The 2012 Pre-Nup -- show us your credit report darling
It’s nearly the middle of February, which means that various shops start spewing redness all over everything and the price of flowers doubles. Still, new research by Equifax proves that not everyone in the UK is a love-sick puppy.
The survey of over 1,000 people revealed that more than 1 in 4 (27%) consumers would ask their partner to share with them their credit report before applying for a joint credit agreement such as a mortgage or loan. Women appear to be more likely to ask to see their partner's credit file, at 28.9%, compared to 25.9% of men. It might not be the most romantic thing to do for Valentine's day*, but Equifax is urging couples to share details about all credit commitments, including any debts, especially if they share any joint financial accounts or are about to open a joint account.
"Of course, only the individual concerned can access their credit file", explained External Affairs Director Neil Munroe. "But what this new research does seem to suggest is an understanding amongst many couples that any joint finances will affect both their credit histories."
"If you have a joint financial agreement with a partner, then their credit information will be linked to yours for as long as that agreement exists", he continued. "This is because lenders look at all the financial commitments someone has when new credit is applied for - and if there are joint financial agreements they are more than likely to look at the credit history of the partner too.
The research also revealed that that almost 1 in 5 consumers admitted to previously keeping details of a personal loan or credit card debt secret from their partner.
So is this the Tens (is that the decade we are in now?) version of the Pre-Nup? Well, the people surveyed were all subscribers to the Equifax Personal Solutions credit report services, so you could suggest that this was not a random sample of the population, but comprised those who would be more likely to be interested in inspecting other people’s credit reports. But does it make good financial sense? Have you, or would you ever, ask your nearest and dearest to cough all their past financial transgressions along with their dodgy previous sexual encounters? If not, why not?
Equifax of course, are trying to get people to sign up for a ‘free’ online credit check, one of the ones where you need to give your bank details so they can charge you £6.99 a month if you do not cancel by the end of the free period. Wonder how many partners tell each other about that particular credit agreement…
* Although it probably beats the bloke who took his girlfriend to the launderette I saw last year