News release

Contact:
Natalie Hale
Press Relations Executive, Corporate
+44 (0) 115 934 4486 Tel
natalie.hale@uk.experian.com Email

Experian advises couples to be honest about their finances this St Valentines Day

Nottingham, UK, 12 February 2008 - Experian, the global information services company and a leading UK credit reference agency, is advising couples to avoid arguments during the romantic St Valentine’s season by being open and honest with each other about their finances.

Figures from Relate show that money is a major cause of arguments for couples so, to help, Experian has produced two guides about credit and relationships.  These explain the implications of living together and what to do if a relationship breaks down, and aim to help people understand when and how their finances can become linked and what this means.

James Jones, Experian’s Consumer Education Manager, explains: “For many couples, St Valentine’s Day is the catalyst for a major relationship change, including  engagement, marriage, civil partnership, moving in together, and sometimes breaking up. 

“Cohabiting couples often apply for credit together and, in doing so, link up their credit histories, so it’s important that people understand what this means, the effect it has and what they need to do to safeguard their financial futures. Many people find it difficult to talk about money, but avoiding the issue is a sure-fire way of storing up trouble for the future.”

 

Catherine Allen of Relate, the relationship people, agreed:  "We know that money is a top cause of arguments between couples and, because healthy relationships and healthy finances are so closely linked, being honest and open about money and credit is essential.”

Experian offers the following advice to couples this St Valentine’s Day;

  • Communication, communication, communication – it is imperative that couples are open and honest about their financial backgrounds, particularly if entering into a mortgage together. Once you jointly apply for credit, you are financially associated to that person and lenders can take their credit history into consideration when you apply for credit in future. Applying for and showing each other your credit reports is a good way to start discussions about money and credit.
  • Shout it from the rooftops – when you spread the good news that you’ve moved in together, be sure to include all the official channels. If you’re the one moving, register on the electoral roll with your new local council and inform any organisations you have a credit agreement with that you have changed address. This will avoid address problems when applying for credit and will also reduce the chances of you being the target of identity fraud.
  • Prepare for the worst – moving in with each other can be the start of a long and happy future but, as we all know, things don’t always work out.  It may not seem very romantic, but it is very sensible to make a list of your financial commitments and agree what will happen to the money and any other assets if you break up. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can provide further information about a Living Together Agreement or you can visit the ‘advicenow’ website.
  • Breaking financial ties - If a relationship ends, details of all associations (people you’re financially linked to) stay on your credit report unless you ask Experian to remove them.  They can only be removed if you no longer have any financial link with that person – i.e., you’ve closed any joint credit accounts or transferred them into one person’s name. Once you and your ‘financial associate’ have separated your finances as well as yourselves, let the credit reference agencies know so that they can break the link on your credit report.

 

Experian’s two free Credit Crossroads guides - Living together and Relationship Breakdown – can be found at http://www.experian.co.uk/learningzone.  These are part of a series of free guides Experian produces to give helpful advice to consumers about how credit reports are produced and used and when they affect people’s lives. 

People can check their credit report for free for 30 days by signing up for a free trial of Experian’s online credit report monitoring service CreditExpert. Visit www.creditexpert.co.uk for further details.

 

ENDS…

 

For more information please contact:

James Jones, Consumer Affairs Manager, Experian
Tel: 0115 976 8525; Mob: 07967 567267
E-mail:
james.jones@uk.experian.com

 

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