with your name spelled correctly.
It should correct the spelling and then report the new, accurate information to Credit Reference Agencies, so it’s reflected on your credit reports. Lenders usually provide information to Credit Reference agencies monthly, so any amendments might not appear on your credit report for six weeks.
But if you see your name has a typo on your credit report, don’t panic. As long as the account is being displayed on your credit report then there is no need to worry, but it’s still a good idea to get in contact with the lender to make sure your information is accurate.
Should I Be Worried About Other Names Appearing On My Credit Report?
No, not really. Any names that appear on your credit report are either innocent mistakes, or there is a reason for them being there. It’s very rare that a name appears on a credit report due to fraudulent activity.
Typically, if a credit report does hint that you have been the victim of fraudulent activity, it will be in the form of your own details appearing under accounts you do not recognize.
Seeing the name of a relative, spouse, ex-partner, roommate, or friend are not usually signs of fraudulent activity, and neither is seeing names you previously used to go by, or misspellings of your name.
Signs of fraudulent activity are not just accounts you don’t recognize, but linked addresses you don’t recognize, as well as fraud warnings – obviously the latter is a big indicator! Rest assured that any sign of fraudulent activity will be present in your credit report, so you can take steps to resolve the matter.